Batalik – A Charming Little Village near Kargil

by Vargis.Khan

Batalik is a small village located about 56 kilometers from Kargil. It is one of the many small villages located in the valley but is possibly the most famous one because of its history. The Kargil War of 1999 was fought in this region and Batalik became the focal point of the war.

It is a village that sits right next to the India-Pakistan border, almost in the middle of nowhere. It is not much of a tourist attraction as well. If it was not for the war that was fought here, it would not be that well known as it is today.

But with that being said, the village has a certain charm of its own. We visited here during my recent trip to Ladakh and it was definitely an experience in itself.

We traveled to Batalik from Lamayuru, covering the entire Aryan Valley on the way. From there, we crossed the Hamboting La Pass and reached Kargil where we stayed for the night. To read the previous parts of the travelogue, you can follow the links below.

Journey So Far:

The village consists of only a few houses and a small market. But the entire setting of the village and the route that you take to get here is stunningly scenic. Read on to find more.

Aryan Valley

The plan for the day was to travel from Lamayuru to Kargil via Aryan Valley and Batalik. We thought to start early from Lamayuru but it was already 9 am by the time we checked out of the hotel. We then went to the Lamayuru Monastery and at around 10 am, started on our way to Aryan Valley and Batalik.

The first destination was Khalsi on the Srinagar Leh highway where we got a tankful of Diesel. After that, we returned to the spot where the road toward Aryan Valley bifurcates from the Srinagar to Leh route.

The journey through the Aryan Valley was fun indeed. It is one of the greenest areas in all of Ladakh and even the culture of the people here is entirely different.

We crossed the villages of Skurbuchan, Achinathang, Hanu, and Dah. The distance was not that great, just about 60 odd kilometers, but the narrow roads ensured a travel time of around 4 hours. To read about this part of our journey in detail, you can take a look at Aryan Valley –  A Cultural Experience.

Finally, we arrived at this spot where Aryan Valley ended.

aryan valley

Shortly after this spot, we entered Batalik.

batalik village

Batalik

A few hundred meters after this board, we arrived at a check post where we were asked to register ourselves. We stopped there, entered our names in a register, and continued our journey.

While we were making entries in the register, I started talking to the cops there. They told me that the mountains we were looking at while standing there were all occupied by the Pakistani Army during the 1999 war.

They were sitting at the top of these mountains and bombarding the area.

batalik village

Shortly after the check post, we reached the spot where the road to the Batalik village bifurcates. The village is not actually located along this route. To reach there, you will need to leave the main road, drive for about 2 kilometers and enter the village where the road ends.

If you continue driving on the main road itself, you will bypass the village entirely. But if you want to see Batalik, you will have to turn on another small road that leads into the village. It is a short drive of only 2 kilometers though.

Since we wanted to see Batalik, we turned on the narrow road and were soon standing in the village.

batalik village

We stopped at a small restaurant and got some Maggie to eat.

batalik village

With our bellies full, we then returned to the main route and started climbing up the Hambuting La Pass.

Mobile Network in Batalik Village

I was expecting Batalik to be a village that would be entirely off the grid. But when we arrived here, we were surprised to see that both Airtel and Jio remained connected with a good 4G data speed. There is almost every sort of amenity in this small village.

Accommodation in Batalik Village

As far as I can tell, there is no arrangement for a night stay in Batalik village or at least none that I noticed. There are definitely no hotels or guest houses here and it will mostly be just the villagers that may take you in for a night as a paying guest.

Also Read: How to Plan a Family Trip to Leh Ladakh

Hamboting La

After visiting the Batalik village, we started on our way to Kargil. Immediately after the village, the climb for the Hamboting La pass begins.

Hamboting La, also spelled as Hambuting La, is a high-altitude pass located on the Kargil Batalik Road. At an altitude of 4024 meters (13,202 ft), the pass remains closed in the winter season and remains accessible only from May to October.

The climb to the Hambuting La is steep and on a narrow road. It is even steeper if you are approaching the pass from Kargil.

As we started to drive up the pass, the views improved tremendously.

batalik village

batalik village

After a short drive, we were soon standing at the top of the pass.

hamboting la

We spent some time at the pass clicking pictures. After that, it was a downhill drive of about an hour to Kargil. We passed a couple of other small villages on the way that looked equally beautiful.

The last time I was in this region was in October, in the autumn season. With the orange color dominating all the trees, it really all looked magical. This is a picture from that previous trip.

batalik village

We drove down the narrow road and were soon in the town of Kargil. Our stay was booked in Hotel Kargil heights. I was familiar with this hotel as this was the second time I was staying there.

It is a good budget-friendly hotel that I will definitely recommend staying at if you were planning a trip to either Kargil, Zanskar, or Ladakh. You can read my detailed review of this hotel at Kargil Heights – A Good Hotel to stay in Kargil.

We checked into the hotel, rested for a while, and came out late in the evening to spend some time by the river.

kargil

Road Conditions in Batalik Village

The condition of the road on this entire road is a mix of average and good. There are a few small bad stretches in between but mostly you will be traveling on an average road. The road between Kargil and Hamboting La is super smooth though.

Petrol Pump & Other Amenities

There is no petrol pump in this region. The nearest one is located either in Kargil (on the Batalik side) or in Khalsi (on the Aryan Valley side).

Basic medical assistance is available in almost all the villages. For anything serious though, you will have to rush to Kargil.

Also Read: Clothes for Ladakh Trip – What to Pack

Batalik altitude

Batalik is situated at an altitude of 2754 meters (9035 feet).

Permit for Batalik

There is no permit required for visiting Batalik. You may be asked to register yourself at the police check post and produce a government-issued identity card (preferably Aadhar Card).

Kargil to Batalik Distance

The distance between Kargil and Batalik is 54 kilometers.

Dras to Batalik

The distance between Dras and Batalik is 115 kilometers. You will have to travel through Kargil to reach either of the two places.

Batalik to Leh

If you want to continue traveling from Batalik to Leh, you will have to travel through the entire Aryan Valley. The distance would be 177 kilometers with a travel time of 8 to 10 hours, depending on your speed and breaks.

Batalik Tourist Places

Batalik is just a small village and there are no tourist places here as such. The natural beauty of the place is what you should visit here to witness.

The only names that come to mind if I am to name tourist attractions are the pass of Hamboting La and the nearby Aryan Valley but both of them are not in the village itself. These are the places that you will cross to get to Batalik.

That was the end of our journey for the day. The plan for the next day was to visit the Umba La Pass and Manman top. We were to cover these passe earlier in the trip but had to change the plans after we got stuck at Zojila Pass for 8 hours.

But since we were going to be in Kargil for the next 2 days, I decided to cover the Umba La route as well. Please click on the link above to continue reading the next part of the travelogue.

Batalik Village – Conclusion

I hope the travelogue, pictures, and details on Batalik village were of help.  If you have any questions, you can ask in the comments section below. You can also contact me on Instagram to chat with me or subscribe to my YouTube channel and ask a question there.

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