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Attractions

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Zanskar valley

The Zanskar Range is the mountain range in Jammu and Kashmir that acts as the separating line between Ladakh and Zanskar. The Zanskar Range is a part of the Tethys Himalayas, formed with weakly transformed sedimentary series. The average height of the Zanskar Range is 6000 meters. It is an inevitable spot for adventure lovers during their adrenaline rushing trekking trips to the Trans Himalayas every year.

On the way to Zanskar Valley, one will come across the incredible Suru Valley which puts forth a decent trekking experience to adventure lovers. Zanskar is alluring always with its brightly shining mountain peaks and the presumably attracting villages, sometimes, it looks overshadowing the relishing Changthang Region as well. Tourism has caused a great enhancements on the economic side of the region like education flourished and the lifestyle of the people has changed but it took its toll on the fragile mountain environment.

Nevertheless, Zanskar is the favorite tourist destination still because of the vast area that is made beautiful by multiple hues, the distinct flora and fauna and the extremely variant climatic conditions. There are two main branches of the Zanskar River; one is Doda which has source near Pensi-La and flows south eastwards to reach Padum and the second one is formed by two tributaries called Kargyag River and it has source near Shingo La.

Height: The valley is situated at an average height of 6000 meters above the sea level.

Location: It is located at a distance of about 464 kms from Leh and would take around 10 to 11 hours to reach. Buses are available from Leh to reach the valley.

Best time to visit: The months of June, July, August and September are suitable to visit the Zanskar Range as the other months will cause heavy snowfall and the roads will be blocked.

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Chadar Trek

For some years, adventure seekers all around the world have been talking about Chadar Trek in the Zanskar Region. Until this year, hundreds of people have experienced the thrill hidden and the mind blowing sights around Chadar frozen river. In fact, Chadar Trek is the most sought after and one of the breathtaking treks in the Himalayas. The winter trek is so special for those who are ready to have adventure at the maximum level. 

The river trek starts from Chilling where the river begins to freeze and mostly, travelers choose February as the best time to cross the frozen river as the ice sheets will be comparatively stable. The precarious snow-flakes would pose severe threats during the trek but in some other time, the challenges would be kind to the trekker. The surrounding of the river are completely vertical cliffs tall up to 600 meters. The Zanskar River is a tributary of the Indus and is 5 meters long. 

A trekker would have to cover 16 kms per day to complete the Chadar Trek. Usually, people opt for 10-15 days of trek depending on the climatic conditions persisting here. The temperature at Chadar will come to the lowest at -35 degree Celsius during winter and thus Chadar Trek becomes more intimidating. Approximate trekking distance one would have to cover in total is 75 kms.

Maximum altitude: 11123 feet is the height at which Chadar Trek would lead you to.

Location: To take part in Chadar Trek, one should arrive in Leh and from Leh, the journey starts and goes to Chilling, the beginning of the Zanskar River in the frozen state. From Leh it would take about 65-70 kms to reach Tilad via Chilling, the base camp of the trek.

Best time to visit: January end to February is the best time suitable for trekking in the frozen river of Chadar. Quality and safe trekking gears and highly warm clothes are required.

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Kargil War Memorial

In the history of India, 1999 is a significant one in terms of politics in India and in its foreign relations. The Kargil War to be true has shocked the pulse of India but due to the timely attack of Indian Army against Pakistan made India proud though the war led many of our soldiers to lose their lives.

 To commemorate the victory India achieved and also to pay tribute to our brave soldiers, the Indian Army has built a War Memorial in Drass, the most important location which became famous during the war and now the memorial is known in different names such as Kargil War Memorial and Drass War Memorial. The Indian name of the memorial is Vijaypath. Lulled by the foothills of Tololing Hills, Drass Memorial keeps the soldier still alive through the epitaph which has the names of all the soldiers embalmed on it. On 26th July every year, Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated at the memorial. Indian Prime Minister pays tribute to the brave soldiers at Amar Jawan Jyothi at the India Gate, New Delhi on the same day.

 A Sandstone Wall is the prime attraction in the memorial which shows the names of the Indian Army personnel who fought and lost their lives in the war and near to the memorial you can see a souvenir shop as well. On the 13th anniversary of the victory in Kargil War, the soldiers have hoisted an Indian flag that weighs up to 15 kg as a tribute. There is a gallery, Manoj Pandey Gallery that displays the photographs taken during the war, the weapons used and artilleries discovered.

Location: Drass Valley in the foothills of Tololing is the location of Kargil War Memorial. You can visit the memorial during the visit to Kargil from Leh. It is located 5 kms from the city center across the famous Tiger Hill.

Timings: It is open on all days except Sunday, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm and from 02:00 pm to 05:00 pm

Best time to visit: During the months of May, June, July, August and September would be the perfect time to visit the memorial.

 


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Mulbekh Monastery

The two major sects of Buddhism, Drukpa and Gelugpa had two gompas in Mulbekh Monastery. The location is 45 kms away from Kargil and 260 km from Leh town. The nine meter statue of Maitreya Buddha placed in the premise catches the eyes of every visitor. Also, the two gompas are closely connected to the palace of Rajah Kalon of Mulbekh located nearby. To reach the gompa, there is a steep footpath arranged behind the building.

History

There are different opinions about the establishment of the gompa but the idol of Buddha placed here dates back to the 8th century and some others believe that it was built in the period of Kushan. The sculptor is the contribution of the missionaries but there is a saying that the artwork present in the sculptor shows that the missionaries were not Tibetans but mostly Ladakhis. Kharoshti scripts were also found in the main sculptor.

Structure of the monastery

Apart from the limestone idol of Buddha carved in the rock face, there are other relics of statues and frescoes. The entire monastery is made charming with the very valuable paintings and some relics of the prized items of the ancient period. As Maitreya is famous as Chamba among the Buddhist sets, the monastery has gained the name Mulbekh Chamba later.

Location: Mulbekh gompa is located in Kashmir, 45 Km from the town and 260 km from Leh in Ladakh region. You can reach the gompa by bus or jeep.

Timings: It is open on all days from 08:00 am to 06:00 pm

Entry fee: Entry to the gompa is free

Highlight: The gompa is 3504 meters above the foothills which gives a mesmerizing view of the valleys down.

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Phuktal Monastery

Phugtal or Phuktal gompa or monastery, a significant Buddhist monastery located in the Lungnak Valley that too very remotely from the main town and this one is reachable only by walking. The essential things for the monastery will be carried by animals during summer days and during winter they will be transported through the frozen Zanskar River.

History

The etymology of the name Phutkal is interesting and the name means the cave of liberation or leisure as per the information given by scholars. The birth of Phutkal Monastery was 2500 years ago and it was built around a cave with the aim of inviting any number of sages or saints to come and meditate. But the current status of Phutkal Gompa is because of the Gelug School of Tibetan Buddhism. It was established in the early 15th century by Jangsem Sherap Zangpo.

Structure of the monastery

The honeycomb structure of the monastery surprises every one. Given the increased number of tourists, the monastery is popular now as a favorite trekking point. The cliff side structure houses a temple, prayer rooms, apartments, quarters, library with sacred manuscripts, teaching facilities and the original cave and a spring. Around 70 monks who are residing in the monastery are always seen chanting or meditating.

Location: The location of the monastery is Lungnak Valley in south-eastern Zanskar.

Timings: It is open on all days of the week from 06:00 pm to 04:00 pm.

Entry fee: To enter the monastery no entry fee is required. But cameras and food from outside are not allowed.

Highlights: There are a number of festivals happen everywhere at the monastery which are celebrated for different reasons. Every year the dates of the festivals change depending on the lunisolar calendar. Smonlam Chenmo is the most important one as it signifies the entry of the New Year.


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Kargil

Kargil, the second largest town after Leh in Kashmir has multiple images in the mindsets of Indians. The spot where India’s patriotism won, the spot where India’s soldiers lost their lives, the spot where a dramatic tug of war between two countries happened and the spot which makes India proud always; hundreds of reasons are there to recognize Kargil as one of the primary locations of India. Politically, Kargil has gained so much importance because of the renowned Kargil War but now it is termed as one of the most visited tourist destinations as well in Kashmir. Visitors are curious to visit the sensitive zone in India where history was turned topsy-turvy.

There are a lot to see in Kargil in the form of monasteries, lush greenery, river basins, trekking points and so on. Mulbekh Monastery, located 36 Kms from Kargil is the most famous gompa in Kargil district which is featured because of the 9 meter tall idol of Maitreya Buddha. Near to Kargil is yet another attraction that is Suru Basin. When the Panzella glacier starts to melt, Suru Basin becomes the richest fertile land in the dry Ladakh region. The fields of wheat, barley and grapes are rich in greenery and thus give a splendid sight to the tourists. If you keep patriotism inside you on a dramatic level, then never miss to visit the Drass War Memorial where the photos, things used during the Kargil war and the hardships during the war are displayed along with the 100 feet high flagpoles. For trekking, the surroundings hill tops are perfect and a visit to Lamayuru Monastery located on Leh-Srinagar Highway will be concluding your tour of Kargil in presumably perfect way.

Height: 2676 meters above sea level

Location: Kargil is located 60 km from Drass and 204 km from Srinagar to the west and 234 km from Leh to the east. One can reach Kargil from Padum by covering a distance of 240 km and a drive from Delhi will take around 1047 kms to be covered.

Best time to visit: June to September is the ideal time to visit Kargil as per the information given by the experts and experienced travelers.


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Drass Valley

Drass Valley in Kargil District in Jammu and Kashmir is popularly called as the gateway of Ladakh. In the infamous Kargil War, Drass has played a significant role. The Pakistani Army in 1999 started dropping shells in Drass and in the surrounding villages and thus the war broke out between India and Pakistan. In the end, India recaptured Drass and other parts in the premises and then on Drass has been recognized as the memorial of the Kargil War

Drass is nestled amidst the snow-clad peaks on the Leh- Kargil National Highway at a height of 3230 meters above the sea level. Zojila Pass is the beginning of Drass Valley. Even when the harshest climatic conditions of winter hit the inhabitants here, the people kept guarding the valley intact and thus they are called the guardians of Ladakh’s gateway. The residents of the valley is known to be the saviours of stranded travelers who try to cross the pass along the snow covered trails and also they have stayed back in the valley to transport trading merchandise in the extreme cold. Drass is recognized as the base for the three day long Suru valley trek.

 The coldest region of India is Drass where -12 degree Celsius is the average temperature during winter and it falls onto as low as -17 degree Celsius during the peak time of winter. The tours of Drass compulsorily include a visit to the famous Drass War Memorial which is built to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the India-Pakistan War in 1999. There is a Brigade War Valley that also turned to be the space to commemorate the lives and dedication of Indian soldiers during Kargil War.

Height: Drass Valley is located at an average height of 3820 meters.

Location: It is located 60 kms away from Ladakh and starts from the foot of the famous Zojila Pass.

Best time to visit: The season between the months of May and September are the suitable time to visit Drass.


Missing

Zanskar valley

The Zanskar Valley is the place to witness enchanting visuals of snow capped peaks and alpine lakes. Located in the Ladakh district, there are numerous places to see here. Visit the Zongkhul Monastery by undertaking the exciting Padum-Kishtwar trekking route.

Visit Zangla, which is an ancient castle that also houses a chapel and also feel amazed at the captivating beauty that you see from the Penzella Pass. Take a village tour through a human settlement in this divine land at Karsha. Get more breathtaking views from Panikhar and also visit the Panikhar Fort.

Ask a Question

How to Reach

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  • The nearest airport from Kargil is Srinagar, located about kilometers away from the city. From Srinagar, regular buses ply going directly to Kargil, or one can even hire a taxi from Srinagar to Kargil.
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  • The nearest railway station to Kargil is Jammu Tawi and most major trains stop at this junction.
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  • Karil is also accessible by road via the Leh- Kargil highway with local buses and taxis plying on this route frequently. One also has the option of a self-drive vehicle.

Best Time To Visit

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  • Although Kargil is not situated at a very high altitude, located at just 2,676 meters above sea level, yet it experiences very extreme winters, with moderate summers. The average temperature in the winter months starting from October to February usually range between -10 degree Celsius to -20 degree Celsius, and sometimes dropping even till -45 degree Celsius unexpectedly. As far as the summers are concerned, the days are usually warm and pleasant and the nights chilly with the summer months from May to September ranging between 33 degrees Celsius to 4 degree Celsius.
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  • The peak season in Kargil is usually the summers, especially the months of April, May and June turning Kargil into a hotbed for tourist inflow. However, if you wish to experience snowfall and the chilly winters of Ladakh, the early onset and the offset of winters is typically a good time to go. During the day, the sun shines very bright regardless of the season, often causing severe sunburns and other skin diseases. Therefore, it is necessary to apply a strong sunscreen whenever you visit Kargil.

What You Should Know More About Kargil

  • Q. Travel Advice

    • It is true that Jammu and Kashmir tourism assures adequate safety measures and drills for the tourists but the truth is that the arrangement for rescue operation for a skier is only limited. It is thus suggested that you must ski around the earmarked area only.

    • In case of any injury or danger, ask for help.

    • When traveling in winters, know that the snow can be very thick. It is thus advisable to carry boots with you. In case you do not have boots, you can rent the rubber boots at any shop along the mountain slope at a price as meagre as INR 20.

    • You know that the situation in Kashmir is volatile because of the on going disputes between India and Pakistan so it is rather wise to avoid traveling during times of civil unrest.

    • You may see soldiers all around in Kargil so whenever you have a feeling that something is not right, reach out to them.

    • Monkeys are common on the streets of Kargil however they are not really friendly here. So, do not feed them or disturb them as they can get really aggressive.

    • Roads may be blocked during winters due to snow. It is thus recommended to travel via train or air.

    • Gather as much information as possible before visiting any new place.

    • Whenever you make a visit to any unfamiliar territory or a territory with potential danger, don’t do it alone. It is best to take help from established companies that have an authentic record.

    • Book your trip only with a professional and a competent organization and you can expect to be safe in 99% of potential risk situations. 

    After reaching to Kargil from Srinagar you can rest in one of the best hotels in Kargil before taking to your dream destination to Leh from Kargil.

  • Q. Drinking Law

    Alcohol may not be freely available in Kargil but can be found in the hotel bars. The legal age for alcohol consumption is 21 years.


  • Q. Our Recommendations: What you can’t afford to miss?

    Suru Valley

    Suru Valley is a beautiful low land lying at an elevation of 3000 meters in the foot hills of the majestic Himalayas. This valley envelope the catchment basin of the River Suru that comes off the Panzella glacier. Going further from the Kargil to the Panzella glacier, this valley is exceptionally fertile and is cultivated way more than any other region of Ladakh. The rough terrains of this canyon are depleted by multiple brooks that are basically descending from the Himalayan mountains. Lofty crusts of Nun and Kun mountains top the majestic landscape of this scenic region. During the spring season, the valley gets carpeted with the greenery and freshness of the apricot, mulberry and apple trees. Majority of the residents of this sprawling region are of the Tibeti Darad origin who basically underwent a conversion in 16th century from Buddhism to Islam. The quaint villages here comprise of the old houses that are encompassed by the green agricultural tracts. This definitely is the most beautiful sightseeing attraction of Kargil.   

    Sani Monastery

    Situated west of the Padum is the Sani Monastery. It lies on the road that leads you to Kargil region of Jammu and Kashmir. The Sani Monastery is a significant shrine of the Tibetan Buddhist’s Drukpa Kagyupa School and is an important place to see in Kargil. One significant feature of the Sani Monastery is that it has been constructed in distinct parts over the course of several centuries. The chorten inside the monastery was built in the 2nd century however the assembly hall was built in the early 17th century. Here, the architecture of the monastery represents a huge castle. There is also a 2nd century Kanika Stupa as well as a prayer hall lying within the premises. In the central hall of the monastery, there are several statues of the revered Lamas and other Buddhist deities. If you are fond of monasteries then you can also check out the list of all the monasteries of Leh Ladakh.

    Karste Valley

    Karste Valley is an indispensable part of the bowl-shaped Sankoo Valley. This sprawling mountains are traversed by the river Karste that originates from the Rangdum Pass glaciers and finally joins the Suru River. Encompassed with the lofty mountains that are embellished with the colorful flowers, this dale is a veiled paradise of the nature. Sprawling towards the eastern mountain mass, the valley is dotted with several secluded hamlets. Trekking is an interesting adventure activity here.

    Karste River

    Karste River is a mountain that flows down the undulating terrains of the Kargil region. This tributary of the River Kargil finally merges with the watercourse coming from the east. The river originates from the Rangdum Pass and forms the beautiful Karste Valley. It is the best tourist attraction in Kargil.   

    Lamayuru Monastery

    Also known as the Yuru Gompa, the Lamayuru Monastery is one of the oldest and the biggest shrines in Ladakh. Situated in the Kargil region on the National Highway that leads you to Leh, the Lamayuru Monastery is nestled on the top of a huge rock and assures a scenic view of the River Indus that gushes down to the valley. Established in the period spanning from 10th and 11th century, this shrine is located at the spot where there once existed a lake. It is an architectural marvel, the architecture of which is pretty similar to the other Tibetan Buddhism shrines.   

    Drass War Memorial

    Drass War Memorial commemorates the historic success of the Operation Vijay during the course of the Indo-Pak war of 1999. It is a small monument that is dedicated to all the martyrs who lost their lives while protecting the country against trespassers. The war memorial lies in the Drass village of Kargil district and was built after the Indian Army won over the Pakistani troops and gained the requisite control of the region. The victory over the region was announced on 26th July 1999 that is celebrated every year as the Vijay Diwas. The names of the officers and the soldiers who sacrificed their lives here is imprinted on the walls of this memorial. Visiting this memorial ground is an important thing to do here.

    Mulbekh Monastery

    Mulbekh Monastery is a cherished shrine that comprises of two ancient monasteries -  Gelugpa and Drukpa. Nestled in the Zanskar region, this gompa lies at a 200 meter high hillock which assures a scenic view of the surrounding region.

    Shargole Monastery

    Shargole Monastery is a small gompa that lies near the Kargil. Perched in the centre of the granite cliff, this monastery follows the lineage of the Gelug which is Tibetan Buddhism’s Yellow Hat sect.


  • Q. What you will like there?

    Shopping

    Shopping in Kargil region is just as exciting and thrilling as visiting the ancient Gompas as well as the spinning of the prayer wheels to get some good luck. In the marketplaces here, you’ll find the shops that very well narrate the stories of archaic glory. You can see the vendors here selling tobacco pouches, brass kettles, traveling hukkas, amongst the other things. So, what more can you shop here? You can get an array of locally made handicrafts and carpets that are meant for daily use. Pashmina shawls and the semi-precious gemstones are another must-have item when in Kargil region of Kashmir. Other things that have become synonymous to the Kargil region include the apricot jam and dried apricots which please the tourists with its fascinating taste. Besides all this, you can also find cloth printed with religious themes here. They are sold at every second shop here. So, whenever you are in the Kargil region, go ahead and shop for the alluring souvenirs, just as much as you like

    Adventure Activities

    Kargil is centrally located. Its location allows the tourists to undertake several road trips to Leh Ladakh or the nearby regions. Several treks originate both in and around this region. Some of the treks that you can undertake include the Lamayuru Leh trek, NunKun trek trail, Padum Lamayuru trail, Sankaru Dras trail. Given the weather conditions here, trekking can be a challenging experience. The best trek routes include the mountain lakes as well as the areas of Zanskar and Ladakh. Another water sport that you can enjoy in Kargil is rafting. The common rafting routes here include the Zanskar and river Indus. Other multi-polar tributaries also assure a good rafting experience. It is labeled as the most adventurous and thrilling activity here. You can also visit Ladakh attractions and try different adventures like Ladakh treks.

    Locals

    The locals here are very warm and friendly. They’ll greet you with respect and help you in any manner possible. You must try and be as friendly with the locals as possible

    Climate

    If you wish to beat the heat of the lower plains, you must plan a visit to Kargil region right away. However, since the weather is chilly you must carry a significant amount of woolen clothes here. Don’t forget rugged boots to travel with ease.


  • Q. Recommended reads for destination (govt. websites, travel forum articles)?
  • Q. 1. What are the places to visit in Kargil?

    1. Zanskar valley
    A sub district of the Kargil district, Zanskar Valley lies in the eastern part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. What once used to be a kingdom in Tibet, Zanskar is known by the Zanskar Mountain Range which separates this region from Ladakh. Parts of this range also extend to Himachal Pradesh, separating the Kinnaur and Spiti districts. The highest peaks of Himachal Pradesh are in the Zanskar Range, with an average height of 6000 meters. Zanskar is well connected to Ladakh by road from Kargil. There is also a trekking route connecting the valley to Himachal Pradesh going through Shingo La, which is considered one of the easiest 5000 meter passes in India, since it involves neither any glacier trekking, nor any steep climbs. The valley, apart from the mighty Himalayas and the Zanskar and Indus river flowing, also offer some beautiful lakes every here and there. The most beautiful of them are perhaps the twin lakes known as Lang Tso and Stat Tso right around the corner of Pensi La, the pass known as the gateway to Zanskar Valley. Apart from the obvious self-drive vehicles and private taxis, the safest and most economical, albeit not the most comfortable, way of travelling to Zanskar is by the JKSRTC buses that ply frequently from Srinagar to Kargil for a mere 300-400 rupees per seat. From Kargil, one can catch the less frequent bus going to Padum, the administrative headquarter of Zanskar.

    2. Chadar Trek
    One of the most treacherous treks in the world, the Chadar Trek is a trail in the Zanskar region of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir. Traditionally, this was the only way for locals to travel from Zanskar to Leh, walking over the frozen Zanskar River but now this trail has found immense popularity amongst hikers from all over the world. An extremely difficult trek, the approximate total distance covered during the trek is 105 kilometers and an average trekker walks around 16 kilometers per day, over 7 days. The starting point of this trek is from Tilad Sumdo, about a kilometer ahead of Chilling village. The temperature during daytime is around -10 degree Celsius and during the night it is usually -20 to -25 degrees, but can also drop to -30 degree Celsius. The trek involves walking over the hard rock sheet of ice on the Zanskar River and camping in extreme conditions. The trek along with your physical strength, also becomes a big test of your mental strength. Although it is now a very glamourous trek, giving successful trekkers major bragging rights, it is not for beginners or for the faint hearted.

    3. Kargil War Memorial
    Also known as the Dras War Memorial, Kargil War Memorial is a memorial built by the Indian Army in the small town of Dras, about 63 kilometers away from Kargil on the Srinagar-Leh National Highway. This memorial was built in the memory of the soldiers and officers of the Indian Army who were martyred during the Kargil War of 1999. The biggest attraction of the memorial is the massive sandstone epitaph which bears the names of all the soldiers and officers who were martyred during the war. From the memorial, one can also spot a few peaks that the Indian Army had successfully captured back from Pakistan. Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated annually on 26 July to mark India’s victory in the battle.

    4. Mulbekh Monastery
    Located about 45 kilometres from Kargil, the Mulbekh Monastery is known for its two gompas that belong to the Drukpa and the Gelugpa sects of Buddhism respectively. One of the best places to visit near Kargil, this monastery is situated at a height of 3,304 meters and is most popularly known for its Cahmba statue. This statue is a massive 9 meters tall carved statue of Maitreya Buddha, overlooking the old trade route and the modern day highway.. Built around the 8th century AD, a lot of scholars and historians have also found a striking resemblance to Lord Shiva as well. The monastery also houses ancient relics and inscriptions dating back to the 14th century, written in Kharosthi script. This is a must visit place for history lovers travelling to Kargil.

    5. Phuktal Monastery
    Located in the remote Lungnak Valley of Zanskar, the Phugtal or Phuktal Gompa is one of the very few Buddhist monasteries in the world that can still be only reached on foot. In the warmer months, supplies to this monastery are transported by horses and mules, and during winters, through the frozen Zanskar River of the Chadar trail. Although a road is expected to be built to the monastery soon, as of today it is a day’s walk from Dorzang with the end of the road leading to Padum, the headquarter of the Zanskar region. Built around a natural cave, this monastery is said to have been frequented by a number of sages, scholars and monks in the past. Built around the 15th century, this monastery belong to the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism. A number of festivals are also celebrated all year round in the monastery. Perched high up on a cliff, this monastery gives astounding views of the valley below, and makes for a great spot for those looking to find some peace.

    6. Drass Valley
    Drass Valley is the coldest inhabited place in India, and the second coldest in the world. Often known as ‘the Gateway to Ladakh’, the temperatures can often go as low as -40 degree Celsius in peak winters. The inhabitants of the valley are mostly from either the Dardic or the Baltis Tribes. The Dardics are descendants of the Indo-Aryan race and are believed to have originally migrated from Central Asia to Ladakh. With the Drass River gurgling through the valley laden with tall, naked mountains, the landscape of Drass Valley is unlike any other, and a sight to see. The valley has several interesting places to visit including the Dongchik village, the Bhimbhet Stone, Ningoor Masjid, Sando Top, Draupadi Kund, and many more.

    7. Rangdum
    An isolated village in the remote area of Suru Valley, is known for its mesmerizing landscape of lush green hills on one side, and rocky barren mountains covered with massive glaciers on the other side. This is the last inhabited village in the valley, and is also the summer destination of the nomadic sheep herder called the Bakarwal Tribe. These people trek up to Rangdum from Jammu every year in search of the soft summer grass, for their sheep to graze on. The roads leading to Rangdum are in horrible state and there is no phone or internet connectivity available. But this remoteness only makes it a peaceful heavenly abode tuck deep inside the largeness of the Himalayas. A famous spot of the village is the Rangdum Monastery which is located at a height of 4,031 meters on a small but steep hilltop.

    8. Line of Control
    The Line of Control or the LoC is a military control line between India and Pakistan, and does not have any international legal recognition, but is in fact a de facto border. The internationally accepted border of India and Pakistan lies further to the east and is known as the Line of Actual Control. The stated reason for the LoC is to prevent infiltration and smuggling of arms from Pakistan into India. The last Indian village close to the LoC is Hunderman, a quaint little village with massive mountains looming over it. Any visitors are needed to identify themselves and people who are not from Kargil are not allowed to spend the night here. The village was inhabited by people whose homes were dismantled by the war. These people have found a sense of community and togetherness amidst the political instability. A short visit to this village can prove to be quite humbling as you see people living happily despite their tense past. The main tourist attraction here is the Museum of Memories which exhibits relics and artefacts from the Silk Road, and old trade route from Central Asia, including perfume bottles, biscuit tins, bullets etc.

    9. Suru Valley
    With emerald green hills on one side and massive snowcapped rocky mountains on the other, Suru Valley is unlike any other place in the region. The main water source is the Suru River, a tributary of the Indus River. With a host of tourist attractions, Suru Valley is most famously known for its twin peaks, the Nun and Kun Peak at 7,135 and 7,035 meters respectively. Panikhar, a small village in the valley serves as the base camp for expeditions to these two peaks. Another small village called Sankoo is known for its houses made of a mix of Turkish and Tibetan architecture, while Rangdum village is known for its 18th century monastery. Another village is the Kartse Khar which is known for its 7 feet tall Buddha statue built in the 7th century. With a number of beautiful spots to visit, this valley is well connected to Leh by road.

  • Q. 2. What are the things to do in Kargil?

    1. Trekking
    The beautiful region of Kargil with its rocky mountains and deep gorges also make for some extremely dangerous yet breathtakingly phenomenal trails leading from valley to another. Although the trekking scene in Kargil is comparatively lesser explored, it offers some of the rawest forms of Mother Nature. The extreme unpredictable weather along with trails like Lamayaru- Leh, Leh- Padum, NunKun Expedition, Chadar Trek, etc. have panoramic views of the Himalayas and are absolutely worth the effort.

    2. Rafting in Kargil
    There are two options for river rafting near Kargil- one in the Indus River and the other in the Zanskar River. The most popular route for rafting in the Indus River is from Phey to Nimo and from Upshi to Kharu. These routes have several grade 1 and 2 rapids, and also some grade 3 and grade 5 ones. On the other hand, the rafting expedition in the Zanskar River begins from the village of Remla, going on all the way till Nimmu, while passing through picturesque valleys, towering mountains and massive waterfalls near the Zanskar- Markha confluence, camping for several nights throughout the route. There are also options of cutting the expedition short as per the number of days you have.

    3. Biking
    Biking is a popular adventure sport in Kargil, with both motorcyclists and bicyclists alike riding for days at a stretch through treacherous passes and crumbling roads. This is a perfect activity for those looking for some thrill, and to test their biking skills in one of the most dangerous tracks of the world. The stunning vistas of the Himalayas provide a great company throughout the ride and make for a great way to get that adrenaline rolling!

    4. Camel safari
    The camel safaris in India are not only confined to Rajasthan’s Thar Desert, but are also a popular thing to do in the cold deserts of Ladakh. The double humped Bactarian camels are very commonly found throughout the Nubra Valley from Hundar village to Diskit in Ladakh. It is a pure sight to see, sitting on these beautiful animals overlooking the massive naked Ladakhi Himalayas, this is a must do activity near Kargil.

  • Q. 3. Which are the best hotels in Kargil?

    1. Hotel Siachen
    Located in the heart of the city of Kargil, Hotel Siachen is right beside the main market which has all important facilities like a bank, the post office, and the tourist help center. With 27 clean and comfortable rooms, this hotel provides facilities like free Wi-Fi, 24 hour room service, cable TV and taxi hire facilities. With each room having its own balcony, the hotel also provides buffet breakfasts every morning, and the restaurant menu offers a wide range of dishes from the Indian, Chinese, continental and Ladakhi cuisines made of fresh produce.

    2. Hotel The Kargil
    With the aim of providing high quality services in one of the remotest parts of the world, Hotel the Kargil is run by the Bagh family, popularly known in Ladakh for their warm hospitality. The hotel’s fine dine restaurant is open every day from 6 am to 10 pm and serves exquisitely prepared buffet meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For the tourists coming in in a self-drive vehicle, the hotel also offers a complete car checkup before the guests hit the road again. One service the sets this luxurious hotel apart from the rest is its absolutely free of cost laptop rental facility, along with a free connection of Wi Fi.

    3. Hotel Greenland Kargil
    Located in the heart of the city, this big hotel with 35 deluxe and standard rooms is a great place to stay at in Kargil. With an uninterrupted view of the Kargil hills, this hotel offers an Internet connection, laundry service, a lip smacking menu of Ladakhi, Indian, Chinese and continental dishes, and a 24 hour room service during peak season. The highlight of the hotel is that its pet friendly, so now you can easily plan a trip to Ladakh with your dear pet, without much hassle!

    4. Caravan Sarai
    With 40 fully furnished luxurious rooms, the Caravan Sarai Hotel in Kargil offers independent baths with running hot water, and open sitting spaces which make for a great spot to marvel over the vistas of the Kargil hills while sipping on some hot cuppa! With mouthwatering Indian, Ladakhi, Chinese and continental dishes served at their multi cuisine restaurant, this is one of the best places to stay in Kargil.

    5. PC Palace
    Known for its perfect amalgamation of the old world charm of Kargil hospitality, along with the comfort of modern day hotels, PC Palace in Kargil is your home away from home. With seasoned professionals, trained to curate customized trips for their guests, this hotel also serves as the one stop place to plan your adventures ahead of Kargil. With basic as well as luxurious amenities including free Wi Fi, free parking, 24 hours room service, café etc., this makes for a cozy yet comfortable stay in the lap of Himalayas.

    6. Barula Hotel
    For guests looking for simple living, a place where one can unwind and relax, Barula Hotel is the place to be at. With spacious and comfortable rooms, tastefully designed to make the guests feel at home, this hotel has all basic facilities like Wi Fi, 24 hour room service, doctor on call etc.

    7. Hotel Rangyul
    Located on the Kurbathang Kargil- Leh highway, 6 kilometers away from the main city, this hotel offers separate wooden cottages with stunning views of the mountains from all sides. With 4 luxurious suites and 6 double bed deluxe rooms, Hotel Rangyul has accommodation to suit every need and budget. A roof top garden, private balconies in each room, and a multi cuisine restaurant serving vegetarian, non- vegetarian as well as Jain meals makes this place perfect for everybody.

    8. Hotel Zojila Residency
    With its ideal location away from the hustle bustle of the main city, in a more peaceful setting, this hotel is perfect for those looking for some peaceful time. With the rooms overlooking the magnificent Suru River, the hotel is the place to be at for your late evening tea session! The hotel also has all basic amenities like Internet facility, doctor on call and laundry service etc. The hotel specialty is hands down its magical dining location situated right on the banks of the Suru River!

    9. Royal Gasho Hotel
    Due to its majestic royal touch, Hotel Royal Gasho is one the best places to stay at Kargil. With is on call doctor, laundry service, car rental facilities and fully furnished deluxe room, this hotel is truly a class apart.

  • Q. 4. Is Kargil safe to visit?

    Although Kargil’s political past has been unstable due to the Kargil War of 1999, it is now a perfectly peaceful city in the present day, making it a haven for tourists and mountain lovers.

  • Q. 5. Is Kargil worth visiting?

    Absolutely, with its stunning vistas of the Himalayan mountains, its deep rooted ties to the War of 1999, ample of trekking trails, and its rich history of the trade route from Central Asia, Kargil makes for the perfect vacation spot for any kind of traveler- be it a hiking enthusiast, someone looking for solace in the mountains, or a history buff!

  • Q. 7. What is the distance between Kargil and Leh?

    Kargil is located at a distance of about 218 kilometers from Leh.

  • Q. 8. What is the weather condition in Kargil?

    Kargil experiences extreme winters and moderate summers, with the temperatures ranging from -10 to -25 degree Celsius in winters, and 30 degrees to -5 degree Celsius in the summer months.

  • Q. 9. In which state Kargil situated?

    Kargil falls in the Ladakh region in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.

  • Q. 10. Does Kargil have an airport?

    Kargil has a military airfield, making it one of the four airports of Jammu and Kashmir. Although the operations at the Kargil airport are primarily for military purposes, in 2012 Air Mantra became the first civilian commercial flight to land at the airport. However, this service never took off and there are talks of renewed attempts to make Kargil a fully functional airport soon.

  • Q. 11. When did Kargil war happened?

    Kargil War took place in 1999 between Indian and Pakistani armed forces when Pakistani military infiltrated Indian land, disguised as Kashmiri terrorists.

  • Q. 12. Why is Kargil famous as a tourist place?

    Kargil is a famous historical battlefield, serving as a popular tourists stop for travelers visiting Ladakh.

  • Q. 13. What is the places to see in Kargil- Leh trip?

    There are a number of places to see during your Kargil- Leh trip. Some of these include Dras, Suru Valley, Zanskar, Kargil War Memorial, Mulbekh Monastery, Phuktel Monastery, Rangdum village and many others.