Kargil is a hill station, which serves as the headquarters of Kargil district of Ladakh in Jammu & Kashmir. It is situated at an altitude of 2740 meter with close proximity to the LOC (Line of Control) and shares boundary line with Baltistan of Pakistan Administered Kashmir. This town was shot into the limelight in 1999, when it served as a battleground for Indo-Pak War. Over the years, this small town has become a developing hill station of Ladakh region that famous for its beautiful valleys, unspoilt villages, monasteries and shrines. Suru Valley, Dras, Mulbekh, Padum are few places to be visit while spending holidays in Kargil. River Suru flows across the valley, adds beauty to the charm of Kargil.
The months of April to September are best time to visit and explore Kargil. During this season, day remains warm with cool nights. Do carry woolens with you
PLACES TO VISIT
Mulbekh Monastery and Chamba Statue :
45 km away from Kargil on Leh road, is the famous Mulbekh Monastery and Chamba Statue. Mulbekh monastery is said to consist of two gompas namely Drukpa and Gelugpa. Just a km beyond Mulbekh town, Chamba Statue is an outstanding engraved figure carved into the one rock piece. This is the figure of standing Maitreya Buddha (future Buddha). It is said that this rock cut figure dates back to the period of Kushan. There are also some ancient inscriptions written in Kharosthi Script in nearby areas.
Shergole Monastery :
Shergole Monastery is located in the picturesque Shergole village, 40 km from Kargil. There is an icon of an Avalokiteswar inside the gompa. Although this monastery is small yet it has some interesting frescoes which attract tourists during their holidays in Kargil.
Suru Valley :
The Suru valley is drained by River Suru, a powerful tributary of Indus River. The valley offers breathtaking beauty of peaks of Kun-Nun Mountain and picturesque landscapes along with Apricot groves and Poplar Trees. Suru Valley looks extremely beautiful during the seasons of spring and autumn. In spring season, valley turned into white hued landscape as apricot flowers are in full bloom while autumn characterized by the fruit laden apricot trees. A visit to this valley during spring and autumn is truly worthwhile. This valley touches the River Suru in the east direction. The Suru River remains frozen during winter season and serves as the playing ground for ice hockey.
Dras is the second most coldest inhabited place in the world, only after Siberia. Often referred as 'The Gateway to Ladakh', Dras is situated on NH 1 D road towards Srinagar. 58 km (36 miles) away from Kargil, it serves as the convenient base to Suru Valley trek route. There are some important places of interest for tourists like Dras War Memorial, Brigade War Gallery, Dropadi Kund, Sando Top and Mushko Valley. Lies at an altitude of 10,764 feet, it is quiet normal that the mercury dips as low as -45 degree Celsius. In summer, Dras experience average maximum temperature of just 15 degree Celsius.
Kargil is the second popular town of Ladakh region after Leh. It is situated on the bank of Suru River. Lush green field of barley and wheat, gardens of vegetables and rows of poplars and willows are general sights of Kargil town. Today's quiet town Kargil was once a busy trading hub for the barter traders of China, Turkey, Afghanistan, Yarkand and India. The small town of Kargil is widely known for apricots and mulberries, the streets of the town are surrounded by apricot groves. In the month of June, the town wears a rare sight of white apricot blossoms while in August the ripening fruits of apricot lend orange hued landscape to the valley.
Although, Kargil has many more tourists' attractions to offer, it is usually considered as the stopover for the tourists traveling to Leh from Srinagar and vice versa. Apart from sightseeing to natural spots and Buddhist sites, adventure activities in Kargil are equally popular among the tourists. All sort of adventure activities like trekking, mountaineering, camping and river rafting are practiced in the valley.
HOW TO REACH KARGIL
There are private and public bus services from Srinagar and Leh for Kargil. Tourists can also hire private car or Jeep taxi from Srinagar or Leh to Kargil.
Nearest railhead to Kargil is Jammu Tawi, which is well connected with other major destination of India through numbers of express trains. Private cab, taxi, mini coach services are available in Jammu to Kargil via Srinagar.