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Kargil

3.2 /5 34 votes

Weather:

Best Time: Jun-Sep Read More

Ideal duration: 1 day

Nearest Airport: Leh Check Flights

Kargil Tourism

Kargil is located in Ladakh and is a usual stopover for people leading towards Leh or Padum. The town is 11 Km away from the actual line of control and is small enough to be explored by wayfaring.

Situated drastically close to the Line of Control, this town, apart from being a tourist hotspot, is also a volatile region, owing to the terrorism prevalent from the other side of the LOC. This was the same region, where India had fought its last war with their neighbour Pakistan in 1999, incidentally the first war in India to have received wide coverage, both in newspapers and on television. Kargil doesn't end here. Apart from the glorious War Memorial in the Drass town, situated at the foothill of the Tololing Hills, the district has several Buddhist monasteries, where you can seek blessings in peace, be it the Lamayuru Monastery, or the scenic monasteries at Phuktal, Sani & the Cave Monastery. To sum up, Kargil is a destination that suits the bold travellers, who want a slice of adrenaline rushing up every moment in their veins.
The beautiful area is embellished with sturdy rocks with the crystal clear Suru river stream flows. There are rich apple, mulberry and apricots orchard in summers. There are revered monasteries and mosques as well, exhibiting the culture of Kargil

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Etymology

La dvags rgyal rabs used to denote the present-day territory of Kargil as 'dKal skyil' which is a Tibetan connotation of its original name. Earlier, it was known as Purig, as wars went and multiple dynasties ruled the territory, it’s identity changed in many ways. There are multiple contradictions related to the origin of the word which is why it is still under debate. Kargil is said to be derived from 'Kar' which means castle and 'rKil' which means the centre as in a place that lies among various kingdoms. Another competing theory says it has been derived from 'gar' which means anywhere and 'Khil' a central location where people can reside.

History

Kargil was initially a part of the Baltistan district of Ladakh where it used to provide shelter to Tibetan Buddhists. With the rise of Shia movement in the 14th century, the first Kashmir war resulted in the division of the district and 1947 it became a part of Kashmir. At the end of Indo-Pak war in the 1970s, both the nations signed a treaty called the Shimla agreement which reinforced the cease-fire line as Line of Control (LoC) and pledged to respect the boundary. Pakistan forces in 1999 infiltrated the 160 kilometres long stretch of the ridge which overlooked the road from Srinagar to Leh. After a brief period of diplomacy and war, Pakistan forces withdrew, but the trail of conspiracies didn’t. Another major outlook that made Kargil of great historical significance was its silk route. It was a major gateway for traders and played a crucial role in its early economy.

Kargil War

Kargil was occupied by the Pakistani troops in the summers of 1999 and the Indian Military forces left no stone unturned in order to recapture this paradise. The Kargil war continued from 8th may to 5th July 1999, during the course of which several Indian army men sacrificed their lives to protect the country. The bravery of such sort is incomparable. In spite of the enmity that grew then, the valley survived unscathed.

Places to Visit

1. Rangdum Monastery: Located in the Suhu Valley, the monastery is surrounded by mountains, hills and glaciers that add to the charm of the place. Built in the 18th century, the Rangdum Monastery houses around 40 monks and domesticated donkeys and shelters some beautiful artefacts and paintings of the Tibetian culture.

2. Mulbekh Monastery: A prominent tourist attraction in Kargil, the Mulbekh Monastery is known for its two Gompas, each of which belongs to the Srukpa and Gelugpa sects. The monastery is situated at an elevation of 3,304 metres and portrays the skilled craftsmanship of ancient times. There is a 9 meters tall statue of Maitreya Buddha which is also called Chamba by the localities. Built somewhere in the 8th century AD, some say that this statue also resembles Lord Shiva. The place houses some valuable relics and inscriptions that are of historical importance.

3. Kargil War Memorial: It's hard not to feel patriotic and nationalistic when you're at the Kargil War Memorial and is a must-visit attraction for everyone, Indian or otherwise. One can see a picture description of what happened during the Kargil War and the many lives that were laid down to save the nation. The memorial is made of a sandstone wall with the names of the soldiers inscribed on it.

4. Suru Valley: If you want to be in the lap of nature, then Suru Valley is the place for you! Surrounded by hills, rivers as well as valleys, you can see the contrast in the scenery here as it is filled with lush greenery on one side and rocky mountainous terrain on the other side. The Nun Peak and the Kun Peak add to the beauty of the place.

Restaurants and Local Food in Kargil

The main bazaar is filled with plenty of eateries offering Punjabi, Tibetan and Kashmiri cuisines. Pasgo and Shangrila restaurants are considered the best. Though there are chances that you might find the food to be relatively expensive in the vicinity
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One Day Itinerary

Kargil is a millitary area, also used as a stopover for people going to Ladakh from Srinagar or while returning. While your stay in Kargil, you should visit the Kargil War Memorial to witness the heroics of Indian army in the 1999 war against Pakistan. Mulbekh Monastery is another peaceful place where you can go and relax amidst nature. You can walk around the main bazaar and indulge in shopping and eating and visit nearby monasteries.

Kargil Photos

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Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

A beautiful mix of serenity and patriotism. Home to some of the most beautiful abodes of Buddhism.

What's Not So Great?

Extremely cold in winters. A volatile region owing to proximity with LOC.

For Whom?

Ideal for tourists of every kind. People visiting Ladakh or Srinagar can make a stopover here.

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How To Reach Kargil

Kargil is connected to the rest of India only by roads. There is no direct flight or rail connectivity, although you can take a flight for Leh / Srinagar, and then jump into a taxi for the same. The nearest railway station is in Jammu, which is around 485 km. from the district.

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Kargil Reviews

Your rating
Kumar Kislay 11 months ago
- Kargil is a sensitive area on the Line of control between India and Pakistan and it is best to be aware of the latest happenings on the political front before planning a trip in this area.
- Kargil lies in one of India's coldest region and appropriate clothing is required throughout the year.
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