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Top 5 Places to Visit in Kargil

A well-known city of India situated in the enchanting land of Ladakh, Kargil has been a topic of conversation for various reasons, since the 90s. Lying 2676 metres above the sea level, the city rests in the Kargil district of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. This picturesque region makes up the second largest town in the state after Leh and lies about 204 kilometres from the capital city of Srinagar. Located on the banks of the historic river Indus, Kargil lies very close facing north to the Line of Control (LOC) between India and Pakistan. Nestled in the Himalayan mountain ranges, the region of Kargil possesses innumerable sites which will undoubtedly take your breath away and make for an excellent holiday. Listed here are 5 of the best places one must visit in Kargil.

1. Pashkum

Lying 15 kilometres from Kargil on the road to Leh in Ladakh, Pashkum is an ancient village comprising of ruins of forts and castles situated on the slopes of hillocks. Rendering one to ponder over the culture and the rich history of this region, Pashkum is a beautiful and historic site. Surrounded by fascinating mountain ranges with glimpses of snow covered peaks in the distance, amidst trees, plants and shrubs colored in multitudes of green and the brilliant blue sky with a spatter of dazzling white clouds, Pashkum provides an ideal location to unwind and comprehend the scale at which mankind and nature affect each other.

2. Suru Valley

Photo by Nick Irvine-Fortescue, CC BY-ND 2.0

Drained by the river Suru, a fierce tributary of the Indus river, Suru Valley is a popular destination in Kargil, Ladakh. Its demography mainly comprising of descendants of Tibetans and Dared community, this tranquil site is the most agriculturally active region of Ladakh. Lying at an elevation of about 3000 metres, several sights at Suru Valley provide a mesmerizing experience of the surroundings and an intimate interaction with nature. Located here are the sites of Sankoo, a bowl-shaped region in the valley enclosed by the mountains and containing lush vegetation comprising of wild roses and poplars and surrounded by lovely villages, and the site of Rangdum, which is a rarely explored region of Suru Valley forming a part of an oblique plateau thronged by enchanting hills from one side while the majestic rugged mountains drape it from the other. Rangdum gathers its name from the 18th century Buddhist monastery located here which is still home to many monks. Kartse Khar and Panikhar are some other sites one must visit in Suru Valley.

3. Drass War Memorial

Photo by Kamaljith K V, CC BY 2.0

A memorial built in the remembrance of the brave soldiers of the Indian army who died during the India – Pakistan conflict, the Kargil War, of 1999, Drass War Memorial is located on the foothills of Tololing Hill in Drass. The memorial comprises of an epitaph bearing the names of all the officers and soldiers of the Indian Army who lost their lives in this war. A melancholy and tragic reminder of how wars can tear people apart, this is a touching token one needs to remember and ought to visit.

4. Rgyal Wakha

Located in the upper part of the wondrous Wakha Valley, Rgyal Wakha is a lovely village consisting of houses resembling tiny monasteries and offers enthralling views of the encompassing mountains. The houses appear to be built right in the perpendicular face of the cliff appearing like white beehives dug into the golden-ochre colored hills. One can catch stunning glimpses of mountain ranges rolling away into the distance from this site.

5. Shargole

This charming village rests about 35 kilometres from Kargil on the road heading towards Leh. The harmonious community here comprises mainly of Muslims and Buddhists. The village is named after the Shargole Monastery which forms the main attraction here. Architecturally marvelous, this small but breathtaking monastery is embedded into a cliff and comprises of meticulous paintings in the interior section. Also offering a glorious view of the surrounding areas, Shargole is a must-visit site in Kargil.

Five of what could easily have been ten or fifteen places, Kargil is a region of utmost wonder and beauty. Set in the Himalayan backdrop, this area dazzles us with the lush mountain ranges, dense forests, pristine valleys, wild variety of flora and fauna and the sheer ferocity of nature displayed unrestrained.

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