The town became famous after war fought over the region between India and Pakistan. Kargil is 204 km from Srinagar and located on the Srinagar to Leh Highway , It is the second biggest town of Ladakh and lies in the west of Leh facing the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. Kargil is the second largest town in Ladakh and was once a flourishing and an important town lying on the ancient trade routes between India, China and Central Asia. The town is home to a number of scenic attractions.
Following are few major attractions in and around Kargil:
Pashkum is located 15 km from Kargil on the Leh road. It is a historical village with beautiful ruins of castles on hillocks, reminding visitors of its glorious past.
Mulbek is a small Buddhist village at a distance of 42 km from Kargil on Kargil-Leh road. The main attraction of Mulbek is Mulbek Chamba which has a nine metered tall 7th century rock sculpture of the 'Maitreya'- the future Buddha and a monastery with beautiful wall painting, statues and remains of fort.
Shargole is a beautiful village located about 35 km towards the right side of Kargil-Leh road. The main attraction is a small monastery with beautiful interior wall paintings. It is perched on a cliff and offers great picturesque views. An exciting four days trek from Shargole leads to Suru valley via Safi La and Rusila Passes.
Fokar Urgiyan Rzong
Fokar Urgiyan Rzong is around 8 km further up streams from Shargole. It is located behind a natural fortress. It is best known for the cave monastery of Urgiyan Rzong. This monastery is the popular meditation retreat of Guru Padma Sambhava. Handprints of the great saint and natural statues and figures can also be seen here.
Rgyal Wakha is a village, little further from Mulbek, hidden in a vertical cliff of conglomerate formation and looks like beehive from afar. Expect stunning views of the surrounding areas from the village.
Suru valley has a beautiful landscape to view, especially when it gets dotted by flowers in the summer. The valley expands from Kargil town upto the Penzi La watershed, from where the Suru river rises. The peaks of Nun (7,135m) and Kun (7,035m) Massif add to the beautification of this region.
The KartseKhar (palace) is an ancient village known for its 7m tall rock carved statue of Maitriya Buddha which is an evidence of the presence of Buddhist community in the valley in the past. There are other magnificent Stupas and rock carved statues to be seen in Suru valley, if one wishes to explore.
Panikhar is the best station to undertake mountaineering expeditions to the various Peaks surrounding the valley. Tanyol, the approach base for climbing Mt. Nun, is just 6 Kms. further up the valley along the road. A short walk up the hill slopes from here takes one across the Sentik Ridge to the base camp on the rim of the ice plateau. Another very interesting hike is to the Nun- Kun view saddle (3810m) in the Parkachik ridge. This requires 3 hours of walking along verdant slopes overlooking the fertile valley below.