Things To Do In Kargil
With a landscape that is mountainous, rugged and high, the number of things to see and do in Kargil is a lot. It is reputed to be among the world’s coldest regions and is permanently inhabited. It plays an important role strategically in the country as it is set at the junction of the famous silk route and LOC. It is the land for adventure freaks and for those who wish to take a road trip. This high-altitude settlement offers enchanting views of the rugged Himalayan mountains and deep-running valleys.
The famous Rivers Suru and Nallah Wakha flow through the region adding to its serenity. It is an ideal base station for nature trails and adventure activities such as trekking, rafting and camping in the Himalayas.
We at Eladakh Tourism have researched and jotted down a list of best offbeat places to visit in Kargil to give you an ultimate holiday experience.
Top things to do in Kargil:
Visit the place where spirituality meets serenity- the Mulbekh Monastery
Set on a high hillock at an elevation of 3,304 meters, the Mulbekh Monastery provides a fine panorama of the low-lying areas. It is an important religious centre as the monastery houses some of the most precious relics and ancient artworks that speak volumes of its glorious past. The architecture of the monastery is indeed a remarkable piece of workmanship. It is said to be overlooking the old trade route and protect the highway.
What more to know: It is hard to miss out on the 30 feet long sculpture of Maitreya Buddha that is made completely out of limestone.
Pay your respects at the Kargil War Memorial
Evoking a feeling of patriotism and nationalism, the Kargil War Memorial is built to honour the soldiers who fought with all their might in the war against Pakistan in 1999. It houses all the documents stating the progression of the war. It also has a sandstone wall set out in the open that bears the names of all the Indian army personnel who laid their lives in the Kargil war.
What more to know: It is of value to hire a guide here. They can tell you all about the peaks that were captured by the Pakistani soldiers. They are even today clearly visible from the memorial.
Enjoy nature’s spectacle- the Suru Valley
Fall in the lap of nature when you visit the Suru Valley. To visit and experience its landscapes is a must-do thing when in Kargil. It is dotted with Turkish and Tibetan style architecture houses. Many tourists venture on a mountaineering expedition here to enjoy the mighty yet attractive appearance of the valley. There are many picnic spots in the Suru Valley such as Parkachik, Damsna, Sangra, Khous, Karpokhar, Thulus, Stakpa etc.
What more to know: Enjoy the thriving views of two huge peaks – the Nun peak and Kun peak from here.
Witness the astounding beauty of Kargil Pensi La Lake
If you need an escape from the crowded city life, then what could be better than the high motobarble pass and the lake set atop there? Set at an elevation of 4,400 meters, the Pensi La Lake is where you need to catch a magnificent glimpse of first sunrays. It is the most fascinating thing to do in Kargil. The lake is frozen for the greater part of the year and yet, presents a nice photo opportunity.
Suggested Read: Monasteries In Ladakh
What more to know: Capture the stunning vistas of the glacial lake, the Suru River valley and also the Drang Drung Glacier from atop here.
Feel the calmness of the Rangdum Monastery
A relatively serene Tibetan Buddhist monastery, the Rangdum Gompa is an imposing structure that was built in the 18th century. Even though it is more than 20 years old, the monastery has retained much of its wild charm. The surrounding is gifted with countless beauties, colourful rocky mountains to snow-capped peak.
What more to know: The main highlight that you must see is the monastery’s central prayer hall. It is dotted with an amazing collection of Tibetan and other artefacts.
Experience the mysteriousness of the valley as you hike
Plan your hiking trip in Kargil and enjoy an excellent skyline of mighty mountain ranges and glistening blue peaks. It is the best thing to do in Kargil and loved by all nature enthusiasts and adventure lovers equally.
What more to know: The beautiful Apricot Valley has the most scenic trekking and hiking trails. The views are even better during the onset of summer as the valley breaks out into various colours of greens and pink, as the apricot trees blossom.
Come close to nature at the Sani Monastery
One among the oldest religious centres in Ladakh, the Sani monastery was built in many parts that date to a different century. The chorten is believed to date back to the 2nd century. It is built in the form of a castle and decorated with a vibrant collection of Buddhist deities statues and Kargud-pa’s Lamas. The walls are further adorned with frescoes and thangkas.
What more to know: Visit and see the crematorium that has a ring of ancient rock paintings set on its perimeter. It has a touch of Indian art too.
Experience tranquillity at the Lamayuru Monastery
Also known as Yung-Drung monastery, Lamayuru is famous for its beautiful landscape and comes close to that of the lunar territory. It is this distinct geographical formation that brings it its fame. It is a favourite jaunt for trekkers and photographers. There are huge rocks that are a piece of art and carved meticulously with the Tibetan script. It houses over 150 monks and there is also a medical laboratory set up here where the monks make medicines from herbs.
What more to know: See the impressive 1000 eyed and 11-headed image of Chenzing that is housed here.
Spend money on collectables in Kargil
The Main Market area in Kargil is where you must spend an evening splurging over Tibetian and Kashmiri roadside stalls. The marketplace here bustles with vibrant shops, small offices and commercial setups, mouth-watering street food stalls and a happy crowd of people strolling in the narrow mountain lanes.
What more to know: Buy some warm local woollen items. Especially the ones made of a rabbit or yak wool, which is a speciality of this place.
Treat your taste buds with some yummy food in Kargil
Offering majorly Punjabi, Kashmiri and Tibetan cuisines, the restaurants in Kargil are few but unmissable. Spices, barley, dry fruit and bread are the main part and parcel of Ladakhi cuisine. Among all the big and small eateries, Pasgo and Shangrila diners are considered the best. Pasgo is famous for Indian cuisine whereas, Shangrila serves Chinese and Continental preparations as well.
What more to know: The must-eat dishes comprise of traditional dishes such as Momo, Gur Cha, Tapu and Thugpka.
Breath in the fresh air of Kargil City View Point
A prominent vacationer attraction, Kargil’s city viewpoint can offer you a plethora of nature’s best. The panoramic views from atop of the second largest town in Ladakh are unmatched. It is most striking feature of the town and to spend some time overlooking the countryside from here is a must-do thing when you visit Ladakh. Perfect for hiking as well, this place encloses secure spots for witnessing the valley and its nearby environment.
What more to know: Either visit the spot early in the morning or wait until evening as the sunrise and sundown perspectives from here are spell binding.
There are many facets to this small town of Ladakh. Fringed with many tourist attractions and a long list of activities to do in Kargil, this place is a must for you to visit. So pack your bags and be ready for the list is long and will need all your time and energy to be explored.
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