Kargil

Once a bustling trading centre during the fabled Silk Route trade through which caravans passed on their way to Yarkand in China, Turkey and Afghanistan. Now a heavily garrisoned place this picturesque town is situated on the confluence of wild Suru and Wakha rivers at an altitude of 2704 m from sea. Kargil is a jumping off place to visit fabulous Suru valley in Zanskar region. The small population is predominantly Shia. Kargil town has a well stocked bazaar and a religious seminary. Kargil achieved international fame during the bloody Kargil war of 1999 between India and Pakistan. From Srinagar Kargil is 207 km and situated at an equidistant point fro Srinagar,Leh,Padum in Zanskar region and Skardo ,Baltistan(now under the administration of Pakistan.

Kargil is indeed a heaven for the adventure seekers. In fact the entire Himalayan region offers excellent opportunities for adventure activities. Kargil itself acts as a base for the trekking tours. You may take up trekking, mountaineering, camping, river rafting et al. The kaleidoscopic Kargil is the entry point to the wondrous Zanskar Valley. At a distance of 204 kms from the capital city of Srinagar and 234-km from Leh Kargil is the perfect night stop for the tourists traveling between Srinagar and Leh. Kargil hosts the popular archery contest in the month of May every year.

The less adventurous of you may take resting walks along the riverbank and up the hillside. The local market of Kargil offers a variety of products ranging from raw sugar, to exotic spices and other trinkets. Though for souvenirs the best bet is the easily available dry apricot. As it is the apricot jam is a delicacy. Pashmina shawls, local carpets and woolen handicrafts also make good bargains. The fine quality and the abundance of the woolens available at Kargil can be attributed to the long fleeced mountain goats in the area.

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