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Things To Do In Kargil
Situated on the banks of Suru River, Kargil spans across 15,000 km of area. It is located 8780 feet above sea level. The inhabitants are mainly of Tibetan and Dard decent and mostly are followers of Buddhism. Lying in the remote part of the country, there are a number of activities travellers can indulge in while in the region. From treks to circuits of monasteries, hikes to river rafting, Kargil is open for all. Let us take a look some of the most coveted things to do in Kargil.
Trekking is the most popular activity in this part of the country and in the surrounding areas. Kargil has some great trekking trails and some of the major treks originate in the district itself. Padum-Hemis, NunKun, Padum-Lamayuru, Sanjaru-Dras, Leh-Lamayuru are some of the famous treks that are undertaken from Kargil. Given the altitude and tough weather conditions, trekking can be challenging but it is equally rejuvenating and rewarding because of the fascinating landscape.
Zanskar River near Kargil has great potential for river rafting. The river begins at a very high altitude before joining Stod River and slowing down. Rafting begins at Remla and it passes through some amazing and stunning landscape and mountain peaks. Rafting continues from Karsha and Pidmu before reaching Nyerak. There is a beautiful waterfall to view and cherish at the confluence of River Zanskar and Markha. The rafting finishes at Nimmu. When in Kargil, take out a few hours to experience the rush of adrenaline that rafting brings.
Given its altitude and some lovely peaks, Kargil also offers opportunities for mountaineering. From low to high level of mountaineering, people can choose. It is recommended that you choose a mountaineering specialist who can guide you through this rather challenging activity and sport. There are different peaks to choose from, like Mt. Kun, Mt, Nun, Mt. Satopanth, Mt. Kamet etc. At the base camp from where the trip will begin you will meet your team members who will play a major role in the coming days. Mountaineering during day and camping at night under clear blue skies is a mind-blowing experience.
Tour of Monasteries
Majority of the population in Kargil is the follower of Buddhism. There are some beautiful fascinating monasteries in the region that are waiting to be explored. The Rangdum Monastery is an 18th century monastery located in the Suru Valley. Surrounded by mesmerising landscapes and towering peaks the monastery commands a majestic presence in the region.
The Mulbekh Monastery located at an altitude of 3304 meters boasts of two gompas. It houses a nine meter tall statue of Maitrye Buddha which bears a close resemblance to Lord Shiva. It has many ancient relics, frescos and inscriptions. Lamayuru Monastery is among the oldest monasteries on Srinagar-Leh road. The serene and peaceful surroundings and thousands of prayer wheels together create a fascinating environment. The place is a photographer’s paradise.
Eating in Kargil
Without a taste of the local flavours, no visit to any new place is complete. Kargil main bazaar has a number of eateries lined up, offering a mix of lip-smacking cuisines like Kashmiri, Punjabi and Tibetan. It is a haven for meat lovers as most of the delicacies contain meat eaten with Thukpas, momos, rice, khulaq etc. There is a lot of Tibetan, Kashmiri, Muslim and Ladakhi influence in the food consumed here, following the rich cultural tradition and history. Pasgo and Shangrila restaurants are among the best in the area.
Shopping in Kargil
Shopping in Kargil is a fun experience. The bazaars have shops selling all kind of products, from tobacco pouches and hookahs to carpets, Kashmiri shawls, handicraft items and semi precious stones. Dry fruits, apricot jams and fresh local fruits are hugely popular here. Walking down the Main Market area is quite an experience. Filled with life and colour, shopping is an intrinsic part of a trip to Kargil.