Nestled in between a small valley located within the magical Himalayan mountain range lays the town of Kargil, a busy little place teeming with life and culture. Winding your way through countless breath-taking mountain passes, it is located a 7h drive away from the city of Srinagar and is situated on the bank of the Indus River, 8780 feet above sea level. Kargil (historically know as Purig) has for centuries been a place of transit; in the olden days it was an important hub for traders on the Great Silk Route, and a crossing point for tourists travelling from Srinagar to Leh in our modern-day times. Whether you are searching for adventure or serenity, heritage or culture, or are simply on a personal journey of inner discovery, you will definitely find one of the above.
Strangely enough, it seems that Kargil has never been known for its activities and has remained unexplored to this day; yet, this location is home to countless thrilling experiences to be lived! We met up with a local collective called “Roots Ladakh” who specializes in organizing tours and activities, and they can arrange all of the below. You can contact them at www.rootsladakh.in.
TOP 5 THINGS TO DO IN KARGIL
- Star gazing trip: For this magical experience you will have to hike up to the top of Gongma Kargil to a place called “Spang”. Once you reach the top, you won’t be disappointed as Kargil boasts some of the planets most beautiful skies, unlike any you have ever seen. It is possible to extend the trip into an overnight campout.
- Visit the Apricot Valley: If you are in the area during the month of May, do not miss out on this stunning moment of the year where entire valleys turn pale pink and flashy green due to the blossoming of apricot trees, a true feast for the eyes.
- Go river rafting: If you’re looking for a rush of adrenaline, rafting on the powerful Suru River for 1h30h will definitely provide you with what you are looking for!
- Trekking and camping: You are surrounded by the majestic Himalayan mountain range; what better thing to do than go trekking in one of India’s most beautiful regions? Roots Ladakh will arrange for a local guide to show you around, and treks can range from 1 day to several weeks of hiking and camping depending on your preferences.
- Heritage walk in Kargil: Take a walk through the old caravan bazaar, a tour of the Central Asian Museum, a visit to the “Amchi” (Himalayan medicine man), and enjoy a round of local food tasting.
ADVICE AND THINGS TO TAKE ALONG
The best months to visit Kargil are from May to July, as it gets very cold later on. Even in summer, the nights at Kargil can get quite chilly and windy, so it is highly recommended that you do not forget a set of warm clothes. You might also want to get a basic medical kit or your usual medicine if you have a particular condition (Medical shops are available in the market area). The last item to remember is a pair of good sturdy trekking shoes if you intend to go hiking.