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Jammu and Kashmir: Ladakh - Kargil and Zanskar
Kargil is surrounded by three mountains, Naktur, Holkar and Orzon. It has been made famous due to the aggression of Pakistan forces made in year 2000 which was successfully defended by the Indian Military. It is 204 kilometers from Srinagar and 230 Kilometers from Leh. It is also the district town of Kargil district. Many trekkers’ routes originate from Kargil. The local population of Kargil are the Shia muslims. The Srinagar Leh bus night halts at Kargil. Wheat, Barley and vegetables are cultivated here. The Ikbal Mosque is one of the places to visit. The tourist reception center here has all the things required by trekkers. One can also walk up to the upper part of Kargil called Goma Kargil, for panoramic view.
Zanskar was opened to tourists only at 1976. Its scenic beauty is awesome. However, this valley is preferred by trekkers more than tourists. The major attraction of Zaskar are the twin peaks of Nun(7135m) and Kun(7087m). The strange part is though they are of same height; Nun is covered with snow, while Kun has no ice on it.
On the South is Kistwar and Manali, on the North is Kargil, and the two sides have natural walls provided by the Himalayas and the Zanskar ranges. The Pencil lulunga glacier is also here, which gives rise to the suru river. Padum is the headquarters of this district, and it is one of the coolest place on earth. Temparatures are at -20 degree Celsius in the winters, with 7 months of snowfall. The Sani gumpa is built like a castle is at 6 kms in the roar to Kargil. Festival happens for 2 days on the full moon night of August.
A hired card or jeep will charge you upwards Rs.10,000 for a round trip. Buses sometimes ply is season, but are not per schedule. People generally hitch a paid ride at goods Lorries. It is mainly visited by trekkers who take about 7 days to reach Padum from Kargil. The trek path is quite tough and is meant for seasoned trekkers only.