Kargil is among the most scenic towns in the Ladakh region. Located on the Suru River, Kargil is famous for the 1999 Kargil War. Kargil is located at a very strategic location and it is like a gateway to the Ladakh region. Tourists who want to visit Leh Ladakh from Kashmir have to cross Kargil. Kargil has the most amazing Ladakhi landscapes. The barren mountains, the icy glaciers, the isolated monasteries, and the nomadic villages, all lend a very beautiful charm to Kargil. One of the best ways to visit Kargil is to book any of the Ladakh Tour Packages. You can plan a Ladakh tour itinerary and you can include places to visit in Kargil in this.
1. Kargil War Memorial
When you visit Kargil, you must visit Kargil War Memorial. This memorial was built by the Indian Army to recognize the valiant Indian soldiers who laid down their lives during the Kargil War. The memorial is also known as Dras War Memorial, as it is located in Dras. The cemetery has pink sandstone slabs engraved with the names of the soldiers. The museum has photographs and ammunition that were used during the war. It is easy to reach Kargil War Memorial, as it is located on the national highway that connects Srinagar to Leh. Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated here on 26th July. Kargil War Memorial is built very close to where the war was fought.
2. Mulbekh Monastery
One of the most famous tourist attractions in Kargil is Mulbekh Monastery. The monastery has an enormous statue of Maitreya Buddha which is carved on a big slab of stone. Mulbekh Monastery is an almost 800-year-old Buddhist monastery. A Tibetan scholar called Rinchen Zangpo built this monastery. Many inscriptions are considered to be from the Ladakhi scripts. There are two gompas in this monastery. Mulbekh Monastery is a must-visit as it is located in the very picturesque landscapes of Ladakh.
3. Lamayuru Monastery
Lamayuru Monastery is a very famous monastery that you should visit on your trip to Kargil. It is in Lamayuru Valley and the moon-like landscapes of Lamayuru are a famous scenic attraction. Lamayuru Monastery is an example of iconic Tibetan architecture and crafts. The paintings, frescoes, and Kashmiri-style paintings on the columns are unbelievably beautiful. There is a small temple dedicated to Lord Avalokiteshwara, who is a divine form of Buddha. Mask dance or Cham Dance is a ritual dance, where Tibetan monks wear colorful masks and dance to Tibetan music.
4. Rangdum Monastery
When seen from a distance, Rangdum Monastery gives the impression of a fort rather than a monastery. Rangdum Monastery is built on top of a rocky hill. The view of the surrounding landscapes is scenic when viewed from Rangdum Monastery. You can view Tibetan paintings and ancient artefacts inside the monastery. There is a prayer hall with a distinct Tibetan décor and architecture. Rangdum Monastery is also home to over 40 monks.
5. Suru Valley
On your visit to Kargil, you should visit the famous valleys here. One such place is Suru Valley. It is a scenic valley with many villages and landscapes. Suru Valley is one of the most famous tourist places to visit in Kargil. Suru Valley is full of exciting sightseeing places like Sankoo, which is nomadic pasture land. There is a ruined fort called Panikhar and this fort gives you beautiful views of the Nun-Kun Mountain. You can visit an ancient Buddhist village here called Kartse Khar. The best thing about Suru Valley is that you can explore all the places on foot.
6. Lang Tso & Stat Tso Lakes
Lang Tso and Stat Tso are twin lakes in Kargil. These lakes are near Pensi La Pass. These lakes are one of the best tourist attractions in Kargil and one of the best sightseeing places to visit. The clear blue waters of these lakes are crystal clear and you can view the reflection of the Zanskar mountain peaks in these lakes. You can pitch your tent near these lakes and admire the scenic surroundings of Kargil.
7. Kargil Main Street
Kargil is situated at a very high altitude and its remote location does not offer many opportunities to shop. However, you can do some shopping in Kargil when you visit the main street of Kargil. There are small eateries and dry fruit shops here. There are small lanes and by-lanes lined with souvenir shops where you can buy gift items.
8. Pensi La
Pensi La is a mountain pass in Kargil. You should visit Pensi La to admire the gorgeous views of mountains, glaciers, and barren topography of Ladakh. Pensi La Pass is famous as it is called the gateway to the Zanskar region. There are quite a few things here that will attract you with their irresistible sights. There are Drang Drung Glacier and sweeping views of Suru Valley that you can see from Pensi La. Glacial lake here that you should visit. You will see Buddhist prayer flags along the roads.
9. Drang-Drung Glacier
If you want to know about the trekking places in Ladakh, then you should visit Drang Drung Glacier. This stunning glacier is one of the best places near Kargil where you can go trekking. The glacier is located near Pensi La Pass. It is the most picturesque glacier and it is accessible from Kargil. It looks like a winding river when viewed from Pensi La. The glacier is a source of the Stod and Doda rivers. The Drang Drung Glacier Trek is one of the most adventurous treks. You will view small villages, snow-capped Himalayan mountains, and scenic valleys on this trek.
10. Hunderman Village
Hunderman Village is a very unique village near Kargil. The village was part of Pakistan between 1947 and 1971, but after the war with Pakistan in 1971, the village became part of India. This village is also called Hunderman Brok and is located on the ancient Silk route. You can view villages in PoK through binoculars from Hunderman. Hunderman Village is a day’s drive from Kargil. The village has witnessed many wars and is a historic village.
11. Apati Buddha Statue
Kargil is rich in ancient Buddhist culture and monuments. One such is the Buddha statue at Apati. The Buddha is known as Maitreya Buddha or the Future Buddha. The statue of Maitreya Buddha at Apati is also a heritage site. This rock statue is 9 meters high and is carved out of a mountainside. It is believed to have been carved during the 7th century. The Apati Buddha Statue is one of the famous sightseeing spots in Kargil. The statue is similar to the one in Mulbekh Monastery.
12. Sani Monastery
Sani Monastery is a Tibetan monastery near Kargil. The monastery is located near Stod and Zanskar Valley. When looked at from a distance, this monastery looks like a big Tibetan palace. The central prayer hall is decorated with Tibetan motifs like paintings, sculptures of Buddhist gods, and frescoes of Tibetan mythology. Sani Monastery is one of the oldest monasteries in the Ladakh region.
13. Shargole Monastery
Shargole Monastery is a Buddhist monastery near Kargil. There is a wooden sculpture of Avalokiteshwara and other Buddhist gods carved out of wood. The idol is carved in such a way that it appears to be suspended in the middle of the mountain. Shargole Monastery offers very scenic views of the landscape of Ladakh.
14. Mushkoh Valley
Mushkoh Valley is one of the most scenic valleys near Kargil. The valley is popular for its wild tulips which grow here. Mushkoh Valley is very close to the LoC and is very cold during the winters. There are small villages and pastures where the nomadic farmers graze their cattle. Dras River flows through Mushkoh Valley and makes the entire valley very scenic.
15. Karste River
Karste River is a mountain river that is the tributary of the Suru River. The river flows through a valley that is very scenic views of the mountains. Karste Khar is a small village in the Karste Valley and is famous for its 7-meter-tall idol of Maitreya Buddha. Karste River originates near Rangdum Pass and looks very beautiful when it flows through the rocky terrain of Kargil.
16. Phugtal Monastery
Phugtal Monastery is one of the finest monasteries to visit near Kargil. The monastery is built in a cave and was used by monks 2500 years ago. The monastery is located in a remote region and you can visit this monastery only on foot. The walls have images of Buddhist monks and gods. Great Buddhist masters used to meditate and teach Buddhism from the cave monastery. There are prayer rooms, a library, living quarters, and a medical clinic. There is a natural spring that flows near the monastery.
17. Munshi Aziz Bhat Museum
You can visit Munshi Aziz Bhat Museum in Kargil and learn more about the things that were traded on the Silk Route. This is a family-owned museum that is named after a Silk Route trader named Munshi Aziz Bhat. The various objects that are on display include old utensils, coins, manuscripts, horse saddles, costumes, jewelry, etc. You will also view the objects used by local tribes. Besides this, there are old guns, cannon, a sword, and wooden bowls that you can see on the display.