The kargil town is 220 km from leh. Kargil is about halfway to Srinagar from leh. This shia populated Kargil town remained a transportation point of trade caravans from Tibet, Central Asia, yarkand enroute Kashmir until 1949. Since ladakh was open to tourist in 1974, the kargil town became a night-halt place for tourists traveling between Srinagar-leh, Zanskar. Kargil, at an elevation of 10,000 feet, has the strong suru river flowing through it once a Buddhist area, this shia Muslim subjugated district was converted to islam in 15th century.
Mulbek Chamba Kargil
Some 40 km from kargil towards leh, there is a rock-cut image of maitreya leh, there is a rock-cut image of maitreya Buddha at mulbek chamba kargil, popular as Mulbek chamba kargil on the leh-srinagar highway it is nine meters in height. There are various interpretations on its date of source, some trace its history back to 7th century, scholars and historians also assert that the image is actually that of Buddha Avaloketeshvara ( Buddha of compassion), which is wrongly interpreted as that of maitreya- the future buddha.
Suru Valley Ladakh
Just after leaving the kargil town, you enter suru valley ladakh popular for its enchanting greenery spread across the long stretch of the valley flanked by snowcapped mountains and the sparkling suru river. The valley ends with a pass called the penz la. The majority population of suru valley ladakh comprises shia muslim of Tibetan origin which once followed Buddhism before converting to muslims in the 15th century. One of its villages, kartse, has huge rock cut Buddhist image, which is considered one of the finest rock-carved statues of 7th century Buddhism
The Panikhar in Ladakh is the paramount station for task mountaineering voyages to the range of mountains neighboring the v alley. Tanyol, is just 6 kms extra up the valley along the road, come near base for climbing Mount. Nun. A short walk up the hill slopes from here takes the crossing of sentik Ridge to the base camp on the rim of the plateau. Another very interesting hike is to the nun-kun view saddle (38110 m ) in the parkachik ridge. This requires 3 hr of walking along verdant slopes overlooking the fertile valley below.
Drass Ladakh is about 60km to the west of kargil on the rd to Srinagar. The place has beautiful pasture lands. Drass Ladakh is the second coldest inhabited place in the world where the mercury drips as low at 350°C in writers.
Drass Ladakh has become famous in recent years because of pakistan's misadventure in the Tiger Hill and Tololing areas. One can have a lovely view of Tiger Hill from Drass Village.
The inhabitants of this place consist mainly of the Dards stock, an Aryan race believed to have originallt migrated to these villages of western himalayas from Central Asian steppes. The people here speak shina, which is unlike the ladakhi dialects spoken elsewhere in the region of ladakh. The favourite pass time of the inhabitants of drass is playing polo.
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