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Kargil is in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is an important transit hub of Ladakh, with roads leading from here to Leh, Srinagar, and Padum in Zangskar. The unofficial capital of Muslim Ladakh, and capital of the Kargil district, it is still a small town. While interesting in many ways due to it’s historic position on the caravan routes, nothing of this is visible to the casual visitor. It is notorious with travellers as a necessary stop between Central Ladakh, Zangskar and Kashmir.

It is now famous due to the Kargil Conflict, when the town, and surrounding areas, was shelled by Pakistani based militants.

Get in[edit]

Kargil has direct bus connections with Leh, Srinagar, and Padum. Shared Jeeps make a faster, more expensive alternative to the buses, they leave from near the Bus depot, on main Bazaar.

Get around[edit]

Kargil is small enough to walk from one end of town to the other easily.


Kargil provides excellent sites for trekking and mountaineering such as the Nun Kun Massif, also there is large scope for river rafting in the Zanskar region of Kargil district. Kargil is known all over India for its rich apricot orchards: during summer the entire valley changes into a beautiful orange colour.

One may have a look a the Munshi Aziz Bhat Museum for Central Asian Trade and artifacts which is the main attraction for tourists in Kargil town. One may have a visit to Gongma Kargil situated on the top of the town although the general area around Kargil has pleasant scenery and would make for nice walks. Otherwise, come prepared with a good book.

The Jameh Mosque in the main street is open for visitors, but although it is a Shiite mosque, it lacks the ornaments found in Iranian mosques.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Kargil has no souvenir shops, although you might visit one of the music shops selling locally produced folk music.

Kargil is a good place to stock up on trekking food, better than Padum for dry fruit and fresh veggies. Don't miss the dried apricots, and fragrant tandoori naan, even if you aren't trekking.

Eat[edit][add listing]

There are a plenty of decent eateries of the Dhaba variety and restaurants serving Indian and Continental food around Main Bazaar. While most of the staple food is comprised of wheat and barley, over time, flavours of other cultures have also been integrated into the food such as Kashmiri rice and meat cuisines, Tibetan food, and Central Asian bakery.

Kargili food is a treat for the food lovers. In the local restaurants you can enjoy Kashmiri Wazwan, Local momos and Thukpa and ever famous Meat Chawal (rice). There are restaurants and dhabas that cater vegetarian food as well.

There’s a variety of street foods that one can try in the bazaar such as Rgyuma (sausages with meat/barley), momos, Sugu (Ram Stock). Locals bakeries such Azoq, Zerchung, Marckhur and much more.

Drink[edit][add listing]

As a conservative Muslim town, there are no bars. Tea is available in any of the Dhabas. There are few coffee shops which serves good coofee too.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

There are range of hotels and guest houses available in the Kargil town as well as some of the other important stops such as Suru, Zanskar and Mulbek.

Hotels Hotels are classified into A, B, and C class based upon the standard of establishments and service available. There are two Tourist Bungalows at Kargil together provide suites and furnished rooms with proper catering facilities attached with each establishment. There is also a circuit house at Baroo with excellent furnished rooms, which can be reserved. Mulbekh: The Tourist Bungalow here provides excellent furnished rooms with catering facilities.

Homestays Nowadays, with the influx of many offbeat travellers who are seeking a more local experience, there are many houses that have started giving homestay facilities in and around the town.

Camps For the adventure seekers who love to be in the outdoor, there a also camping options available on the country side of Kargil town.

Get out[edit]

Most travellers passing through Kargil are going from Leh to Srinagar, or vice versa, and as such have booked a through ticket. Be sure to do this if at all possible. For people coming from elsewhere in Ladakh, or going to Zangskar the bus station is chaotic and it can be confusing to get a ticket. The ticket office is down a small pedestrian lane, in an unmarked large stone building, (there's normally a couple of buses out front) a couple minutes walk from the bus depot.

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