10 Kargil Attractions That You Must Add To Your Bucket List

As resilient as it is stunning, Kargil is more than just an important military location. Here are some places to visit in Kargil the next time you are there.

Published On Feb 23, 2024 | Updated On Mar 08, 2024

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Situated where three river valleys come together, the Suru River Valley to the north and south, the Wakha Rong Valley to the southeast, and the Sod Valley to the east, Kargil is one of the toughest and most beautiful destinations in the Himalayas. While we might only know Kargil from the infamous Kargil War where hundreds of soldiers laid their lives, this city headquarters, and now the joint capital of Ladakh has more to it than just the war. Home to close to 16,000 people, Kargil is home to many tourist attractions, and its proximity to Srinagar makes it a great place to visit and experience the local culture
With influences from Central Asia, as it was part of an important trade route, neighboring Ladakh, and Tibet across the border, Kargil attractions also include experiencing the local food like Skyu, a barley-based soup that makes for a perfect meal in the cold region, or yak meat curries that incorporate local ingredients to make a filling meal.

Here are some Kargil attractions to check out on your next trip to this beautiful destination in the Himalayas

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The Kargil War Memorial, also called the Dras War Memorial, is one of the most important places to visit in Kargil. This Kargil attraction not only is a reminder of all that gets lost in a war as deadly as the 1999 Kargil War fought between India and Pakistan but also a hopeful message for peace. The brass plate, which is a key feature of this memorial bears the names of all the soldiers who lost their lives to this war. What makes this one of the top places to visit in Kargil is the documentation of the events that occurred during the war.

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Hunderman belonged to Pakistan from 1949-1965. During the Indo-Pak war in 1965, It was in no man's land for several months. Finally, in 1971, India seized Hunderman and included it within her borders. This ended up being quite unsettling for the villagers, both literally and metaphorically as whoever was in the Pakistani territory that fateful day was left there, and many families were broken as a result. This quaint village with a tearful history is now deserted, and the residents have moved to a better settlement close by. This is however still home to one of the most poignant places to visit in Kargil.  
The Unlock Hunderman Museum of Memories was established by a local Ilyas Ansari to preserve Hunderman's history and culture. While it has a variety of artefacts, making it one of the most interesting Kargil attractions, the most heartbreaking thing at display at the Hunderman Museum of Memories is the collection of letters passed over the border throughout time between the family members that were seperated.

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Mulbekh Monastery, also known as Mulbekh Gompa, is located 40 km from Kargil on the NH1 Kargil-Leh Highway. Mulbekh Monastery's location is one of the numerous factors that contribute to its popularity making it perfect for Kargil sightseeing. The other feature is a 30-foot figure of the Maitreya Buddha carved on a massive piece of stone. There are old inscriptions beside the monument, as well as an order sent by King Lde to the locals urging them to discontinue the practice of goat sacrifice.

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Suru Valley is a popular tourist destination in Kargil due to its breathtaking beauty, which may be explored on foot while also enjoying photography. There are also various picnic areas to enjoy a day out, including Parkachik, Damsna, Thulus, and Stakpa. 
The best place to visit in Suru Valley is Sankoo, which is also known for having Ladakh’s greenest fields filled with roses and orchards. 
Kartse Khar is also an old Buddhist town with a history dating back to the seventh century that is home to a 7-foot statue of Gautam Buddha.

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The Munshi Aziz Bhat Museum, located in Kargil, Ladakh, is a family-run museum dedicated to preserving the life and history of Silk Route trader Munshi Aziz Bhat, as well as the region's cultural heritage. This museum is one of the best places to visit in Kargil if you want to understand why it has long been one of the most important points in military and commerce. This Kargil attraction exhibits a collection of antiquities that Munshi Aziz Bhat gathered over his lifetime, including relics from the Silk Route commerce, such as coins, carpets, utensils, weapons, manuscripts, paintings, etc.
The exhibition will offer you a peek at the rich trove from the Silk Route era.

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Shargole is 35 miles before Kargil and 10 kilometres ahead of Mulbekh. Its tiny yet historic Ge-Lugs Pa Buddhist monastery has odd and interesting paintings. A picture of Avalokitesvara may be found within the gompa. This Kargil attraction also has three wooden images of Tara crafted by Tibetan craftspeople. It appears to be situated in the centre of the mountain, rising abruptly from a brown granite rock. The people are also intrigued by its architectural strangeness. The spectacular panoramic view from the ‘cantilever monastery’ verandah is just cherry on cake.  

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Chiktan is a hamlet in Shaker Chiktan Tehsil, Kargil District. Chiktan Fort is another of the places to visit in Kargil, and is located deep in the Himalayas. A few hours' drive from the border town of Kargil, it is said to be higher and older than the Leh Palace. 
On the current date, due to natural forces and negligence, large portions of the walls have collapsed but this Kargil attraction remains one of the important heritage buildings and deserves a place on your Kargil sightseeing itinerary.

Where: Chitkan Village, Kargil, Ladakh 194109

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The Mushkoh Valley is nestled within Dras, the second-coldest inhabited place in the world Kargil. Mushkoh Valley is one of the most attractive places to visit in Kargil as it attracts tourists with its Valley of Tulips.
The Dras River runs through the town, creating stunning scenery. The meadows are covered with a variety of flowers. The Mushkoh Valley's steep sides are covered in flowers, making the area breathtakingly beautiful. The locals are mostly concerned with farming and sheep husbandry.

Where: Dras, Ladakh 194102

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It is one of the daring journeys on an isolated trail that leads deep into the mountains. The Great Himalayan range separates it from the south, and the remainder of the land is covered by the Ladakh and Zanskar mountain ranges, each having scores of 6100m to 7500m peaks. It is a true wilderness experience for adventure lovers, and the best time to explore is from August to October when most of the snow has melted and the roaring rivers are navigable. It is a physically challenging hike since you must continually acclimate to the high elevations, making it one of the most exciting things to do in Kargil.

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Kargil has a wide range of mouthwatering foods with flavours influenced by those of Central Asia, Ladakh, and Tibet. Savouring the local food is one of the best things to do in Kargil and a must add to your Kargil sightseeing itinerary. Some of the dishes you can try are thukpa, thenthuk, both of which draw heavy influence from Ladakh. Chha gatha or the butter tea is another great local option, and is a traditional drink popular in Tibetan regions and the neighbouring countries of Bhutan, Nepal, which you can have in Kargil. You can also try chang, which is an alcoholic beverage made from fermenting barley. 


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