BEST OF LADAKH

Drass

Drass (3230 m), is situated about 60 kms. west of Kargil on the road to Srinagar. Drass is a small township lying in the centre of the valley of the same name. Drass is the first village after the Zoji La pass. It has become famous as the second coldest inhabited place in the world due to the intense cold and snowfall that descends upon the valley during winters. In winters, the temperature sometimes go down to minus 50 degrees and heavy snow and strong winds cut off the town.

Kargil

Kargil (2704 m), situated about 204 kms from Srinagar in the west and 234 kms from Leh in the east, is the second largest urban centre of Ladakh and headquarters of the district of same name. The town lies nestling along the rising hillside of the lower Suru basin. Two tributaries of the Suru River that meet here are the Drass and Wakha. The broad Kargil basin and its wide terraces are separated from the Mulbekh valley by the 12 kms. long Wakha Kargil, Ladakh gorge. The land available along the narrow valley and also the rising hillsides are intensively cultivated in neat terraces which grow barley, wheat, peas, a variety of vegetables and other cereals. Kargil is famous for the fine apricots grown here. In May the entire countryside becomes awash with fragrant white apricot blossoms while August, the ripening fruit lends it an orange hue. A quite town now, Kargil once served as important trading and transit centre on the two routes, from Srinagar to Leh and to Gilgit and the lower Indus Valley. Numerous caravans carrying exotic merchandise of silk, brocade, carpets, felts, tea, poppy, ivory etc. transited in the town on their way to and from China, Tibet, Yarkand and Kashmir.

Nubra Valley

The Nubra Valley, once on the trading route that connected eastern Tibet with Turkistan via the famous Karakoram Pass has been opened recently to the tourists. The Nubra Valley literally means the valley of flowers. Nubra Valley is situated in the north of Leh. The average altitude of the valley is about 10,000 feet above the sea level. The Khardong village, Khalser and Deskit are the main villages of Nubra valley. At first glance, the valley seems parched and dry, but this is prime farming Nubra Valley, Ladakh land by Ladakhi standard. Here the farmers grow apples, apricots and barley and harvest the orange berries of the tsetalulu. Dotted around the valley are ancient gompas and ruined palaces and villages are close enough together to make this magnificent walking country. The people of Nubra Valley are friendly and hospitable. The Nubra Valley is indeed a precious treasures of Ladakh where people still living in the complete isolation for most of the year from rest of the world in the heart of the great Himalayas. The main attraction of the Nubra valley is Bactarian Camels (double hump Camel).

Suru Valley

The Suru Valley is one of the most beautiful areas of Ladakh and a rather recent addition to the tourism map of Ladakh. The Suru Valley forms the mainstay of Kargil district. Lying nestled along the north-eastern foothills of the great Himalayan Wall, it extends from Kargil town, first southward for a length of about 75 kms Upto the expanse around Panikhar, hence eastward for another stretch of nearly 65 kms upto the foot of the Penzila watershed Suru Valley, Ladakh where the Suru valley rises.

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