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The Trans-Himalayan district of Kargil comprises the south-western part of Ladakh. It derives its name from the 2nd major town of Ladakh ie Kargil which is also the district headquarters. The district comprises a complex of valleys, chief amoung them are Suru, Zanskar, Drass, Shakar-Chiktan, Wakha and Lower Indus. The Greater Himalayan range form its south western boundary crowned by a series of majestic snow capped peaks abounding in awesome glaciers and lush alpine slopes. This complex of valleys is drained by tributaties of the Indus river, prominent among them being the Suru, Zanskar, Drass river besides Nallah Kanji and Nalla Wakha.
Kargil town (2704m) is located 204 kms from Srinagar on the Srinagar - Leh NHW-1-Dand is the 2nd largest town of Ladakh. The town is located at the junction of the famous treaty route linking the Silk Route and caravans from China, Turkey, Yarqand, Afganistan and the Indian plains, which used to pass through Kargil in the past. They would trade in silk, ivory, carpets and precious stones. All that now remains of that once florishing traffic are the ruins of the caravan safaris. Situated at the equidistant point from Srinagar, Leh and Padum(Zanskar) and Skardo (Baltistan), Kargil remained an important station on the ancient route of trade between China, Central Asia and India. Since 1974 when the area was thrown open for foreign tourists, kargil has regained its importance in travel related activities and as an important tourist destination. Kargil is also the halting point of vehicular traffic for Zanskar valley and Leh.
The Kargil town is situated on the confluence of River Suru and Nallah Wakha at an altitude of 2704mtrs, with a population of about 1,000people. While in kargil town you can soak in the scenery especially in Baru and Poyen. There are picturesque walks along the river and bearby Goma Kargil, Drass the 1999 war sites. Mulbek, Suru valley or Zanskar. It is also the base camp for several trekking, river rafting and mountaineering expeditions, besides sight seeing is also organised by local travel agents.
The main pass between Srinagar and Kargil is like to to be blocked by snow from November to May. However the road between Kargil and Drass is open almost throughout the year. The road between Leh and Kargil too is open almost throughout the year. The road into Suru Valley is functional around the year till Sangra. After Sangra it is prone to landslides between December and March. The main pass to Zanskar is blocked from November to mid June. During this period it is possible to walk on the snow (or the frozen river) between Kargil and Zanskar depending on weather conditions.
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This period covers three seasons in Kashmir i.e., spring (March-early May), summers (early May-late August) and autumn (September-November).
The blossoms of spring, the cool weather of summer and the gold and red hues of autumn all provide the peak season for Kashmir travel. From December to early March is the winter season for Kashmir, when the entire valley wears a white blanket of snow.