Kargil is about 216kms/5hrs from Leh airport and 225kms/6hrs from Srinagar airport. Shared taxis connect both places to the district. While you will easily get one from the airport at Leh, visit the Tourist Reception Centre (TRC) at Residency Road to take one from Srinagar. Note: the last of the day’s taxis leave at noon.
WHERE TO STAY
- Hotel ‘The Kargil’ (from `5,300, taxes extra; hotelthekargil. com), in the heart of the town, offers decent rooms.
- The Highland Mountain Resort & Spa (from `1,800; thehighlandkargil.com) is about 2.5kms from Kargil town, right on the banks of Suru River.
- Hotel Zero Miles (from `500) is located in the Main Market.
WHERE TO EAT
Roots Travel Café (+91- 9419887776; rootsladakh.com) near the Jamia Masjid, is a cosy haunt that happens to be a great place to read, play board games, use the wifi, enjoy vistas, relish hot snacks and drink delicious chai, coffee and shakes. Do check out the pancakes and the apricot shake here. Cafe-de- Riverside (+91-8802482422) is a few kilometers off Kargil town, towards the Suru valley. A quaint place by the Suru riverside, the food is just as good as the ambience. You can also take a stroll through the old bazaar of Kargil to savour finger-licking street food and local delicacies.
WHAT TO SEE & DO
When not visiting the Maitreya Buddha statues, I checked out a couple of other interesting places: Munshi Aziz Bhat Museum of Central Asian & Kargil Trade Artifacts (kargilmuseum.org) had a spectacular collection of historical finds from the ancient Silk Route that passed through the Kargil region. Unlock Hundarman: Museum of Memories, located 11kms from Kargil, on the Line of Control (LoC), housed paraphernalia left behind by the inhabitants of a village during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.