"ONCE KNOWN AS PURIG"
Kargil town is 204 kms away from Srinagar and 230 kms from Ladakh. Kargil is the 2nd largest town of Ladakh. It is located roughly equidistant between Srinagar (southwest) and Leh (southeast), is considered the gateway to Ladakh.
Kargil’s landscape is mountainous, rugged, and high, the minimum elevation being some 8,000 feet (2,440 metres). The climate is cold and dry, with scanty precipitation that falls mainly as snow in winter. One locality, Dras (Drass), is reputed to be one of the world’s coldest permanently inhabited places, with winter temperatures falling to as low as −40 °F (−40 °C) or colder. Vegetation, mainly grasses and shrubs, is largely confined to river valleys at lower elevations, as the higher places are rocky and largely barren. Most of the residents of Kargil are of Balti origin, and the large majority are Shīʿite Muslims.
The town is located at the junction of famous silk route and caravans from china, Yakkand, Afghanistan, and Indian plains used to go through Kargil in the past. These countries were dealing with silk, carpets and precious stones. Now there are only ruins of these caravan Sarais which once was very famous for trade and silk route. Kargil is the main town which connects Srinagar – Leh , Leh – Zanaskar. The town Kargil is situated on the famous River Suru and Nallah Wakha at an altitude of 2700 mts. Kargil has about 1,43, 388 souls as per the current census. Kargil is also located 60 kms from Drass which is the 2nd coldest place in the world. Kargil facing the northern areas across the LOC like other regions Kargil has temperate climate. Summers are hot with cool nights while winters are long and chilly and sometimes temperature often dropping to – 480C.
Because of its close proximity to the line of control, Kargil has often been the site of border conflicts between India and Pakistan. The largest and deadliest of these clashes took place in 1999. In early May the Indian military learned that Pakistani fighters had infiltrated Indian-administered territory. The intrusion triggered intense fighting between the two sides that lasted for more than two months. The Indian army reclaimed most of the area on the Indian side that had been occupied by the infiltrators, and hostilities finally ended in July, when the remaining Pakistani fighters retreated from the Indian zone. Several hundred combatants were killed on each side during the conflict.