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Kargil District

Kargil district carved out of erstwhile district Ladakh came into existence in July 1979.It lies in the North-east Of Kashmir Valley at a distance of 205 Kms. from Srinagar with a geographical area of 14,036 Sq.Kms. The whole area is of high rocky mounatins which is devoid of any natural vegetation. The population of the district is above one lakh having density of 7 persons per Sq.Kms. against the average of 59 persons per Sq.Kms.at State level.99% of population is schedule tribe. The district has high altitude area in the Country ranging from 8,000 fts.to 18,000 fts.above sea level. There are 7 rural development blocks comprising of 129 villages and 461 habitations as per 1981 Census which comprise a number of households settled near available irrigation facilities.District has two tehsils and on Sub-division at Zanskar.The district remains cut off from the rest of country from November to May in view of heavy snow fall on National Highway at Zojila pass.People mostly live in rural areas and only 5.3 percent reside in the town. The majority of population is Muslim.The Budhists come next with their concerntration in Zanskar tehsil and Shargol block.A few families of Sikhs and Hindus also live in the district.The cultivated area in the district is 10,000 hectares as against 19,437 hectares of reporting area.The soil is generally coarse, mixed with stones and gravels. It is alkine in reaction and organic matter content is very low.The fertility of the soil varies from place to place and the growing season is short.The avearge rainfall in Kargil is 26 cms only. The district gets snowfall varying from 2ft.to 5ft.The Kargil town,Suru Valley and the villages around the Wakha and Kanji Nallah record a snowfall upto 3ft while in Drass and some parts of Zanskar it is 5ft.Drass is the second coldest inhabited place in the world after Siberia in Russia.The areas of Karkitcho,Kargil town,Hardass to Saliskot and the villages from Silmo to Garkone get a double crop of barley, wheat,peas,bajrah and vegetables while other areas of the district get only single crop of wheat,barley,peas and some varieties of vegetables. The barley is the staple crop of the district. The district presents a composite culture of Balti, Ladakhi, Purki, Dardi,Zanskari and Shia cultures. Irrespective of ethenic identities,all speak the Kargali.
Tourist Places
There is a lot of tourist potential in Kargil area. Suru Valley and Zanskar in particular are the most beautiful areas and attract large number of tourists. the Suru valley runs 140 Kms upto the base of Penzi-La pass into Zanaskar. Nun-Kun Massif is a attractive option for mountaineers. there is a Gompa called rangdum on a hillock overlooking the marshy plains in Zanskar valley. Expeditions to Nun-Kun mainly take off from Panikhar village which also the base for long treks in the direction of Kashmir and Kishtwar. Other trekking bases are sunkoo and Rangdum.
Zanskar is a favourite destinantion for tourists and Padum is the centre for hard but rewarding treks to Manali via Shingo-La (16732ft); Kishtwar via Umasi-La (17,828ft); and Lamayuru and Leh via difficult routes. Zanskar is also known as land of religion and has greatest concentration of Gompas in Ladakh, outside the Indus Valley. The impoprtant ones are Sani, Karsha and stongde in the central plain and Bardan, Phugtal just of the Padum Manali trail. There is small hermitage of Dzongkhul on way to Umasi La.

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