Kargil District is situated in the north-east of Kashmir Valley
, at a distance of 205 km from the state capital Srinagar
. It covers an area of 14,036 sq km, and supports a population of about 1.1 million. The whole area is occupied with rocky mountains with only sparse natural vegetation. Originally the people followed
. During the middle of the 16th century Islamism was introduced, and today majority of the people are Muslims.
The earliest settlers were the Indo-Aryan Mons from across the Himalayas, Dard immigrants from the Indus and Gilgit valleys, and nomads from Tibet. Mons are believed to have carried north-Indian Buddhism to these area. The Dard and
Balti immigrants introduced farming and the Tibetan vagrants started herding and animal husbandry.
Kargil experiences both arctic and desert climates. The district remains cut off from other parts of occupied Kashmir from November to May owing to heavy snowfall. Suru and Zanskar are the prominent valleys. Kargil is famous for its apricots and mulberries.
Sani, Rangdum, Zongkhul,
Mulbekh, Shargole and Phoker are some of the famous places.