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Heights of Kargil's natural beauty: Panzi La, near roof of the world

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'Penzi La'  or  'Pensi La' , at 14,000 feet, is the highest point along the Kargil - Padum road in India's Jammu and Kashmir state. The word ' La ' in Ladakhi language means pass. The pass overlooks the  Drang-drung  glacier. Here are some scenes from the route The route ascends up and one runs into many glaciers. The scenic drive from Rangdum to Penzi La takes about an hour. View Larger Map Buddhist prayer flags form the foreground to a panoramic vista of the landscape around Penzi La. Cattle grazing amidst glaciers and snow-capped peaks around Penzi La. Looking back at the road from Rangdum from Penzi La, surrounded by towering glaciers and barren mountain bases.   View of the Drang-drung glacier through the vehicle's wind shield. Approaching the Drang-drung glacier. Drang-drung is the most formidable of all the glaciers along the Kargil - Padum road journey. The melting ice feeds the Indus river t

Unseen beauty of Kargil District: Rangdum's landscape and wildlife

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Rangdum is a small hamlet inhabited by a handful of Ladhaki families. The place lies along the Kargil - Padum road and is a favourite halting place for many who travel along the road. Located, as it is, near glaciers the temperatures are freezing at night even in summer. Access to the place by road is blocked in winter due to the snow. A rock formation near Rangdum. The Himalayas are considered to be relatively young mountains . According to plate tectonics theory, they were formed by the clash of the Indo-Australian plate with the Eurasian plate. Early morning view of the glaciers and peaks surrounding the Rangdum tourist bungalow Rangdum offers sweeping views of the tall valleys and peaks. The area around Rangdum thrives with wildlife. The area is rich in birdlife like this horned lark . Among the many birds that breed in the meadows around Rangdum are the yellowheaded wagtail . The longtailed marmots (top first image of this post) are the most visible wildl

Nun Kun glacier and Rangdum: The drive to glacier country

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Green pastures besides the road to Parkachik village from Tangole village. Beyond Parkachik village, the road ascends steeply into glacier country. View Larger Map Grazing in a sub-alpine meadow near Parkachik village. This is also the site of sub-alpine camping by Dept of Tourism, Jammu and Kashmir Government. The mouth of Nun-Kun glacier lies along the road Kargil - Padum main road. The glacier water empties into Suru River. The steep, rugged road to Ragdum beyond Parkachik glacier. Melting glaciers feed a stream of River Suru beyond the Parkachik village and mouth of Nun Kun glacier. Beyond Shafat Glacier the valley gets wider and one can see sweeping views of the mountains. A view of Shafat glacier. Grazing horses besides the road on the drive up to Rangdum. Along the way, the road passes through many beautiful sub-alpine meadows. The road is narrow at many places and cuts through boulders. Wide valley and tall cliff

Beyond Paradise: Villages in Kargil Dist's upper Suru Valley

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A handful of small villages and hamlets are located in the upper part of the Suru River valley. The Nun-Kun peaks over look much of Upper Suru valley and together with the many glaciers form a spectacular backdrop to these habitations - Tai Suru, Panikhar, Tangole and Parkachik among others. Below are some images of the drive from Purtikchay to Tangole - the village that provides climbers access to Nun - Kun. A gushing stream fed by snow-capped peaks (above). The valley suddenly opens vast vistas at Purtikchay village (above). From Purtichay the first clear view of the Nun-Kun peaks (above). Nun-Kun peaks dominate the landscape in the Upper Suru valley (above). A Government primary school amidst the Himalayas (above). The landscape is simply spectacular and some of the views hit your sense very hard. These views are too hard to forget and hang-over of the trip lingers on in a visitor's mind for years. A barley field with the backdrop of Parkachik glac