Suru Valley In Ladakh

The Mainstay of Kargil District.

Located along the north-eastern foothills of the great Himalayan Wall, Suru Valley is formed by the catchments of the Suru River, which rises from the Panzila glacier. The average elevation of the Suru valley is 3000 m, and it is relatively more fertile than other valleys of the region.

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Counted as one of the prettiest areas of Ladakh, Suru Valley witnesses very harsh winters. The winter season begins around mid-November and continues till May. During this period, the valley is covered under a thick layer of snow. The lower region is nurtured by the Indus River, Drass River and several other tributaries. The valley extends from the Panzila glacier to south of Kargil town. The people of Dard and Tibetan descent inhabit Suru, and the majority are Shiites.

The actual beauty of this region is enhanced by the towering peaks of Kun (7035 m) and Nun (7135 m). These majestic peaks are ideal places for a number of adventure sports.

The local people can be seen busy with their agricultural activities as it is the only source of livelihood. A major portion of the valley is used for growing crops like wheat, barley and millets, and vegetables like turnip, radish, peas and black peas. Apart from this, fruits like grapes, apricots and melons are produced in large quantities along the lower region (near Indus river). The summer season begins in May and lasts relatively longer than other parts of Ladakh.

Sankoo, Panikhar and Parachik are quite close to the Suru Valley and well connected with Kargil. Buses are operated on a regular basis (even twice a day in summer). Cars and jeeps can also be hired from Kargil for visiting the nearby areas, including Rangdum and Panzila.

Getting There

Suru valley is well-connected with Leh by road. There are two routes to reach Suru Valley, from Srinagar and from Manali via Manali-Leh Highway. You can get regular bus services however, you can always hire a cab to get to places like Rangdum and Padum since daily transport services are not available.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Suru Valley is from June to September.

Things to Do & See in and around

There are few tourist attractions around Suru Valley, surrounded by Sankoo, Kartse Khar, Rangdum and Panikhar. Sankoo provides a pleasant picnic spot for the tourists. Here, you can enjoy the lush environment and nearby villages. Kartse Khar has a 7th-century statue of Lord Buddha standing 7-foot tall. Rangdum is a beautiful place and it has a monastery along with two hamlets. Panikhar is the base for the mountaineering excursions.

How to Reach Suru Valley

By Air

The closest airport is at Leh. The Leh airport is connected to Delhi, Jammu, Srinagar and Chandigarh. One can opt for a taxi or auto to reach the destination.

By Train

Kalka is the nearest railway station to Leh. You can get buses and taxies from the Leh bus stand, which is barely a kilometer from the city, to go to Suru Valley. Private vehicles, buses and cabs can also be hired from Manali via Shimla.

By Road

The two popular routes to reach Suru Valley is from Srinagar and from Manali via the Manali-Leh Highway. Both roads transverse through tricky mountain routes and high passes and are at times blocked due to landslides. The Srinagar-Leh Highway is close to the border with Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.