Famous as the focus of an armed conflict between India and Pakistan in 1999 (in fact, known as the Kargil War), Kargil is the main town of Muslim-dominated Kargil District of Ladakh. On the banks of the Suru River, it is the biggest stop on the Leh-Srinagar route and the entry point for Zanskar. The cultural change after Mulbekh, which is the last predominantly Buddhist settlement, is drastic. Mulbekh is famous for its statue of Maitreya Buddha, popularly known as the Chamba statue, right on the highway and dating to the 8th century CE.
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