One of the most beautiful regions of Ladakh, the Suru Valley forms the mainstay of Kargil district. Lying nestled along the north-eastern foothills of the Great Himalayan Wall, it extends from Kargil town, first southward for a length of about 75 Kms upto the expanse around Panikhar, thence eastward for another stretch of nearly 65 kms upto the foot of the Penzila watershed where the Suru River rises. With its extensive tracts of alluvial floor and verdant hillsides that are intensively cultivated by a zealously agrarian peasantry, the Suru Valley serves as ladakh's granary. Its composite population of about 30,000 - mainly of Tibeto-Darad descent - are Muslims who had converted their Budhist faith around the middle of the 16th century.
Panikhar is located in the Suru valley by no means it is a large inhabited area. A bus ride from the south of Kargil will take three hours to reach Panikhar. Prior to the Kashmir troubles, it was a minor trekking centre, at the start of the Lonvilad Gali Pahalgam Trail. It is a good atmospheric place to take a break from the continuous journey to Padum. These days the roadside collection of shabby stalls and poor mud-brick farmhouses spots very few tourists even during the season period. The stop is because people hike to the nearby Parkachik La for seeing vivid pictorial views of the glacier gouged north face of the mighty Nun-Kun Mountain. The track heads off on the far side of the Suru, crossed via a suspension bridge thirty minutes south of the village. It may look straight forward from Panikhar but the four-hour hiking may be very difficult to reach the top, particularly if one is not used to high heights. However even familiar trekkers may be frightened by seeing the sight when they arrive at cairns. The mountain is covered by cloud and the stream flows from its huge peak, the Nun situated over there go via boat 3500m above the valley floor.