Drass: gateway to Ladakh
Nestled peacefully in the Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir, Drass is locally called as the ‘Gateway to Ladakh’. One of the coldest places in India, it shot into fame during the Kargil war of 1999 between India and Pakistan, eventually making it a tourist spot. Touching the Srinagar-Leh highway, Drass is known for its rustic, virgin beauty and legends.
After Siberia, it is the second coldest place on earth. Drass has become famous for historical tourism, along with being a retreat for nature lovers. The tourist attractions related to the Kargil war like the museum at Bhimbat and Kargil War memorial draw maximum tourists.
With little clusters of huts scattered in its geography, Drass is inhabited by Baltis and Dards, who ethnically are Shia and Sunni Muslims respectively. In the local Tibetan language, it is called as ‘Hembabas’. Walking in Drass is one of the best ways to explore the village.
Following are the main tourist attractions of Drass
Dras War memorial
Located on the foothills of Tololing Hill, this war memorial was built by the Indian army and is locally called as ‘Vijaypath’. It is located at a distance of 5 km from the city centre. The sandstone wall which has the names of the Indian army martyrs is one of the main tourist attractions of Dras War memorial. The 13th war anniversary was celebrated by hosting a giant Indian flag, weighing 15 kgs.
Brigade War Valley
Another famous war memorial in Drass, it commemorates the lives lost during the 1999 Kargil war. It is located 3 km away from Drass.
Drass also has religious connections with the legendary mythology of India. It states that it was the place where the Draupadi, the female protagonist of Mahabharata had taken her final bath before dying.
This valley holds esteem importance in the historical narration of the Kargil War. This was the place where former President of Pakistan Pervez Musharaff had come to give instructions regarding the war proceedings. It is famous for its serene location, though it is not suitable for human habitation and is glaciated.
Excursions from Drass
Tourists can explore the nearby tourist locations in Drass such as Sonamarg (62km), Kargil (64 km) and Srinagar (141km).
When to Reach
The best time to explore Drass is in between the Summer months when the climate is soothing.
How to Reach
One can easily take a bus from Srinagar to Kargil, which stops at Drass. The Srinagar airport is well connected with other parts of India.
So, go ahead and explore the beauty of Drass tourism in your own way this season and experience the best of it.
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