Drass (3230 m), 60
km west of Kargil on the road to Srinagar, is a small township lying in the
centre of the valley of the same name. It has become
famous as the second coldest inhabited place in the world by virtue of the
intense cold that descends upon the valley along with repeated snowfalls
during winters. Winter temperature is sometimes known to plummet to less
than minus 40 degrees.
The Drass valley starts from the base of the Zojila pass, the Himalayan
gateway to Ladakh. For centuries its inhabitants are known to have
negotiated this formidable pass even during the most risky period in the
late autumn or early spring, when the whole sector remains snow-bound and is
subject to frequent snow storms, to transport trader's merchandise across
and to help stranded travellers to traverse it. By virtue of their mastery
over the pass they had established a monopoly over the carrying trade during
the heydays of the Pan-Asian trade. A hardly people enduring with fortitude
and harshness of the valley's winter, the inhabitants of drass can well be
described as the guardian's of Ladakh's gateway.
Drass is a convenient base for a 3-day long trek to Suru valley across the
sub-range separating the two valleys. This trek passes through some of the
most beautiul upland villages and flower sprinkled meadows on both sides of
the 4500 mts high Umbala pass, which falls enroute. The trek to the holy
cave of Amarnath in neighbouring Kashmir, which stars from Minamarg below
Zojila, takes 3 days and involves crossing of 5200 mts high pass. Drass also
offers numerous shorter treks and hikes to the upland villages.
How to reach ?
Buses plying between Srinagar and Kargil/Leh touch Drass. Local buses leave
Kargil in the morning and afternoon for drass. srinagar is connected
with rest of the country via Air and Road through National Highway NHIA.
Where To Stay ?
The Tourist Complex here provides furnished rooms and suites. Advance
reservation can be done through the tourist office at Kargil or its branch
at Drass. Some private hotels also provide rooms equipped with basic
Places of Interest (Visit
Leh is nested in a side valley just to the north of the Indus Valley.
Until 1947 it had close trading relations with Central Asia yak trains would
set off from the Leh Bazaar to complete the stages over the Kaakoam Pass to
Yarkand and Kashgar.
Administering the Valleys of Suru , Drass, Wakha and Bodkarbu, Kargil
lies midway between the alpine valleys of Kashmir and the fertile reaches of
the Indus Valley and ladakh
Thak Thok gompa
shelters a cave in which the apostle Padmasambhava is said to have meditated
during his epic eight-century journey to Tibet.
Dhahanu is situated to the south west of Leh,
around 163 Kms. passing through the beautiful villages of Kaltsey, Domkhar,
Padum is 240 km to the south of Kargil, comes as a bit of an anticlimax
Rangdum is an elliptical expanded plateau surrounded by colourful hills on
the one side and glacier encrusted rocky mountains on the other.
Walled in by the Great Himalayan Divide, Zanskar, literally " Land of
White Copper" has for decades exrted the allure of Shangri La on visitours
Zangla is the nodal point on the popular Padum Strongdey Zangla Karsha
Padum round trip, which covers most of the cultural sites of Zanskar.
The Suru Valley
Diving two of the world's most formidable mountain ranges, the Suru
Valley winds south from Kargil to the desolate Pensi La the main entry point
the Nubra valley - nubra means green used to be on the trading route
connection Tibet with Turkistan, Also Now as the Valley of Flowers
Drass (3230 m), 60 km west of Kargil on the road to Srinagar, is a small township lying in the centre of the valley of the same name
The Shyok River receives the waters of the Nubra and Changchenmo rivers. It rises from the Khumdang glacier, which can be approached from
Pangong Tso, 15km to the southeast of Leh, is one of the largest
saltwater lakes in Asia, a long narrow strip of water stretching from Ladakh
east into Tibet.
Tso Moriri or "Mountain Lake" is Famous for the large herds of
king, or wild ass, which graze on its shores, the lake of Tso Moriri.