Dras is a town in the Kargil
District of Jammu
and Kashmir, India
. It is often called 'The Gateway to Ladakh
'. The town shot into prominence in the summer of 1999 following Pakistani-backed incursions into Jammu and Kashmir. The Kargil War saw the town being shelled by infiltrators and the war ended with the Indian Army recapturing the areas surrounding the town and the Kargil district.
Dras is a town in the Kargil District of Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is often called 'The Gateway to Ladakh'. In the local dialect “Baltic” Dras means “Hell”. It is at a height of 3230 m or 10990 ft. The mountain ridges however range from 16000 feet to 21000 feet.
The Dras 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 heyday of the Pan-Asian trade. A hardly people enduring with fortitude and harshness of the valley's winter, the inhabitants of Dras can well be described as the guardian's of Ladakh's gateway.
Dras is a convenient base for a 3-day long trek to the Suru Valley
across the sub-range separating the two valleys. This trek passes through some of the most beautiful upland villages and flower sprinkled meadows on both sides of the 4500m Umbala pass, which is along the way. The trek to the holy cave of Amarnath (in neighbouring Kashmir) starts from Minamarg below Zojila, takes three days and involves crossing a pass at 5200m. Dras also offers numerous shorter treks and hikes to the upland villages.
Places of Interest