Located at an altitude of 3,280 metres above sea level in the Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir, Drass is often hailed as the ‘Gateway to Ladakh.’ Due to its close proximity to India and Pakistan’s LOC (Line of Control), it has always been in the limelight, though not always for good reason. However, despite that, Drass maintains a charm that guarantees a mesmerising time in the foothills of the Himalayas.
Drass holds the status of being the coldest place in India; the region witnesses extreme cold and heavy snowfall for most part of the year. From pristine valleys, picturesque landscapes to spiritual monuments, the region also has a memorial dedicated to the Indian soldiers who, while fighting for their country in the Kargil War of 1999, lost their lives. Called the Drass War Memorial or ‘Vijaypath,’ the structure stands tall in a raw, barren and picturesque landscape; a must-visit for every avid traveller.
About 8km from Drass, Mushkoh Valley is a glacial paradise, most known for its remarkable wild flowers (that bloom in the summer months) and trekking trails that offer the most surreal experiences. If you’re an adventure enthusiast, a trek here is highly recommended.
Then there’s the wonderful meadow of Minamarg, about 30km from Drass, resting right after Zojila Pass. Surrounded by the pristine Machoi Glacier (this is where the Drass river originates from) and brimming with lush vegetation and exotic flora, it is a true paradise for all nature lovers.
For the most spectacular view of the Drass Valley and the Line of Control, visit Manman Top, about 10 kilometres from Drass. If you’re looking for a slightly more immersive experience in Drass, look no further than Laser La, a charming, unexplored hill station known for its dazzling milky white river and the stunning Laser La glacier located here.