Nurtured by the Drass River which rises in Machoi glacier near the famous Pass Zojila, enchanting Drass Valley is situated at a height of 3230 m. Valley experiences extremely harsh cold weather in winter and the temperature may even drop to minus 40 degrees Celsius. This cold valley (60 km west of Kargil) starts from the pass Zojila, on to Gateway Himalayan Ladakh.
The valley also enjoys a short summer season, which begins in May, when the snow is melting. Valley includes a small town named Drass town, which is located in a residential and open space. One can see greenery and vegetation along the river in the summer, but the city is covered by a thick blanket of snow in winter. Much of the valley is inhabited by a tribe Brokpa. This tribe is believed to be a descendant of the standards found in Chilas Gilgit region. The people of this tribe are engaged in the cultivation of barley and other cereals.
Drass has suffered heavily during the summer of 1999, when the city was shelled by Pakistani backed raids. Indian Army finally re-take the city, its surroundings and Kargil district. This is the closest point on the line of control.
At the entrance of Drass three stone figures of king and two women engraved on pillars. The inscription on the pillar in the old Brahmi script and ornaments worn by women Kashmir.
Drass inhabitants consist mainly of stock Dard, the Aryan race believed to be originally migrated from Central Asia. They speak Shina, a Dardic language, which is unlike the Ladakhi dialects spoken elsewhere in Ladakh. Majority Muslim population, as is the rest of Kargil District. It is primarily Buddhist region that converted to Islam in the 15th century. The only Buddhist remains of note in the entire area are images of Maitreya Buddha, carved in stone in the face Mulkekh.
Drass Valley PRIME ATTRACTIONS
Zoji La pass
The Drass valley starts from the base of the Zoji La pass, 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 fall or early spring, when the whole sector remains snow bound and is subject to frequent snow storms to transported goods dealer can help stranded travelers to pass.
By virtue of their mastery over the pass they had established a monopoly over the carrying trade during the height of the Pan-Asian trade. A hardly people permanently hardness and harshness of winter in the valley, the inhabitants of Drass can well be described as the “guardian of the Gateway Ladakh is.”
The Puga Valley is famous for its hot springs. Every year hundreds of visitors come to this valley bath in these springs, as it is known to help people suffering from rheumatism and skin diseases.
Trekking in Drass Valley
Drass is a convenient base for a 3-day long trek to Suru valley in the sub-range separating the two valleys. This transition goes through some of the most beautiful mountain villages and flower sprinkled meadows on both sides of the 4,500 m high pass Umbala, which currently falls.
The transition to the holy Amarnath cave in neighboring Kashmir, which stars Minamarg below Zoji La, takes 3 days and involves crossing a high pass 5200 m. Drass also offers numerous shorter treks and hikes to mountain villages
The short summer season starts in May snowmelt. Winters are long and harsh, with snow often falls to a depth of 14 feet, and the temperature drops to -40 C.
Bed and breakfast
The Tourist Complex here provides furnished rooms and suites. Reservation can be made by the tourist office in Kargil or its branch in Drass. Some private hotels also provide rooms equipped with basic necessities.
How to reach
Avoid traveling in Drass Valley in late autumn or early spring season, because the valley witnessed heavy snowstorms during this period.
By Air: Srinagar (147 km) is the nearest airport.
By car: buses or taxis from Srinagar to Kargil and Leh going through the valley Drass.