Trisha Shetty (Editor)


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Country  India
District  Kargil
Elevation  3,280 m
State  Jammu and Kashmir
Time zone  IST (UTC+5:30)
Population  1,201 (2011)
Dras wwwthebetterindiacomwpcontentuploads201606
Weather  -11°C, Wind SW at 5 km/h, 64% Humidity

Keep the hills alive in dras kargil

Dras (Urdu, Burig: دراس ; Ladakhi: དྲས་ ; Hindi: द्रास) is a town in the Kargil District of Jammu and Kashmir, India on National Highway 1D (India) NH 1D. It is often called 'The Gateway to Ladakh'. The town shot into prominence in the summer of 1999 following Pakistani army incursions into Jammu and Kashmir. The Kargil War saw the town being shelled by the Pakistani army and the war ended with the Indian Army recapturing the areas surrounding the town and the Kargil district.


Map of Dras 194102

Dras second coldest inhabited place in the world


Dras is a town in the Kargil District of Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is often called 'The Gateway to Ladakh'. 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 have been known to have negotiated this formidable pass even during the riskiest period (in late autumn or early spring, when the whole sector remains snow-bound and is subject to frequent snow storms) to transport trading merchandise and to help stranded travellers traverse the pass. They thereby established a monopoly over porterage during the heyday of the pan-Asian trade. A hardy people enduring with fortitude the harshness of the valley's winter, the inhabitants of Dras can well be described as the guardians of Ladakh's gateway.


Dras is located at 34.428152°N 75.75118°E / 34.428152; 75.75118. It has an average elevation of 3,280 metres (10,764 feet). It is 56 km from Kargil town on the road to Srinagar lying in the centre of the valley of the same name.

Trekking base

  • 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 Ambala pass, which is along the way.
  • The trek to the holy cave of Amarnath (in neighbouring Kashmir) starts from Minamarg above Zojila, takes three days and involves crossing a pass at 5200m.
  • Three Days trek from Mushku Valley in Dras to Tilail in Gurez of Kashmir
  • Two Days Trek from Dras to Saliskot through the picturesque Laser La top.
  • Dras also offers numerous shorter treks and hikes to the upland villages.


    Dras is the coldest place in India, experiencing an altitude-influenced dry summer continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dsb). Winters are cold with average lows around −22 °C (−10 °F), and as low as −45 °C at the height of winter, which lasts from mid-October to mid-May. Summers start in June and go on up till early September, with average temperatures near 15 °C (60 °F) and little precipitation. Annual precipitation is almost entirely concentrated in the months from December to May when Dras gets around 550 millimetres (21.7 in) water equivalent of snowfall.


    Inhabitants of Dras, like many of the people of Gilgit, are Dard, Indo-Aryan people believed to have originally migrated to Ladakh from Central Asia. They speak Shina, a Dardic language. The small town has a Muslim majority and a few Buddhists. The local population is of 64% male and 36% female. In total the population of Dras is 1,201.

    The Dras valley starts from the base of the Zojila pass, the Himalayan gateway to Ladakh.

    Places of interest

  • Manman Top, 10 km from Dras (from where one can view the whole picturesque Dras Valley and the LOC [Line of Control - see also LOC Kargil])
  • Gomchan Valley, 5 km from Dras (a highland valley with glacier and steam running through)
  • Dongchik, 10 km from Dras (A Model village in terms of Agriculture, Education and peace. Only village with zero cases as per Police record)
  • Ningoor Masjid, Bhimbet, 7 km from Dras (A mosque which is thought to have the Allah's special blessings. One wall of which was believed to be raised naturally during construction. This Masjid is visited by Muslim pilgrims)
  • Bhimbet Stone, 7 km from Dras (A holy stone for Hindu pilgrims)
  • Dras War Memorial, 7 km from Dras (also known as Kargil War Memorial)
  • Draupadi Kund - 18 km from Dras
  • Minamarg (A vast picturesque valley 30 km from Dras headquarters, hills of which is bounded by Machoi Glaciers and also is a traditional route to Amarnath Yatra)
  • Matayen (A village 20 km from Dras is the only village of Ladakh having Kashmiri speaking people)
  • Laser La (A hill station about 14 km from Dras, especially known for its milkwhite water and Laser La glacier)
  • Chorkiat Forest (near the LOC about 20 km from Dras and 5 km from Dongchik, is a natural forest area with a number of wild animals)
  • Tiasbu Astana 2 km from Dras (A religious place for Muslims)
  • Sando Top / Sando Base 8 km from Dras - Pakistani posts are visible from Sando Top, and Tiger Hill is located in front of Sando Top (1 hour drive away from Dras).
  • Mushku Valley 8 km from Dras (popular for various wild flowers during summer season in the deserted Ladakh region)
  • Dras-Gurez Trek Route (A trek route from Dras, Ladakh to Gurez, Bandipora in Kashmir which runs through picturesque Mushku Valley, Botakul and high mountains (vehicular road also links Dras with Gurez))
  • Brigade War Gallery 3 km from Dras - information relating to the 1999 war.
  • References

    Dras Wikipedia