DRAS-THE COLDEST HILL SATION IN INDIA
Our India has a vast region with the different climate. Well, if I ask you which is one of the coldest parts of the country? Probably, your answer will be Himachal Pradesh or Jammu and Kashmir. Yes, your answer is right up to some extent, Himachal Pradesh being on high altitude experiences cold weather, but you will be a bit shocked to know that there is a region in Jammu and Kashmir where the temperature falls up to minus 45 degrees. Are you awestruck? The place I am talking about is Dras, which is snuggled in the Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir at an altitude of 3,280 meters.
Dras is located at distance of 282 kilometers from Ladakh and is well known as “Gateway to Ladakh”. The region is one of the coldest hill station of India and the second coldest in the world. In spite of having a chilly weather, Dras welcomes hundreds of tourists every year. Well, in this blog I am going to talk about the best time to visit Dras and best places to visit.
Best time to visit Dras
Dras in Summers (April-June)- The Summers in Dras is soothing and pleasant, the sky is always clear and the weather provides inner peace to one’s mind. In early April, you may find snow-covered mountains in Dras as the winter season has just passed. The average Summer temperature of Dras is 15°C-25°C, so you can plan for your trip in Summers.
Dras in Monsoon (July- September)- The Monsoon in Dras is disturbing because in this season there are high chances of landslides. So, don’t visit the place from July-September.
Dras in Winters (October-March)- Dras experiences a chilly weather in winters, particularly from December-February. So, if you want to visit the place then plan to visit in early winters, i.e, September or in Summers i.e, from April-June. The temperature of Dras in winters is around -20°C and sometimes also fall beyond that.
Best places to visit in Dras
Tiger Hill: To capture the captivating beauty of nature
Located at an elevation of 5,350 meters Tiger Hill has always been a center of attraction because of Kargil War. Tiger Hill is the battle zone of Kargil war between India and Pakistan, during 1999. You can capture the panoramic view of the hill from a distant valley, without climbing the hill. Tiger hill is surrounded by the Tolloling range and serves as a gateway to Siachen glacier.
Kargil War Memorial: Few moments for Indian Army
Also known as Dras war memorial, which is built in the memory of soldiers of Indian army who were killed during the Kargil war, in the year 1999. At the memorial, there is an epitaph on which name of soldiers is written who lost their lives during the war. This memorial is ideal for getting a perfect view of Tiger Hill. One can also find a huge national flag at the spot, so make sure you devote tribute to the great soldier of our Indian army.
Minamarg: For a thrilling experience
Minamarg is located on the pathway of Amarnath Yatra at a distance of 30 kilometers from Dras. It is well known for its mesmerizing view of nature from the valleys and hills. One can also enjoy a 3-day trek to Amarnath, which will be a lifetime memorable activity. Minamarg is surrounded by Machoi glaciers which adds a plus point in the beauty of the place. If you are adventure seeker as well as a nature lover, then this place is must visit for you.
Manman Top: For a spectacular view
Manman top is located at distance of 10 kilometers from Dras and is well known for giving the whole view of Dras valley. You can also see greater Himalayas from this spot. Various exotic flora can be seen here, mention this place as a major spot during your trip to Dras.
Mushkoh Valley: Combination of adventure and natural site
Mushkoh valley is located at a distance of 10 kilometers from the town, got highlighted during the Kargil war. This valley is well known for the growth of wildflowers in the Summer season, which are must watch for every tourist. If you an adventure seeker, then this is the place for you there is a 3-day trek organized from this valley to Tilail in Gurez. This valley is good only for tourism not for proper habitat.
Ningoor Mosque: A religious spot in the mountains
Ningoor Mosque is located at distance of 7 kilometers from Dras. It is the perfect example of ancient architectural marvel and is visited by tourists. There are several myths associated with the mosque, one of them is during the construction one wall of the mosque was raised naturally. So, from your trip take some time for a religious visit to the mosque.
Dras river: A peaceful location in nature’s lap
Dras river is one of the enchanting beauty of the town which is must visit for everyone. The source of this river is Machoi glacier near Ladakh. One can enjoy a memorable camping experience with friends and family. In simple words, it is must visit place for those who want to capture the natural beauty in their cameras. Trust me you will rarely find such a beautiful and pollution free place in India.
How to reach Dras
By Flight-Srinagar airport is the nearest airport to the town at a distance of 103 kilometers. You can hire cabs and taxis from the airport to Dras.
By Train- Jammu Tawi is the nearest airport to the town at a distance of 400 kilometers.
By road- The town is connected to few regions of Jammu and Kashmir by bus. One can reach the town from Srinagar by NH-1, and bus facility is also available from Srinagar.
Where to stay?
Accommodation options in town are not so good, you can book your stay in hotels of Kargil which is at a distance of 2 hours from the town. One can also arrange their stay in hotels of Sonmarg, which is at distance of 60 kilometers from the town. If you are seeking for adventure then nothing can be better than camping in Dras.
Why not do something different this year? Let’s plan a holiday in the coldest region of India and later share the unforgettable memories with our loved ones.