Drass, known as "The Indian Siberia” and “Gateway to Ladakh" is a travel hub popular for its high altitude trekking routes and tourist sites. It is a hill station in Kargil district of the union territory of Ladakh. It is the second coldest inhabited place in the world after Siberia and the coldest place in India with the lowest temperature dropping to as low as -60°C in winters.
Dras town lies in the centre of the valley of Dras valley at a height of 10,800 feet, at a distance of 140 km from Srinagar and 63 km from Sonmarg. Kargil town is 56 km further of the town on NH1 from Srinagar towards Leh. The beautiful Zojila Pass in Ladakh lies at the beginning of Drass Valley, its inhabitants fondly described as the "Guardians of Ladakh's Gateway".
Drass valley temperature:
The low temperature in the valley is ascribed to the Mediterranean continental climate influence. Summers begin in June and go on up till early September, with 23 °C as the average temperature. The winter season lasts from mid-October to mid-May. Drass receives heavy rainfall with the water level rising up to 550 millimetres, equivalent to snowfall! Due to these harsh climatic conditions, the best season to visit Drass valley is from the months of May to September.
Despite being a remote and numbingly chilly destination, it attracts plenty of travellers every year. Drass valley is not only famous for its spectacular beauty, serene peaks, but also for the significance it holds politically and historically, including the infamous Kargil war of 1999. This town has something for every kind of traveller! So, if you have a thirst for spine-tingling and bone-chilling adventure, viewing wildlife, and want to experience the serenity and spiritual enlightenment, then Dras is a must in your travel bucket list.
Places to visit in and around Drass valley:
After the Kargil war, Dras became a tourist destination, with its valleys, peaks, glaciers, holy sites for pilgrims, waterfalls, lakes, and treks. Some of the most visited places are listed below:
Popular Treks of Drass:
A paradise for hikers, the town has some of the shorter hikes and treks to the upland villages to satiate their wanderlust in no time:
1.Mushko Valley Trek.
2.Trek to Saliskote and Suru Valley.
3.Trek to Amarnath.
Places to visit in Zanskar valley:
Zanskar valley is a sub-district in Kargil, the most isolated trans-Himalayan region of Ladakh, and a Himalayan tourist destination for trekkers. Here are some scenic sites to see in Zanskar valley:
3.Phuktal, Panikhar, and Rangdum Monastery
7.NUN and KUN Peaks
8.Padum to Darcha Trek
9.Lamayuru to Darcha Trek.
Hotels in Drass:
Some of the top-rated hotels around Drass are:
1.Hotel The Kargil
2.Hotel Zojila Residency
3.Hotel Greenland Kargil
4.The Buddha Hotel
5.Tiger Hill View
6.Chhutuk Heights Hotel
How to reach Drass:
Drass is easily accessible by rail, air, and road. The nearest railway station to Drass is Jammu Tawi located about 380 km from the town. From here, one can take a bus to Srinagar and further hire a cab till Drass. Srinagar International Airport is the closest airport, 94 miles (152kms) via NH1. Cabs are readily available from the airport to Drass.