As one crosses the Zojila Pas(3050 Mtrs) he enters the Drass Valley “The Gateway of Ladakh”
Drass town. (3,230 metres) is a small town on the highway, at 147 kms from Srinagar on Kargil Srinagar road. It is the second coldest inhabited place in the world (after Siberia). Winter temperature drop to minus 45 c. The windchill factor is even greater. In summer, however Drass can be quite pleasant.
Drass has a pleasant climate in summer. Camping and hiking are very pleasurable. Picnicking is popular in summer in the area. It is also the starting point for three days trek to Suru valley terminating in the beautiful valley of Sankoo.
Tourist Attraction of Drass
All tourists entering Kargil (Ladakh) are registered here at the Tourist registration Counter.
- Dropadi Kund: Legendry “Dropadi Kund” a sacred pond for Hindus, (75 Kms from Kargil) on Kargil – Srinagar Highway is another attraction for domestic tourists and pilgrims.
- Bhembat: At 5 Kms. ahead of Drass, there is another famous place related to Hindu mythology. The Bhimbat or “the Bhims stone” is a rock believed to be the solidified body of Bhim. The rock is revered by the locals even today as a precious legendry object. Being easily accessible form road side, the place is gaining popularity among the pilgrim tourists.
- Rock Curving at Stiaqbo: 2 Kms before Drass proper there are images curved in relief on stone blocks, which stands besides the Kargil – Srinagar Highway, representing Maitreya and Avalokiteshvara Prominently.
- War Sites . Drass now gained popularity other than being the second coldest inhibited place in the world, after Siberia, due to television courage during Conflict of 1999. The famous war sites are:
- Tiger Hill is a peak which you can see from the Drass Town itself. It is not the highest peak in the area. However, since there are no high hills around it, Tiger Hill stands out. This famous battle ground in the hill that is taller, and thus more majestic, then its neighbors. The slopes of Tiger Hill are grazing grounds. The mountain is situated between Mushkoo valley and Marpochu valley. The lower end of these are pastures is roughly half kilometer from the road that connects these two villages.
- Mushkoo Valley (3180 m) The Mushkoo river drains the whole valley and joins River 1 Km. Upstream from Drass town. Mushkoo village is 8 km. from Drass town, via, of course, Holiyal. The valley has become famous as a battle field during 1999 War. It is also the base for Tiger Hill.
- Tololing (4590 m) This is a ridge-line. The Army has given the peaks of this ridge names like ‘Hump’ and Three pimples’. A fifty minute trek will take you to the Tololing foothill nearest to the highway but again subject to permission.