Drass (3230 m), is situated about 60 kms. west of Kargil on
the road to Srinagar. Drass is a small township lying in the
centre of the valley of the same name. Drass is the first
village after the Zoji La pass. It has become famous as the
second coldest inhabited place in the world due to the intense
cold and snowfall that descends upon the valley during
winters. In winters, the temperature sometimes go down to
minus 50 degrees and heavy snow and strong winds cut off the
The Drass valley starts from
the base of the Zojila pass, the 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 autumn or early spring, when the whole sector remains
snow-bound and is subject to frequent snow storms, to
transport trader's merchandise across and to help stranded
travellers to traverse it. By virtue of their mastery over the
pass they had established a monopoly over the carrying trade
during the heydays of the Pan-Asian trade. A hardly people
enduring with fortitude and harshness of the valley's winter,
the inhabitants of Drass can well be described as the
guardian's of Ladakh's gateway. The inhabitants here are Dard
and Muslims. There is a bank and tourist bungalow in Drass.
Drass is a convenient base for a 3-day long trek to 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 4500 meters
high Umbala pass, which falls enroute. The trek to the holy
cave of Amarnath in neighbouring Kashmir, which stars from
Minamarg below Zojila, takes 3 days and involves crossing of
5200 mts high pass. Drass also offers numerous shorter treks
and hikes to the upland villages.
How to Reach
The nearest airport is situated at Leh.
Warning: Those with heart trouble or lungs problem
should check with a doctor before flying to such a high
The nearest railway station is located at Jammu, about 739 kms.
Drass is situated about 60 kms. west of Kargil on
the road to Srinagar.
Note : All Tourists travelling from Srinagar to Ladakh by road
are required to register themselves at the Tourist
Registration Centre at Drass.