Drass

Drass is situated within the district of Kargil and about 60 kms from the main town of Kargil in Jammu and Kashmir. Often referred to as the ‘Gateway to Ladakh’, Drass is one of those regions in Jammu & Kashmir that you would like to visit during the summers only.

Drass is known as the second most coldest and well inhabited regions in the world offering tourists with some of the most exciting and popular trekking expeditions in India, making it a haven for adventure seekers. Zojila pass serves as the commencement point into the Drass valley of Kashmir and is also known as the Himalayan Gateway to Ladakh.

Drass is aptly perched at a height of 3,230 meters above sea level and can be accessed from the western end of Kargil, about 60 kms in distance on the road that leads to Srinagar in Kashmir. A small township indeed, Drass experiences an extremely cold weather in winters and recurring snowfalls with lower temperatures that often plummets to as low as minus 40 degree C.

Drass, including Zojila Pass, witness frequent snowstorms and is often snow covered towards the later end of the autumn season transitioning into the early spring season and hence, it is quite risky for anyone to travel here. However, it is amazing to notice how the local inhabitants of Drass have managed to negotiate through the dreadful Zojila pass, for years on now and even during the extreme winter months.

The local inhabitants of Drass assist in the transportation needs of trading commodities and also assist stranded travelers across the unsafe Drass Valley and Zojila Pass. Since the zenith of the Pan-Asian trade, these locals have dominated the trade transportation means in and around the Valley of Drass owing to their expertise in crossing the pass successfully.

Summer season throws an instant mesmerizing sight in Drass as its landscape transforms from an intense white blanket of snow to grassy lush meadows and slopes offering ample opportunity for tourists to enjoy Trekking in Drass, boosting the tourism worth of J&K.

In fact, trekking in Drass is one of its major highlights offering a number of short treks to its tourists and visitors. You can also enjoy a 3-day long trek, considered as one of the popular treks from Drass to Suru Valley, set across the sub-range that separates these two valleys.

The Drass to Suru Valley trek route leads you across an endless gamut of sightseeing delights including some of the most beautiful and scenic high-altitude villages. En route this trek, you will cross via the Umba La Pass, perched at an altitude of 4,500 meters that commands one of those unique spectacular views of the verdant meadows on either side, studded with a vibrant rainbow of blossoming flowers. Another trek or pilgrim tour to enjoy is a climb to the sacred cave of Amarnath, often referred to as the famed Amarnath Yatra, which covers three continuous days with overnight lodging facilities and food at designated points.

You can access Drass from Kargil by local buses that ply in mornings and afternoons only. Well equipped rooms are available for hire on an advance booking basis at several Private hotels and a J&K operated tourist complex.

Excursions from Kashmir