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"Coldest Inhabited Hillstation in India"

Dras Tourism

Dras, a town of the Kargil district in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir is often called the 'Gateway to Ladakh'. It is located at the height of 3230m and lies on National Highway 1D leading to Srinagar. The stunning Dras is the coldest place in India and second coldest place (the first being Siberia) inhabited in the world, with temperatures dropping to as low as -45 degree celsius.

Intensely beautiful and numbingly cold, Dras is blessed with ethereal natural beauty. Snowy, rugged terrain, scenic mountains and calm environment characterise this frosty hamlet. Dras is popular as a trekking base where people stopover during their trek from Minamarg to Amarnath via Zojila Pass. The three famous pinnacles tiger hills, the three pimples and Tololing can be viewed from Dras.

The Pakistani troops occupied this paradise during the Kargil war in 1999. The battle continued for about two months during which course several Army men died. But the Indian army recaptured Dras and to commemorate their sacrifice, Dras war memorial was built which is today, the main attraction of this village.

Things to do in Dras

1. Dras War Memorial

Dras War Memorial
Located in Kargil, the Dras War Memorial is built by the Indian Army in memory of the soldiers and officers who lost their lives during the Kargil war in 1999. Also known as Vijaypath, it is built of (Read More)pink sandstone and has an epitaph dedicated to the valiant soldiers. The main highlight here is the pink sandstone wall engraved with the names of the soldiers who died fighting for the country.

2. Minamarg

Minamarg
Lying on one of the trails of Amarnath Yatra, Minamarg is known for its scenic hills and valleys and Machoi glaciers. It is located at a distance of 30km from Dras.

3. Matayen

Matayen
A small village, located just 20 km from Dras is a unique place in the entire Ladakh region (including Kargil district). This village is the only village in the entire region where Kashmiri is spoken (Read More)prominently.

4. Ningoor Masjid

Ningoor Masjid
It is believed that one of the walls of this masjid, was raised naturally during construction. Wrapped around such legends and beliefs, Ningoor Masjid is located at a distance of 7 km, and often frequ (Read More)ented by Muslim pilgrims.

5. Mushko Valley Trek

Mushko Valley Trek
Another 3-day trek that Dras hosts, is from Mushku Valley to Tilail in Gurez.

6. Trek to Saliskote

Trek to Saliskote
Covering the Laser la region, this one is a two-day trek from Dras to Saliskot.

7. Trek to Amarnath

Trek to Amarnath
The 3-day trek to the Amarnath caves starts at Minamarg, which is 30km away from Dras.

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Dards and Baltis

For hundreds of years, people of both Dardic and Baltic communities have settled on this frosty land and conquered the extreme cold conditions. The majority of the population is Muslim. However, there is a small section which follows Buddhism. The people here have built colourful shops and houses made of wood and bricks, which line both sides of the road with spectacular snow-capped mountain peaks as the backdrop. The inhabitants have successfully nullified the engulfing snow in winter (during the period of mid-October to early May) to carry on with the primary occupation of trading and transportation. They also help the tourists to navigate the area. The nature of the locals is amicable and warm, and they love sharing stories and folklore with the tourists.

A Natural Paradise

Hues of the mountain
The breathtaking beauty of Dras comes to life as the dusk falls over the barren, brown mountains. The shadows thus formed create different shapes and textures, as they move across the uneven landscape.

Dras river flowing through the fields
The lush green cover and the beautiful Dras river (formed as a ‘meltwater river from glaciers) flowing are a sight to behold during summers, when the river finds a way to flow gracefully through a dense group of sea buckthorn, among the patchwork of fields in multiple shades of green.

Hamlets nested in valleys
Numerous small villages are nestled among the towering mountains, surrounded by terrace farms, cut out along the hillside. Carefully nurtured soil is preserved between the vertical rocks and boulders. These terrace farms are home to poplar, willow, orchard of apples, apricots, barley and buckwheat.

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How to Reach Dras

How to Reach Overview

Dras lies on NH 1D, on the way to Srinagar, hence can be reached by hiring a taxi from any of the nearby places. It does have an airport and railway station, thus travelling by road is the only option.

How to reach Dras by flight

The nearest airport to Dras is Srinagar airport, which lies 103 km away from Dras. It is well-connected with all the major airports of the country. From the airport, you are required to hire a cab to Dras.

How to reach Dras by road

Dras is well-connected with the major cities of Jammu and Kashmir, from few cities of Himachal Pradesh. Direct buses are available from Delhi to Srinagar, from where you can hire a cab or self-drive to Dras.

How to reach Dras by train

The nearest railway station to Dras is Jammu railway station, which is situated 442 km away from Dras. You can catch a bus from Jammu to Srinagar or else you can hire a cab directly to Dras.

Local transport in Dras

There are bus services in the region which are the main mode of transportation. Otherwise a bit more expensive but faster mode is jeep. You can hire personal jeep or board on a shared jeep to travel within or around the town.

Dras Photos

Dras, Jammu & Kashmir


Dras Valley


Dras War Memorial with Tololing Ranges in Background

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FAQs on Dras

What are the things to do in Dras?

The top things to do in Dras are Dras war memorial, Minamarg, Matayen, Ningoor Masjid, Mushko Valley Trek, Trek to Saliskote. You can see all the places to visit in Dras here

What are the places near Dras?

The top places near to Dras are Amarnath which is 32 km from Dras, Sonamarg which is located 44 km from Dras, Srinagar which is located 95 km from Dras, Pahalgam which is located 60 km from Dras, Manali which is located 277 km from Dras

What is the best way to reach Dras?

Dras lies on NH 1D, on the way to Srinagar, hence can be reached by hiring a taxi from any of the nearby places. It does have an airport and railway station, thus travelling by road is the only option.
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What is the local food in Dras?

People in this region savor some palatable Tibetan dishes like momos and Thukpa, Punjabi dishes like Kulcha and Chole and some Kashmiri cuisines.
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What is the best time to visit Dras?

Being the coldest place in India, Dras experiences summer continental climate with the winter temperature falling down to as low as -45 degrees Celcius. It is advisable to avoid travelling during winters. Summer and pre-winter are the ideal time to visit Dras.
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Who should visit Dras?

Dras is ideal for the avid travellers and the trekkers who are in search of a pure and undisturbed beauty of the Himalayas.

What is not so good about Dras?

Terrorism prone area but well guarded by the Indian Military. Heavy snowfall during winters causes roadblocks.

What is famous about Dras?

Great destination to experience the stunning landscape throughout the year.

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Popular Questions And Answers on Dras

Q. Is there a regular taxi service from Srinagar to Dras?

Pallavi Siddhanta

4 years ago
There not some company or radio taxi service but there are many local taxi drivers in srinagar who can take you to kargil.
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Dras Reviews

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Shreyas Kapoor

4 years ago
- Dras is known to be the 2nd coldest place in the world after Siberia, so it is recommended that you carry enough woolens to survive the cold.
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