Drass, popularly known as ‘The Gateway to Ladakh’, is a small township situated about 60 km from Kargil, on the road to SrinagarThis little abode is widely recognized as the second coldest inhabited place in the world. During winters, the mercury level here can plummet to as low as minus 45 degrees Celsius.
The town first came to limelight in the year 1999, when Pakistan Army incursions started the Kargil War. The Indian Army was quick to retaliate and captured the region which is now one of its bases in the extreme north region.
A War Memorial stands tall in remembrance of the martyred soldiers of the Kargil War. The site holds great prominence and is visited by thousands of tourists who come to pay their regards to the brave sons of our country.
Earlier, there was small Tourist Reception Centre (TRC) at Drass which could accommodate only a few tourists, but after the Kargil War, this area has become famous, and in order to give better facilities to tourists who visit the place, the state government is now constructing a new TRC building which will have all facilities for visiting tourists.
The locals hailed the step taken by the state government for promoting tourism by constructing a new TRC building as it will also increase employment opportunities in the region.
“Earlier, there was very less space, now a new building is being constructed. Many tourists come here, but since not many accommodation facilities are here, they go to Kargil or Leh where there are many facilities and they stay there. Tourism will increase once the building is complete,” a resident of the area told
Deputy Commissioner of Kargil Hassan Khan said, “Since Drass is the entry point for Kargil, the tourists who come to visit Kargil are registered here so that we know how many tourists visited the place in a year. Many tourists have started coming here, so there is a problem of accommodation. The flow of domestic tourists has increased after the war. So, after the TRC is built, tourists can be given better facilities which will further boost terrorism.”