Landscape of brown barren mountains starts in Drass
Amarnath yatra seen from the Zoji la
The fun started with Zoji la.
The mountain pass which leads the 400 km Srinagar-Leh national highway. It is essentially a bridge between the lush greens of Kashmir (where we had spent the last 45 days) and the golden browns of Ladakh.
After Zoji la, it is a smooth drive to Drass. A board declaring Drass to be the second coldest inhabited place on earth (Siberia being the first) greeted us. Just next to it is the accommodation facility of the Jammu and Kashmir tourism department.
Tourist accommodation provided by the Jammu and Kashmir tourism department
Would you like to live here?
We headed to the Kargil War Memorial.
The Tricolour swaying high, against the Tololing mountain range brought goosebumps.
The young boy, Mateem had traveled on a Sadbhavna tour. It is an initiative by the Indian Army, where in children from remote regions travel to various parts of India and interact with others. On this tour, he had seen a cricket match live, and caught on the fascination for cricket.
May I take your picture too?
She is till date, the only kid who has asked us if she could hold the camera. And taken a photo of us, making sure of getting the frame just as she wanted!
Bhimbet, a massive rock that can fly!
We then headed to a place on the outskirts of Drass, called Bhimbet. Mateem and his brother Mubarak volunteered to take us there.
First sunset at high altitude
On our bucket list of Drass was to have a look at Tiger Hill, the highest and the most famous mountain peak of this region. However, it was covered in clouds the whole time and continued to evade us.
Tips for Drass:
- Drass is at an altitude of over 3000 meters. Pay attention if your body starts showing any signs of discomfort.
- Walk at a slower pace, do not rush into things. Consume sufficient water.
- Kargil, which is further ahead of Drass is at a lower altitude. Head there if Drass feels uncomfortable for the first high altitude night.
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