Dras

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Dras
city
Dras is located in Jammu and Kashmir
Dras
Dras
Location in Jammu and Kashmir, India
Coordinates: 34°25′41″N 75°45′04″E / 34.428152°N 75.75118°E / 34.428152; 75.75118Coordinates: 34°25′41″N 75°45′04″E / 34.428152°N 75.75118°E / 34.428152; 75.75118
Country  India
State Jammu and Kashmir
District Kargil
Elevation 3,280 m (10,760 ft)
Languages
 • Official Urdu
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)

Dras is a town in the Kargil District of Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is often called 'The Gateway to Ladakh'.[1] The town shot into prominence in the summer of 1999 following Pakistani army incursions into Jammu and Kashmir. The Kargil War saw the town being shelled by the Pakistani army and the war ended with the Indian Army recapturing the areas surrounding the town and the Kargil district.

History[edit]

Dras War Memorial with Tololing Ranges in Background

Dras (Shina: دراس) is a town in the Kargil District of Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is often called 'The Gateway to Ladakh'. In the local dialect “Baltic” Dras means “Hell”. It is at a height of 3230 m or 10990 ft. The mountain ridges however range from 16000 feet to 21000 feet.

The Dras 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 heyday of the Pan-Asian trade. A hardly people enduring with fortitude and harshness of the valley's winter, the inhabitants of Dras can well be described as the guardian's of Ladakh's gateway.

The town shot into prominence in the summer of 1999 following Pakistani army intrusions into Ladakh region. The Kargil War saw the town being shelled by the Pakistani army and the war ended with the Indian Army recapturing the areas surrounding the town and the Kargil district.

Geography[edit]

Dras Valley

Dras is located at 34°25′41″N 75°45′04″E / 34.428152°N 75.75118°E / 34.428152; 75.75118.[2] It has an average elevation of 3,280 metres (10,764 feet). It is 56 km from Kargil town on the road to Srinagar lying in the centre of the valley of the same name.

Trekking base[edit]

Dras is a convenient base for a 3-day long trek to the 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 4500m Umbala pass, which is along the way. The trek to the holy cave of Amarnath (in neighbouring Kashmir) starts from Minamarg below Zojila, takes three days and involves crossing a pass at 5200m. Dras also offers numerous shorter treks and hikes to the upland villages.

Climate[edit]

Dras
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
97
 
−8
−25
 
 
100
 
−6
−22
 
 
137
 
−1
−15
 
 
104
 
5
−6
 
 
61
 
8
1
 
 
22
 
11
6
 
 
15
 
16
9
 
 
16
 
18
10
 
 
18
 
13
5
 
 
20
 
7
−1
 
 
33
 
1
−10
 
 
53
 
−3
−19
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: Weatherbase

Dras experiences an altitude-influenced subarctic climate. Winters are extremely harsh with average lows around −22 °C (−10 °F), and as low as −45 °C at the height of winter, which lasts from mid-October to mid-May. Summers start in June and go on up till early September, with average temperatures near 15 °C (60 °F) and little precipitation. Annual precipitation is almost entirely concentrated in the months from December to May when Dras gets about 360 mm (14 inches) of snow.

Climate data for Dras
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 5
(41)
6
(43)
8
(46)
13
(55)
18
(64)
21
(70)
22
(72)
25
(77)
22
(72)
18
(64)
12
(54)
8
(46)
25
(77)
Average high °C (°F) −8
(18)
−6
(21)
−1
(30)
5
(41)
8
(46)
11
(52)
16
(61)
18
(64)
13
(55)
7
(45)
1
(34)
−3
(27)
9
(48)
Average low °C (°F) −25
(−13)
−22
(−8)
−15
(5)
−6
(21)
1
(34)
6
(43)
9
(48)
10
(50)
5
(41)
−1
(30)
−10
(14)
−19
(−2)
−5
(23)
Record low °C (°F) −55
(−67)
−43
(−45)
−33
(−27)
−25
(−13)
−17
(1)
−8
(18)
−5
(23)
−6
(21)
−7
(19)
−20
(−4)
−29
(−20)
−46
(−51)
−55
(−67)
Precipitation mm (inches) 96.5
(3.799)
99.6
(3.921)
137.1
(5.398)
104.1
(4.098)
60.9
(2.398)
22.3
(0.878)
15.2
(0.598)
16.2
(0.638)
17.7
(0.697)
20.3
(0.799)
32.5
(1.28)
53.3
(2.098)
675.7
(26.602)
Source: BBC Weather

Demographics[edit]

Inhabitants of Dras, like many of the people of Gilgit, are Dard, Indo-Aryan people believed to have originally migrated to Ladakh from Central Asia. They speak Shina, a Dardic language. The small town has a Muslim majority and a few Buddhists. The local population is of 64% male and 36% female. In total the population of Dras is 1,201.[3]

The Dras valley starts from the base of the Zojila pass, the Himalayan gateway to Ladakh. For centuries, its inhabitants have been known to have negotiated this formidable pass even during the riskiest period (in late autumn or early spring, when the whole sector remains snow-bound and is subject to frequent snow storms) to transport trading merchandise and to help stranded travellers traverse the pass. They thereby established a monopoly over porterage during the heyday of the pan-Asian trade. A hardy people enduring with fortitude the harshness of the valley's winter, the inhabitants of Dras can well be described as the guardians of Ladakh's gateway.

Places of interest[edit]

  • Dras War Memorial (also known as kargil War Memorial)
  • Dropadi Kund - 18 km from Dras
  • Sando Top / Sando Base - Pakistani posts are visible from Sando Top, and Tiger Hill is located in front of Sando Top (1 hour from Dras).
  • Mushko Valley - very popular for various wild flowers during summer season in the deserted Ladakh region
  • Brigade War Gallery - information relating to the 1999 war.

kargilwarmemorial.org

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Page on Dras from". ladakh-kashmir.com. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  2. ^ "Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Dras". Fallingrain.com. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  3. ^ "Page 4. Rambirpur (Drass)". Censusindia.gov.in. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 

External links[edit]