The Second Coldest Inhabited Place in the World.
Nurtured by the Drass River which rises in the Machoi glacier near the famous Zojila Pass, the enchanting Drass Valley is situated at a height of 3230 m. The valley experiences extremely harsh cold weather in winters and temperature may even fall to minus 40 degree Celsius. This cold valley (60 km to the west of Kargil) starts from the Zojila pass, the Himalayan Gateway to Ladakh.
The valley also enjoys a short summer season that begins in May when the snow starts melting. The valley comprises a small town called the Drass Town, which is located in a flat and open space. One can spot greenery and vegetation along the river during summer, but the town is covered under a thick blanket of snow in winter. A major part of the valley is inhabited by the Brokpa Tribe. This tribe is believed to be the descendant of the Dards of Chilas found in the Gilgit region. The people of this tribe are involved in growing Barley and other cereals.
This Valley is a world famous trekking site. The valley offers a number of small and long trek routes to its tourists. Among these routes, the three-day long trek to Suru valley across the sub-range separating the two valleys is a popular trek. This trek offers marvellous sightseeing opportunities. This trek also crosses the Umbala pass (4500 m) offering a splendid view of meadows and flower valleys. The three day trek to the holy cave of Amarnath is also popular among tourists.
Shigar River, Zojila pass, Puga Valley and various monasteries are nice destinations for sightseeing trips.
How To Reach
By Air: Srinagar (147 km) is the nearest airport.
By Road: Buses or taxis from Srinagar to Kargil and Leh pass through the Drass Valley.
Avoid travelling to the Drass Valley in late autumn or early spring season because the valley witnesses heavy snowstorms during this period.