Stopping by innumerable number of times just to get a few shots with the flowing river and the high standing mountains, we passed through Zozilla pass, the pass which shuts down come October due to heavy snowfall. We had tea, coffee and Maggi at point zero. We stop by for the love of Maggi everywhere we can.
We had never seen a more beautiful place than Drass. It somewhere made Srinagar look somewhat less beautiful. We stayed at the D’ Meadows hotel, the only hotel in Drass. During our evening stroll, we met a few army officers who had crazy stories to tell and advised us to visit the Kargil War Memorial which is actually in Drass.
We paid homage to the martyrs at the war memorial and could see all the peaks we had captured during the Kargil war in 1999. Tiger Hill, Batra Top, Tololing – all the peaks looked so calm and serene as if nothing ever happened there. It is only for us to imagine, how many soldiers lost their lives on these mountains less than 20 years ago.
One of the army officers was kind enough to take us for a walk in a local village in Drass. We were amazed to learn the customs and beliefs of the people there. There was not a single girl who did not go to school. The boys give dowry to the girls family at the time of marriage. Everyone works super hard in the mountains day and night. A month before the winter comes, the only job everyone does is stock wood for the winters in there house, since the weather gets so extreme that no one can even step out of there house to collect wood. There is a fire inside the house 24x7 which keeps the house warm. The people up there face the real hardships and they still had nothing to complain about. Everyone lives happily helping each other in every way possible.
1. The drive from Srinagar to Drass is just a 4 hour drive through Sonmarg, Baltal, Zozilla Pass and Point Zero. It is probably the most scenic drive you will ever see in your lifetime.
2. Kargil War Memorial is a must visit when in Drass. You will feel more patriotic than you have ever felt hearing the stories of the brave men and the martyrs.
3. Don’t just hide in your hotel room fearing the extreme weather. A stroll on foot through the villages will teach you a lot more than what you would ever learn in school.