If India were to be put in one word, it would undoubtedly be diverse. No country, anywhere in the world has such a rare blend of variety that India possesses. From Balle Balle Punjabis to Aiyyo Madrasis, from Amitabh Bachchan to the Sachin Tendulakar, we have it all!
Even in the weather department, India has the two extremes, with everything else in between. On one hand is the dry, arid expanse of the Thar desert and on the other, the freezing chill of the Himalayas.
Coldest place in India
Few people are aware that the coldest inhabited town in India is Dras, which is nestled in the Kargil District of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is also the second coldest inhabited place in the whole world. This snowy settlement is located at 56 km from Kargil town on the road to Srinagar.
At an average elevation of 10,764 feet, it comes as no surprise that the mercury dips lower than tolerable temperature. Dras is also often referred to as ‘The Gateway to Ladakh.’ It grabbed headlines throughout the world during the Indo-Pak Kargil war in 1999. The town stands testimony to the terrible war which left deep scars on the nation’s conscience.
Winters in Dras are extremely harsh with average low temperature being -22oC (-10oF) approximately. This season starts from mid-October and goes up to the middle of May. It can fall as low as -45oC at the peak of the season. Summers start in June and go on up till early September, with average temperatures near 15oC (60oF) and little precipitation.
Places of Interest
While in Dras, tourists can visit the following places of interest:
- Dras War Memorial - A reminder of the war that is not only embedded in our history, but also in our hearts and minds.
- Brigade War Gallery - This place offers details and insights into the 1999 Kargil War.
- Dropadi Kund - 18 km from Dras - This season starts from mid-October and goes up to the middle of May.
- Sando Top / Sando Base - One can glance over Pakistani army posts from this point.
- Mushko Valley - Very popular for various wild flowers during summer season in the deserted Ladakh region.
Visit Dras to take in nature at its chilly, yet beautiful best!