Dras is the coldest place in India. The town is located in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kargil District. It falls on NH 1 between Kargil town and Zoji La pass. It is famously called the ‘the Gateway to Ladakh’.
The climate here is of mediterranean continental that is influenced by its altitude (3,300 m). The average low that goes around here is −20 °C and even touch −23 °C during the peak of winters. The winters usually last from mid-October to mid-May. Summers continue from June to early September. The average temperature around these months hovers around 23 °C with little precipitation. Months from December to May receive the most of it. About average of 550 mm snowfall’s water equivalent falls here.
On 27 January 2019, it hit a season low of -31.4 °C. However, the all-time record low of Dras is -43 °C.
The town’s population is only 1,201. The main ethnic groups dwelling here are Shina people and Balti people. Most of the people here follow Islam. The sex ratio is highly skewed here. The male population constitutes 64% of the total, while females form the rest of the 36% population. The main languages spoken here are Indo-Aryan language Shina and Balti.
Dras has been turned into a major tourist spot since 1999 after the Kargil War. First, the tourists were curious to see the war zone but later start arriving here to admire its picturesque views. Draupadi Kund, Manman Top, Gomchan Valley, Dras War Memorial, Minamarg, Bhimbet Stone, Matayen, Pandrass village, Brigade War Gallery, Dras-Gurez Trek Route, Mushku Valley, Sando Top / Sando Base, and more are good places to visit around here.