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Dras War Memorial

Dras War Memorial was built to commemorate the victory of Operation Vijay and also to serve as a fitting memorial for the brave Indian soldiers who were martyred in this war. It is located at a distance of about 5 km from Dras’s city centre. This memorial is also known as Bimbat War Memorial. It depicts the valiant efforts of Indian soldiers and their sacrifice while fighting against Pakistani armies. It also has a museum in its premises that houses pictures of Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives in conflicts with Pakistan along with army emblems, miniature models of the Himalayas, rare war documents and recordings, war equipment and gear of Pakistani soldiers. It’s meant to act reminiscent of the Indo-Pak wars. This museum was setup and is run by the Indian army to educate people about the perils of modern war and its impact on mankind.

Situated amidst acres of open land and flanked by the Tiger Hill and Tololing Mountains, gateway to the memorial has a poem by Harivansh Rai Bachchan, the late father of Amitabh Bachchan. The memorial itself is surrounded by lush green lawns. Inscribed on the memorial walls are names of soldiers who lost their lives in Kargil war and it symbolizes the idea of denouncing war as a means to resolve conflicts.

The War Memorial is open Monday-Saturday from 10 am – 12 pm and 2 pm – 5 pm.

Historic Significance

In the summer of 1999 during May and June, the Pakistani army intruded into Jammu and Kashmir, which led to a war with India. Caleed Kargil War, this feud led to Dras town being bombed by the Pakistani army. However, the war ended with Indian army reclaiming surrounding areas of the town. It ended tragically by claiming the lives of about 530 Indian soldiers, wounding 1363 of them and losing 1 as a Prisoner of War.  All this in a short span of 2 months.

Dras War Memorial was built to commemorate the victory of “Operation Vijay” and also to serve as a fitting memorial for the brave Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for India.

Getting There and Around

By Air

The closest airport to Dras is Srinagar Airport located about 150 km away.  There are regular flights to Srinagar from most of the Indian cities like Delhi and Chandigarh. Alternatively, one can take a flight to Leh’s Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport. There are regular flights between New Delhi and Leh. From the airport, a taxi or a bus can be taken to complete the rest of the 5 hour journey up to Dras which is at a distance of 170 km.

By Rail

The closest railway station to Dras is Jammu Tawi. Tourists can take trains from various parts of India like Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai and even Trivandrum to reach Jammu.

By Road

Dras War Memorial is situated at almost halfway between Srinagar and Kargil. The frequency of state-run buses between Srinagar, Kargil and Dras is high. One can reach Dras by taking 1D National Highway that connects Srinagar and Leh. For trekking enthusiasts who wish to reach Dras War Memorial by foot, it is at a distance of about 5 km from the town’s square and takes close to 45 minutes to reach because of uneven mountain terrain.

Best Time to Visit

The summer season that starts in June and ends in September is the best time to visit Dras. During winter months from mid October to mid May, temperatures can dip below -40 degree Celsius and it is almost impossible to enter Dras or the surrounding areas owing to heavy snowfall seen in this region.

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