A small township 60 km short of Kargil on the Srinagar - Leh highway, Drass (3230m) is reputed to be the second coldest inhabited place in the world. Temperatures often plummet to - 40°C in winter. Summers, however, are balmy when many hikers and campers visit Drass.

Its inhabitants are of the Dard stock, an Aryan race believed to have originally come from Central Asia. They are a hardy people enduring with fortitude the harsh winter in Drass. An ancestral sport played by the Dards with particular zeal resembles our modern- day polo. An encounter with the locals provides an opportunity to study their lifestyle.

Sculpture near Drass

A short three-day trek from Drass across gently sloping verdant hills leads to Suru valley, terminating in the village of Sankoo.

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