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Drass Valley Ladakh

A charming valley buzzing with human life centered on the Drass River, Dras Valley has a short summer season. Dras River originates in the Machoi glacier situated near the so-famous Zozila Pass (the gateway to Himalayas) and is joined by many other rivers and stram along its course. River Shigar flows to the north of the Dras Valley and its volume rises considerably in summers with the melting of the snow. The rocky terrain of the valley is rugged and harsh and is spotted by occasional patch of willows groves. Situated at an altitude of 3,300 m above sea level, it the Asia's second coldest inhabited place. The temperature here can drop as low as minus 40 degree Celsius.

The summer season begins usually in May with the melting of snow. As the summer season is short, the crop sowing activities are done late while harvesting is done early before snowfall to save the crops from the cold death. The valley is mostly inhabited by Brokpas who came to live here centuries ago from Gilgit. The main crops of the area are barley and coarse cereals due to lack of irrigation facilities, poor and unproductive soil and the short growing season. The people here are dependent on Kashmir food grains and Zozila Pass from fuel. However, tourists come to Drass for it is a convenient base for trekking to Suru valley, passes through beautiful upland villages and blooming meadows and trekking and pilgrimage to the holy cave shrine of Amarnath. Drass also features many other shorter treks and hikes that are so close to the hearts of adventure enthusiasts.

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