Drass Valley - Cold and Beautiful
Drass has a claim to fame. A cold chilling claim. If you take the road from Srinagar to Leh, this little township is on the way. A population of 1970 and an altitude of 3300 metres.
It has been much in the news for the recently fought battle that India had to wage to evict Pakistani military and paramilitary forces from vantage high points along the Drass and Muskoh valleys. That how ever is a separate story of how a state can mix terrorism and religion in its actual conduct.
Drass at 3300 metres is not at such a great height that you would envision it to be one of the coldest places on this earth. It however is currently the coldest inhabited place in the world. On paper it is still regarded as the No 2 after Oymyakon, in Eastern Siberia, which has an average winter temperature of -49°F (−45°C), and a recoded low of (-71.2°C). Siberia is how ever not as cold as it used to be. The global warming has thawed it much and these extreme temperatures do not obtain these days.
Drass is actually a tight valley through which cold winds blow and that maybe the reason why it is colder then other places which are situated at a much higher altitude. The recorded average lows during December and January are approximately - 45 Celsius with temperatures going down to -51 Celsius/
There is a certain nip in the air in Drass and I distinctly recall the cold in the morning that day.
_DSC5484 wide view from nef screen capture -noise