Kargil War Memorial, Drass
The moment an Indian hears about Kargil, he is reminded of the Kargil conflict dating back to 1999 between India and Pakistan and “Operation Vijay” which was implemented by India to regain control of various posts captured by Pakistan and the brave soldiers who lost their lives serving their motherland.
It is a nostalgic feeling that you would get when you visit this place, to know that a mother, a sister, a wife, son or daughter losing their dear ones to the conflict but are proud of the supreme sacrifice for the motherland and that makes you feel sad but proud and patriotic.
How did it all build up?
We started from Sonamarg at around 09:00 hours to embark on our journey to Kargil. Today, we had to cross one of the high-passes, Zoji La situated at e.l. 11,575ft (ASL).
Read my Roadtrip report to know of the road conditions on NH1D route which is the Srinagar – Leh highway here
Planning your visit to the Drass / Kargil War Memorial
Route-map with places you should not miss
Kargil would be the place where you could halt for the day and you would have decent hotels to either book in advance or check-in after having a quick check (should it be a lean season).
What to do / places to visit
Some of the places that you should visit would be
- Zoji La
- Drass (Kargil War Memorial) – you can view Tololing peak and Tiger Hill, make sure to visit the museum and the memorial
- Vijay Path – Path beyond the entry gate
- Amar Jawan
- Wall of Heros
- Veer Bhoomi
- Artifacts – Bofors Gun and MiG (used in the Kargil conflict)
- Audio / video screening room (will give you a visual of the bravery of armed forces and the circumstances in which they protect the motherland
- Manoj Pandey Gallery
- Weapon Gallery
- Captured Bunkers
- Souvenir Shop
- Suru River
- Kargil Main Street / Bazaar
Interesting Fact: Dont miss the Kashmir Chai – Kahwah which is rich with its almond / walnut pieces and hint of saffron strands in it and it makes you feel very fresh
Must know on your visit to Kargil War Memorial
- Kargil War Memorial has a ticket costing Rs. 20 per adult
- You need to carry a valid National or International ID card to prove your identity
- Walk only on designated paths
- Do not squat while at War Memorial, it is deemed disrespectful
- Do not Litter the place and limit consumption of snacks / food items to Cafeteria beside Souvenir counter
- Do not pluck flowers or walk in the grass
- Photography is not prohibited at the venue
- Should you be visiting this place towards evening, do watch the Beating Retreat which normally is scheduled for around 1800 hrs
Facilities at Kargil War Memorial
- State Bank of India ATM
- Pay and Use Toilets (token amount of Rs. 5 which you could put into the drop box and no one monitors, these small contributions are used by the caretakers to provide toiletries and keep the washrooms clean)
- Cafeteria for snacks and tea (do not miss their samosa, I bet you cannot stop at one!)
Post our visit to the Kargil War Memorial, we continued our journey to Kargil with mixed emotions and proud to be an Indian and know that we are having the best of armed forces guarding our borders to we are living a safe life. Does not go well and you would not have any speech but would have the respect for these noble people who put the motherland before own family far supreme and superior in their thoughts.
After spending around two hours at the Memorial, we continued by the Shuru River to Kargil our destination for the day.
Reaching Kargil at around 1600 hrs, we retired for the day in our hotel and post check-in, as I opened the window blinds, i was spell-bound with such lovely view.
We decided to call it a day after resting for sometime and not before visiting the Kargil Bazaar towards the evening and having a lovely walk.
I would take your leave at this point as I work on my next part of the journey, until then, this is Srikanth signing Off!
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