On my last year's trip to Kashmir-Ladakh, one place that we didn't want to miss visiting was the 'Dras war memorial' (or Vijaypath) located in Dras, an the foothills of Tololing peak.
Across from there, you can see a glimpse of the Tiger hill and way beyond is the Siachen glacier peak, all strategic and important posts for India. This memorial is situated right on the Srinagar-Leh highway on NH1 and is hard to miss.
A must visit to pay your tributes to the brave soldiers and officers of the Indian Army who gave up their life fighting the Kargil war, something that should have never happened.
You get an eerie feeling passing through the NH1, Srinagar-Leh highway as the war happened right beside the highway on the hills like Tololing peak, Tiger hill from where the highway is clearly visible, I had goosebumps.
Back to the memorial, it has a huge epitaph with names of all officers and soldiers who laid down their lives in the war. There is a gallery beside, named after Captain Manoj Kumar Pandey, a Param Vir Chakra recipient - the highest military award honored who displayed extraordinary courage and leadership and laid down his life for the country, all at the age of 24.
The gallery houses pictures of soldiers marching on slopes, cooking food at high peaks, recovered arms from the intruders, celebrating victories and mourning deaths of fellow men. Going through the gallery, you cannot hold back not getting emotional and also wish there should be no war...!
Just can't imagine how the war was fought in hostile conditions, inclement weather and the enemy seated above in strategic places seeing all your moves. It requires nothing less than exemplary courage to move forward and charge being in the line of fire and we are blessed to have an army like that and apt are the words on the memorial says - "the martyred soldiers who gave their today for our tomorrow".
If you are ever passing through the place, please pay a visit and offer your tributes (and on my behalf too). Most of us do not even have an iota of idea as to how the army people manage critical posts, that are high altitude places almost in isolation, temperatures dipping way below zero, hostile weather and nobody to even talk except your partner with whom you would be manning the post for weeks or months at a stretch.
Imagine yourself locked up in a remote high altitude place in a bunker, unable to move out due to inclement weather and having to survive on packed foods for months with no communication with the outside world except for the communications with the base camp; and this for weeks or months together till you are swapped with another person who in most likely would have to trek up to the place with all necessary materials in his backpack...!
I can't describe anything beyond...! Let's respect our brave men who are sacrificing their today for our safe and better tomorrow.
P.S. the photos are not of good quality - never realized it!