Hyderabad: Every year July 26 is observed as Kargil Vijaya Diwas to commemorate the success of Operation Vijay and the victory of the Indian Army against infiltrating Pakistani troops. Today marks 20 years of the Kargil war and ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’ is celebrated with heavy enthusiasm by military personnel at Dras-Kargil sector in Jammu and Kashmir and at Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate in New Delhi.
The Kargil war took place in Drass, a tiny town in Kargil district of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is the coldest inhabited place in India and the second coldest place on the Earth after Oymyakon, a small village in Russia. Known as the ‘Gateway to Ladakh’, the temperature in Drass plummets to about -40 degree Celsius. The lowest temperature drop observed in Drass was during the winter of 1995, when the thermal reading fell to -60 degrees Celsius.
Drass town is situated at around 55 km from Kargil, it lies on National Highway 1D leading to Srinagar and stands at an elevation of 3,280 metres above the sea level.
In memory of the slain soldiers who laid their lives for the nation during the 1999 war, a war memorial is built in Drass where the names of Kargil war heroes are engraved in red sandstone. It is located in the foothills of Tololing Hill and at a distance of about 5 km from the famous Tiger Hill.
India lost the precious lives of 527 soldiers in the Kargil war. ‘Beneath this earth young warriors sleep’: the inscription in the stone reads.