Dussehra: President Kovind to spend day with jawans at Ladakh's Drass, salute Kargil war heroes

Drass is known as “the Gateway to Ladakh” and is famous for its high-altitude trekking routes and tourist sites. It is also a strategically significant military point, one where the Indian Army personnel have to brave the soaring altitudes and freezing temperatures all year long to guard the LoC.
Ladakh: President Ram Nath Kovind being accorded a ceremonial welcome with a guard of honour on his arrival, at Leh Air Field, in Leh on Thursday. (ANI)
Ladakh: President Ram Nath Kovind being accorded a ceremonial welcome with a guard of honour on his arrival, at Leh Air Field, in Leh on Thursday. (ANI)
Published on Oct 15, 2021 05:52 AM IST
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Written by Joydeep Bose | Edited by Meenakshi Ray, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

President Ram Nath Kovind, who is on a two-day trip to the Union territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir, is all set to celebrate the occasion of Dussehra on Friday with soldiers of the Indian Army in Kargil's Drass area, one of the coldest places in the world where temperatures can drop to less than -40°C. With this, the President will be breaking away from the tradition where he is usually seen participating in Dussehra celebrations in Delhi every year.

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According to an official communiqué issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Wednesday, President Kovind will travel to Drass in Ladakh on October 15 (Friday) and pay tributes to the martyrs of the 1999 Kargil War at the Kargil War Memorial.

Meanwhile, President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday extended greetings to citizens on the eve of Dussehra.

“On the auspicious occasion of Vijaya Dashami, I extend my warm greetings and best wishes to all our fellow citizens living in India and abroad,” the President said in his message. He said that Vijaya Dashami is celebrated to mark the victory of good over evil and the persona of Lord Rama and his righteous conduct “is an ideal for all of us.”

Drass is known as “the Gateway to Ladakh” and is famous for its high-altitude trekking routes and tourist sites. It is also a strategically significant military point, one where the Indian Army personnel have to brave the soaring altitudes and freezing temperatures all year long to guard the Line of Control (LoC). Situated between the Zoji La pass and Kargil town, the average temperatures in Drass range to less than -20 degrees Celsius in winter and is often called the “coldest inhabited place” in India.

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On Kargil Vijay Diwas 2021, the President cancelled a visit to Drass, where he was scheduled to lay a wreath at the war memorial, due to bad weather. In 2019, too, bad weather prevented President Kovind from visiting Drass to participate in the Kargil Vijay Diwas, and instead, he paid his tributes by laying a wreath at a war memorial at the Army's 15 Corps headquarters in Badamibagh in Srinagar.

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Saturday, November 27, 2021