The Indian Army on Monday began the two-day celebrations of the 12th anniversary of its victory in the 1999 Kargil war in the Drass sub-sector of Jammu and Kashmir.
A presentation, marking the beginning of the two-day fiesta, was held at the Umpa La ridge. The ridge provides a panoramic view to most of the battlefields around Drass town, 150 kms from Srinagar, where Indian and Pakistan forces battled each other in rough terrain and extreme conditions in 1999.
The Umpa La ridge, at an altitude of 11,500 meters from the sea level, overlooks Drass town and National Highway 1-D. The ridge also provides a clear view of Mushkok valley, Tiger Hill, Three Pimples, Tololing range, Tololing top and many other crucial peaks where Indian officers and soldiers died battling the Pakistani forces, who had acquired the vantage points.
The presentation was witnessed by officers and soldiers, who are currently posted at Drass, and by those officers and soldiers who were part of the Indian Army during the war. They were drawn from the Northern Light Infantry and the elite commando unit Special Services Group.
Relatives of slain army officers and soldiers also attended the presentation ceremony.
A two-minute silence was observed by the participants to pay tribute to the officers and soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the battle.
The two-day commemoration will also include a wreath laying ceremony at the war memorial, a polo match, a soldiers' meet, a memorial service, a band display and 'Beating the Retreat'.
The Indian Army had lost 543 officers, soldiers and jawans, many of whom were posthumously honoured with gallantry awards.
Kargil Vijay Diwas today: Remembering the war heroes
July 26 is observed as Kargil Vijay Diwas- named after Operation Vijay marking the Indian victory in the Kargil war back in 1999 with the loss of over 550 Indian soldiers. As Tuesday marks the 12th anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas, Dailybhaskar takes a glimpse at the life in Kargil, 12 years after India’s triumph over Pakistan.
Kargil: There was a time when every household in Kargil was encroached upon either by Kashmir militants or Pakistan army. It was then that the Kargil war took place between Pakistan Army and India. Twelve years down the line, the heroes are still defending the Valley from the aggression of the enemy.
And the inhabitants of Kargil are grateful to these warriors for defending their homeland from the evil designs of the militants. Every two people of each family are in the defence service.
Shamima Gul, who is a local of the district says, “It’s a mutual relation between the Army and locals. The soldiers keep braving all odds for our safety and we keep helping them in our way.”
Echoes Rubina, who runs an employment centre here: “The locals cooperate the Army well and on any hint of the militants, they inform the Army.”
Ensconced alongside Suru river, Kargil town has witnessed maximum development during 12 years. From better telephone networks to internet facilities, the district has come a long way in its development.
What is Kargil Vijay Diwas
Kargil Vijay Diwas is observed throughout the country on July 26 to mark the Indian victory in the Kargil war, which was first waged by the Kashmiri militants soon joined by the Pakistan army.
Indian army has to fight Pakistan army, Kashmir militants and even some foreign Jihadi agents to win the Kargil war.
After 74 days of extreme bloodshed and losing over 543 soliders on extreme heights of Kashmir valley, Indian army finally got victory in clearing up the insurgents.
Tribute to Martyrs at Drass Memorial
On the occasion of the 12th anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas, War Memorial located in hills of Tololing will organise two day programme. During the event, the families of the Paramveer Chakra, Mahaveer Chakra and other bravery award recipients will participate to commemorate and pay their tribute to the martyrs of Kargil War.
Capturing Kargil memories
The Kargil war heroes may not be with us, but their act of bravery are still intact with this senior officer of Defence Ministry, who has captured bit by bit action of the war in his camera. The pictures of the Indian soldiers furling the National Tricolour at the hills of Kargil captured by Major Deepak Das still narrate the winning moment of India. These images were taken when the temperature was minus 60 degrees Celsius.
On July 07, 1999, Indian soldiers had braved the extreme cold weather at the height of 17,400 ft and had succeeded in clearing the Tiger Hill-highest hill point of Kargil from the clutches of the enemy.
Kargil witnesses tourist flood
Tiger Hills, Drass war memorial are high on plans every year for lakhs of tourists visiting Leh. Tololing hills are easily visible from the memorial. The excitement among the visitors to know about the brave tales of Kargil war soldiers makes them brave the chilly weather. The memorial witnesses the influx of ove 200 visitors daily.
For Thapaliyals, listening to the tale of Operation Vijay at Drass was all in all a different experience. The memorial has a photo gallery that gives a chance to the visitors to relive every moment of action at the Kargil hills.
Tales of Martyrs afresh in every heart
They sacrificed their present for our future. The brave sons of India who martyred their lives to safeguard the citizens of the country are alive in the hearts of every local and army officer.
One can see memorials built in every corner of the valley to commemorate the sacrifice of the Kargil martryrs. On way to Kargil from Srinagar, a temple-like memorial is built near the Mashko Valley. It is in memory of the three soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the Mashko Valley war.
We are posting here is Vijay in itself, remember Pakistan got into our territory, when we vacated our post, some thing like that has happen here, Pakistani deface our front page, we are back in action, Just like Kargil war Pakistani are defeated again. As usual Pakistan are falling flat on face, i think it is their national habit.
A Tribute to those brave souls who defended our borders to make us see a better tomorrow, for those who didn't gave a second thought of sacrificing their life for a national cause, you will always be remembered for what you did, we salute for your valor, bravery and sacrifice for the nation, and on the occasion of 26th of July when you bravery and sacrifice brought Victory to India, we celebrate the day as our Vijay Diwas, JAI HIND!!!