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War memorials in Ladakh attract increasing tourist footfall

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Sudipta DevLeh

One of the must visit places in the itinerary for tourists in Leh is the Hall of Fame museum and War Memorial, in remembrance of the soldiers who had lost their lives in Indo-Pak wars. Located adjacent to Leh airfield, Hall of Fame also gives a great insight into the challenging high altitude conditions under which the brave soldiers of the Indian Army live and work, in one of the toughest terrains in the world.

The Dras War Memorial that falls on Srinagar-Leh national highway is also visited by travellers who pay their respect to those brave Indian armymen who were martyred in the Kargil War. While the Kargil Vijay Divas is celebrated every year on July 26 at Dras in a big way, for the last two years almost 200 women travellers from Mumbai and Pune visiting Ladakh for Veena World’s women special tour have been attending the event at the War Memorial in Leh. “We are trying to make this an annual feature. The tour will be around this time every year. It is so important to remember the jawans who have done so much for the country,” stated Veena Patil, MD, Veena World. Many of the women tourists tied rakhi to the jawans present on the occasion and also gave them presents.  One of the leading tour operators in Leh, T Wangchuk Shali, director, Explore Himalayas, acknowledged that the Hall of Fame museum and War Memorial has been attracting all travellers who visit Leh and are keen to pay their respect to the country’s heroes. The museum includes a Siachen Gallery which shows from early explorations to genesis of the conflict. A tent with sleeping bags and equipment is kept in the gallery to make visitors aware of the inhospitable conditions of the area. Occupying a place of pride is the list of Vir Chakra awardees. While Operation Vijay Gallery showcases heavy machinery gun along with rifles, the Operational Logistic Support Gallery throws light on maintenance of operations in cut off parts to construction of aerial cableways. There is a big model of the whole region depicting peaks, water bodies and LOC. The precincts also has an amusement park with interesting features that are typical of combat training. There is also a souvenir shop selling pashmina shawls, coffee mugs, etc.

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