I hear that there are now well-built rest-houses all along this road….from Matayan down the rocky valley to Dras was a very hot march. The only trees that I remember were the tiny pencil cedars. The road below Matayan sweeps round the base of a magnificent mass of limestone, with splendid cliffs below, and giant steps above, culminating in picturesque castellated forms.
The rushing, sparkling river was very inviting, and, as I was some miles ahead of my followers, I had plenty of time for a bathe. It was not all joy, on account of the rocky floor. I ever remember bathing off such a spiky beach. I had not finished my ablutions when I discovered two pairs of dark eyes looking at me over a wall close by. Men they were, with long black hair. They looked so unprepossessing that I immediately came out of the water to get near my clothes for I though they were intending to annex them. So I commenced putting on my clothes as quickly as my wet body would allow me, keeping my eyes on these.
I bad put on my boots, as the rocks were most painful. I might no doubt have saved myself from vain imagination. These two fierce, wild men may have been watching me in order to take care of me, in that swift icy-cold river, with no ideas of robbery, for when in Ladakh I heard that the people are most honest, and one can always leave one’s property without fear of having it stolen.
Having bathed, the next thing I needed was food, for I soon met two more long black-haired men who were carrying large cakes of Indian corn. I bought one of them. I don’t know how many days ago it had been baked.
Later on I made friends with some villagers, and they, to show that they meant well, brought me as much milk as I could drink. I was then so thirsty that I did justice to their supply. I sat with these kindly folk until I saw my caravan approaching. When it arrived we continued our journey, and in course of time we arrived on a great open wind-swept plain, and soon l saw a group of stone and mud houses, which calls itself Dras, the capital of the country of Dras.
(The article is a summarised version of the accounts of British Missionary Tyndale Biscoe (1920) taken from his book “Kashmir in Sunlight & Shade”).