Drass (J&K): Army on Monday began the two-day celebrations of the 12th anniversary of its victory in the 1999 Kargil war in this sub-sector of Jammu and Kashmir.

A presentation, marking the beginning of the two-day fiesta, about the war at the Umpa La ridge, which provides a panoramic view to most of the battlefields around Drass town, 150 kms from summer capital Srinagar, where Indian and Pakistan forces battled each other in rough terrain and extreme conditions, was held.

The Umpa La ridge, at an altitude of 11,500 meters from the sea level, overlooks the Drass town and the 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 on the mountain tops.

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, who were drawn from the Northern Light Infantry, the elite commando unit Special Services Group and fighters from the militants groups.

Relatives of slain Army officers and soldiers also attended the presentation ceremony.

A two-minute silence was also 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, sainik samelam (soldiers meet), memorial service, band display and ‘Beating the Retreat’.

Indian Army had lost 543 officers, soldiers and jawans, many of whom were posthumously honoured with gallantry awards.