The hilltop surrounded by snow-capped peaks feels like a surreal mix of fact and fantasy. On a closer look, it gives the telltale signs of a hasty retreat by troops from the other side of the border. Welcome to Point 4355.
The Army post is among several frontier points in the Kargil region that exhibit the bravery shown by Army troops in 1999 after Pakistani forces sneaked into the Indian side to fulfil the flimsy dreams of their boss General Pervez Musharraf.
Located 14,500 feet above the sea level, the recently discovered Point 4355 is that mountain top from where Pakistani soldiers started firing at the Indian forces as the latter were scaling the peak.
Despite the hostility and danger, the highly motivated Indian Army advanced further. Faced with the mighty hosts, 30-odd Pakistani soldiers, who had stationed themselves at the Point for the past few months, ran for their lives, said Army officials.
However, the enemy troops forgot to carry their arms, ammunition and food supplies, thus leaving a mountain of evidence of their cowardice. On a recent visit to the peak, this correspondent could see rusted bullet cartridges and ammunition boxes at the spot.
Even today, it’s an arduous task to reach the peak. Army sources said the Pakistani forces had laid mines around it as they quickly abandoned the post. During Operation Vijay, the Indian troops had to save themselves from these landmines, so they placed rocks atop one another as a warning symbol. These neatly arranged rocks still stand on Point 4355.
Till today, Point 4355 is the most uninhabited, housing some of the most exquisite evidence of the bloodiest war in the history of the two nations. Just some metres above this point lies the Batra Top where Captain Vikram Batra was martyred while exterminating Pakistani soldiers. Captain Batra was posthumously conferred with the nation’s highest gallantry award, Param Vir Chakra.