"Gar firdaus ruhe zamin ast, hami asto, hami asto, hami asto"
If there's a paradise on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here... were the words of a Persian poet from decades ago, referring to the beauty of Kashmir. And truly so, the timeless beauty of Kashmir is enchanting and has managed to capture the hearts of travelers time and again. Perched at an altitude of 6640 ft on a plateau in the Shivalik belt of the Himalayas, Patnitop is one such picturesque destination that further defines the beauty of Kashmir.
Located in the Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir, Patnitop is adorned with lush pine forests and variety of alpine vegetation. Situated closer to the course of the beautiful Chenab River, it is brimming with natural beauty. One of the uncharted hill stations, Patnitop is a perfect place for those who want to spend their time closer to nature.
Patnitop can be visited throughout the year as each season has something unique to offer. Given the altitude and terrain, summers here are pleasant. Snowfall in winter attracts many tourists. Covered in clouds and mist, monsoons tend to get a little tricky, however, that does not stop the daredevils from visiting this charming hill station.
Here are the places to visit and things to do in Patnitop. Have a look.
Located at an altitude of 7000 ft, Nathatop is the highest point in Patnitop. Given its elevation, the place offers mesmerizing views of the snow-covered mountains of the Shivalik and Kishtwar ranges, surrounding valleys and pine forests. During the winter, the view from Nathatop is especially beautiful as the sprawling valleys and hills glisten with their snowy blankets.
The open valleys, sprawling landscapes and vast clearnings of Patnitop makes it an ideal location for adventure sports activities. The Nathatop, being the highest point offers adventure activities like Paragliding. It is quite a sight as you glide through the verdant or snow-white (during winter) valleys in the cool mountain air, overlooking the musing meadows.
The Himalayan ranges and the rugged terrain of the region offer numerous options for adventurers. Those interested in trekking and hiking will find it especially thrilling to venture out into the wilderness of the Himalayan highlands. Sudh Mahadev and Shiva Garh are some of the popular day treks that one can opt for and have an enthralling and rejuvenating experience.
Located about 5 km from Patnitop, Madhatop is famous for its skiing grounds. A fairly easy trek leads to this place that rises above 2000 m, nestled amidst the gentle slope of mountains and thickly covered with snow during winter, attracting skiers. The region also has three freshwater springs that are known for their medicinal properties.
PC: Michael Petersen
The Sanasar Lake is located 20 km from Patnitop and is quite an unexplored spot. Situated in a remote part of the state, at an altitude of 2050 m, Sanasar derives its name from two picturesque villages of Sana and Sar. The spot offers stunning vistas of the mountains and surrounding landscape. A lot of adventure and leisure activities like rock-climbing, parasailing, paragliding, hot air balloon rides etc. can be done here.
The Naag Temple
Considered to be one of the oldest temples in Patnitop, the Naag or snake Temple is believed to be over 600 years old. The legend says it is this place where Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were tied in a nuptial knot. Perched on a hill top, the place also offers a pleasant hike and some beautiful views at the end of it.
How To Reach Patnitop
By Air: Jammu Airport is the closest airport to reach Patnitop via Udhampur. The Jammu airport is located approximately 110 km away and it takes about 3-4 hours of travel to reach Patnitop from there. Another alternative is the Srinagar International Airport, which is at a distance of about 188 km.
By Road: Buses are available for those who choose to travel by road. Cabs can also be hired from Delhi, Chandigarh etc., and self-drive is another option. The drive is thoroughly enjoyable and it passes through some of the most beautiful parts of the country.
By Rail: The closest railhead to reach Patnitop is the Udhampur Railway Station at 47 km. Cabs can be hired from here to reach Patnitop conveniently.
PC: Saroj Kumar