It’s SUMMER! Time to pack bags and hit the roads to discover a paradise for soothing your senses. I’m sure, there must be many places in your list to ponder upon. When you’re busy looking for great destinations for this summer vacation, let me inform you about a small, beautiful hill station. And, If you’re a mountain lover, you would love to visit this place, located in Udhampur district in Jammu & Kashmir called Patnitop. Well, before I further proceed, take a look at a few of the snaps of Patnitop and get mesmerized by its picturesque beauty.
So, what do you think? Doesn’t it look a perfect retreat to unwind yourself on a weekend?
Away from the hustle & bustle of the city life, this beautiful hill station has managed to preserve its natural beauty at its best.
A Peculiar Name- Patnitop!
Patnitop, situated at the altitude of 2024 m (6640 ft) lies in the Shivalik belt of the Himalaya. Its green lush landscape, scenic surrounding, serene ambience, dense pine forest, magnificent view of the snow-capped mountains and proximity of the Chenab river makes it a popular hill station among the tourists & trekkers.
According to the local lore, the name Patnitop comes from the phrase ‘Patan da talab’, which means ‘Pond of the princess’. It is believed that there used to be a pond in the meadows where the princess of the ruling king used to come to bathe. We also get evidences that Patnitop was an anciently inhabited place. The 600 years old Naag temple establishes this fact about Patnitop.
This small paradise on earth has a lot to offer to its travelers; if you want to get rid of hot weather & relax in a pleasant weather, you can visit this place in summer and get amazed by its spectacular surroundings and if you’re a winter lover & want to catch snow fall, come to Patnitop in winter season. During the winter. The temperature dips till minus 14 degrees (-14 degree), which makes it apt to indulge in snow adventurous activities.
Besides extraordinary picturesque beauty, this hill station also offers activities for the adventure junkies.
I went to Patnitop for a day during winter season in the month of March. The Idea was to enjoy the snow laden scenic beauty and indulge in thrilling activities. Since, it was a day trip, I could not visit the tourist attraction points. Instead, I opted for sledging, walking on the quiet snowy roads loaded with varieties of trees and lazing around with hot coffee and Maggi.
Things to do in & around Patnitop-
Patnitop is a small hill station, which is close to the nature. This place hasn’t allowed much commercial set up yet, but only small shops. All it has got it is: Serenity, untouched scenic beauty, dense pine forests and blissful surroundings. 1 or 2 days would be sufficient to travel in & around Patnitop.
Here goes the list of activities!
- Sanasar Lake: Ride a Pony, walk on the trails, and get marveled by the nature’s ultimate beauty!
Sanasar lake is approximately 20 km from the Patnitop, and it takes around 1 hour 30 mins to 2 hours to reach. Situated at the height of 2050 m, it offers mesmerizing sight of nearby Shanta Ridges.
A cup shaped meadow in a backdrop of splendid snow covered mountains, densely covered with Pine & Chenar trees. A Picture Postcard Canvass; perfect scenic vistas for nature lover. This place is also a hub for adventure activities such as Paragliding, horse riding, boating, rock climbing, and skiing activities.
Summer is the best season to explore in & around Sanasar Lake. To reach to Sanasar lake, you can drive or hire a cab/taxi. The route from Patnitop to Sanasar lake is a spectacular sight to behold. While driving down from Patnitop to Sanasar Lake, you can The route is through Nathatop, which is surely an another gem and highlight for the tourists.
2. Catch the Glimpse of Snow Ladden Hills in Nathatop
Nathatop is restricted for a trek or stay purpose for the civilians. A part of the road is accessible as a route to reach to the Sanasar Lake. Enchanting Snow-capped mountains, serene ambience, and snowy trails; Nathatop is located at the altitude of approx. 2711m. It also offers clear view of the Himalayas from the peak of the hills.
Nathatop is approx. 15 km from Patnitop, which takes around an hour by a car. In winter, Nathatop is densely covered by snow. Nathatop is famous among adventure seeker travelers, as it offers skiing & Paragliding activities.
3. Paragliding, Sledging and Skiing Activities:
When you’re in & around Patnitop, you cannot miss out the real fun. Yes, this place offers absolute thrilling activities for adventure seekers. Patnitop provides trained skiing professionals who can help you to indulge in skiing activities. The slopes in Patnitop are not very steep, so those who want to give skiing or sledging a try would surely love it. While, those who wants to experience the real thrill, must visit Madhatop which is 5 km trek away from Patnitop for a difficult & challenging snow adventure.
Recently, the aero activities are gaining popularity among tourists, hence Patnitop/Nathatop is attracting throngs for Paragliding, and Hot air Ballooning. Aero activities are open during summers, as the mercury rises, snow gets replaced by greenery all around. The Paragliding rides are carried out at Dawariyai, on the Patnitop-Sanasar road. Dawariyai is the take off site, situated on the Patnitop-Sanasar Road, which is also popularly known as ‘Billoo Di Powri Point‘.
I went to Patnitop in March and there was not enough snow for skiing activities, but sledging facilities were available. So, I took a dose of sledging and enjoyed it thoroughly.
4. Subside the Cold Breeze with a cup of Hot Coffee and Maggi!
Trust me- Hot coffee/tea and Maggi would be your savior in such chilly weather.
5. Walk the Trails in & around Patnitop.
If you want to spend some quiet time in Patnitop, go in the winter season and walk on the trails. Go for the short trails, sit for a while and spend time with nature.
Mostly, Patnitop is crowded during the summer season as tourists across the travels here. During winter, you will find less crowd. Sit quietly with a cup of coffee and look at the enchanting snow-capped mountains at the backdrop.
As I was walking the trails, I was in awe with the beauty of Patnitop and its surroundings.
How to Reach to Patnitop:
Jammu is well connected by Rail, Air and Road transportation with all the major cities of the country. The distance from Jammu to Patnitop is around 110km. You can hire a cab/taxi or drive your own car to reach to Patnitop. Road are well maintained and wide enough for a comfortable car drive.
- Patnitop is a quiet and a small hill station. Don’t expect a lot. It is a wonderful place to relax and unwind yourself. Here, you will find spectacular scenic beauty. You can plan for 1 or 2 day trip in Patnitop.
- I would recommend you to start early. Otherwise, you may find bad traffic and get stuck in the traffic.
- Carry Wollen Clothes, Scarf, Gloves, extra pair of socks, underwear and strolls.
- Please keep a check on the weather forecast before starting your journey. You may find the cases of land sliding due to heavy snowfall and rain.
- There are many private hotels, as well as J&K tourist complexes for the stay. The rates of the rooms & cottages may vary from Rs 700-3500. The rate of the private hotel rooms is on a higher side.
Here’s the glimpse of the snow-covered roads in the Patnitop. Hope you love it! 🙂
Thanks & Cheers!