Friday, March 13, 2009


For new-weds

If solitude and altitude are your favorites, than label Patnitop, near the Jammu-Srinagar highway, as your next summer destination. Nature must have taken Her own sweet time to plot this dream retreat on a plateau 2024 m high, towering above the Chenab Gorge and looking up at Pir Panjal range. Trekking in the tall pine groves and fine skiing slopes make Patnitop an adventurers infatuation. Patnitop Tourism Authority has chalked a Tourist circuit that encompasses Jammu-Katra-VaishnoDeviji, Kud-Sanasar, Patnitop-Gourikund, Sudmahadev, Mantali, extending up to Latti-Dhuna.


Adventure Sports : Come winters and the snow-fall at Patnitop beckons adventurers and honeymooners. January and February, is when skiing camps are thrown up here and there, banking on beginners and the exciting slope at Madhatop (5/6 km from Patnitop on Sanasar Road). Summers are best for trekking this 5 km hill-station. You can also hire ponies or drive about hunting for secluded picnic spots. An interesting one-day trek can be the one to Shiva Garh, about 11-km from Patnitop at an altitude of almost 3,500 meters. Trekking equipments can be hired from the tourism Dept. shops at Jammu and Kud. A newly introduced craze is Paragliding, popular in Sanasar and Jammu. Parasailing and Hotair ballooning are also coming up. Golf lovers can head for the 9-hole golf course at Sanasar.

Some must-visit spots : Chinar Garden, Picnic Spot, Skating Garden, the 6th century Nag Temple at Ishandhari, Sudh Mahadev ka Pahad (that has a holy trishul), the apple orchards and lemon and orange groves at Mantalai (where Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati married) and the rest is for you to explore. The saffron fields, waterfalls and the high-altitude National Park of Kishtwar are other feast for the vision. Also consider visiting the 19th century Mubarak Mandi Palace with its Rajasthani, Mughal and Baroque European architecture and its delightful Sheesh Mahal.


Patnitop might be quite a disappointment for shopaholics. Never mind, a few options still exist and that is better than none. From here you can pick some of the Kashmiri handicraft items and traditional specialties like namdas (embroidered wool carpets), pherans (embroidered long shirts) and woolens.

Other than the roadside dhabas (eatery), you will not really find free-standing restaurants at Patnitop. Diners are thus left with the only option of trying the various delicacies offered in their own Hotel dining lounges. At Vardaan Resorts, guest are feasted sumptuous buffet in the restaurant amidst a tranquil environ. The extensive a la carte menu offers tempting array of Indian and Chinese cuisine. Asia - The Oasis Resort’s multi cuisine dishes and authentic Kashmiri delights are famed.


Sanasar (19 km): Carpeted green and laced with fir trees, Sanasar is a cone-shaped meadow, popular as ‘mini Gulmarg’ and excellent for adventure sports of a varied kind.

Jammu (112 km): Pilgrims will know why Jammu is a must-getaway after or before Patnitop. Famous as the ‘City of Temples’, Bahu Mata is the presiding deity of Jammu and the Dargah of Peer Budhan Ali Shah is the other shrine held sacred by Jammuites.

Vaishno Devi (80 km): The holy cave shrine of Vaishno Devi is located 61 km north of Jammu at a height of 5,200 ft in the Trikuta Mountains of the lower Himalayas. Pilgrimage treks up the hill from the base at Katra is raging popular for believers from across the globe.

Akhnoor (32 km west of Jammu): Famed for the legendary love-story of Sohni Mahiwal (in the lines of Romeo & Juliet), this historic town on the banks of the river Chenab still preserves ruins of the 2500 BC Indus valley civilization.

Location :
At 6640 ft, 112 km ahead of Jammu

Go there for :
Honeymooning, Skiing

Climate :
40°-5° C (Average)

When to Go:
All seasons beckon equally

Local Tongue:
Dogri, Hindi, Urdu, Kashmiri

STD Code :
+91 - 1992

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