ALLURING PATNITOP

The Hi­malayan high.

Woman's Era - - Contents - Richa Hegde

Patnitop is one among the en­thralling hill sta­tions known for its pic­turesque sur­round­ings in the Ud­ham­pur district of Jammu and Kash­mir. It is sit­u­ated on the Na­tional High­way 1A on the way from Ud­ham­pur to Sri­na­gar, at a dis­tance of 112 km from Jammu.

Patnitop is blessed with the scenic splen­dour of the misty moun­tain peaks, the dense woods, the snow belts, the rolling mead­ows, the me­an­der­ing Chenab River that flows close to its prox­im­ity and daz­zling lo­cales.

The best way to know Patnitop is by walk­ing on its quiet roads amidst the alpine at­mos­phere. One can en­joy one­self in the warm glow of the bon­fires dur­ing nights and feel the cool weather amidst the scented moun­tain breeze!

Patnitop pro­vides cap­ti­vat­ing views of the nearby ar­eas. It is sit­u­ated on a flat top in the Shiva­lik Hi­malayan belt. Patnitop orig­i­nated from the dis­tor­tion of the orig­i­nal name Patna Da Talab which gen­er­ally means Pond of the Princess.

Its in­hab­i­tants – their cul­ture and tra­di­tions – are a beau­ti­ful el­e­ment in this won­der­fully scenic and un­touched moun­tain area.

The first place that cap­tured our at­ten­tion was Sanasar, a spot near Patnitop at an alti­tude of 2,050 m. In Jammu prov­ince, there are two vil­lages, Sana and Sar, and the name of Sanasar is de­rived by com­bin­ing their names. It is a cup-shaped meadow sur­rounded by gi­gan­tic conifers and a place for a quiet hol­i­day. It pro­vides a splen­did view of the lower Shiva­lik range. The best time to visit this lo­cale is be­tween May and June and dur­ing the months of September and Oc­to­ber. While vis­it­ing Sanasar one should es­pe­cially not miss wilder­ness ad­ven­ture camps, Shank Pal tem­ple, tan­dem paraglid­ing, joyrides, rock climb­ing, trekking trails and the kund.

Here at Patnitop, the na­ture walks lead to pock­ets where time stands still and calm pre­vails. One can en­counter breath­tak­ing land­scapes and in­dulge in scenic pu­rity through na­ture trails of misty moun­tains and deep ravines.

Mad­hatop is a ra­di­ant val­ley of Jammu. Lo­cated at an el­e­va­tion of 2,024 m, Mad­hatop is eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble

BE­SIDES THIS, NATHATOP ALSO OF­FERS A WIDE AND SPECTACULAR VIEW OF SNOW- COV­ERED HILLS. KNOWN FOR AD­VEN­TURE AC­TIV­I­TIES, IT PLAYS HOST TO PARAGLID­ING. FLY­ING FROM NATHATOP IS AN EX­PE­RI­ENCE OF­TEN DE­SCRIBED AS A WALK THROUGH THE SKIES AND CLOUDS.

by road and is a five km trek from Patnitop. It is a great getaway for trekkers, honeymooners and win­ter sport afi­ciona­dos.

Be­sides this, Nathatop also of­fers a wide and spectacular view of snow­cov­ered hills. Known for ad­ven­ture ac­tiv­i­ties, it plays host to paraglid­ing. Fly­ing from Nathatop is an ex­pe­ri­ence of­ten de­scribed as a walk through the skies and clouds.

KUD PARK

Amidst the dense forests, the Kud Park en­chants the vis­i­tors with its mys­tic feel. One can en­counter dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties of flow­ers in pro­fu­sion here. Es­pe­cially dur­ing the spring sea­son, flow­ers sprout ev­ery­where in rain­bow colours and branches of trees stoop with ripened fruits.

Patnitop can be vis­ited any time through­out the year. Sum­mer is beau­ti­ful with en­chant­ing views, while the win­ter months are marked by a num­ber of ski­ing cour­ses and set­ups . Pro­vid­ing the most gen­tle and modest slopes, Patnitop tends to be an ideal des­ti­na­tion for ski­ing for peo­ple with no prior ex­pe­ri­ence.

Bil­loo ki Powri, a stair­case of 270 steps, is also fa­mous here. It is chis­elled out of the moun­tain and falls in the town of Dawariyan.

The Naag tem­ple, con­structed 600 years back, is the most popular here. Dur­ing the Naag Panchmi fes­ti­val, it sees hun­dreds of devo­tees who throng this tem­ple to pay re­spects to the snake king, co­bra.

Be­sides this, the Sudh Ma­hadev tem­ple built 80 years ago, is also renowned. It is made on the spot where a Shiva devo­tee was ac­ci­den­tally killed by his tr­ishul, while he was try­ing to pro­tect his con­sort, Par­vati.

The two fes­ti­vals cel­e­brated here with great en­thu­si­asm are Naag Panchmi and Lohri.

Lohri in Patnitop is pop­u­larly known as Makar Sankranti. This fes­ti­val sym­bol­ises joy, hap­pi­ness and de­light. The re­mark­able fea­ture is that young boys of the town visit el­ders and then move around in the town in colour­ful se­quence and sym­bol­ise the Ch­ha­jja dance. Patnitop is also fa­mous for its Kash­miri hand­i­crafts and the pash­mina shawl.

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