Patnitop is a small but beautiful hill station in J&K. I have been there several times but never experienced the way I could experience it this time. If you think there is not much to see or do in Patnitop, keep reading. You will be amazed!
Road Trip To Patnitop
I was in my hometown which is Jammu and from there I and my family started our journey for this lovely hill station in J&K. We love to do a road trip from Jammu to Patnitop because the scenic beauty is so wonderful that you get an itch to click it or just embrace it with your eyes. There is no other way to reach Patnitop from Jammu apart from taking busses and cabs or your own car.
Plus we can stop anywhere after Nandini for chai (Tea) and pakoras. There is something very addictive about having chai in the middle of these hills. The best part is that there are dhabas all the way from Nandini till Patnitop. The new highway makes it easier to reach Patnitop within 3-4 hours. You come across a chain of tunnels that gives you high nostalgia.
Chenani-Nashri Tunnel also known as the Patnitop Tunnel was inaugurated on April 02 2017. The tunnel has helped in cutting the distance between Jammu and Srinagar by 100km by bypassing Patnitop, Kud and Batote. This tunnel falls on the way. Incase while going to Patnitop, you change your mind and want to go to Srinagar, th=Chenani-Nashri Tunnel is what you have to take.
Our Destination: Padora
Padora is an enclave 4-5 km ahead of Patnitop. Patnitop doesn’t have much shopping to do, but Padora has its unique collection of items and small clothes stalls selling beautiful Phirans. It also had food stalls just outside that sell delicious food and obviously maggie and chai. There are several hotels in Padora but we preferred to live in a Hut. The Hut was a two-bedroom hut and you get the privilege to cook by yourself. The view from there was mesmerising once it gets surrounded by fog. Since you have to cook in the Hut you might need to buy vegetables. The utensils are already provided by JKTDC department. You can buy vegetables from Kud which is near to Padora and things will easily be available.
The outside of huts has a huge park that has zip-lining as an activity to do. Apart from that, the locals sit in the park with clothes to sell including shawls and phirans. They sell the clothes at a very nominal rate and the clothes are bright and soft.
Naag temple was the first place I visited in Patnitop which is 1.9 km from the Padora enclave. You can easily walk up to the temple if you are okay to walk back as the enclave is on a hight and you have to walk down to reach the temple. Before you enter the temple you will encounter a few shops selling little souvenirs and clothes.
Before entering the temple you have to remove any leather if you are wearing as leather is not allowed inside the temple. The locals consider leather to be impure.
The view from the temple is stunning. It is a small temple but locals consider it to be very pious.
Gondola Cable Car Service Now Open In Patnitop
Empyrean Skyview Projects Private Limited has now launched long due gondola service in Patnitop. Unfortunately, I couldn’t try the ride as it wasn’t inaugurated till then. But now it is open for tourists. The company claims that this is the highest gondola ride in Asia and will make the passengers experience the entire Patnitop to Chinaini district. It gives you a round trip and also the time to roam around Chinaini and shop or eat if you want to.
Nathatop And Sanasar
Let me give you a head’s up before I tell you how beautiful these places are. The route is the same to reach both of these places but it is in extremely bad shape. The roads are not maintained at all and are broken. Plus since it is on the top it is mostly covered by fog and clouds, so the visibility is zero.
But then when you reach Sanasar which falls after Nathatop, you feel passing the terrible route was worth it. There is a lot to do in Sanasar. You can feed the fishes, boat in mini Shikara, there is a waterfall you can sit by. Many families come there for a picnic.
You can paraglide from Sanasar but that also depends on the season. If you are going in monsoons, many activities shut down. The weather throughout the year is pleasant.
Baglihar Dam which is also known as Baglihar Hydroelectric Power project is a run-of-the-river project on the Chenab river in the Ramban district. You can not enter the powerplant without a pass. Getting a pass for it is not easy. But you can easily visit the dam and see the water catching the pace. There is a bridge you can stand on and click pictures.
What To Carry In Winters
Every warm cloth that you have, by everything I mean a blanket, a quilt, wolfskin. Everything you can. It snows in Patnitop in winters and the temperature even goes to -3°C. Make sure you carry enough to keep you warm. Here is a generic list for you.
- A windcheater
- Woollen socks/Gloves
- Walking shoes (No heels, please)
What To Carry In Summers
I love summers in Patnitop. It is pleasant and windy. For the night you can carry a light jacket and that’s it. Nothing more than a light jacket is required. But make sure to carry a sunscreen lotion as the sun can really be harsh to your skin.
Patnitop surely is a small hill station in J&K but surely is worth a visit. Do let me know in the comments section if you already have been there or even if you wish to.