The Switzerland of Jammu
|State||: Jammu & Kashmir|
|Type of Tourism||: Hill Station|
|Altitude||: 2024 meters|
|Best Tourist Season||: All round the year|
|Telephone Code||: India (01992), International (+91)|
|Pin Code||: 182142|
|Clothing recommended||: Light woolen in summer, heavy woolen in winter|
|What to buy||: Dry fruits such as walnuts, figs and almonds, saffron, spices, Basmati rice, apples, Kashmiri embroidered clothes, pherans, salwar suits, chain stitch embroidery, Pashmina shawls, stoles, scarves, other woolen clothes, namdas, hand - knotted silk and wool carpets, Kashmiri handicrafts, traditional Dogra jewellery, wood carvings, wall hangings, willow baskets, etc.|
|Shopping Tips||: When you buy saffron, spices and dry fruits, make sure they are real.|
|Food Specialties||: All the Kashmiri cuisines including rice, rajma chawal, chole bhature, parantha, rishta, dum aaloo, shahi paneer, kashmiri pulaav, roganjosh, seekh kababs, tabak maz, wazwan, yakhni, kashmiri macchi, danival korme, gushtaba, burek, hakh, sheermal, chaman, bagerkhani, shahi-tukda, nuts-filled kashmiri naan, patissa, kashmiri kahwa, etc.|
|Local transportation||: On foot, ponies, taxis|
However, some beauties are better being experienced than expressed in words. You stroll down the snow carpeted woods and the meadows of Kashmir and the whole new world will unfold before you! Trees, hills, snow and clouds immersed in the unruffled aura of the ambience would pamper you as you snuggle yourself up in the caressing lap of Patnitop far away from the ruggedness of city life. Patnitop, a hunky-dory hamlet nestled atop the highlands of the Shiwalik Belt in the lower Himalayas adjacent the Pir Panjal Ranges is a marvelous hill resort of the Udhampur District in the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir. Stationed about 112 kilometers away from Jammu on the Udhampur Srinagar Route, Patnitop is suspended at the average elevation of 2024 meters above the sea level. Although less popular as compared to other tourist destinations of Northern India, Patnitop would squarely contest them in their bequest of scenic splendor.
Endowed with unsurpassable natural pulchritude Patnitop is indisputably the ‘Garden of Eden’ descended upon the earth. Clad with dense deodar, cedar, pine and conifer woods and garlanded with meandering jungle trails, Patnitop wears scintillating emerald green coat in summer which turns silvery white in winter. Girdled with far flung snow capped Himalayan Peaks and shrouded with thick snow tapestry, Patnitop, flanked by the enticing basin of Chenab presents a perfect chocolate box demeanor laden with immaculate beauty of nature. Wrapped in thick Himalayan lumber Patnitop offers lovely picnic getaways, peaceful walkways and incredible prospects of the Chenab Valley. This Pearly Gate turns a dreamland for the snow and adventure sports in winter when the far reaching snow blanketed plateau provides the opportunities for thrilling games like skiing, zorbing, paragliding, and so on.
Not only that, the adventure enthusiasts also indulge in trekking, hiking, rock climbing and camping whereas tourists can enjoy nature walks, pony rides and golf here. Being the closest summer retreat and winter resort from Jammu and Udhampur and second to none in its natural charisma and salubrious clime Patnitop is brimming with several holiday homes run by Jammu & Kashmir Tourism and Indian Army. Basking in the juvenile glamour of gorgeousness, Patnitop is indeed an idyllic asylum away from the chaos of the hustling bustling daily routine.
The word ‘Patnitop’ finds its roots in the term ‘Patan Da Talab’ which means ‘the pond of the princess’. Earlier, a water reservoir existed in the meadows around Patnitop where certain princess of this region used to go for bathing. A part of that pond can still be spotted in the proximity with the youth hostel of Patnitop. The name ‘Patnitop’ reveals the clear impact of British Colonization as over the years the phrase changed from Patan Da Talab to Patnitop because the British had difficulties pronouncing the Indian words. Not only that, as they couldn’t record the correct spelling of ‘Patan Da Talab’ in their revenue documents, Patan Da Talab officially became Patnitop during the British Raj itself.
History of Patnitop
We lack authentic testimonies related to the genesis and the history of Patnitop, however, it is believed that Patnitop; just like most of the hill stations of India must be one of the colonial discoveries as British officials kept seeking a summer escape away from the scorching heat of Indian plains all the time. The oldest existing edifice of this region is the Nag Temple of Patnitop which is estimated to be approximately 600 years old. Patnitop has been a part of the ex- princely state of Jammu & Kashmir and it gradually burgeoned as a highly cherished excursion point and picnic spot for the populace of Jammu and the surrounding terrains.