A Fairy land.
This beautiful hill station is tucked in between the Shivalik belts in the Himalayas, on National Highway 44, on the way from Udhampur to Srinagar, with the majestic River Chenaab flowing along Patnitop. Winters in Patnitop look nothing less than what we have seen in fairytales. A thick blanket of snow covers the whole of this place during the cold months often blocking the roads, including National Highway 44. The Patnitop Tunnel or the Chenani-Nashri Tunnel comes to the rescue during road blockages due to avalanches or heavy snow fall. This tunnel starts on the south of Patnitop and opens up on the north, reducing the distance from Jammu to Srinagar. As beautiful as it looks, the hill station is home to hundreds of years old temples and cultures. Fun activities like skiing, paragliding and many more will ensure that your body's Dopamine levels are always at the peak. Patnitop is the bonafide definition of the word 'picturesque', especially during winter. This little fairy land in the Udhampur district of Jammu has breathtaking views of the Great Himalayas. People are super friendly with the tourists, they will make you feel at home. Trekking and Nature walks are what you should not miss at all if you are visiting Patnitop. You can learn about a lot of different cultures and traditions from the local people. A short trip around the town will fill you up with all you need to know, the kind of dresses they wear, the types of food they eat, the different religions and much more about Patnitop. With lot's of places to visit and so many adventures to take, Patnitop will be really worth it.
A lot of hotels are there in Patnitop offering double bed rooms for a price as low as 200 INR a night to about 1700 INR a night. There are hostels for backpackers maintained by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, and other dormitories near the meadows, thus providing magnificient views. Many hotels are situated near the taxi stands, as a result you would not have any problem in travelling from the hotel.
There are only a handful of hill stations that are perfect for having a bowl of sizzling hot maggi and getting all the exciting feels about it. Patnitop is definitely among one of them. If you are in Patnitop, the first thing you have to have is a bowl of maggi from any of the Dhabas or the tiny food stalls on the way. The quality of food is quite average, but you will certainly enjoy having your food in the Dhabas overlooking the Shivalik Range. A few good restaurants are also there that have a better quality of food than the Dhabas, but certainly do not have the view.
Top things do in Patnitop
How to reach
The small town of Patnitop is well-connected by the road. Jammu, Srinagar, Pathankot, Katra are just a few miles away from this hill top, all of which have buses or taxis that can help reach your destination. While the nearest railway station is in the Udhampur, the nearest airport is in Jammu. As a whole, you need not worry about reaching Patnitop.
How to Reach by Flight
Jammu Civil Enclave, commonly called the Jammu Airport is the nearest airport at a distance of about 113 kilometres. From Jammu, it is approximately a 3 hour 40 minutes drive that will take you to Patnitop. The second most airport nearby is the Sheikh Ul-Alam International Airport at Srinagar. It is at a distance of about 186 kilometres from Patnitop, or a 6 hours 15 minutes drive away. Taxis, rentals and buses will help you reach Patnitop from the airport.
How to Reach by Train
The nearest railway station is the one in Udhampur, which is connected to New Delhi via the Sampark Kranti Express. Cabs and buses will help cover the 2 hours journey to Patnitop. Also, the Jammu Tawi Railway station is extensively connected to many prominent railway stations and is at a distance of 113 kilometres from Patnitop. Again, rentals, taxis and buses will take you to your destination from there. The Pathankot station is also nearby at about a distance of 179 kilometres.
How to Reach by Bus
An extensive network of public and private buses pry to Patnitop from places like Jammu, Srinagar, Udhampur, Katra, Pathankot, all of which are just a few miles away from the magical land of Patnitop. Huge number of buses and cheap prices means you won't have to worry about your pocket pinch.
How to Reach by Road
Patnitop is well connected by road, which means taxi and rental cars, or maybe your own car if you are from somewhere near, are very good options to reach this hill top. Hitting the road is always a good option, especially when you are travelling in the mountains. About 113 kilometres from Jammu, 186 kilometres from Srinagar, 179 kilometres from Pathankot, and 283 kilometres from Katra, Patnitop is not that difficult to reach via the road. Share taxis cost around 100 INR per person for a trip from Jammu and about 150 INR per person when you travel from Srinagar.
How to travel within
Although travelling within the town is preferred on foot, ponies, autorickshaws or taxis can also be hired to cover up the distances.
The place Patnitop was originally known as 'Patan Da Talab' which means the 'Pond of the Princess'. It is believed that once upon a time it used to be the pond where the princess of the ruling kingdom used to take a bath, the ruins of which still remains near the Government Youth Hostel in Patnitop. When the British came to rule in India, they changed the name 'Patan Da Talab' probably because they could not pronounce it properly and over the years it went under many changes to be finally known as 'Patnitop'. In 1730 AD, when the kingdom fell in the hands of the Dogra King, Raja Dhruv Deva, the kingdom flourished like never before, donating to the rich cultural heritage of the town. The 600 years old Naag Temple is the evidence of this cultural change.
The place has a strong influence of the Indo-Aryan times, among it's rich cultural heritage. Different religions are united as one in Patnitop, which leads to the celebration of all the different kinds of festivals, like Lohri, Baisakhi, Chaitre Chaudash, Naag Panchami, Id-Ul-Fitr, Id-Ul-Zoha, being the major ones among others. Spicy food, with food being mailny meat is the main cuisine of the town. Patnitop is also known for the use of saffron in it's culinary delights.
Spend your first day at Patnitop starting with a nature walk in the morning and an exciting trekking towards the afternoon.
Go for skiing and paragliding. They are musts while you are at Patnitop.
Go for the trek to the ancient Sudh Mahadev temple and in the evening go for a stroll to interact with the local people and learn about the local traditions.
Visit the hundreds of years old Naag Temple and then go shopping in the Padora Enclave nearby to buy souvenirs for your loved ones.