Patnitop: An all-seasoned destination in Jammu

Lined with those gorgeous Pine trees and set at the foot of Shivalik mountain range; Patnitop is a quaint little hamlet in Jammu. Though it has a gorgeous beauty of green grasslands, in winters it is an altogether different experience to explore the Himalayan beauty. And a gondola ride by Skyview soars over treetops, offering stunning views, is one more strong reason which makes Patnitop preferred leisure destination for travelers.   

Jasleen Kaur

If you have visited Jammu seeking blessings of Mata Vaishno Devi, here is a reason one should stay another day in the city of temples. Tall and sturdy Deodar and Pine trees guarding the green meadows, houses of wood that complement the lush with their colour, clouds swirling within your arms length and breathtaking view of the valley below – these scenes one can only see in Patnitop, a tourist spot in the Udhampur district of Jammu, about 100 km from the main city. This tiny hill station has a lot to explore and discover.

The landscape changes drastically between summer and winter – the large lakes and bright green grasslands transform into a white wonderland in the winter months. A trip to Patnitop is highly recommended in winters since it is blanketed with heavy snow, providing opportunities for snow games like skiing.

You can enjoy a relaxing stroll in the arms of nature, the serenity of temples at high up in the mountains, seek some thrill with adventure sports or simply kick back and relax. Here we bring to you 5 things to do in Patnitop.

  1. The unique Gondola Experience – Soaring over the tree tops, a ropeway ride will leave you in awe of the enthralling landscape and a captivating bird’s eye view of this scenic destination. This unique experience has been brought by Empyrean Skyview Projects Private Limited, who has now launched long due gondola service in Patnitop. And the company claims that this is the highest gondola ride in Asia and will make the passengers experience the entire Patnitop to Chinaini district in just 10 minutes ride. Skyview Patnitop is India’s highest ropeway and the largest Indo-French collaboration in mountain infrastructure development was built in a record time of 2.4 years under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model. The ropeway started its commercial operations on July 20.  It features India’s highest ropeway with over 65 meters of ground clearance and the longest span of 849 meters between eight towers, almost 12 minutes ride. And it is highly recommended to take the ride during sunset, the views are extremely beautiful.

Not only Gondola ride, but Skyview Patnitop has lot more for adventure seekers like zipline, tubing, magic carpet, which makes it a must visit place when in Jammu. Along with adventure, one can relish variety of pure vegetarian food. Currently, the existing food café offers variety of Asian, Indian and continental food. They are coming up with two more restaurants and one of them is Banana Leaf which will serve North and South Indian flavours in the thali form. And a shopping centre will also be in place to bring back some souvenirs along with beautiful memories.   

  1. Capture the Himalayan beauty from Nathatop – Located at an altitude of 7,000 ft., on the Patnitop-Sanasar road, Nathatop is a 14 km trek from Patnitop and the most popular attraction in the Udhampur district. Once up there, one can see the stunning view of the Kishtwar Ranges of the Himalaya along with the Shivalik range. The natural beauty of the hillock, which is surrounded by pine trees and snow capped mountains, is a great place to visit at any time of the year. 

  1. The scenic beauty of Sanasar Lake – One of the most popular attractions of the serene hilltop of Patnitop, located at a distance of 17km, is the Sanasar Lake, also known as ‘Mini Gulmarg’ due to its scenic beauty. The location is a hub for all sorts of adventure sports that will definitely appeal to the adventurer inside you. Surrounded by green meadows, the Sanasar Lake has a golf course for tourists who enjoy the sport. Paragliding above the glimmering lake is an incredible experience for thrill seekers while adventure sports like cliff- climbing, rafting, mountain biking, snorkeling and many more activities by the lake, appeal to the people who would love to get the wind in their hair, without being as adventurous. 
  2. Go spiritual at Naag Mandir – There are quite a few temples in this heavenly highland. If you are a worshipper of the serpent deity, the Naag Mandir is worth visiting, which is 600 year old temple and one of the most famous attractions in Patnitop for tourists. 
  3. For your taste buds – The place even appeals to the foodie in you and is popular for delicious food at reasonable prices. Some of the specialties of the hill station are Chocolate Barfi, Patisa, Panjeeri and Kalaadi (local cheese), along with a wide variety of pickles like mango, potato, kasrod and many others. Kalaadi is a must try there and take home back chocolate barfi, patisa and panjeeri from old and famous shop Prem Sweets, Kud.

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