Patnitop is a tourist destination in Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir state of India. It comes after Udhampur and Kud on National Highway 4 going from Jammu to Srinagar. It is about 112 km from Jammu and is situated on a plateau at an altitude of 2,024 meters near the Chenab River. There is heavy snowfall in winter. Patnitop is a hill station in Udhampur district on National Highway 1A, route from Udhampur to Srinagar. The dense pine forests, rolling hills, breathtaking views, and serene atmosphere make Patnitop an ideal place for a picnic. There are three freshwater springs in this region which are the basic sources of cold water. The water of these springs has medicinal properties and if you have time you can go to see them.
The original name of the Patnitop is "Patan da Talab" which means "Princess's Pond". In the past, a pond was present in the grasslands and the princess of kings often bathed there. The part of a pond near the youth hostel still exits. The British could not properly name it in their revenue records, and over the years it changed from "Patan da Talab" to Patnitop. Patnitop is one of the most popular places in India. Thousands of tourists come here.
Patnitop, the Dogra king "Raja Dhruva" began his rule over the city. The influence of this kingdom gave the cultural heritage of the area a great improvement, which remains even in modern times. A 600 years old Naag temple is another proof of former inhabitation in the area. Patnitop is considered one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.
This has led to efficient conservation of natural beauty and heritage. It continues to attract travelers and adventurers from all parts of the world to explore the unemployed.
A large number of tourists visit Patnitop during the winter season to participate in various outdoor activities such as skiing and trekking. Patnitop is also suitable for other activities such as golf, paragliding, arrow sports, horse riding, and photography. Despite differences in religious beliefs and cultures, Patnitop has, in general, a slower lifestyle. It has a pure cultural heritage from Indo-Aryan times. Many festivals like Nag Panchami, Lohri, Eid-ul-Fitr, and Eid-ul-Juha are celebrated as a result of the mixing of religions in this city. The dishes served here are popular for their rich taste and the essence of saffron. Patnitop has extensive use of meat in their dishes due to the cold weather conditions. Folk dances are a very important part of their culture, where men and women dance in vibrant, traditional clothes and beats.
Popular tourist places include Nag (Cobra) Temple, Buddha Amarnath Temple, Bahu Fort, Kud, and Shiv Garh.
1. Bahu Fort
Bahu Fort and Temple is one of the ancient forts of the country which is believed to have been built around 3,000 years ago. This temple is situated on the banks of river Tavi. The temple is dedicated to Kali, the Hindu goddess of time and change, who is known as Mata Wali Mata. It is said that this temple was built by the original king Bahu Lochan and later rebuilt by the Dogra rulers.
Although this temple can be visited on any day, Tuesdays and Sundays are considered ideal days. Another attraction is Bhave-ki-Bahu which is a park based on the Mughal Gardens near the Bahu Fort and from here to Jammu and Kashmir. A detailed form can be seen. This park is an ideal place for a picnic.
2. Naag Kobra Temple
The Nag (cobra) temple is very beautiful and is a prominent place to visit in Patnitop. This temple is situated on a hill and is surrounded by mountains on all sides. Most of it is made of wood and it is believed to be around 600 years old. According to a belief, travelers can enter this temple only during the day.
A large number of devotees come here to pray to seek happiness and prosperity during Nagpanchami. Travelers say that whoever comes here does not go empty-handed. Tourists who dare to withstand extreme cold can visit this temple in the evening in the cold season. Many people try to avoid this weather because in the evening time of the year this place is always immersed in fog and can be seen only up to 10 feet away.
Kud is a major attraction near Patnitop. The city is a committee area and is designated by legal provision for future development. It is situated at an altitude of 1738 meters and is a part of the lower regions of the Himalayan range. The city is famous for sweets especially hot and fresh. This place is also known for its clean beauty and attracts a large number of tourists during the snowy cold and the months of May and June.
Shivgarh is one of the trekking routes of Patnitop. It's height is approximately 3500 meters. Tourists say that usually in the green pine forests, only the sound of bells tied around the neck of animals can be heard. Shiv Garh is an ideal place for picnic lovers and those who are keen on adventure.