Cool and bracing in the height of summer, Patnitop, is a popular hill
resort of Jammu and Kashmir. Counted among the best developed tourist
spots in Jammu Kasmir, it is located at a height of 2,024 metres above
sea level and about 112 kilometers from Jammu. Also known as Patni Top,
it is situated in Udhampur district on the National Highway 1A, on the
way from Udhampur to Srinagar.
The original name of the hill station was Patan Da Talab"
meaning 'Pond of the Princess' (In olden times a pond existed here and
the princess used to bath here) but with the advent of the British, the
name was changed to Patnitop. The natural beauty, dense pine forests and
flourishing green landscape makes it a popular destination among the students,
honeymooners and families visiting the Jammu and Kashmir state. It is
said that tourists who visiting this hills station for the first time,
are bound to fall in love with the place.
Among the main attractions of Patnitop are delightful picnic spots, serene
walks and magnificent views of the mountains forming the backdrop of the
Chenab river. Besides these, Patnitop also boasts of a six-hole golf course
and three freshwater springs that are widely believed to have medicinal
properties. Usually domestic and foreign tourists are thronging here to
celebrate the New Year because, the landscape of Patnitop, covering the
vast green colour grasslands in summers, takes totally different attire
in winters. During Winter season, Patnitop usually receives a large amount
of snowfall that completely covers the lands. This gives a great opportunity
for winter sports like skiing.
The Naag Temple
Situated at Krimchi near Mantalai (the place where mythological
marriage of the God Shiva and Goddess Parvati held), the Naag temple is
one of the most ancient shrine in Patnitop. More than 600 years old, it
is situated on the top of a hill. During the Naag Panchami Festival, thousands
of devotees visit this temple.
Just outside Patnitop is Shudh Mahadev Ka Pahad which attracts pilgrims
at full moon in July - August to the ancient holy trishul (trident) associated
with the epic Mahabharata.
During Winter months (January - February), Patnitop attracts
lots of tourists because Patnitop offers unique skiing possibilities.
In winter months, special skiing classes are usually conducted for beginners.
Since the snow covered slopes of Patnitop are not much steep, they turn
out to be perfect for beginners. Madhatop, just 5 km away from here on
the Sansar Road offers good possibilities for expert skiers as well as
beginners. The Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development provides ski instructors
for the beginners.
Like Winter sports, Aero sports have become quite prominent in
Patnitop. Even though, Parasailing and hot air ballooning are increasingly
popular in Patnitop, tourists widely indulge in Para gliding. May, June,
September and October are best for paragliding.