Patnitop is a small town, located at an altitude of 6640 feet next to NH- 44, about 30 Kms ahead of Udhampur. Small zig zag road around the mountains surrounded by Pine and Deodar trees escorts you to another world. The wooden cottages located at the top of mountain and next to Sanasar lake offers a unique experience. The landscape of the region varies with variation in season, during summers the mountains are covered with green trees and during winters everything in and around the town becomes white.
The change in ambiance can be witnessed once Pathankot is crossed. Lakhanpur boader lies between J&K and Punjab, just 20 kms away from Pathankot. Once we enter J&K communication becomes restricted. The prepaid mobile connections don’t work and only postpaid mobile connections remain working. While travelling don’t forget to carry a post-paid mobile connection.
Few years back a tunnel was constructed near the town. National Highway bypassed Patnitop and optimized the distance of 31 Kms to 9.2 Kms. This development helped in reduction in traffic and restoration of natural beauty of the town and nearby areas. With due course of time it became a perfect destination to stay away from hustle and bustle of city life and relax in the lap of nature for a couple of days.
It is located at a distance of about 135 KM away from Jammu and 90 KM away from Katra. It is a popular tourist destination amongst the pilgrims, visiting Mata Vaishno Devi Mandir. Katra is the base camp for journey to Mata Vaishno Devi Mandir. Bus service, shared taxis and cabs are available between Katra and Patnitop.
These days Patnitop is gaining more and more popularity among domestic tourists not only for it’s natural beauty but also as a perfect adventure tourism spot.
Things to Do
Patnitop is a small hill town and don’t have multiple options to keep you busy. But one can enjoy the mesmerizing natural beauty of the mountains to the fullest. Some of the must visit locations near Patnitop are documented here
Enjoying natural beauty of the region and snow activities A long morning walk on mountain roads surrounded by trees of pine and deodar, enjoying some snacks with a cup of tea, trying local cuisine and meeting locals will add joy to the holidays. During winters heavy snowfall is observed in the region due to which the ambiance of the region changes completely. The temperature fall to minus degress and everything changes it’s colour to white. During this period, it becomes a perfect destination to enjoy snow related activities and various adventure sports.
Adventure Sports Skyview located on the way towards Patnitop at a distance of 15 Kms from the town offers outdoor activities, dine-in, accommodation and much more. In addition to all these, it has a ropeway up to Patnitop named Gondola Ride. Enjoying the birds-eye view of the valley, tree-covered mountains and roads elevating across the mountains offers a unique experience. It also offers outdoor activities i.e. Magic carpet, zipline, tubling, sledge and much more for kids and refreshments.
Mansar Lake It is a bit less popular destination located on the way to Patnitop before Udhampur. It is located at a distance of about 70 kms from Patnitop and 40 Kms from Udhampur on the Samba- Udhampur Road. If you are travelling through the road from Pathankot to Udhampur or Patnitop via Samba- Udhampur road, It appears on the way. It offers the first glimpse of rich flora and fauna of the region. While passing by one can hault here for a while, enjoy the magnificent landscapes, feed the fish, and spot some rare species of birds while having a cup of tea sitting next to this beautiful lake.
Natha Top It is a peak adjacent to Patnitop. It is at a distance of about 14 kms from Patnitop, while travelling one can witness some magnificent landscapes. Once you reach Natha top, the change in ambiance can easily be observed specially during winters, the temperature falls below zero degrees, snow becomes thicker and the wind flowing around freezes you to the extreme. While standing on the top of the mountain one can observe some breathtaking moments. It is a lifetime experience.
Sanasar Lake The road next to the Natha Top, leads to a valley, during winters the valley is mostly covered with fresh and untouched white layer of snow, it also houses a small, but beautiful lake named Sanasar. The way to Sanasar is full of magnificent views all around. One can sit next to the lake and enjoy nature with a cup of tea or a couple of drinks, enjoy boating, Just next to the lake there is a resort maintained by J&K Tourism, it offers wooden cottages to stay. The cottages are located apart from each other and are surrounded by trees. The views around the cottages are magnificent, if you want to stay don’t forget to book in advance.
How to reach:- By road:- It is located next to National Highway 44. This highway is a four-lane highway that passes through almost all the major cities of the region. Travelling from Delhi you pass through Delhi, Panipat, Ambala, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Pathankot, Lakhanpur border (J& K border), Kathua, Samba. From Samba there are two routes to reach Udhampur. 1st is from Samba, Jammu, Katra, Udhampur, through NH44 and 2nd is Samba to Udhampur. The 2nd route is about 40 kms lesser than the 1st route, but to narrow road and high commercial traffic (trucks) the second route is not recommended. Once you reach Udhampur the route is Udhampur to Patnitop Tunnel and tunnel to Patnitop town.
By Train:- It is one of the best ways to reach Patnitop. Katra is the base camp for Mata Vaishnu Devi temple and is well connected to all parts of India through railways. Katra is about 90 kms from Patnitop. Bus, shared cabs and private taxi service are available between Katra- Patnitop.
By Air:-Jammu Airport is the nearest airport. Jammu is about 135 Kms away from Patnitop.
Places to visit in Patnitop :- Patnitop snow covered peak, parks in Patnitop.
Palaces to visit outside or nearby:- Mansar Lake (about 110 Kms) it is located on Samba- Udhampur Road, Natha top (about 14 Kms), Sansar lake (about 25 kms from patni top and 12 kms from Natha top), Nagmandir, Billo ki powari it is located near kud, at a distance of about 8 Kms.
Minimum Duration of visit:- If you want to explore the region completely, 1 day stay is enough.