Patnitop

Patnitop or Patni Top is a hilltop tourist location in Udhampur district in Jammu and Kashmir state of India on National Highway 1A 112 km (70 mi) from Jammu on the way from Udhampur to Srinagar. Situated on a plateau in the Shiwalik belt of the Himalayas, Patnitop sits at an altitude of 2,024 m (6,640 ft). The river Chenab flows in close proximity to this location.

The name ‘Patnitop’ is a distortion of the original name of the place, “Patan Da Talab” meaning “Pond of the Princess”. In olden times a pond existed in the meadows and a certain princess often used to bathe there. Some part of the pond still exists near the local youth hostel. It may be the case that the British had difficulties recording the Indian name correctly in their revenue records. Hence, over the years the name has changed from “Patan Da Talab” to Patnitop.

Patnitop is located in the Lower Himalayan Range close to the Pir Panjal range, 47 km (29 mi) from Udhampur and 112 km (70 mi) from Jammu. This famous hill resort is perched on a beautiful plateau, at an altitude of 2024 m across which the Jammu-Srinagar Highway passes. The towns of Kud and Batote are nearby. Kud is a very small town where sweet shops make fresh Patissa (a sweet). It may be bought hot and melts in one’s mouth. Batote is known as a place for quality rajma or the kidney bean.

Enveloped by thickly wooded Cedar/Deodhar forests, Patnitop offers beautiful picnic spots, peaceful walks and breathtaking views of the mountainscape of the Chenab basin. In winter, the resort is generally covered with a thick mantle of snow thus providing opportunities for various snow games including skiing. It is the closest winter resort to Jammu and to Udhampur and is second to none in its natural charm, climate, pine forests and lush green cover. J&K Tourism as well as the army have some holiday homes here.

One can enjoy the thrill of flying, at Patnitop. The paragliding joyrides rides are conducted at Dawariyai, 2 km (1 mi) landmark, on the Patnitop-Sanasar road. One can ask for paragliding at the Patnitop Development Authority (PDA) barrier.

The takeoff site is at Dawariyai, on the Patnitop-Sanasar road. The area often called as the Billoo Di Powri point. Approx 400 plus steps have been carved out along the rock face to make the steep slope negotiable. The stairs eventually leading to Dawariyai, the “gateway”. The exact dating of the work is still debatable. Any tourist can experience paragliding accompanied by a pilot. The flight takes off from Patnitop and lands at Kud. The flight lasts for 7 to 15 minutes depending upon the wind conditions. One is retrieved by car to the takeoff area. The organizers also give a good quality video of the memorable flight.

Billo ki powri at Dawariyai,400 steps cut into the rock face.
Takeoff is from Natha Top and landing at Kud. The flight can be from 15 minutes to an hour depending on the wind conditions.

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