About three hours drive away from Jammu, Patnitop is a place not heavily discovered by the tourists. Once in Patnitop, just sitting under the sun in the green meadow dotted with tall conifers can be the highlight of one's holiday. The lush wooded forests around offer ample opportunity for trekking and a rich selection of scenic spots for picnics. A walk on the kutcha (unpaved) paths between rows and rows of tall trees leads to quiet retreats and excellent views of the pine-covered mountains. The only sound one hears is the tinkling of bells around the necks of goats and cows and the rustling of leaves and twigs as one walks in a dream world of his own.
Patnitop does not offer opportunities to shop. For really compulsive shoppers, a few kiosks are located beside the meadow selling Kashmiri specialties- handicrafts, namdas (embroidered wool carpets), pherans (embroidered long shirts) and woolens.
The pride of Patnitop is its 600-year-old Naag (cobra) temple. Though small in size, it reflects the faith and reverence shared by millions of Indians all over. The evenings in Patnitop are quite cold. The mountains are covered by fog and visibility can drop to a mere 10 feet. The peak season is during the summer, though end July to August is beautiful and not crowded.
Best time to Visit Patnitop
One of the most mesmerizing hill destinations in India’s crown state Jammu and Kashmir, Patnitop is essentially a year-round destination due to its incredible weather. However, the best time to visit this amazing place really depends upon a tourist’s individual tastes and preferences. Summer season is ideal for leisure travelers as the place is literally blooming with diverse flowers of varied varieties. The monsoons are moderate and the area experience showers during the months from July to September. The winters in Patnitop have their own charms. Even though it may get really cold here, this is the best time to enjoy the diverse sporting activities like skiing and absorb almost surreal views of snow clad mountains and surroundings. Thus, both times, i.e. February to March and October to January are best times to visit Patnitop.
How To Reach
By Road - Patnitop is about three hours drive from Jammu, and private taxis with drivers can be hired outside the Jammu airport or the railway station to cover the 112 km distance. The journey can stretch a bit more, depending on the condition of the road. Landslides are common on the mountain road after the rains, and it is quite common to get stuck behind a long line of local trucks and army convoys.