Jammu & Kashmir as a state has always been in the news but majorly for the wrong reasons, mainly because of the current scenario with Pakistan and all the militancy. But there’s a lot more to that state than just this. Being majorly in the hills it has a lot of scenic beauty and as we all know it still stands to be the crown of the country. The place brings together three incredibly different worlds, Katra, in the south which is the state’s rail hub and majorly draws for domestic pilgrims.
Jammu & Kashmir known as India’s Switzerland attracting groups of local tourist for the summer trips and gateways and romantic gateways. Then we have the Himalayan retreat, land of Ladakh which is an attraction for a lot of foreigners and today stands as one of the most visited place among millennial.
But Jammu has a lot of hidden treasures that are still unexplored- starting from the beautiful lakes around like Surinsar, Mansar and Sanasar to the hill tops like Nathatop and Patnitop. To have an experience of a lifetime and to make your summers a memorable one, visit these hidden treasures in Jammu to have a time of your lifetime.
Patnitop, Nathatop and Sanasar
These places are about 100kms away from Jammu and takes around 3 hours of road travel and gradually with the new four lane highway in process the travel time will be too less. Located at a height of 7000ft Patnitop or Patni Top is a hill top tourist location situated in Udhampur district in Jammu and Kashmir, it is has been quite famous for skiing and trekking and is among the best-developed tourist spots in the valley. Kashmir, the tourist spot is the best place in Jammu and Kashmir. This hill station comprises of a lot of huts owned and operated by the tourism department and a couple of private players. For food, one can always have the exquisite khatta meat, Dogri style Rajma Chawal, local delicacy Kalaadi, which is basically processed cheese made from buffalo milk that is roasted.
Nathatop is at around 8000ft and majorly has an army center for research and is known for potato farming being run by the government. There is hardly any place to stay there as 9 kms down you go and you enter Surinsar. It’s one of the most beautiful places with a lake and a tiny 9 hole golf course. People usually go there for weekends for the amazing scenic beauty and the place also has beautiful cottages and tented accommodation which is best for the summer season. These areas stay snow clad for about 5 months in a year. TULIP garden in Sanasar is a huge tourist attraction.
I went to Nathatop, which was much unplanned as we only planned for Patnitop. I went there with my friends in the month of January, and that’s the time i love to visit my hometown because of the scenic beauty which i can never get off with. Nathatop has chilly winds but the view was worth the chills, especially the Pir Panjal Mountains in the distance was something we all were in aww off- the snow caped mountains was a look out of this world and the sunset view was exquisite and in the month of January its hard to find the sun. For food there is actually not much choice, you get the basics- quick bite food and to experience a good meal you really need to get into the local village and try the home cooked food- which we of course got the chance to and we stayed the night at the cottage. We had mutton with hand grind spices and boiled rice and what heaven.
These 2 lake destinations are about 30 kms from Jammu and at a much lower height than the earlier ones. But the best parts of these areas are the tortoise. And is great for boating and you can find a lot of different fishes in it.
Facts: Surinsar in Jammu District of Jammu and Kashmir is one of the rare holy shrines of north India situated in the lower reaches of Trikuta Hills, Surinsar has been a centre of pilgrimage from time immemorial. The annual Mela held in the month of August every year, coinciding with other festivals like Nag Panchami, Sharavan Purnima, draws flocks of devotees from different parts of Jammu region.
It was in September, 10 years back when i went there for the very first time; where the place was quiet and peaceful and amazing for long walks and boat rides. A Prachin Baba Sheshnagji Temple is another place that i visited with the family, the place has a statue of the six-head snake god which at time was less crowded and now people from all walks come specially to visit the place. Our stay was only for few hours but the two lakes brings out the beauty of Jammu and the Surinsar- Masar Wildlife Sanctuary is another amazement to visit- which we didn’t get time to go because of the time constraints.
Guest Column: Our regular reader Mr Joy Singh, Co- Partner Raasta shared its journey experience with Travel Mail readers