Located on the Jammu-Srinagar highway, Patnitop is a beautiful plateau enveloped by thickly wooded forests with breathtaking views of mountains. It is a popular hill station and a favorite day return snow resort for the people of Punjab and even beyond.
Many who want to see the snow and return home the same day, drive to this thickly wooded hilltop from as far as Jalandhar, Pathankot and even Chandigarh. Usually covered with snow during winter providing a good opportunity for winter sports, this place also offers many peaceful walks and is an ideal place for honeymooners.
In recent times the place, Patnitop has really come up as a tourist destination in Jammu and Kashmir. In fact Patnitop was a picnic spot for residents of Jammu. Later on it was taken up by JKTDC and developed as a tourist destination. JKTDC has provided this place with tourist facilities and is promoting this place in a big way.
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.
Picturesquely situated at a high altitude, there are many pleasant walks around this popular hill station. Patnitop is a good starting place for many short or longer treks into the nearby mountains. An attractive one-day walk is to Shiva Garh, about 11-km from Patnitop at an altitude of almost 3,500 metres.
Good bridle paths passing through wooded lanes and fascinating scenery link Patnitop with Kud and Batote. There are three, gushing, ice-cold freshwater springs in the area, which are said to have medicinal properties. The complete tourist circuit covers Jammu-Katra-Vaishno Deviji, Kud-Sanasar, Patnitop-Gourikund, Sudmahadev, Mantali, extending upto Latti-Dhuna.
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.
Patnitop is situated at an altitude of 2024 meters and is just 100 Km from Jammu railway station.
The nearest airport is at Jammu at 100 Km and is connected to Delhi, Srinagar and Leh.
Jammu Tawi is the nearest railhead and is well connected to Delhi, Guwahati, Mumbai, Kolkata, Indore, Gorakhpur, Pune, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bangalore and Mangalore. There are buses and taxis from Jammu.
Patnitop is accessible to Jammu that falls on National Highway 1A which links it to Delhi via Jalandhar and is connected by national highway networking to all parts of the country. It is also connected by road to Kashmir, Ladakh and Srinagar.
This hill station is cool throughout the year. It is cooler than Srinagar in summer and in winter is snow bound.
You can check out your skiing skills here since Patni Top has many baby slopes. Skiing is possible only between the first week of January and the second week of February. However, just 5 Km off the national highway at Patni Top, is Madha Top, with its 500 meter slope where skiing is possible till the middle of March. A further 4 Km down the same road, is a place called Natha Top where snow does not melt till mid-April.
The sheer beauty and grandeur of the Kashmir Valley with its raw natural magnificence, has enticed people from all over the world, for centuries. Nestling in the foothills of the Himalayas, Jammu is a land where the past still has a living presence. While Jammu with its gentle forests and the meandering rivers and streams add to an enchanting countryside. To many Indians, they are also mystical, for they are home to countless shrines, devoted mostly to Shiva and Shakti, the anthropomorphic representation of cosmic energy in Hinduism. Temples are strewn over the region and attract large following, based on mystical belief. Justly famous for its temples, fame of it tends to overshadow its palaces, forts, forests and powerful ziarats. Jammu is the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir.
There is a bumpy drive to the land of meadows and high treks, 19km from Patnitop. Tourists make it a second choice after Patnitop. The climate is almost similar to that of Patnitop but the atmosphere is quieter. It is a boon for tourists who have their own conveyance.
123 km from Jammu, Batote is essentially a highway township. It has several small time hotels, restaurants, a Dak Bungalow of 13 rooms and three huts. It is an excellent halt for those who want to break the journey for a night halt while travelling on 294 km. Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.