Patnitop is a hilltop tourist location in Udhampur district in Jammu and Kashmir state. It is around 50 kms away from Udhampur town. Situated on a plateau in the Shivalik 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.
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.
It comprises several meadows enveloped by thick forests of Deodar(Cedar) and Kail(Blue Pine) trees, and affords peaceful walks amidst conifer groves, beautiful spots for enjoyable picnics and breath taking views of the Chenab basin and the Pir Panjal range beyond. For solace one can visit the beautifully located Nag Mandir at Karlah village.
Patnitop Other activities include horse rides and short treks into the surrounding hills. Patnitop also draws a lot of tourists when it snows during winters (January-February).
During April to June, the climate remains mild and inviting. This time is considered best for families for travel. In fact, this is the best time for trekkers too.
The towns of Kud and Batote are nearby. One can also drive through thick forests 12 kms downhill to Batote, an old hill station also known for apple orchards, Amar Cheshma and other springs and countless dhabas. 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.
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 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.
Here are certain places that have become very popular among the tourists in Patnitop. Some of these places are Sudh Mahadev temple, Mantalai, Sanasar, Nathatop, Batote, Kud, Nag Temple and Chenani. You can’t afford to miss these places.