Location & Description
The name 'Patnitop' is derived from the original name of the place, ‘Patan Da Talab’ or ‘Pond of the Princess’. Perhaps a princess used to bathe in a lake in the meadows in forgotten times.
Patnitop falls in the district of Udhampur which is a major one in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and its altitude is about 6600 feet. Near Kud—Patnitop flows the Chenab river and the nearby town is Batote. The hill is relatively flat at Patnitop allowing the beautiful hill station to be built.
Patnitop is the Queen of Hill Stations in Jammu area. For Jammu folks it is the most favored gateway for a weekend trip or a family trip for three or four days. For many of the organized trips to Kashmir valley, the first day is spent on Patnitop.
Patnitop is surrounded by softly curved meadows and valleys much of which has been denuded of its rich variety of trees. But wherever the hill rose straight up, it still could retain thick green cover at some places. Human hand or winter snow didn’t erase the soothing green to drab grey of bare hillside.
One of the specialties of Patnitop is its snowy winter. Its hillsides and hilltops in particular areas get snow covered during winter like a white blanket on green tree covered hillsides. At the end of winter the snow melts away.
There is no mechanized industry in this area because of the hilly terrain and remoteness. The villages spread along the hillsides are mainly sustained by terrace farming and tending herds of goats and sheep. Seasonal crops are mainly tomato, garlic and maize.
The ground here is practically devoid of undergrowth and the open hillsides are undulating grasslands for grazing the sheep and goat.
Some of the larger turns of the hilly road with a good space are called टमाटर मोड़ ( in Hindi or Tomato junction in English) where locals sit with baskets of fresh tomatoes to sell to the passengers in the passing cars. Being on the national highway from Jammu to Srinagar they should be doing good business by their standards.
A local specialty of Kud is the mithai (sweets) Patissa made of बेसन (beson: gram-flour) and ghee. The other one is Kaladi which can be described as a kind of paneer ki roti—a dairy based product.
To know more refer to our Travel guide on Patnitop.