Patnitop

Well connected by national highways to Jammu and Srinagar, Patnitop is a hill station in Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir. It is situated on a plateau in the Shiwalik belt of the Himalayas and the River Chenab flows close-by.
Originally known as Patan Da Talab, meaning Pond of the Princess, during British rule, the name of this hill station gradually distorted to become Patnitop. A small part of the original pond too exists in the meadow near the youth hostel.
The whole state of Jammu and Kashmir is blessed with natural beauty and Patnitop is no exception. The beautiful meadows and breathtaking view of the mountains enchant all who visit here. The joy of Paragliding and High flying can be experienced from the take off points at Dwariyai and Natha Top till Kud (landing area). Twenty kilometres from Patnitop is Sanasar, its name synonymous with adventure tourism. Sanasar offers a range of activities like Paragliding, Camping, Trekking, Abseiling, Rock Climbing and scenic nature walks.
Reachable by road from Srinagar, Patnitop welcomes all those who wish to indulge in Skiing, during the winter months from November to February.
Best time to visit: All the year round. November to February is best for Skiing and rest of the year for scenic beauty.
Languages spoken: Dogri
Climate: Temperate climate with pleasant summers and very cold winters with snowfall
Adventure Tourism: Paragliding, Skiing, Camping, Trekking, Abseiling, Rock Climbing and scenic nature walks

Paradise on Earth- Part 4

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Pahalgam turned out to be very beautiful too, with the roaring Lidder and the rocky snow clad mountains complimenting each other. After finishing our breakfast, we headed for our first destination, Betaab Valley. It is so called as it was once the location for the filming of the film, “Betaab”. It was also the background in many scenes from the Ranbir Kapoor starrer, Rockstar. To reach the valley, a detour has to be taken from the road leading to Chandenwadi. It is located beside a much calmer portion of the Lidder, and with its artificially planted forest, does give the feel of being in the UK. Although Betaab valley is slightly commercialized, it has a very calming effect on the nerves.

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Road Trip to Amarnath from Delhi – Reaching Kashmir (almost)

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Just after coming out of the tunnel we were in Anantnag district, a completely different landscape awaited to greet us in the heavenly adobe that accrue the thrill with lush greenery of the valley, even the air seems filled with exotic fragrance and one impromptu feel younger in heart and jubilant and ecstatically romantic. A view point with a board of TITANIC VIEW POINT is ideally located on the left side of the highway and no visitors I guess can pass without a short break at this point. The Kashmiri handicrafts are available at sale by mobile vendors, no idea of its authenticity however, nothing wrong in bargaining. A few snaps to banta hai boss and so we did. After a short break, a few clicks and filling our lungs with the refreshing oxygen, we were back on wheels with a better pace both because of the extra energy gained at the previous halt and also the road now was broader and straighter.

Suddenly after driving a few minutes from the Jawahar Tunnel, we were stunned by the sight of agitating wild mob on the highway equipped with Lathis, Swords and knives, shouting aloud and stone pelting on something which was not visible. A few trucks and local cars were on halt and waiting helplessly. I kept my car away from the site of turbulence and positioned it in a way that it can easily be turned around in case of emergency to flee. Honestly, all our smiles vanished and vulnerable thoughts engulfed our mind. I pretended to be calm and showing some dare went off the car to ask about the incident to a couple in a local JK number Alto. They smiled and replied, everything will come under control after the CRPF arrive the venue. We found the J&K Police standing mute with no actions against the agitating mob.

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शिव खोडी – SHIV KHODI

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भोले बाबा के दर्शन करके, नीचे रन्सू में आकर के भोजन करके तृप्त हुए और जम्मू की और चल दिए. बारिश और आंधी तूफ़ान बहुत तेज था. पहाड़ के एक मोड पर हमारी बस कि टक्कर एक ट्रेक्टर ट्राली से हो गयी. वह टक्कर लगते ही पलट गयी. बस पीछे की  और खिसकने लगी. पीछे सैकड़ों फीट गहरी खाई थी.

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Here I come

Aadmi Musafir Hai (part 2)

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Remember the song “AADMI MUSAFIR HAI AATA HAI JAATA HAI” from movie Apnapan picturized on Sudhir Dalvi and that unknown girl in the bus en-route to Srinagar. The verses contain a philosophical message but in the language of common man which was forte of Anand Bakshi Sahib. As our vehicle moved towards Srinagar it seemed to me that a dream shall be chased in a few hours but the destination was quite far away.

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Sarchhu to Leh, Pangong Lake, and Back via Kashmir

Sarchhu to Leh, Pangong Lake, and Back via Kashmir

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First town where some civilization could be seen was Upshi which is basically a check post where we did not stop. Next stop at about 30 km was Karu which basically a military establishment just before Leh. We stopped a Karu for a late lunch and some tea and then soon proceeded to Leh which took about 1-1.5 hours. On the way to Leh one can see gorgeous mountain views with Indus flowing along the road.

Next, day we went to places around Leh such as Patthar Singh Sahab Gurudwara (पत्थर सिंह साहिब गुरुद्वारा), so called Magnetic Hill, Confluence of Janskar and Indus rivers, a Kali temple and a Buddhist temple, and one of the oldest monastery near Leh. The landscape near Leh is also dry, barren but mesmerizingly beautiful. Buddhist temple have special wheels called Maney ( माने) carrying the holy mantra “Om Many Padme hum” or “ओम माणी पद्मे हूं”  which the devotees rotate.

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AMARNATH YATRA : Patnitop – Pahalgam (Most Beautiful town of my life)

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Pahalgam is 43 kms from Anantnag. From Anantnag, Lidder river follows us till Pahalgam then Chandanwadi and then Sheshnaag. In my life I wanted to see many rivers like Ganges, Yamuna, Narmada , Brahmaputra etc. And with God’s grace I saw many of these. But frankly speaking till now I have never seen so beautiful river in my life ( though I have not seen them from places like Gaumukh , yamnotri glacier etc.). Lush green clear mineral water flowing surrounded by green mountains with village children enjoying bathing in it all the way and freedom from all worries and tension. That was the impression of Lidder river when I first saw it. I want to bath inside it.
About an hour later from Anantnag , we reached Pahalgam. As soon as we reached Pahalgam there was gate and security check. While having our security check I and Sonali decided that we are not going to Srinagar . We had one day extra after our Amarnath Yatra. Seeing just the glimpse of Pahalgam, we decided not to go Srinagar and rest or enjoy in Pahalgam itself , that much were we impressed on our first look at Pahalagm. We finsihed scanning our luggage and went further to actual Pahalgam . Our driver showed us Amarnath base camp in Pahalgam. But we had to keep our mighty lugguage down and travel to the Amarnath Cave. So we decided to stay in the Hotel.

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AMARNATH YATRA : Amritsar – Patnitop, Fight in the train

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Our train arrived one hour late and we all were set to rush inside as our train entered the platform. We had lot of luggage ( 5 nos. = 2 big suit cases and 3 travelling bags ) so it was decided that my father in law will stand with luggage outside the bogie. I with one bag will go in the the train first with Sonali and Aarya , make them sit in reserved seats and then again come back to take bags. As soon as our bogie came near us , I was first one to catch the door backed by Sonali and Aarya. We went inside and I kept one bag below the berth and made Sonali and Aarya sit on our reserved seats. Also my compartment was in the middle so I had to travel all the way in the rush to go out. 4 bags were still remaining. While I went out one of the passengers came in our compartment and said that the berths on which Sonali and Aarya were sitting were his berths and started talking with Sonali. I was not aware when did it started because I was out of the bogie to take my remaining bags. When I came back with one of my bag in the second turn the conversation was something like this.

Arrogant Fat Travellor :- मेडम यह हमारी सीट है . हमारा यहाँ पर reservation है. आप यहाँ से उठो .( Madam This is our reserved seat, please get up)

Sonali :- ज़रा एक मिनिट रूकिये. यह सीट हमारी है हमारा भी reservation है. मेरे पापा जो बहार खड़े है उनके पास टिकिट है. वे आ रहे है. ( Just a minute, even we have reservation in these seats. My father standing outside has tickets. He is coming.)

Arrogant Fat Travellor in a harsh voice:- नहीं आप अभी उठिए . यह हमारी सीट है. S -4 में 33 ,34 , 35 हमारी सीट है. मेरे पास reserved टिकिट है . यह देखिये. ( Not you please get up . This seat is mine . S – 4 coach seat no. 33,34 and 35 . I have reserved ticket, See this )

Sonali :- एक मिनिट रुको मैंने बोला ना. ( I told you to wait for the moment)

He was not willing to understand.

I told him :- भाई साहब ज़रा एक मिनिट ठहरे मैं ज़रा टिकिट लेके आ रहा हूँ. ( Dude please wait I am coming with the ticket )

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MIGHTY JOURNEY TO ALMIGHTY – Travel Starts and Heartbreaker by Jats

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hen I thought they might be playing some mischief to harass me gently. So I picked up my cell phone and rang up Sandeep Jatdevta and LO! To the super excitement I had they were still on the new Barapullah flyover which was constructed above the railway tracks just before Nizamuddin railway station. I was totally trashed and smashed by the words of Jatdevta. He said that both of them were on time and were standing on the flyover and waiting for the train. From the flyover railway station looks quite near. So they thought rather than waiting on railway station they would watch train coming from flyover and as soon as they see train coming they would quickly come down to railway station. These two Superstuds were standing on this flyover for the first time and were not knowing the way to railway station. So when they saw the train they looked out for the way to station . They thought there might be some small path like passage downwards, but to their surprise they didn’t find that passage. And they were wandering here and there. I asked them how much time it will take , they said that they are going down the flyover circulate and then come ,at least a kilometre by walk. I was totally upset , depressed, angry, irritated, nervous, disappointed etc.,( put all the adjectives what you would feel when something like this happens and mix them up) that was my feeling on Nizamuddin Railway Platform. They told me that they are going to find autorickshaw fast and come asap on the railway station.In frustation and anguish I deleted the whole video which I took to capture their first visuals.

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MIGHTY JOURNEY TO ALMIGHTY – One example on “HOW LORD CALLS HIS DEVOTEES”

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One more week passed and I was back to normal with my daily routine , forgetting everything about not traveling out in July. And one evening Myself and Sonali were just having chat about our previous tours and next tour to Char Dham. While discussing, all of sudden golden words came from my mouth “Lets go to Vaishno devi in July along with Amritsar.” Sonali’s eyes were glittering now as if they were telling yes, yes and yes. But her still mouth was mum. I started telling the plan verbally as I had designed that plan two times before which didn’t materialise and also I had read lot of stories In ghumakkar.com . So I had basic idea about days required , places and cost required to cover that tour. Immediately within 2 minutes she uttered “Yes lets go to Vaishno Devi”. Every time this way our each and every tour decision happens all of sudden in excitement . So this was nothing new for me, because I know when yes comes from her mouth , our tour happens. BINGO!

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Raven

Paradise on Earth- Jammu and Kashmir (Part 3)

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We passed the first town enroute – Ganderbal, within an hour. It was after Ganderbal that the real beauty of the drive commenced. After Ganderbal, the snow-capped Himalayas greeted us bang on. Every turn gave us panoramic new scenes, which always seemed to better than the previous one. Complimented by the untouched beauty of the Sindh River, the landscape was picture perfect.

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