An unexpected journey to patnitop

Many in India doesn’t know about this hill station called patnitop. If you had asked me six years ago where is patnitop, I would have blinked. At that time I have never been in a plane. Me and my friend planned for a trip to Jammu and Amritsar. We have planned a hectic trip and yet we have completed the itinerary in less than 3 days. We had one evening and one night left, so we enquired with the driver. The driver was an enthusiastic person, who likes travel like us, and offered to take us to this place. We gladly agreed without knowing anything about the place.
Patnitop is a lesser known hill station in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in India. Need I tell more about the beauty of a place which is adjoining the famous Kashmir. We were traveling in the national highway number one. The road was not that good and not bad except for he few landslides taking place and getting cleared right in front of our eyes.

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landslide in NH-1
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landslide in NH-1
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landslide in NH-1

Our driver assured us that landslides have become part of their life and at times it takes whole day or two to pass through the highway to reach the capital of Jammu. Fortunately for us patnitop is only four hours drive from Katra. There were numerous monkeys on the way and birds singing, indicating that humans have not spoilt the area much. The weather was warm, or so we thought during the journey. We started the journey around 4:00 in the evening and reached 9:00 in the night.

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Our distant relative

Local people were rearing their cattle freely. The cattle too seemed happy for plenty of green grass to graze.

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cow grazing atop the hill
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early sun rays

We stayed right on the hilltop area and found a suitable hotel to stay for the night. The temperature was so cold outside and as well as inside that could be felt even when an electric heater is on. We are to depart the very next day in the morning at 7:00 am. Will we be able to see anything at all? We woke up at 4:00 in the morning and got ready to go outside. It wasn’t dark and the first sun rise hit the hotel around 4:45 am. We could see pine trees all around, green grass, and some horses loitering there. These are used for transportation by local people and for tourism.

The flowers were very vibrant and colourful and i decided to capture them in my lens.

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flowers of patnitop
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flowers of patnitop
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flowers of patnitop
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flowers of patnitop
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flowers of patnitop
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flowers of patnitop
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white leaved tree
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horses in patnitop
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Array of pine trees
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early sun rays

We spent until 7:00 am as planned and then departed for our return journey. Even during the return we were busy taking photos at many spots. We just went, slept and came back- this is not what is to be told. All those precious moments there mattered to us. It was a terrific getaway from our daily routine corporate job. We needed those moments. I cherish those moments. I thank from the bottom of my heart to the driver who has introduced me to such a place. He was a Kashmiri guy. I have felt the hospitality of people of Kashmir. They are warm and nice people. Hope terrorism dies sooner than later. I am still dreaming of living in such moments although I have had many such.

It is those journeys that make me repeat always “sometimes journey is more beautiful than the destination”


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