Patnitop is a small city in Jammu and a very famous hill-station in Jammu and Kashmir far away from the military tension of Jammu and Kashmir.
Patnitop is well connected to Jammu and Srinagar by national highway and can be reached by a local bus or taxi. Share taxis are available from Ghantaghar near Lal Chowk in Old Srinagar. One-way fare from Srinagar to Patnitop is Rs. 150 (March 2008) and the journey is completed in 5-6 hours.
Origin of the name Patnitop is a distortion of the original name of "Patan Da Talab" meaning "Pond of the Princess". In olden times a pond existed in the meadows and the kings princess often used to have her bath there. Part of the pond still exists near the youth hostel.The Britishers probably couldn't get the name correctly in their revenue records , and over the years it changed from "Patan Da Talab" to Patnitop.
Journey from Jammu takes approximately 2-3 hours and costs Rs. 100 per person in a shared Sumo.
Nearest rail station to Patnitop is Udhampur. Udhampur has two trains that touch New Delhi.
Best train is 2446 Sampark Kranti Express that starts from New delhi and reaches Udhampur at 8 am. From Udhampur, you can take a bus to Patnitop, which reachs there in an hour. Udhampur is conected to a small station called Chakki bank which is very close to Pathankot station. Pathankot is directly connected to New Delhi, Mumbai and Calcutta.
Most of Patnitop can be seen around on foot. You can even hire ponies or taxis for longer distances.
Go for a small excursion in the hill.
Take a taxi to Nathatop and enjoy the snow covered peaks. For the more adventurous ones, Nathatop is a 14 km trek (one-way) and offers great views enroute.
There are various picnic spots in Patnitop which can be enquired about from the locals.
Sanasar Meadows (7000 ft above sea level), 19 kms from Patnitop Resort (Take Left Turn from the Main PatnitopJunction on NH1A).
Local Handicraft and Souveiniers, Near Naag Temple (Padora Enclave).
Bistro, The Restaurant, Vardaan Resort Entry from Kassal Morh (Near Naag Temple), . Cuisines : Indian, Chinese, Local
Hotel Shivalik, Behind Taxi Stand on NH4. Indian, Chinese, Vaishno
Vaishno Dhabas, Near Patnitop Main Taxi Stand. There are Dhabas too... althoug u do not see a semblance of a town but one can sanse that this is the place where tourists find a short cut walkway to the Meadows.
There is a small liquor shop in Patnitop which serves almost all alcoholic beverages.
Various budget and mid-range hotels are available in Patnitop. There are also tourist huts by J&K Tourism.
Hotel Green Land Patnitop, Ph. +91-1992-287564, good budget hotel providing double rooms at Rs. 200 a night.
Vardaan Resort PatniTop (Mid-Market Hotel), Entry from Kassal Morh Near Nag Temple (PatniTop), ☎ +91 9419193009, . checkin: 11:30AM; checkout: 1PM. Vardaan welcomes guests with a log fire and a view clear through the building and its architecture and the landscape beyond. The welcome emphasises the location, in the wilderness of the mountain top, adjacent to the wildlife protected area and surrounded by forest. Rs.1,700.
Hotel Shivalik, (Behind Taxi Stand). checkout: 12 noon. The location of this hotel is Highway touch and from here one can walk up the Meadows and Forests that makes Patnitop famous. From here one can catch local buses to Srinagar passing via Batote, Ramban and Banihal via the famous 2.5 km Jawahar Tunnel.
Govt Youth Hostel, Inside the Meadows (JK Tourism Maintained). There are dormitories and family in the midst of the trekkers paradise and the forest. This is the point where Great Natural Heritage Trekking Expedition passed thru or took off.