Patnitop or Patni Top, is a hilltop tourist location in Udhampur
district, in Jammu
, on the National Highway 1A, on the way from Udhampur to Srinagar
, 112 km from Jammu. Situated on a plateau in the Shiwalik belt of the Himalayas, Patnitop sits at an altitude of 2024 metres.The river Chenab flows in close proximity to this location.
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. It may be that the British had difficulties recording an English spelling of an Indian name correctly in their revenue records. Over the years the name changed from "Patan Da Talab" to Patnitop.
It is in the Lower Himalayan Range close to the Pir Panjal Range
, 47 km from Udhampur and 112 km from Jammu. This famous hill resort is perched on a beautiful plateau, at an altitude of 2024 metres across which the Jammu-Srinagar Highway passes. The towns of Kud
are nearby. Kud is a very small town where a sweet shop makes fresh Patissa (a sweet). It can be bought hot from the shop and melts in one's mouth. Batote is known as a place for quality rajma or the kidney bean.
Enveloped by thickly wooded Cedar/Deodhar forests, Patnitop offers beautiful picnic spots, peaceful walks and breathtaking views of the mountainscape of the Chenab basin. In winter, the resort is generally covered with a thick mantle of snow thus providing opportunities for various snow games including skiing. 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. The region has also had a rash of houses built by people staying in Jammu and building a house here for the holidays is very beautiful.