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Kud and Patnitop in J&K

Located within Udhampur district, Kud is the perfect getaway barely 106 km from Jammu. The drive up to 5,500 feet in the lower Himalayas could take 3 hours. Intersected by the river Chenab, the pleasant drive offers a preview of what Kud can offer.

Tourist spots in Patnitop: Tourism in J&K

As popular tourist resorts in India acquire a characteristically 'crowded city' look, Kud comes as a relief for the tourists who are looking for a break from the travails of city life.

The sparsely populated town is also a trekker's paradise. The tranquil winding roads and the thickly wooded slopes make for an ideal nature trek with just the chirping of birds and the fresh mountain air for company.

The Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department has provided for trekking routes along Sundarani, Jangal Gali, JasarKote and Sanasar. The department has arranged for good camping sites along the route, as well as trekking equipment on a rental basis.

Kud has been under the administrative control of the Patnitop Development Authority since March 1992. The PDA was formed to develop the very high tourism potential of the region, which includes Patnitop, Kud, Sudh-Mahadev, Mantalai, Sanasar and other sites of religious significance.

While Kud, Patnitop and Sanasar could be combined in one travel circuit where adventure sports like skiing, paragliding, parasailing and trekking could be indulged in, the spiritually inclined can visit Gourikund, Sudh Mahadev, Devak and Mantalai. Further south are less accessible spots like Dhuna, Lati, Dudu and Basantgarh but which hold promise of good trekking routes along the river Tawi.

The Aparna Ashram at Mantalai is a popular tourist spot in Udhampur district, where cultural activities and a mini-zoo at the 30-room hotel draw domestic and international traffic.

The Kud-Patnitop region has shown a modest growth rate of 28.29% over the last decade, with tourism as the main driver. Patnitop, located 112 kms from Jammu and 6 kms from Kud, attracts a sizeable number of tourists taking a detour after their pilgrimage to the holy shrine of Vaishno Devi.

The coniferous forests on the 2024 meter high Patnitop plateau draw large crowds throughout the year. During the winter months, the forested slopes are enveloped in a thick mantle of snow, which has prompted the tourism department to conduct skiing courses at Madhatop, with arrangements for accommodation in huts in Kud, Patnitop and Sanasar. Paragliding, parasailing and hot air ballooning are other sports tourists are taking to during their stay here.

Consulting Engineering Services (India) prepared a comprehensive Master Plan to strengthen the tourism infrastructure and facilities for Patnitop, while preserving the ecology of the region. The plan defines the land use for agriculture and horticulture, commercial zones and educational and health centers. Construction and non-construction zones and parking areas have also been clearly demarcated for a holistic and planned development of the tourist spots under the Patnitop Development Authority.

At Sanasar, 17 kms from Patnitop, the PDA plans to extend the 6-hole golf course to a 9-hole one. A cable car project on a 4000 meter ropeway connecting Patnitop to Kud and Sangote has been inaugurated. The 40 crore project is expected to be operational by 2009. Plans to improve the infrastructure for trekking have also been announced by the J&K Government.

The PDA is encouraging investment in the tourist spots in the 265 kms under its jurisdiction. Apart from improving tourist infrastructure, the Authority seeks to promote a yoga centre, a tourist trade centre and a hospitality training institute. A Craft Bazaar and a food processing centre have also been envisaged.

Patnitop has played host to a National Integration Camp-cum-Youth Festival since 2004, with participation from students of universities from across the country. The event has succeeded in kindling the awareness of the Kud-Patnitop-Sanasar circuit to a large extent.




 


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