Jammu and Kashmir is a huge state; one that has a myriad of places a traveller can choose to visit depending on how intense he wants his travel to be. One interesting place in Kashmir that you must quickly put on your itinerary is Doodhpathri – a bowl – shaped valley about 42km form Srinagar. The valley is covered with lush green meadows; with an adjoining river meandering through pine trees of the surrounding forests.
Doodhpathri means a ‘Valley of Milk’ and the reason why it’s called that is because the water flowing through the meadows here looks like milk from a distance. There’s also a story which goes back in time. It is believed that when the famous saint of Kashmir Sheikh-ul-Alam once prayed here, and pricked the ground with his stick to get some water, milk started oozing out instead, on the rocks.
Since Doodhpathri is a part of the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas, it is a staggering altitude of 8,957 feet above sea level. There’s snow-capped mountains to be seen everywhere, and gorgeous meadows of pine, fir and cedar at every step. These meadows are covered with snow all winter, allowing the growth of wild flowers such as daisies, forget-me-nots and butter cups during spring and summer. Doodhpathri doesn’t have a permanent settlement; it is inaccessible during winter due to heavy snowfall. In summer, however, shepherds from the nearby Budgam district bring cattle here for grazing and make base at Doodhpathri for about six months.
Doodhpathri is a recent inclusion in the tourist map of Jammu and Kashmir. Which is why the place is not overcrowded. The downside is however, that you can only make a day trip to this place, because the area is devoid of any hotel or market. You can take a bus from Lalchowk in Srinagar to Budgam. Once you reach Budgam, you can take a cab to Khansahib. And then another cab from there to Doodhpathri.
Don’t miss out on Palmaidan, located at a distance of about 5km from Doodpathri. Palmaidan has huge stones all over the ground and is a favourite spot of shepherds and cowboys where they gather in large numbers in summer and graze their cattle and livestock. It’s so scenic you would never want to come back.