The gorgeous city of Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir, located at an altitude of about 755 metres above sea level, is surrounded by dense forests of eucalyptus trees in the Shivalik Range of the Himalayas. Lying 68 kilometres from Jammu and 23 kilometres from Katra, Udhampur is a must-visit for its surreal beauty and intriguing attractions.
The prime attraction in Udhampur are the 12th-century Krimchi Temples, also known as Pandava Temples, with amazing historical and mythological significance. A set of seven temples, situated atop a stone complex with tiny streams flowing close by, the Krimchi Temples showcase abstract and intricate architecture that suggest a strong Greek influence. The temple houses sculptures of various Hindu Gods such as Shiva, Ganesha and Parvati and it is believed that the Pandavas had stayed here for some time during their exile.
For a slightly more immersive experience, Patnitop is a great hill station, located at 2,024 metres above sea level, and about 112 kilometres from the city of Jammu. Tucked in the Shivalik belt of the Himalayas, Patnitop overlooks the course of Chenab river and thick blankets of cedar and pine trees. The location is ideal for solitary walks or even skiing and sledging.
For some intense adventure activities, head to Sanasar, 19 kilometres from Patnitop. The site offers thrilling adventure sports such as rock climbing, abseiling, paragliding, trekking, parasailing, and hot-air ballooning. Pristine location of wondrous meadows and dense forest covers, Sanasar is also known as ‘Mini Gulmarg’ for its picturesque qualities. Furthermore, there’s even a huge golf course for those who seek the thrill of the royal sport.
A trip to Jammu and Kashmir can’t be complete without visiting the dazzling lakes. Among one of the best ones in the area is Mansar Lake, about 40 kilometres from Udhampur. Surrounded by a thick cover of forests and majestic mountains, the glittering lake looks straight out of a post-card. The region is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna; some common wildlife spotted here include the spotted deer, nilgai and water birds like ducks and cranes. Another one, about 9 kilometres away from Mansar Lake is Surinsar Lake, relatively smaller but nevertheless lovely. With the glorious hills as the backdrop, the lake also features a small island right in the middle of it.