Patnitop or Patni Top is a hill top tourist spot located in Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir. Situated on a secluded plateau in the Shiwalik belt of the Himalayas, Patnitop is a popular destination offering opportunities for adventure sports, walks and picnics.
Situated amidst picturesque surroundings, Patnitop lies at an altitude of 2,024 m above sea level in the Lower Himalayan Ranges. It is situated on National Highway 1A, between Udhampur and Srinagar, at a distance of 35 km from Udhampur and 112 km from Jammu.
There are no substantial records of the earlier history of Patnitop when compared to its nearby towns of Kudh, Batote and Udhampur. The presence of the 600 year old 'Nag Temple', a temple to honour the Serpent deity, is the only evidence to prove earlier inhabitation at this place.
As per the local lore, the name Patnitop originated from the phrase 'Patan da Talab', meaning pond of the Princess. It is believed that there was a pond on the grassy slopes of this place where a princess used to bathe.
Patnitop was a part of the princely state of Jammu & Kashmir. The tourism industry flourished at Patnitop after militancy began to disturb the tourism industry of Kashmir. Patnitop witnessed a huge influx of visitors from the neighbouring states of Jammu, Punjab and Delhi.
Located on the lower reaches of the Pir Panjal mountain range, the hill station of Patnitop is built on an irregular, more or less flattened plateau, with River Chenab flowing close by. Low rolling hills covered with shrubs and pines surround this plateau.
Patnitop is full of deodar, which is one among the world's four varieties of 'true cedars'. Patnitops long natural walking trails, dense woods of pine and deodars, views of the Chenab Basin and thick snow sheets in winter attract tourists in large numbers.
An all season destination, Patnitop has a lot to offer to its visitors which ranges from camping, trekking and nature walks to paragliding, abseiling, rock climbing and skiing. From Patnitop, excursions can be taken to Buddha Amarnath Temple, Bahu Fort and temple and the holy caves of Vaishno Devi.