Doodhpathri (translation; Valley of Milk) is a tourist destination and hill station in the State of Jammu and Kashmir.It is located in Budgam district of Jammu & Kashmir. Situated at an altitude of 8,957 ft from sea level, and located at a distance of 42 km from state summer capital Srinagar and 22 km from district headquarter Budgam.
History and Etymology:-
The name “doodpathri” means Valley of Milk. It is said that the famous saint of Kashmir Sheikh ul Aalam Sheikh Noor din Noorani has prayed here and once when he was in search of water in the meadows, to offer prayers, he pricked the ground with his stick to search for water and milk came out. He asked the milk that you can only be used for drinking and not performing ablution. Hearing this milk at once changed its state to water and the meadow got its name Doodpathri. The water which is at present flowing through the meadows has a milky appearance from the distance and remains very cold throughout the year. The lush green grasses over the vast meadows and silver shining streams running over the large stones further increase its beauty. Doodhpathri is sloping grassy landscapes with a diversity of multicolored flowers up to Chang. The famous Tosamaidan lies in the west of Doodpathri.
Doodhpathri lies in a bowl shaped valley in the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas, at an altitude of 2,730 m (8,957 ft) above sea level. It is an alpine valley covered with snow clad mountains and the meadows of Pine Fir and Deodar. The natural meadows, which are covered with snow in winter, allow the growth of wild flowers such as daisies, forget-me-nots and butter cups during spring and summer.
Doodhpathri has no permanent settlement and is inaccessible during winter due to heavy snowfall.In summer shepherds from the plains of district budgam bring cattle for grazing and remain at doodhpathri seasonally for about six months.
Places around Doodhpathri:-
Main attraction of Doodhpathri is Tangnar, Mujpather, Dophkhal, Sochilpather, Palmaidan and Parihas.
- Tangnar:This place comes on the way 2 km before doodpathri,it is a beautiful place of small valleys with deaodar and pine trees on small hills.
- Mujpathri:Mujpathri(translation;Valley of Turnip) is a small hamlet 3 km from doodpathri,it is situated on the bank of river shaliganga.
- Palmaidan:Palmaidan (Translation;Big stones ground)the name of this place is after the “Big Stones” because there are huge stones all around the ground.It situated at a distance of about 5 km from doodpathri and is the favorite spot of shepherds and cowboys where shepherds and cowboys gather in large numbers in summer and graze their cattle and livestock.It is beautiful place with a small stream running on one side of the ground.The place is rich in deodar and pine trees.
- Diskhal:It is a beautiful meadow on the top of the mountain and overlooks the Ashtaar glacier. It is around 10 km trek from Shaliganga nallah in Dodhpathri.
Doodhpathri is easily accessible from Srinagar or Srinagar Airport ,in under 2–3 hours from car or bus. The routes of doodhpathri are from Srinagar to Budgam, Budgam to Khansahib and Khansahib to Doodhpathri via Raiyar total distance of about 42 km. Another route is from Srinagar Gulmarg road,the route starts from Srinagar to Magam, Magam to Beerwah and Beerwah to Arizal total distance about 50 km.
Located in Bagdam district, Meadows of Jesus or Yusmarg is known for its long stretches of green pastures. An ideal tourist attraction that in its humblest of ways teaches to revere nature, Yusmarg is a proud part of the Valley of Kashmir. Embark on trails that lead to exotic places like Sang-e-Safed Valley and Nilnag. Away from the confines of the mundane, Yusmarg is a little paradise in its own right.
The jewel of Bagdam district, Yusmarg shelters many picture perfect locales. It mesmerizes tourists with its natural beauty through destinations like Sang-e-Safed valley; Yusmarg is also famed for having some exceptional springs of flowers. It has some of the highest peaks in PirPanjal range including Tattakutti (4,725 m) and Sunset Peak (4,746m). The majestic river Doodh Ganga also makes this destination more thrilling and challenging. The mighty natural slopes of Yusmarg provide skiing opportunities to adventure enthusiasts. On the other side, the holy shrine of Charar-e-Sharif endows blessing to the entire regions and is reckoned to protect the land from all kinds of mishaps. The timeless beauty of Yusmarg captivates the hearts of the visitors and compels them to return from time to time.
Yusmarg is easily accessed from Srinagar or Srinagar Airport , the capital of Jammu and Kashmir, 47 km. The drive in under 2 hours by car or bus leads through Charari Sharief town. During winter the road sometimes gets closed due to snowfall and remains cut off from the Kashmir Valley for weeks.
Tosa Maidan :-
Tosa Maidan is meadow in khag tehsil of Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir.Tosa Maidan is not only famous as a pasture but also for its historical background. Bounded by dense forests, it is situated about 10 kms from Khag in the mountains of the Himalayan range. After crossing the upper mountain reaches of Drang, Zakhora and other small villages, one reaches the pasture of Tosa Maidan. It is said that Tosa Maidan is one of those pastures which the shepherds of other neighbouring countries also used to visit in ancient times. The Mughals used to go to Poonch using this route. It is said that they had constructed a seven-storeyed building – Dam-Dam – here.
The Basmai Gali(13,000 ft) is the pass which leads into Tosa Maidan. Another pass – Poonch Gali – on its right side leads to the valley of Poonch. This pass was deemed to be the safest, easiest, and nearest to reach Punjab in ancient times. From here, a path also leads to Nilnag. Tosa Maidan is the largest pasture in its surrounding areas, 3 miles in length and 1.5 miles in width. Sky-touching deodars fence this pasture presenting a view of a green carpet in summer. During the summer, the camps of the Gujjar community and shepherds with their grazing sheep in the pastures present a riveting picture. Also, the fragrance of wild flowers refreshes the whole environment.
Tosa Maidan was leased to the army in 1964 for setting up an artillery firing range in a 50-year lease that ended on 18 April 2014. Local residents were fighting against the extension of the lease.This beautiful tourist spot is in Khag tehsil of Budgam district. The best time to visit Tosa Maidan is summer especially from April to September.
The lease was not renewed and Tosa Maidan has been officially opened to visitors from 30 May 2016.
Pehjan is an alpine pasture situated about 25 km from Khag in the lap of the Himalayas. The route of the place is from Khag to Gogaldara via Anzwaer. The place is serene, picturesque and rich in deodars covered with various kinds of asters and several plants of saussuera lappa (Kuth).To reach this alpine pasture, one has to cross the green slopes of Gogaldara, Donwar, Brari Pather, Anzwaer and Yanga Pather. In local language it is called “Nueer”. The place is covered with lush green forest on four sides and in the month of June shepherds from plains of tehsil Beerwah, Magam, Pattan bring their cattle and sheep for grazing.On the way to Pehjan there is a huge rock with Seven Pinus trees on its top (locally known as Satte Yaeer) which is considered to be the miracle of Sheikh ul Alam Sheikh Noor Din Noorani, besides this other Pinus tree erected on one of the big stone (locally known as Palle Yaeer) is also considered to be his miracle. Wular lake can be seen from this place.
Nakwaer Pal (Nocturnal Rock)
On the way to alpine pasture Pehjan, there is the 14,000 ft-high Nakwaer Pal (the nostril rock) on the way. It is the highest peak of this range. About this rock it is said that when the Kashmir Valley was a lake (Sati Sar), boats used to be anchored with this rock. Today there is an iron hook within it. (Ded Bal), also known as (Lal Khanen Gher) the Place of Lal Khan falls on the way to pehjan. Here shepherds and Gujjars come from adjacent villages with their livestock.
Naranag is a spring situated in Bus stand Khag. Naranag spring is also known as Narain Nag. The spring is known for its fishes and a fisheries farm has been built by the fisheries department of Jammu and Kashmir. The water of the spring remains very cool during summer and warm during winter. Tosa Maidan Spring is considered to be the origin of the spring, which according to locals merges with Nara Nag only after flowing various kilometers below the soil. According to local legend, an ascetic passing through Tosa Maidan spring once dropped a bag full of sheep dung into the lake. When he reached naranag Khag several days later, he saw the dung floating on the surface of the Naranag. He returned to Tosa Maidan and sprinkled some turmeric powder into the lake, which appeared in the water in the Naranag.
Sita Haran (Sutharan)
Known for its spring, Sitaharan is located near Tosa Maidan and the Line of Actual Control. According to local legend, (Vanvas) Ram Chander stayed here during his 12-year-long exile with Lakshman and Sita. The spring’s name comes from Sita who is said to have bathed in the spring.The name got later changed toSut Haran. Close to the spring is a rock which, according to the legend, was used by Sita to sit on. The spring is also said to be the origin of a small lake, Tosa maidan. The water of the spring is very sweet.
Ahij Kol, a mountain spring starting from the district of Budgam, flows through numerous villages and valleys including the Khag Valley. The spring unties with river Jhelum after going through several pastures and forests. Sukhnag is the common source for Ahij Kol spring, Sona Maen spring and Laen Kol spring.
Gandhak Nag, located in Darang Khaipora village in the Budgam district, is a spring that contains sulphur in its waters. The spring is believed to possess medicinal properties, which can cure all kinds of skin ailments. Tourists in a large number come here to bathe in this spring so to get cured of all sorts of skin diseases.
Mala Kol, popularly known as the deaf and dumb stream, is one of the beautiful springs present in the Budgam district. According to a legend, this stream very quietly followed the saint Syed Taj-ud-Din from Sukhnag to Sikandarpora. The spring after flowing through dense forests combines with the Sut Haran.
Nilnag is a picturesque lake situated 4 km away from Yousmarg. The path from Yousmarg is quite rough and passes through dense forests. The lake received its name from its clear-blue water where nil stands for blue and nag stands for lake. It is also an ideal picnic spot. A 13 km uphill trek from the lake leads to various other spots.
Tomb of Sheikh Noor-ud-Din(RA)
Tomb of Sheikh Noor-ud-Din, located 28 km from Srinagar at Chrar-e-Sharif, is popular as Alamdar-e-Kashmir or the flag-bearer of Kashmir. It is dedicated to Sheikh Noor-ud-din Noorani (RA) who spread the religious message of Islam in the valley of Kashmir. Coins were issued in his name after his death by Atta Mohammad Khan, the governor of Afghan. Sangram Dar, who was a disciple of Alamdar-e-Kashmir, constructed a mosque here.