The tiny but charming town of Bhaderwah is located in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains in the Doda district of Jammu & Kashmir. Commonly acknowledged as “Mini Kashmir”, the town is located 80 kilometres from the town of Batote and 205 kilometres from Jammu city. Set in a lush green landscape with vast grasslands, dense forest cover, rich flora and fauna, unblemished valleys, sparkling streams, rocky terrain, the town is a breathtaking wonder. Also hailed as “Nagon ki bhoomi” or “the land of snakes”, Bhaderwah is home to a variety of different species of snakes. The town is perched at a height of 1613 metres and is known to be one of the most breathtaking regions in Jammu. Perfect for vacations and adventure activities, Bhaderwah welcomes its visitors to witness its glorious sights. The 10 best places one should visit in Bhaderwah are listed here.
1. Chinta Valley
Enshrouded by thick coniferous forests on all sides, Chinta Valley is perched at 6500 feet above the sea level and is formed by the flow of the Chenab river. With the Chinta Nallah flowing right through it, the region has many scenic spots like Thuba, which is located just across the Chinta Nallah and is the highest point separating Chinta Nallah from Bhaderwah. Horse riding facilities are offered from Baggan to Thuba providing a thoroughly enjoyable experience. The region also comprises of an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. 6 kilometres before Chinta Valley, on the Chinta-Bhaderwah road, a trail leads towards the Subarnag peak on top of which rests the Subarnag Temple at an elevation of 10200 feet. From here, one can get a sweeping view of all the valleys and the entire town of Bhaderwah. The meandering hills and lush green landscapes make it a magical sight.
Lying on the Chamba road, 40 kilometres from Bhaderwah, Padri is located at an altitude of 10500 feet. The region receives one of the heaviest snowfalls in the area, with the depth going up to 5 metres and lingering till mid-June. The vast and gentle rolling landscape of Padri makes it a cherished picnic spot. The soothing tones of green all around, from the lovely light green shade of the grass to the dark green of the forests, it makes for a charming meadow. The site also caters to many adventure activities like skiing during the winters and paragliding in the summer months. The tranquility of the meadow is shattered in the month of July when thousands of Mani – Mahesh Yatra pilgrims pass through here to reach their destination. Perfect for trekking and horse riding, this meadow provides a rejuvenating experience.
3. Jai Valley
32 kilometres away from Bhaderwah lies the mesmerizing Jai Valley. The rivulet Jai Nallah bisects the valley before merging into Kalgoni Nallah which produces ferocious waterfalls, offering a challenge to the adventure enthusiasts who wish to test their rock climbing abilities. The valley is enclosed by huge coniferous trees on all sides with the Bhalessa Valley lying to the east about 46 kilometres away and connected to Jai Valley by the Jai-Bhalessa Road which encloses the charming hunting grounds of Bachdhar. A number of sports activities are offered here like horse riding, trekking etc. Also home to a wide range of plant and animal species, the valley is famous for the wild herbs that grow here like Digitalis Purea, Aconitum, Podophyllum etc. Further, availability of accommodation is aplenty here.
4. Seoj Meadow
The enchanting region of Seoj Meadow is also known as “the crown of Bhaderwah”. Circumscribed to the west by a fierce river flowing down from the evergreen mountains of Kailash Kund and covered by vast undulating grasslands to the east, the valley is an epitome of beauty. Replicating the exquisite charm of Pahalgam through its landscape across the river, the meadow of Seoj is a unique and an unparalleled paradise.
5. Bhal Padri
Situated 4 kilometres to the northeastern side of the region of Padri, Bhal Padri is yet another gorgeous valley comprising of innumerable tiny valleys and thousands of fast flowing rivulets and milky white meandering streams flowing through it. An unexplored region, this area is a mesmerizing spot and lies untarnished by tourism.
6. Nalthi – Basti
Is 10 kms. from Bhadarwah which serves as a base camp for trekkers. It has come a junction point with the completion of Bhadarwah-Bani-Basholi road.
Trekkers from Sarthal (Bani) and Bhadarwah take rest at this beautiful place after descending from or ascending to 10,500 feet hight. Apart from dense deodar forests, it has been gifted with lush green patches of grasslands studded with blooming flowering plants of different colours. The cool breeze flowing across snow-clad mountains makes the place all the more fascinating in summer months.
7. Hanga, Noorie, Devchater & Kellar
A place 10 Km. away from Bhaderwah town amidst the thick black forests of deodar, is a fine picturesque spot situated on the bank of Hanga Nallah characterize by crystal water flowing with murmuring rhythms that makes the ambience musical. The place came to lime light when in the 80’s Hindi Film ‘Noorie’ was pasteurized at this place and first time the beauty and culture of Bhaderwah was depicted in its fine glory to world outside. This place is suitable for camping and attracting the adventure lovers who intend to spend 2/3 nights in wilderness enjoying an unexplored flora and fauna.
The trekkers (hunters) use to take the trek from village Noorie to Devchater (high altitude meadow 15000 feets) and descend into the Kalar Valley via village called ‘Chilly’ which is famous for preserving the primitive culture, life style & economy of this mountainous valley. The Kalar belt is famous for agriculture (teraced rice fields) and Horticulture, apple and pear trees exit in abundance. Recently the Dugga area of the Kalar belt has been growing the cut flowers gladiolus and tulip. The area has many stone carved, idols and is culturally vibrant.
8. Chandi Mata Mandir Chinote
One more marvelous temple of Mata Chandi, is situated at village Chinote. Every year Trishule Bhaint Yatra comes here from Doda on 3rd. July. After days bhajan keertan and Bhandara, Yatra returns to Doda in the evening. Then on 18th. August a grand Yatra in which one lakh thousand devotees of Mata Chandi from inside and outside state participate. The Yatra starts from Chinote Bhadarwah to Machail and after one day stay at the Bhawan of Chandi Mata at Machail (Paddar) returns to Bhaderwah. The durationof this Yatra is of one month.
9. Gupt Ganga Temple Bhaderwah
Gupt Ganga Temple is an important ancient religious shrine of the Bhaderwah region. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and it is believed that the shrine have been positioned in the same place where the Pandavas spent a few days in Bhaderwah during their exile days. Even one of the rocks at the temple has the footprint of Bhim, the 2nd Pandava brother. The temple is located on the bank of Neru River and made up of purely stone slab. Indeed, the dome of the temple is also made of stones in circular shape. According to legend, River Ganga suddenly falls on the Shiv lingam and then disappeared and this is why it is known as Gupt Ganga.
10. Vasuki Nag Temple Bhaderwah
Vasuki Nag Temple dedicated to snake god (Son of Kashyapa and Kadru), is located in Bhaderwah in Doda district. The temple enshrines a single black stone piece idol of Vasuki Naag and Raja Jamute Vahan. It is a marvelous piece of art and sculpture of the region. The idol is mysteriously standing of its won without any support. Annual 3-day Kailash Yatra of Bhaderwah commence only after the ritual puja at this temple. Devotees from far and wide come to visit the temple and pay obeisance to Lord Vasuki.
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