Jammu is increasingly getting popular as a tourist destination both for domestic and international travelers. Gone are the days when this place was only known for religious tourism. In the past few years, it is being favourably considered as a weekend getaway from Delhi. Not only the national capital but people from nearby states like Punjab and Himachal Pradesh are also visiting this less promoted place. The importance of Jammu on the tourism map can be gauged from the fact that in 2018, more than 15 million people visited this region. Earlier, the only place people would pay a visit was Vaishno Devi, which is one of the most important shrines in India. However, in recent times, Jammu’s leisure tourism sector is witnessing a huge surge as people have been thronging tourist hotspots like Patnitop, Sanasar, Kishtwar, Bhaderwah, Mansar, and many others. Jammu is a perfect mix of historical and natural wealth. One who would like to explore this place in-depth may need several weeks. But if someone has a limited time schedule say for example 4 days, then the below itinerary would come handy with all major places to visit in Jammu.
Day 1: Arrival in Jammu
Jammu, also known as the City of Temples, is well connected to all major cities of India through air, rail, and road. The airport here though a small one has daily flights from major metro cities of India. The Indian Railways also runs trains from cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, etc. Jammu is also connected with Delhi, Himachal, Chandigarh, Punjab, and the rest of the country through National Highway 1A. On arriving at Jammu, there might be a list of places to visit in Jammu that you might want to explore but, here are some that we would suggest. You can explore the Bahu Fort, one of the oldest forts in Jammu, built by Raja Jambu Lochan. It also has a huge terraced garden, housing the subcontinent’s biggest underground aquarium. History lovers can then visit The Amar Mahal Palace, built in the 19th century for the Dogra King Raja Amar Singh, by a French architect on the lines of a French Chateau. Nature enthusiasts can either spend some leisure time in the Ramnagar Wildlife Sanctuary or relax in the soothing waters of Mansar Lake. While you are in Jammu city, don’t forget to savour delectable local culinary delights like rajma chawal, ambal, and gul gule. Jammu has hotels for every budget, so choosing one online won’t be a difficult task.
Amar Mahal Palace (Source: goibibo.com)
Day 2: Visit Vaishno Devi, Katra
To reach Vaishno Devi Shrine, one has to either drive across the recently completed four-lane highway or take a train till Katra which is a 1-hour journey. Further, the trek to the shrine depends on the time of the day and fitness of the person. After an early morning breakfast either in Jammu or Katra, begin your journey by foot to the shrine, a trek of total 28 km. Like Jammu, there are hundreds of hotels and lodges in Katra too, who will be more than happy to welcome you for some much-needed rest and a warm meal.
Vaishno Devi (Source: lonelyplanet.in)
Day 3/4: Patnitop and Sanasar
At a distance of 2 hours from Katra, is a less discovered but a place with immense tourism potential, called Patnitop. Bringing Patnitop even closer to Jammu and Katra is Patnitop Gondola, which is the highest ropeway in India, in terms of ground clearance. It takes between 12 – 20 minutes to reach the upper terminal at Patnitop. The breath-taking view of the lush green forests when you glide through the air in ropeway cabin is unimaginable. The gondola is part of the recently launched mountain adventure destination called Skyview Patnitop by Empyrean. There were hardly any adventure activities in Jammu previously. But now, with the development of this recreational site, Jammu/Patnitop will surely find a place in the best adventure destinations in India. This place boasts of India’s first magic-carpet which is a modern and rugged conveyor belt that takes you uphill. Adventure lovers can also experience Asia’s longest zipline and a dry tubing sledge to swirl down the mountain.
Source: Skyview Patnitop
Additionally, Skyview Patnitop offers a gamut of dining options. This includes a specialized Indian restaurant, an upcoming continental restaurant, an open roof Chinese restaurant, and one of the best cafés in Jammu and Kashmir. It is suggested that only after one has thoroughly explored this place, he should check into a nearby hotel. Evenings can be spent breathing fresh and cool air in a close-by meadow or sipping coffee/tea in the hotel balcony. On the 4th day, an hour should be spent in Nathatop which a hilltop surrounded by pine and deodar trees. It offers a great view of the snow-coated hills, especially during winters. Lastly, Sanasar, which is a meadow 20 km from Patnitop is worth visiting before returning to Jammu. This place is a hidden jewel known for its golf course, paragliding, and a lake. If you are traveling to Sanasar anywhere between March and April don’t forget to visit Sanasar’s tulip garden. Besides the Tulip Garden of Srinagar, this is the only other tulip garden in India in March/April. Patnitop has many other places of interest within one-hour distances like Sudhmahadev, Mantalai, and Madhatop; but to explore them more than two days are required.
So here it is. Your best 4 Day itinerary for places to visit in Jammu. Have fun on your next trip!