OT Travel Itinerary: Your Three-Day Guide To Bhaderwah

This saucer-shaped valley in the Jammu region has majestic mountains, sprawling meadows and a unique culture which will have you coming back again and again
Fog rolls over the Bhaderwah Valley
Fog rolls over the Bhaderwah ValleyTellme digiinfotech/Shutterstock.com

At 1,613m above sea level, Bhaderwah in the Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir is a gorgeous valley whose bewitching natural beauty and panoramic vistas compel tourists to visit all year round. Over 150,000 visitors came in May 2024 to escape the sizzling summer of their cities, according to the Bhaderwah Development Authority. The valley has a distinctive cultural landscape as evidenced by its numerous local fairs like the Mela Pat and Subar Dhar Mela, its unique Kud dance and the Pahari folk music of the region. Visitors to this saucer-shaped landscape made up of deodar and kail forests will find the place carpeted with snow and ice in the winter, while the spring and summer bring forth a riot of blossoming flowers of various hues.

Here’s your three-day guide to Bhaderwah, a place where you can trek, paraglide, climb, camp and picnic to your heart’s delight.

Day 1


Paragliding in Bhaderwah
Paragliding in Bhaderwahbhadarwahheavens.com/Website

Start your Bhaderwah adventures with a paragliding experience at Khani Top and Thuba. The Chinta and Jai valleys are suitable for learning the basics of paragliding. The Seoj Dhar is also a good spot to take to the skies and gaze at the stunning landscape of Jammu. Check with your travel agency about booking a paragliding experience, ask for recommendations at the Tourist Reception Centre or visit the Jammu Tourism website for more information.

Next, visit the Gupt Ganga Temple. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is believed to be the exact spot where the Pandavas spent a few days during their exile. The temple is located on the banks of the Neeru River and is made purely of stone slabs. According to legend, the temple got its name when the river Ganga suddenly fell on the Shiva lingam and disappeared without a trace.


The Jai Valley campsite
The Jai Valley campsiteKamal Jit Singh/Shutterstock.com

Head to the Jai Valley at 2,133m above sea level for a spot of camping. It is 32km from Bhaderwah. The valley is encircled by tall, steep-sloped deodar trees along with open meadows. It has natural waterfalls dotted around the landscape. Rock climbing, trout fishing and hiking are activities one can do here.

While you're here, you can visit the nearby Chinta Valley (1,981m above sea level) for a chance to go horseback riding on the trails and visit an ancient Shiva Temple.


Bhaderwah Fort
Bhaderwah FortTellme digiinfotech/Shutterstock.com

You can spend the night camping in the Jai Valley but if you decide to return to Bhaderwah then visit the Bhaderwah Fort. This is a reconstruction of a 1733 structure and was, until recently, used as a prison. Visitors can get sweeping views of Bhaderwah from the flat-topped hill on which it is located.

Day 2

Morning And Afternoon

Kailash Kund
Kailash KundShubamSR/Wikimedia Commons

Begin your day with a visit to the Vasuki Nag Temple, built to honour the snake god. A single black piece of stone featuring the idols of Vasuki Naag and Raja Jamute Vahan has been installed for worshippers. The stone carving is a wondrous piece of art and highlights the sculptural traditions of the region. Devotees from far and wide come to pay their respects.

Next, head to Kailash Kund, a mythical lake situated among snow-capped mountains and rugged terrain. At an altitude of 3,982m, this sacred lake is the source of the Neeru River which drains Bhaderwah Valley. The trek to the lake begins from Gatha village. There is a religious pilgrimage you can join during August to Kailash Kund, too. The legend goes that Shiva visited the spot after which seven streams flowed out of this place.

On the way you will pass through Seoj Dhar, a meadow where coniferous trees and the surrounding mountains provide an enchanting spectacle. The Seoj is flanked by a gushing river on its west which emanates from the hills surrounding the Kailash Kund. On the eastern side are long stretches of grasslands while on the west there are sprawling meadows. Lounge here for a picnic.


The Seoj Dhar
The Seoj Dharindiasocial/Reddit

After visiting Kailash Kund, camp for the night at Seoj Dhar and drink in the night sky of Jammu. Listen to bird calls, chat with your fellow campers, tell one another stories and soak in the atmosphere of mountain living.

Day 3


Apricots growing on a tree
Apricots growing on a treeBhatakta Manav/Shutterstock.com

On your return to Bhaderwah, drive to Khellani 35km away. It’s a forested area which overlooks the Kellar Valley. From late summer to autumn, the valley provides a bounty of fruits like apricots, peaches, plums and apples. Walk to the Khellani Pass and stop to chat with the residents who call this area home.


The Padri Pass as seen from Gurdanda
The Padri Pass as seen from GurdandaTellme digiinfotech/Shutterstock.com

Next, head to Padri, a “gali” from where you can see the undulating landscape. At 3,200m above sea level, it is an ideal spot for paragliding and picnicking. The Padri Pass is a scenic hill station where you can stay for a few days if you wish.

When you head back to Bhaderwah you will encounter Sartingal, a hamlet surrounded by deodar forests and the Kailash and Ashapati hills. Stop here for piping hot chai.


The Chandi Mata Temple
The Chandi Mata Temple bhadarwah/Facebook

On your final evening, stop at the Chandi Mata Temple with its vividly painted shikhara (tower). An annual pilgrimage to the temple takes place every year in the months of July and August. It is dedicated to the goddess Shakti.

Make sure to trawl through the local shops for souvenirs to take back with you.

Where To Stay

Hotel Dreamland Bhaderwah and the Taj Resort Bhaderwah are comfortable stays. The Hotel Jai Vasuki, Hotel Piece of Paradise and the Cool Breeze Homestay are apt for backpackers and those on a budget.

Getting There

The nearest railhead and airport are the Jammu Tawi Railway Station and Jammu Airport, respectively. Both of them are approximately 187km away from Bhaderwah. Take a taxi or bus to Bhaderwah from Udhampur, which is 70km from Jammu.

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