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Best Places To Visit Near Jammu - Weekend Getaways
The other half of J&K, Jammu forms the southern region of the state. Known for its rivers and bird sanctuaries, forts and temples, Jammu has a decided Punjabi-Dogri touch to its culture. If you are in Jammu and wondering where to go for a weekend, what to do for fun, then probably your feet will turn towards Kashmir in the north. But that’s not the only option for a short getaway. Listed below are some of the best places close to Jammu that qualify as weekend getaways — from temple towns like Vaishno Devi to hill stations like Dalhousie and Dharamshala.
A temple town near Jammu City, Vaishno Devi is 59 km away from the city centre, and is best visited over a winter or spring weekend. It is renowned for the Vaishno Devi Temple, a shakti peeth inside a cave. Pilgrims trek on foot, singing and chanting the name of the goddess and climb almost 14 km to pray. Aside from the temple itself there is the Ardh Kuwari Cave and Bhairavnath Shrine to be visited nearby. If you are around for more than a day or two then also do visit Katra.
Mcleodganj, the town of Dalai Lama, is 197 km from Jammu and a perfect hill station vacation. A weekend over summer season is great, especially to escape the scorching summer heat of Jammu region. When in Mcleodganj, you have much to do. From visiting tall peaks and waterfalls to picnicking by lakes and touring monasteries. Visit the Namgyal Monastery, chill at the Bhagsu Fall, trek up Triund Mountain Peak and enjoy the hot chocolate, thukpa, momos and fries at local cafes.
A beautiful captivating town on the Kashmir side of the state, Gulmarg is just as its name suggests — the Valley Of Flowers. 314 km from Jammu, Gulmarg is one of the most coveted honeymoon destinations in the North Indian landscape. Winters here are ripe with activities like snowboarding, trekking and skiing, and summers show you melting rivulets and streams, green meadows and endless gardens of flowers. Visit the Alpathar Lake, pray at Maharani Temple, take rides in Gulmarg Gondola and enjoy exploring Khilanmarg. Winter and summer are both good seasons for a weekend trip.
Another hill station of J&K, located 112 km from Jammu. The perfect winter destination, Patnitop’s snow-clad Himalayas and blue meadows attract tourists and photographers alike. Trekking, hiking, skiing and sightseeing are some of the coveted activities here. Photo walks organised by various adventure and wanderer groups are also common. Places to visit in Patnitop include Madhatop, Kud Park, Naag Mandir and Nathatop.
Would you like to see Switzerland-like beauty in India? Then head to Khajjiar over the next weekend. It is only 198 km from Jammu and one hell of an eye candy. With mountains and pastures, horses grazing over meadows and adventure activities on the go — Khajjiar is perfect for a long weekend. You can visit the Khajjiar Lake, go horse riding, para gliding, try your hand at sorbing and visit the temples (Khajji Nag Temple, Golden Devi Temple etc). A drive from Jammu city to Khajjiar takes around 5 hours.
A hidden gem near Jammu, Sanasar is a hill station 129 km away. It is named after the local lake Sanasar and hosts a number of adventure activities from paragliding to trekking, rock climbing to abseiling. Summer months between April and October are perfect to visit, but skip the monsoon of July-August. From Shank Pal to Naag Temple, Wilderness Adventure Camps to Surni Kund, you can explore much around here.
One of the most coveted hill station destinations of North India, Dalhousie is so perfect that you won’t want to return. Best visited from March through May, this little town in Himachal is located 177 km from Jammu. The tranquility and charm of its Victorian houses, pine trees, emerald meadows and fog-hung mountains stays in your eyes long after your weekend is up. Visit Satdhara Falls, St. John’s Church, Chamera Dham and Panchpula. If you are interested in some alpine wildlife then go to Kalatop Wildlife sanctuary.
The city of Golden Temple and Wagah Border, Amritsar is an electrifying culture that beats to a serene pulse in the vicinity of Harminder Sahab. Around 200 km from Jammu, this city is the most Punjabi you can get for a weekend away. Chole kulcha and chicken tikke, sarson ka saag and lassi, naan and paneer… the list is endless. For sightseeing, check out the Akal Takht, Gobindgarh Fort, Durgiana Temple, Jallianwala Bagh Memorial and of course — Golden Temple. Winter is ideal for a visit.
Dharamshala really is the other half of McLeodaganj. This is the town where Dalai Lama resides while McLeodaganj is where most town offices and businesses are located. Dharamshala is where you will find the real little Tibet, with Buddhist flags and natives with their handicrafts. It is located 189 km from Jammu and should be visited if you want an offbeat trip into a new culture. Especially, do visit the Tibet museum, Namgyal Monastery, Dharamkot, Kz, Thekchen Chöling Temple Complex and Kangra Valley.
The name itself suggests, that this is the town of the goddess (Sri). One of the most beautiful cities of Kashmir and probably India, Srinagar has lately been torn by militancy as well as its own fate. But this piece of heaven on Earth is slowly recovering its spirit. Located around 270 km from Jammu, Srinagar must be visited between April and October as once winter sets in, many roads and passes to its centre close down. Some of the most famous places to visit around the city include Shalimar Baag and Mughal Gardens, Char Chinar, Pari Mahal, Hari Parbat and Shankracharya, Hazratbal Dargah and of course, the shikaras in Dal Lake.