A Glimpse Of Heaven On Earth
Doodhpathri or "Valley of Milk", situated 42 Kms from Srinagar is definitely included in the list of unexplored places in Kashmir. If you plan to visit Kashmir sometimes, you should take a little time off to visit this beautiful and enchanting place.
Doodhpathri is a beautiful meadow with emerald grass that looks like a green carpet. A beautiful river dancing and reverberating with the wind flows in the middle of the meadow, lending it a splendid charm and vibrancy. The place looks very beautiful and pleasant. The green grass under the feet is really wonderful.
Doodhpathri however is a recent inclusion in the Jammu Kashmir tourist map. This is the reason that the place is not overcrowded and not many tourists visit here. However, it has become a real hit among the local population, who find it a welcome step. The road from Khansahib area in Badgam to the Doodhpathri is not in a good condition. There is not a full-fledged market or any hotel in the area, so the trip is always going to last for a day only and you need to pack your lunch. Tea and snacks are available in the shops run by local people.
Travelling to the area can be hectic, but the place is worth the trouble. The local government is taking steps on fast track basis to make the access easier and comfortable. Work is going on to connect Doodhpathri with all the concrete roads. Once completed, it is believed that the place will be at no. 3 of the most preferred tourist destinations of the valley.
The best time to visit Doodhpathri is during the spring and summer months from May to September; but it will also heavily depend on what exactly are you looking for. If you want to see white valleys and meadows buried under snow then February will be the best time to visit. But if lush green is what you are after then April, May, July and August will be the best. If rain makes you uncomfortable then you may want to avoid August altogether.
It will depend on which month of the year you are visiting here. In the months of winter, from October till March, you will need all heavy woolens with windproof jackets to protect you from the cold. During spring or summer season however, your regular cottons will do just fine. Even wearing a light jacket here from May till August will start to feel warm after a bit of walking around.
Reaching Doodhpathri can be a bit of challenge in the months of January and February. The entire area receives heavy amounts of snow which may lead to closure of the roads. Please inquire at Srinagar before you plan a trip here in winter.
Doodhpathri itself is actually a tourist attraction that you see while visiting Kashmir. As I mentioned previously, there is nothing here really except for a huge green ground sitting in the middle of mighty peaks all around. There are no big tourist attractions or adventure sports happening here. It is just natural beauty at its best with tranquil enough to soothe your soul. There are however a few places near Doodhpathri that too are worth mentioned and visiting.
You will be crossing Tangnar while going to Doodhpathri, about 2 to 3 kilometers before. It is a beautiful place of small valleys with Deodar and Pine trees on small hills and worth a brief stop.
The name Mujhpathri literally translates to Valley of Turnip. It is a small hamlet situated on the bank of river shaliganga and is about 3 kilometers away from Doodhpathri.
The name Palmaidan means a Big stones ground and that is what it is. It is another meadow like Doodhpathri but with huge stones all around. Situated at a distance of about 5 kilometers from Doodhpathri, it is a favorite spot of shepherds to graze their cattle and livestock. In short it is a beautiful place surrounded with with Deodar and pine trees and a small stream running on one side of the ground.
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 Doodhpathri.
Absolutely nothing is the answer and that is what you should come here for. It is a place where you just sit down with family and friends, or even alone if you were traveling solo, and just savour the vistas around. Doodhpathri is not a sight that you get to see every day; and you should have your fill of it while you are here. Even people of Kashmir come out here to picnic, that is how beautiful it is.
Photography is an activity that you would love to indulge yourself in here. Camping and trekking are two other activities; but keep in mind that there are no such facilities available at Doodhpathri itself. There are no camp sites here so you will have to bring your own tent and know how to set it up. The place is inhabited by a few shepherds during summer; and they sell tea and a few other items to eat here. I would advise that you set up you camp to someplace close to shepherds huts. You can also pay them to cook food for you. There is wildlife around here, specially bears, so try not to camp all on your own in the middle of nowhere
Same thing applies for trekking as well. Do not go wandering around alone as you may encounter wildlife; or get lost in the woods. Either bring a guide from Srinagar itself; or hire one of the local shepherds to show you around. There are a few pony owners here as well; and they will start asking if you wanted a pony ride the moment you arrive here. If you wish, you can even ask these guys to be your trekking guide.
You won’t find anything to eat here and will have to bring your own food along. There are a few shepherd huts selling Kashmiri tea and some snacks but that is pretty much it. Either bring your own food or eat on your way at the nearest village about 5 kilometers from Doodhpathri.
The first thing you need to remember is that only postpaid connections work in the state of J&K. Prepaid phones do not work here and will be dead the moment you enter the state. If you had a postpaid connection, then you will have full connectivity until Khan Sahib and also a little later. As you get closer to Doodhpathri, your phone will start to die and will probably get completely out of network. BSNL has the widest coverage here so BSNL / MTNL users have a higher chance of getting network at Doodhpathri
There are no shops as well at Doodhpathri so nothing to buy. Your shopping would have to happen in Srinagar only.
The road is mostly a smooth run all the way from Srinagar to Doodhpathri. It is a single lane highway though with traffic coming both sides but condition of the road is not bad at all. Until Khan Sahib, you won’t even feel like you are traveling through hilly region actually as the road is mostly flat. It is only after Khan Sahib that you climb up a steep ascent to reach Doodhpathri.
Doodhpathri is located at an altitude of 2,730 meters (8,960 ft)
The closest airport to Doodhpathri is the Srinagar International Airport. From there, buses are available from Humhama area to Budgam, which is about 2 km from the airport.
Take a bus from Lalchowk Srinagar to Badgam (30 km in distance), from where you can catch a vehicle to Khansahib. From Khansahib stand, you can hire a cab to Doodhpathri. It is about 2-3 hours journey in total.