About his blog: Doodhpathri is quintessential Kashmir. A gorgeous green meadow surrounded by pine trees and views of lofty snow capped mountains, Doodhpathri is an unmatched tourist destination in Kashmir. In this blog, we will share our experience in Doodhpathri, how to reach there and what to do. And also, how we lost our drone and finally found it back! Believe me, it was quite an experience. So, why don’t you read on to know more about this offbeat destination in Kashmir?
There was once a famous Kashmiri saint Sheikh Noor din Noorani who had come to this place to pray. He wanted to pray and was looking for water in the meadows. He used his stick to prick the ground in search of water. And instead of water, milk comes gushing out. Sheikh Noorani, however, did not want to use the milk to wash his hands and feet. He thought that the milk was to be used for drinking purposes only. So by divine provenance, the milk again changed back to water! And the meadows got its name “Doodhpathri”.
Whether or not this legend is true, I do not know. This place also has an interesting tale behind it. However, the name Doodhpathri perhaps came from the gushing river that flows in the valley. The fast flowing water when strikes against the stones, gives a milky appearance. This could have been the reason why this place is known as Doodhpathri. After all, the name literally translates into the “Valley of Milk” (Doodh means milk and ‘pathri’ means valley)
Where is Doodhpathri located?
Doodhpathri is located in Budgam district of Kashmir, almost 45 km from Srinagar. It takes about 2 hours to reach here from Srinagar by car. The meadows can also be reached by trekking from Yusmarg.
Is Doodhpathri safe to visit?
This is the most common question for people visiting Kashmir. Yes, Doodhpathri is quite safe to travel to. Doodhpathri is a peaceful place and you will usually not find any difficulty travelling there. However, if you want to have a detailed view on whether Kashmir is safe for tourists, you can read our article on it. We have also shared some tips for safe travel in Kashmir.
Doodhpathri – The Valley of Milk
Doodhpathri is a piece of heaven on earth. This bowl-shaped valley in Kashmir is located at an altitude of 8957 feet. Very few people visit this place. Most of the tourists visiting Kashmir usually travel to Gulmarg and Sonmarg on their first visit. Not many tourists visit here. Majority of the people visiting there are mostly Kashmiri locals going there for picnics. However, you can include this place in your itinerary if you want to explore a bit of offbeat Kashmir.
The road to Doodhpathri from Srinagar is quite pleasant. Infact, the more we travelled in Kashmir, we found our journey to be quite beautiful with stunning landscapes on the way. The natural beauty of the place is absolutely mesmerizing. The lush green meadows have such a velvety appearance that you will feel like walking barefoot on the green grass. The place is surrounded by tall conifers. The snow capped mountain range looms in the background at one side. The air is cool and crisp and the vistas are simply breathtaking. This is a place where time seems to have stopped!
The mountain streams flow over the stones and pebbles making the place look ethereally beautiful. And yes, the flowing water does have a milky appearance!
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Doodhpathri, the bowl-shaped valley lying at the foothills of Pir Panjal ranges is actually a combination of two pastures named Parhace Maidan and Doodhpathri. Two rivers, Shaliganga and Sokhnag flow on either side of the pastures.
Courtesy | Shantasree Chakrabarty
Our experience at Doodhpathri was quite a mixed bag. The day we wanted to visit Doodhpathri, we reached somewhere else. In fact we started in the morning and followed the Google Map for directions. But this time G-map was not reliable and we ended up in a different location. So we asked the locals and came to know that we were nearer to Yusmarg, another offbeat place in Kashmir. So instead of going to Doodhpathri, we went to Yusmarg that day. Doodhpathri happened the next day!
Like usual, we started in the morning. As our car left the outskirts of Srinagar, the views turned beautiful. This time we did not make any mistake and reached Doodhpathri within 2 hours. As we arrived at a market area in Raiyar, we saw a few restaurants and a couple of hotels. A young boy asked us whether we wanted to rent boots. Actually it had rained the previous days and the meadows and trails were a bit muddy. We did not hire any boots, but if you want to, you can!
Courtesy | Shantasree Chakrabarty
As we left Raiyar, we drove through the beautiful roads and finally reached a clean and pitch black road that led to the meadows. The road looked stunning with green meadows on both the sides. We were simply speechless seeing the beauty of the place. The vast expanse of green right in front of us was there for us to explore. The place where we arrived was the first Viewpoint of Doodhpathri. The metalled road goes a few kilometers more.
We were quite ecstatic after seeing such a wonderful landscape. I literally went running towards the meadows. And guess what, we were the only people there in the entire meadow. Though later, a few other tourists as well as a local family arrived, we had literally the entire meadows and mountains to ourselves. It definitely reminded me of the meadows of Ali Bugyal during the Roopkund Trek.
There were a few horses and sheep grazing on the meadows and a few local Kashmiri boys were moving here and there. We also saw a few local settlements at one end of the meadows. We wandered leisurely on the meadows and enjoyed the timeless beauty of the place.
And the drone was lost… and found again!
Agni was also shooting on the drone and had sent the drone quite far away. However, there was suddenly some technical glitch and the drone perhaps hit something (I think it was the boundary fence) and got upturned and fell down somewhere.
Well what can we do after this? We stopped everything and kept looking for the drone. It was a huge area and it was quite impossible for us to comb the entire area. Fortunately, we had the last video footage before it was lost. We asked a few local boys after showing them the footage. But we could not find it!
We almost spent more than one hour (I don’t even remember how much time we spent). When we almost gave up, a local Kashmiri man came to our aid. We showed him the footage as well. Thankfully, he could guess the place from the footage. He went there and actually found the drone. I was finally relieved!
So, yay! We found our drone with the help of a local Kashmiri man. We were so happy and simply could not thank him enough.
After the drone ordeal was over, it was almost 2PM. We quickly went towards the river and spent some time there. Since it had rained the previous days, the area was covered with snow. I think the boy at the market asked us to take boots for the snow.
Courtesy | Shantasree Chakrabarty
It was our time to return. We had our very late lunch at the market area and then returned to Srinagar. It was quite an experience! What do you think?
Doodhpathri Travel Guide
How to reach Doodhpathri?
Doodhpathri is located about 45 km from Srinagar. The most convenient way to reach Doodhpathri from Srinagar is to hire a car. The entire journey takes about 2 hours to reach. The last stretch of the journey goes through an uphill tract. A car will take about INR 2000 to 2500 including fuel.
You can contact Sajid from Srinagar at +918899936832.
For budget travellers, we would recommend you to travel in a group or join other travellers in order to share the cost of the car. Shared cabs are not easily available to Doodhpathri.
There are no direct buses to the place as well. You have to reach Lal Chowk in Srinagar and get a bus to Budgam. From there, you have to take another bus to Khan Sahib and from there; you have to finally take a cab to Doodhpathri. You can also get a cab from Budgam itself. That’s a lot of hassle, I feel.
What to do at Doodhpathri?
There is nothing much to do at Doodhpathri other than enjoying the meadows and the surrounding mighty peaks. There are no adventure activities to be done here. The best thing to do here is to enjoy the natural and tranquil surroundings. The place is great for indulging in photography.
You can go to the river bed and enjoy some time there. Ponies are available to take you to the river bed. You can also hike down there.
You can also go camping and trekking here. If you want to camp here, you have to get your own camping equipment, tents and cooking arrangements. It is better to set your tents near the shepherd’s settlement. This will help you if you face any problem.
If you want to go trekking and hiking, please take a guide with you. Do not wander off alone. You might get lost or even encounter wild animals in the forest.
There are a few places nearby that you can visit.
Tangnar: This is another beautiful valley with meadows surrounded by pine and deodar trees on hills. Tangnar is about 2-3 km before Doodhpathri and you will be passing this place on your way to Doodhpatri.
Mujhpathri: Mujhpathri literally translates into the “Valley of Turnips”. This is a small hamlet located on the banks of Shaliganga about 3 km from Doodhpathri.
Palmaidan: This place literally means “place of big stones”. Palmaidan is located about 5 km from Doodhpathri and is often visited by shepherds to graze their cattle and herds. This is another meadow but with huge stones all around and surrounded by pine and deodar trees. A small stream runs at one side of the meadows.
Dishkal: This place is for trekkers. Dishkal can be reached by a 10 km trek from the Shaliganga stream at Doodhpathri. It is a beautiful meadow on top of the mountains overlooking the Ashtaar Glacier.
However, if you intend to do trekking, take the help of local guides. Also, you need to get your camping equipment and cooking arrangements.
Doodhpathri usually has pleasant weather throughout the year. However, in January and February, the place receives heavy amounts of snowfall and the temperature falls several degrees below zero. The roads too sometimes remain blocked.
Doodhpathri does not have any permanent settlement. During the winter, when there is excessive snowfall, the place becomes desolate and the shepherds move to other places.
When we had first heard about Doodhpathri, we could not find any hotels or homestays there. However, when we visited there, we found a couple of hotels at Raiyar market area on Doodhpathri Road, 6 km away from the first viewpoint. But at that time, the hotels were not functional. So I am not sure whether you can stay at the place or not.
There are no places to eat at Doodhpathri itself. A few shepherds’ hut sell Kashmiri tea and some snacks. The nearest restaurant is about 6 km away at Raiyar, the same place where we saw the hotels. There are a few restaurants and shops here that serve decent meals. We had a chicken dish (known as Chicken Kanti) with Lavasa (Kashmiri roti or flat bread). The food was quite tasty!
There are no banks and ATMs at Doodhpathri. The nearest one is at Khan Sahib.
Only Postpaid connections work in Jammu and Kashmir. So your prepaid SIM cards will not work here. You will get full connectivity till Raiyar, but after that the connection will be lost. We did not have any network on our Airtel Postpaid Network. BSNL users might have some better luck.
Doodhpathri has a unique beauty. The pristine meadows are really a treat to the eyes. Have you visited Doodhpathri? Did you like the place. Let us know in comments below.
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