Experience Doda Pathri
Yusmarg is approximately 47 km from the Srinagar and lies in the Badgam district of Jammu and Kashmir. The two-hour drive to the place is an enjoyment in itself. Grassy pastures stretching to acres of land, the dense forests full of pine trees, with the backdrop of splendid snow capped mountains leave you almost speechless. Within commutable distance from Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir, Yusmarg is the perfect place to go for a picnic. It is possible that after reaching this place, you may want to even stay for a few days. Specially, for the lovers of long walks in picturesque locales, Yusmarg is the place to be.
You may a laid-back stroll amongst flower-strewn meadows. Another venue for the walkers is a river, known by the name of Dudh Ganga. Frothing and crashing on its way over the rocks, the river makes a little white foam, which gives it this name. A little ahead, is a lake, Nilnag, embraced with hills. The hills comprise of a number of several peaks, namely Tatta Kutti, Sang Safed, etc. At a distance of about 13 km from Yusmarg in the Kashmir valley is the Charar-e-Sharief, the shrine of the saint Sheikh Noor-ud-din or Nund Reshi.Yousmarg mesmerizes tourists with its scenic meadows,a sparkling reservoir and mountains comparable to European Alps. Situated amidst Sang Safed valley, Yousmarg is reputed for having some unique spring flowers. It also has some of the highest peaks in Pir-Panjal range like Tatakoti 4725m, Romesh Thong 5000m and Sunset Peak 4746 m. The mighty river Doodh Ganga rises from these peaks and a dis-tributory of the same flows into the reservoir. Word ‘Yus’ is said to be a short form of Youza or Jesus PBUH and a marg means a meadow, according to a belief the Jesus is said to have passed through this valley while travelling into Kashmir.
A major trekking route from Yousmarg eads to a famous spot called Tosa Maidan, a large meadow used for cattle grasing by nomads. This area is connected through rough routes to places like Gulmarg and Poonch. The region is full of springs , the one at Khag is most famous for the curative properties. The natural slopes of Yousmarg offer skiing opportunities to experts. School camps and adventure lovers make a week to fortnights stay at Yousmarg for the thrilling trekking routes around.Day treks are mostly commenced by the visitors. Stay in personal tents is recommended for the visitors intending to stay for longer duration. The expeditions to the various peaks in the range can be organized through the reputed Travel Agents in Srinagar.
Horse riding in the valley can be great fun, the ponywallas in Yousmarg have quite reasonable charges for a ride compared to other destinations. A visit in summer to a place like Yousmarg will positively be cherished by every one in a group. Yousmarg is suitable for young couples, as it is quietest place out of all tourist destinations. Last few years of large tourist inflow into Kashmir valley has seen the diversification of tourism to this wonderful destination. Most of the travel agents include Yousmarg as one day trip in their packages.
A short trek of 4km to Nilnag a small lake amidst pine trees, near a hamlet gives an ultimate pleasure to visitors. A full day trek from Yousmarg to frozen lake in Sang e safed valley 10 km from Yousmarg is quite fascinating one. Most of the portion of the lake is covered under ice throughout the year. Trekkers are advised to carry tents along during the trip as the weather at high altitude changes frequently which can make further journey quite hard. Assistance of a guide is advisable.
Tsrar-e-Sharief from political, social and economical upheavals, the Rishis or saints emerged with a sacred thoughts which gave comfort and mitigated the miseries of the people of valley. Nund Reshi was the patron of the Sufism in Kashmir who showed disinterest in worldly matters from childhood and renounced the world at an early age of 12 in search of divinity of God . He was an illiterate Shiekh Noor-ud-Din Noorani RA popular as Nund Reshi or Alamdar-e- Kashmir was born in 1378 AD at Kaimuh a village in Anantnag district. When the people of valley were suffering and yet spontaneously uttered concise and rhythmic verses called ‘Shruks’ which are considered of high value in Kashmiri literature.
“Do not go to Shiekh and priest and rnullah: Do not feed the cattle on the arkhor(leaves) Do not shut yourself in mosque and forest Enter thy own body with breath controlled in communion with God”
Local buses ply only upto Chrair e sharief, tourists are advised to hire a taxi from Srinagar or take the assistance of a travel agent. The road from Tsar e sharief to Yousmarg remains closed during the winters.
Since Yousmarg is not so crowded like other tourist destinations, accommodation here is available only at JKTDC Tourist Bungalows & Hutments. The trekkers are advised to carry tents and other necessary food items for the stay. Travel Agents assistance for organized all inclusive tours is recommended.
Doodh-e-pathri is yet another bowl shaped valley about 42 kms form Srinagar. It is a recent discovery in the valley covered with the green carpeted meadows.
A flowing river resounds with soft wind passing through the pine trees of the enclosures of the valley. It is also called as a “VALLEY OF MILK” because it produces rich milk in a large quantity.
It is said that the cattle grazing in the meadows of Doode e Pather, produces rich milk in large quantity , this reason it is called the “valley of milk” Doodh e Pather. The shepherds from different areas travel to this place along with their cattle’s and stay there for days together. This area also connected to Gurez valley on its north.
A cup of tea with snack at tea stalls run by local people during the season at the main meadows could become your most pleasurable drink. A full day tour to Doodh e Pather with some packed lunch will definitely be a bonus of your visit to Kashmir.
Popular Tour Destinations Near Yousmarg
Located about 40 kilometers from Srinagar and on the way to Yousmarg; Charar-e-sharief is probably one of the most ancient of shrines of Kashmir. It was built as a homage to Sheikh Noor-ud-Din Noorani about 600 years ago. The Sufi saint was born in year 1377 and spread the message of tolerance, vegetarianism and communal peace throughout his life.
Sang-e-Safed or ‘White Rocks’ is located at a distance of 10 kilometers that you will either have to trek or hire a pony to reach. It is an oval-shaped meadow bisected by a Doodh Ganga stream. It also serves as base for Mt. Tatta Kutti and is surrounded by dense pine trees. I haven’t been to Sang-e-Safed myself but I believe there is also a lake there that remains frozen for most of the year.
This is the most common of the tourist spots in Yousmarg. A trip to Yousmarg actually means that you trek through the meadows, reach Doodh Ganga river and go back if you are not interested in trekking any further. It is quite a scenic place and there is hardly anyone around. If you were up for it, I would recommend taking a dip in the river before going back. It isn’t deep at all.
Nilnag is a high altitude lake nestled amidst dense pine forest and a little further ahead of Doodh Ganga river. Trekking here from Yousmarg and back will take about 3 hours easily so please plan accordingly. It is a very beautiful lake and I would highly recommend visiting here. It can easily be done in a day’s trip from Srinagar; you just need to start early from the city.