The Enchanting Padri
The enchanting Padri Pass or Padri Galli or Padri Top which connects Chamba in Himachal Pradesh with Bhaderwah in the Jammu Division of Jammu and Kashmir at around 10,400 feet amsl. It is located around 110 kms from Chamba Town and around 40 kms from Bhaderwah and is the highest point of the Chamba Bhaderwah Highway.
This is one of the important Passes which connects J and K with Himachal. In older times Bhaderwah was a part of the powerful Chamba Kingdom which held Kishtwar as well and even Zanskar. For many years Bhaderwah was the bone of contention between the Jammu Kingdom and the Chamba Kingdom until in the mid 1800’s it was taken over by Raja Gulab Singh of Jammu as terms of settlement of the Territorial boundary with the Chamba Kingdom after he acquired Kashmir as per the Treaty of Amritsar.
Bhaderwah today is a part of the Doda district and lies in the lap of the Pir Panjals. The Town of Bhaderwah itself was an important one and the Bhaderwah Fort stands watch over Town. Bhaderwah has a mixed population of Hindus and Muslims and the languages spoken include Bhaderwahi and Kashmiri.
There are many beautiful places in Bhaderwah which have for long been away from the Tourist lime light. Some of them are described below (Taken from JK Tourism Catalog) :
Kailash Kund : The Kailash Mountain overlooking the Bhaderwah Valley is supposed to be the abode of Shri Vasuki Nag. At 13067 ft the Kailash Kund is the source of the River Neeru which drains the Bhaderwah Valley. The Yatra follows Mani Mahesh Yatra and starts with the Chari Mubarak from the Village of Gatha in Bhaderwah and then goes to Vasuki Nag Temple in the heart of the Town. At Ramkund one halts for the night and there on to Kailash Kund. The annual Kailash Yatra takes place in the month of August.
Seoj Meadows : The Meadow of Seoj is flanked by a gushing River on its West which emanates from the Hills surrounding the Kailash Kund. The Landscape across the River is a replica of Pahalgam whereas on the Eastern side there are long stretches of Grasslands. On the Western side the Meadows take a descent along the crystalline water of the Seoj Rivulet and roll towards Ramnagar area of Udhampur District.
Chinta Valley : Situated at a height of 6500 ft Chinta Valley is a beautiful Valley with thick Coniferous Forests on all sides and the Chinta Nallah flowing through it. A grassy Meadow called Bagan on one side of the Village is favoured by picnickers.
Jai Valley : Ten kilometers from the Chinta Valley is the picturesque longitudinal Jai Valley at a height of around 7000 ft. Located around 32 kms from Bhaderwah it is an extremely beautiful Region spread over 6 kms. The Valley is surrounded by thick Deodar forests on steep slopes with a sprawling Meadow in the middle.
Khellani : Khellani, overlooking the Kellar Valley is a Deodar clad Plateau 15 kms from Bhaderwah. Drained by the Bankut Nallah it is an ideal leisure spot. From late Summer to Autumn the Valley provides a bounty of fruits like Apricots, Peaches, Plums and Apples. While at Khellani one can walk through Khellani Pass amidst various Villages connected at Maulote and take the Road back to Khellani.
Pic from March end, 2018