Bhaderwah, The Switzerland of India

Aerial view of Ghata Bhaderwah

Bhaderwah festival 2015

A celebration of culture & festivities

The land of splendors and surprises, valley of Bhaderwah, located in the foothills of Himalayas is famous for its resplendent green and sparkling singing waters. A land of captivating cultural pageants and entrancing pilgrimages, Bhaderwah is also known as ‘Chota Kashmir’ and some of the writers even call it the Switzerland of India .

Situated at a distance of 205 km from Jammu to its North at a height of 5000 ft above the sea level, Bhaderwah is a beautiful valley with swaying giant conifers and glistening snowy peaks. Bhaderwah or Bhadrakashi as mentioned in the Puranas is also known as the “Nagon ki Bhoomi” which means land of snakes.  Known for its  rivulets,  majestic mountains, vast expanses of alpine vegetation; and diversified culture this place has been  attracting tourists to explore its serene  and pleasant environment .

The Bhaderwah Development Authority (BDA) set up in the year 2006 has been entrusted with the job to build tourism infrastructure and oversee the holistic development to make Bhaderwah an ultimate tourist destination. A major step towards increasing the tourist footfall in this region is the “Bhaderwah Tourism Festival which remains an annual attraction for the tourists from all over the country.

Showcasing the splendor and rich culture of the region this mega event fascinates the visitors and provides a breath taking panorama of the heritage, culture food and life in Bhaderwah. This year, the two days Bhaderwah Festival 2015 will be inaugurated by the Chief Minister Mr. Mufti Mohammad Sayeed at Boys Higher Secondary School Bhaderwah. The major attractions of the first day would be Jashan-e-Bhaderwah with pre-recorded track based show depicting culture and folk of the region. The evenings would  be made enthralling with Sham-e-Bhaderwah Gazals wherein famous artists including the Chaturvedi parivar will perform.

A cultural bonanza will be presented by the renowned artists and the famous folk Dheku of Bhaderwah will also be performed to seek the blessing of the deities.

Major Tourism Attractions in Bhaderwah

Bhaderwah is endowed with pristine natural beauty and efforts are being made to showcase it on the world tourism   map by providing better tourism infrastructure including better road connectivity specially  widening of Batote-Kishtwar Highway, Doda-Bhaderwah Model road, Bhaderwah-Bani-Basohli road, Bhaderwah-Chamba National Highway and Thathri-Bhalessa model road.

Some of the major attractions include

  1. Jai Valley: An everlasting eco-Health resort, lies at 32 km on the North East of Bhaderwah and connected by beautiful Bhaderwah-Chinta-jai road which passes through beautiful deodar forests of Nakshri, Bhalara, Balote and Chinta valley.

The beautiful valley runs into kilometers and is bisected by a rivulet which is famous for trout fish. The valley has mighty rocks and waterfalls which possess challenge to rock climbers. The stay facility in the valley is available as “HOLIDAY VILLAGE” built by way of colorful tented accommodation and well designed igloo huts. The facility for adventure lovers and trekkers is also available in shape of a beautiful tourist hostel in the valley which accommodates 150 guests. The lush green V-shaped valley is surrounded by coniferous forests of deodar and pine trees. With the upcoming winters it is an ideal place for winter sports like ice skating, skiing and sledging, when the entire valley is covered with snow up to the month of April. Visitors can even pitch their tents for weeks long and can enjoy horse riding and trekking. The valley is also famous for wild herblike Guchhi( Monels), Kasrode (Breken), etc.  On the hill above the valley the famous ‘Roshera mata’ temple is situated at a distance of 3kms where the famous annual festival on the occasion of Navaratra Ashtmi is organized and the people across the Doda District and some from Chamba district of  himachal Pradesh visit the shrine.

  1. Seoj : Like Gulmarg and Phalgam, Seoj is also one of the mighty meadows with mesmerizing natural landscape at a distance of10 km  from Bhaderwah,which glorifies Bhaderwah as diamond in its crown. Here the long stretches of green grass lands stretch into miles and cool and dancing air touches one’s soul. The snow glacier at Seoj gives rise to river Tawi which flows through Dudu Basantarg  and reaches Jammu. It remains snow clad during winters and is ideal place for snow games to be played in future. Towards its left lies the Devchtra meadows with a naturally terraced mesmerizing landscape and towards its right is holy KAILASH KUND,Where devotees have the holy dip during annual kailash yatra .
  2. Padri:-One of the beautiful landscapes named padri lies on Bhaderwah-Chamba national Highway at a distance of 41 km from Bhaderwah. The landscape runs into kilometers and is ideal for adventure sports like snow-skiing in winters and paragliding in summers .It is highest pass on Bhaderwah Chamba National Highway.It is also known for the Ziarat of Mohd Haseeb Shah Bagdadi .
  3. Gurdanda –Sonbain Glacier :- Gurdanda  is  the mighty ridge that  falls on Bhaderwah-Bani- Basholi road where one gets lost in the beauty of forests and grasslands.Towards its left lies the Sonbain glacier  which gives birth to Neeru river where one can feel and play with snow just with a walk of five to ten minutes  from Gurdanda even in peak summers. At Gurdanda the summer camps are organized  in colorful tented accommodation, having glimpse  of ridge and glacier one gets tempted to stay back.
  4. Sarthal Valley-Chatargalla Pass:- It is  One of the beautiful vallies enroute Bani Basholi road which have now become a tourist circuit where tourists divert from lakahanpur to Bhadrewah via Bani Basholi Road after having break  at sarthal valley.This route to Bhaderwah via sarthal used to be ancient route to Bhaderwah from Bani- Basholi.
  5. Chinta valley:- At a distance of  25km from  Bhaderwah this valley is ideal summer destination. It is also popular for ski-slopes and attracts skiing enthusiasts during winters. It is suitable for Paragliding and horse riding.
  6. Gatha tourist resort:- A beautiful tourist spot  at a drive of 5 minutes from the town is famous for an artificial lake, a beautiful park, tourists huts and restaurants, traditional flour mill(Gharat) and sight of  mighty Neeru river flowing with gushing water.One could enjoy boating here. People alongwith the view of the valley can also enjoy food in the restaurants on the bank of river Neeru in the park there.
  7. Khellani Top: Another tourist spot at a distance of about 18 km from town is famous for its views, treehouse, and Igloo huts and children parks. It’s a ideal place of picnic during winters where one side of the spot provides sufficient sunshine to the visitors and other is famous for thick deodar trees. One could stay in the tree house for night. The beautiful view of Kellar valley with the paddy laden fields adds beauty to this spot.
  8. Telli garh: A mesmerizing  tourist spot on the  hill top provides  a splendid accommodation  to the  visiting tourists in the  form  of huge complex with 9 bedrooms, two VIP Suits, one restaurant and an auditorium surrounded by  floral and herbal garden. This place provides the bird view of entire valley.
  9. Nalthi ; 7km from Bhaderwah, this beautiful place  is situated on the  left bank of river Neru. Restaurant, floral park and cool gushing water is the main attraction for tourists there.
  10. Gupt Ganga:-Situated on the right bank of river Neeru , this religious place is famous for cold water spring and a  Pandav cave .As per the local legends  this cave was used by Pandavas for their escape when their home was burnt by the karvas .
  11. Chandi Mata Mandir Chinote: The temple is famous as the base camp for annual Machail Yatra which starts in the month of August every year. Devotees in large number from different parts of the state throng to the temple to pay obeisance to the Mata Chandi round the year.
  12. Kailash Kund : It is a famous place of pilgrimage and the Kund is a big lake of cold, crystal clear water having a circumference of 1.5 miles. Kailash kund also known as Vasuki kund, is abode of Nagraj Vasuki and is situated at a height of 1 4500 ft. above sea level. Every year thousands of pilgrims from districts of Chamba, Kathua, Udhampur, Doda, Jammu and outside states participate in Kailash Yatra which commences on the 14th day after Shravan Purnima. Main yatra starts from Gatha, Bhaderwah. The track passes through the spot called as Shank Padar & Ramtund which is known for its religious legends called ‘SHAGARAN’ (Two stones which exactly resembles the face of Hanuman). Huge stone contains etch mark and an etched line which are believed to be the spot where the fleeing Vaski Naag’ wept while taking rest on the said stone. Total distance of Kailash Kund from Bhaderwah is 12 miles.

  1. Trown Valley:- An extension of kellar valley ,this valley is known for scenic beauty and splendid view of paddy fields, which has a potential of developing into a tourist resort.

Bhaderwah is also famous for various religious places namely the historical Jamia Masjid located in the heart of the town; Vasuki Nag temple, Gatha  which is the base camp for annual Holy Kailash Kund Yatra; Sai Mohd Ali Shah ,Alias Mush maroor and Sai Mohd Ali Shah ,Alias Pathar todd Ziarats both located at court complex Bhaderwah;Ziarat Sai Sadeeq Shah, Takia chowk Bhaderwah;

Nagni Mata temple located in the lap of beautiful hill covered with deodar and pine trees where famous  annual baisakhi fair is organized ; Taisna Ganpati temple located in lush green deodar trees also famous for Baisakhi festival; subardhar temple located on a hill in the chinta valley.

“The Happy Region- the prettiest Country ever seen in the Mountains”. These words by Sir G. T. Vigne who toured this region in 1842 A.D. describe the unparallel beauty of Bhaderwah which invites the tourists to feel its serenity and bliss.