From Srinagar, in less than 50 kms, you are at cloud nine! Well, nine thousand feet actually. Doodhpathri is a meadow with lush green fields and a smallish glacial stream meandering through. The name has it’s origins in the local folklore which tell the story of a Sufi saint coming here in search of water and discovering the stream. Since the water appears pretty white (as any other glacial stream), it was mistaken for milk by the learned man. And thus he called it “Doodhpathri” a.k.a “Valley of Milk”.
Today, this place supplies water to most of the nearby areas and also to Srinagar.
As far as natural beauty goes, this place is surreal! Best part is since it is yet to become popular among the tourists, you can enjoy the place in complete peace. But, given the signs – Upcoming JKTDC Huts, a check-post to stop vehicles about 3 KMs before the stream, many horsemen offering their services etc. It will soon become another Pahelgham or Sonamarg.
It takes about 2 hours from Srinagar by road. The condition deteriorates at places but nothing too bad. Once out of Srinagar, you see the real Kashmir. Small villages, lush green farms, clear water streams, ink blue skies, ice topped peaks.. I can keep on going. See the pictures for yourself.
The weather is nice and sunny when we start from Srinagar. Clouds start to gather by the time we reach Doodhpathri, and it’s a hailstorm by evening! Talk about mood swings. Lol! 😉
Nature at Doodhpathri
You will come upon a gate and toll barrier before the meadows start. Roads become steep and have many switchbacks. Drive carefully if its raining or in low visibility, chances of missing a turn are high and consequences often deadly. So, watch out.
But, I guess, it is difficult to rush through when views like these are before you.
You are bound to stop and stare regularly. Local villagers can be seen with their sheep on the meadows. All of it makes for a perfect picture.
Just when you think, it can’t possibly get any better, after a sharp right hand turn, you see this
JKTDC is promoting this place as the next big thing after Pahelgham and Sonamarg. And are thus constructing some cottages where one can stay for the night. But, given the pace of construction, I doubt they will become operational anytime soon. There is another hut of J&K Forest deptt, where one can stay with the requisite permissions from the forest deptt and local administration. BUT, be warned, there is no electricity here yet.
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WATCH: Timelapses taken at the meadows
Best option as of today, is to make a day trip here from Srinagar and carry packed lunch. You can enjoy it by the stream. There is also small shop serving Maggi/Tea etc just before the stream. Remember to not leave any traces behind. Travel responsibly in the Himalayas.
Have you been to Doodhpathri? How did you like it? Any questions, comments? We would love to hear from you. Also be sure to check out other travel stories from Kashmir.