When I decided to go to Doodhpathri instead of Gulmarg believe me it was the best decision I ever took. Being a less famous place which means it is unexploited and less crowded which was really a heaven for me. The time which I visited was when it was covered with snow and there were very few tourists then.
It is also known as the Valley of Milk. Covered by green meadows during Summers and by Snow dunes during winters, water flows like a stream of milk, an alpine valley situated amidst dense forests of Pine and Deodar, hills of Himalayas, and a stream of icy water, Doodhpathri is really a magical place.
Doodhpathri is a beautiful hill station in the Budgam district, J&K. It is located at a distance of 15 Km from Budgam and 42 Km from Srinagar. The hill station can be reached very easily from Srinagar in 2-3 hours by taking a cab, bus, or your own car.
It is situated at an altitude of 8,957 ft from the sea level and is surrounded by the snow-clad mountains of Pir Panjal Range of the mighty Himalayas. Once you enter the Hill Station, you will find yourself surrounded by meadows of Pine, Fir, and Deodar trees.
In winters, the place is covered totally by the snow dunes and whereas in summers it is enriched with green meadows and a diverse range of wild multicolored flowers such as Daisies, Forget-me-not, Buttercups, and much more. And in winter, it is not possible for vehicles to go there so you have to trek a little extra as the place is covered under snow.
When you reach Doodhpathri there are many places to visit there itself such as Sochilpather, Mujpather, Dophkhal, Palmaidan, Parihas, and Tangnar. And the place is a boon for photographers as you get some wonderful shots. Also, you can camp and trek there on your own.
The hill station is still under development phase so there are not so many shops, hotels, banks, ATMs, etc. nearby. So whenever you visit the place make sure you carry water bottles and some eatables with you. But the condition of the roads are good and you don’t need to worry about the uncomfortable journey.
History of Doodhpathri
According to locals, Famous Kashmiri Saint Nund Rishi also known as Sheikh Noor-ud-Din Noorani used to worship near the Doodhpathri. One day when the saint was searching for water in the nearby area but couldn’t find the water. So he pricked the ground with a stick to search for water and milk came out. But he told the milk that you can only be used for drinking purposes and not for other purposes. So hearing this milk changed its state from milk to water and from then onwards the place was known as Doodhpathri.
But according to science, the water comes at high speed from the ice melting glaciers and that is the reason for its water appearing to look like milk. And the water looks more like milk during the summer season as at that time ice is melting and the water flow becomes very fast. The name Doodhpathri is a combination of two words, “Doodh” meaning “Milk” and “Pathri” meaning “Rocks”.
Doodhpathri was not much famous until recent years and started gaining popularity when a backpacker accidentally discovered the place and told about it to other people. Mostly local people of Kashmir come there to enjoy a 1-day picnic. And in summers, mostly shepherds come there along with their cattle for grazing and remain seasonally for about 6 months.
Source of the River
The locals who were trekkers told me the source of the river. They were curious people and had trekked to glaciers where the river originated. The name of the river which flows there is Shaliganga and it originates from Ashtaar glacier. The Ashtaar glacier gives birth to two rivers that are Shaliganga and Doodhganga.
And the famous Kashmiri Saint Nund Rishi worshipped here and water started flowing when he pricked the ground with his stick. If you will trek more there are two more alpine lakes Bhansar and Damamsar and these lakes are hidden behind the ridges.
How To Reach Doodhpathri
Most tourists visit Doodhpathri when visiting Gulmarg but you can visit from Srinagar also. As I already told you, it is located in Budgam district, J&K, and is at a distance of 15 Km from Budgam and 42 Km from Srinagar. And it is a distance of 66 Km from Gulmarg.
- Nearly 40-50 minutes to reach from Budgam District
- Nearly 2-3 hours to reach from Srinagar
- Nearly 3-4 hours to reach from Gulmarg
Now there are 2 routes which you can take to reach Doodhpathri
- Srinagar – Doodhpathri
- Srinagar – Gulmarg – Doodhpathri
Srinagar to Doodhpathri (Srinagar – Budgam – Khansahib – Raiyar – Doodhpathri)
This route is directly from Srinagar to Budgam and then to Doodhpathri and excludes Gulmarg on the way. This route is 43 Km long and it takes nearly 2 hours to cover the journey. This route is taken by the travelers who are not planning to visit Gulmarg and want to visit Doodhpathri only. Most tourists hire a cab or take their own car and bus service is not available directly.
The road is flat and it doesn’t feel like you’re driving through mountains till 30Km and after that, altitude starts gaining height, and there is a steep climb. The road from Khan Sahib usually remains in bad condition and you may feel uncomfortable when you are passing through that area. But most tourists who are directly coming from Srinagar can avoid coming from Khan Sahib road by taking Raithan road.
There are not many shops and hotels near Doodhpathri, so it’s better you carry some water bottles and eatables with you during your journey. And also carry some necessary medicines like Aspirin, Paracetamol as temperature change can affect you which is common in hill stations for some people.
Srinagar to Doodhpathri By Taxi or Cab
According to Srinagar Taxi Union Price List, hiring a taxi will cost you about Rs 2500 for a one-day round trip. But they may charge you a higher amount, so then you should use your bargaining skills. You will get a taxi very easily from Srinagar Airport, Railway Station, or Nehru Park taxi stand. You can book a taxi in advance also but what I suggest to go there and bargain for a better price e and then hire a taxi.
If you’re arriving at the Airport or Railway station, you can book a taxi in advance to pick you up from the desired destination. Since visited Doodhpathri in my own car I didn’t have to book a taxi but I have gathered all the information that will help you in getting the most out of your journey. I talked to some of my local friends and they suggested to me a good taxi driver who is Faisal in Srinagar and you can book a taxi in advance by calling him at 9596410670.
Hiring a Shared Taxi: Well tourists who are travel solo or duo, always look for a shared taxi. But unfortunately, it is not easy to find a shared taxi for visiting Doodhpathri as it is not much famous place and a few tourists visit it. But you can try to find some group who are also looking for a shared taxi and cooperate with them at the taxi stand.
But if you don’t find some other groups don’t worry I have also got another way which is a quite hectic and difficult way. What you can do is to first reach Budgam or Khan Sahib by either a bus or a shared taxi. Then when you reach there you can look for a taxi or cab from there to Doodhpathri. But I don’t suggest this way as the chances of getting a cab are not sure.
Srinagar to Doodhpathri By Bus
For those of you who are looking for a bus to reach Doodhpathri, there’s bad news for you as there is no direct bus service available. But don’t worry I do have a solution for that also. There are bus services running between Srinagar and Budgam on daily basis. You catch a bus for Budgam from Lal Chowk in Srinagar and that bus may go to Khan Sahib also.
Now whether you reach Budgam or Khan Sahib, there will be no bus service from both to Doodhpathri. So from there onwards, you have to rely on a taxi or shared taxi. If you don’t get a taxi from Budgam then you will have to reach Khan Sahib first but you should always check if there is a taxi service from Budgam or not. Then take a shared taxi from Khan Sahib stand to reach Doodhpathri.
There are some more spots from which you can board a bus to Budgam or Khan Sahib from Srinagar such as Humhama Area (Near Airport) and near the railway station. The buses running are mostly of JKSRTC and will cost nearly RS. 50 – 200. But this method can be confusing for an outsider and you only go for this method when you are very short on budget and are patient.
Srinagar to Gulmarg to Doodhpathri (Srinagar – Gulmarg – Beerwah – Arizal – Doodhpathri)
So maximum tourists visit Doodhpathri after visiting Gulmarg. The total distance of Srinagar to Gulmarg to Doodhpathri is 116 Km and it takes nearly 4 hours to complete the journey. But here we are gonna assume that you have already reached Gulmarg and then from there you will now visit Doodhpathri. You can easily get a cab or taxi from Gulmarg to Doodhpathri.
At this point, we are assuming you have reached Gulmarg in your own car, cab or taxi, bus, or any other means. Doodhpathri is at a distance of 66 Km from Gulmarg and it takes nearly 2 – 3 hours to reach there. You can reach by taking a cab or taxi or your own car but I am not sure about the bus service.
What you can do is take a taxi from Srinagar to Gulmarg to Doodhpathri. When you visit Gulmarg if you have hired a taxi for a round trip then when you return from Gulmarg you can visit Doodhpathri on your way back. If you booked a taxi for a one-way journey to Gulmarg, then you can book another taxi from Tangmarg or Gulmarg Taxi stand to first go to Doodhpathri and then back to Srinagar. It will cost you nearly Rs. 2000 -3000.
And hiring a taxi or cab is the best way for this route as bus services are rarely available and even if they are they are not direct and you will have to change at many points. So it’s best you take a taxi or a shared taxi for reaching there. Reaching Gulmarg from Srinagar will cost you Rs. 1850 and for returning Rs. 2050. And the JKSRTC bus will cost Rs. 150 -300 depending upon the type of bus you take.
Places To Visit In Doodhpathri
There are not so many places to visit in Doodhpathri as it itself is a tourist spot. But there are some places which you can visit near it and some of them are :
- Gogji Pathri
- Shrine of Khan Sahab
- Shrine of Shamas Faqeer R.A.
- Dophkhal, Sochilpather, and Parihas.
Tangnar is a small beautiful valley which is covered by Deodar and Pine trees. It is located just 2-3 Km before the way to Doodhpathri and you can stop there take some photos and enjoy the scenic views.
Also known as Valley of Turnip, Mujhpathri is a very small village in Khan Sahib and it is situated along the bank of the river Shaliganga. It is very famous for turnip cultivation and is nearly 3 Km from Doodhpathri.
Palmaidan means big stones. There is nothing but big stones lying around the ground that’s why it got its name Palmaidan. It is nearly 5 Km from Doodhpathri and you will find shepherds there who bring their cattle for grazing purposes. There is also a stream running along the ground and the ground is covered by Pine and Deodar trees.
Diskhal is another beautiful meadow near Doodhpathri. Ashtaar Glacier can be seen from Diskhal and to reach there you have to trek nearly 10 Km from Shaliganga. The best time to visit there in the months of June and July and the views are magnificent.
Yusmarg is another hill station in Budgam District and is close to Doodhpathri. In the Kashmiri language, Yusmarg is known as Meadow of Jesus as it is believed that Jesus came there. It is an emerging tourist destination in Kashmir.
Gogji Pathri is a small and sparsely village near Doodhpathri. It is a base camp to reach Doodhpathri. There are many farms and streams where you can stop for a quick break.
Shrine of Khan Sahib
The shrine is associated with a famous saint – Hazrat Salen Khan who came there in the sixteenth century. When he was born 99 saints visited to see them. He was a fine calligrapher and a copy of the Holy Quran calligraphed by him is available at Watal Kadal, Srinagar. One week-long urs (festival) is held during the month of Zeelqad.
Shrine of Shamas Faqeer R.A.
This is another shrine located near Doodhpathri and is dedicated to Shamas Faqir and was a Kashmiri Sufi poet. His poems have become a part of rich Kashmiri literature and one of his famous couplets is “Makka Madinas Bar Chi Wathye, Neari Latiye roof Karan” (The doors of Mecca and Madina are wide open, oh my friend, come out and sing).
Dophkhal, Sochilpather, and Parihas
These are some other places which you can visit near Dophkhal, Sochilpather, and Parihas.
Things To Do In Doodhpathri
There are many things to do in Doodhpathri as it is still developing and there aren’t many activities like compared to other hill stations. But yeah if you’re an adventure lover then you can camp and trek in the meadows and also click some wonderful shots.
Camping and Trekking
Well, it’s a wonderful place for camping and trekking. There are no camping services available so you will have to carry your own tents and other equipment. Also, if you want to trek there are no guides available so it’s better to take some local with you.
Also, there are bears roaming there so you beware. If you don’t have a local person who knows the place thoroughly don’t trek and camp there. During summers, you can pay Shephard for some food and even ask them for being a guide.
Doodhpathri is an awesome site for clicking some wonderful shots. The white stream of water gives some amazing shots and the whole station is covered by pine and deodar trees. During winters, it’s beauty even magnifies more. So when you travel there make sure you carry your camera and some extra batteries because you will not want to miss any chance.
Best Time To Visit Doodhpathri
If you’re looking for the best time to visit Doodhpathri it depends on whether you like snow or green meadows. If you want to experience pleasant weather in summers, the best time will be from April to June and if white snow valleys then Mid-December to February. If you don’t like rain and want to avoid landslides then visiting in July to August will not be great. Water is white in color mostly during summers as the ice is melting and water flows at high speed.
During summers, you can almost take a taxi or your own car to the river and then you have to walk only for 5 minutes but in winter, the road is blocked by snow and you cannot take your car there and have to trek a little extra. And sometimes if it is snowing heavily you may not be able to even trek so it’s better to do a proper inquiry about the place before visiting.
Doodhpathri Weather or Temperature
|Month||Weather & Temperature|
|January||Covered in Snow (-5 to 5 Degree Celcius)|
|February||Covered in Snow (-5 to 7 Degree Celcius)|
|March||Snow starts melting (4 to 15 Degree Celcius)|
|April||Spring Season (8 to 20 Degree Celcius)|
|May||Warm Weather (12 to 27 Degree Celcius)|
|June||Warm Weather with Rain Sometimes (15 to 31 Degree Celcius)|
|July||Monsoon Arrives (18 to 33 Degree Celcius)|
|August||Monsoon Continues (17 to 30 Degree Celcius)|
|September||Cold Starts a little (10 to 29 Degree Celcius)|
|October||Very Cold (5 to 22 Degree Celcius)|
|November||Fog & Cold (1 to 15 Degree Celcius)|
|December||Extreme Cold & Snowfall (-3 to 10 Degree Celcius)|
1. Is it safe to visit Doodhpathri?
Yes, it is totally safe to visit Doodhpathri. It’s a very peaceful and calm tourist location and there is news of terror attacks or similar acts. Just the best way to reach there is to hire a taxi or cab and avoid taking the bus.
2. Where to live in Doodhpathri?
Currently, there are no hotels or guest houses in Doodhpathri as it is still under development. And the nearest hotels will be in Budgam town but most people visit during day time and depart before the evening.
3. What to eat in Doodhpathri?
There are a few eateries nearby Doodhpathri. So it’s better to carry water bottles and some eatables with you. And also there is a restaurant named Zaika which is the government managed but still, I suggest you carry some eatables with you.
4. Are there any Banks or ATMs?
There are no banks or ATMs in Doodhapthri and the nearest ones are in Khan Sahib so it’s better you take some cash with you.
5. Are there any Medical Facilities?
There are no medical facilities in Doodhpathri. The nearest one is in Khan Sahib or Budgam and advance medical facilities are in Srinagar. So it’s better you carry some basic medicines like Paracetamol, Asiripin, etc.
6. How is mobile connectivity?
Only BSNL will work fine there and others may not work there.
7. How is the road condition?
The road is fine till Khan Sahib but after that road is not good in condition.