Around 47 kilometres away from summer capital Srinagar, Doodhpathri – a tourist destination and a hill station is located in central Kashmir’s Budgam district. At an altitude of 2,730 meters from sea level, the breathtaking destination lies 22 kilometres away from district headquarters Budgam.
Popularly known as ‘Valley of Milk’, the revered saint of Kashmir Hazrat Sheikh Noor-ud-Din Noorani (RA) would spend time here and pray. According to the legend, the Sheikh went into the forests to quest his thirst but he found nothing. The legend goes that the Sheikh struck the ground out of which a fresh stream of milk came out.
It is said that the Sheikh quipped that milk can only be used to quench thirst but not for performing ablution. Following this, the legend has it that the milky stream turned into water and that’s how the meadow got its name Doodhpathri.
Any visitor to the meadow can see that the stream of milk has a milky appearance even from a distance and remains very cold throughout the year.
There is no doubt that Kashmir is tourist heaven. There are myriad places a traveller can choose to visit. Doodhpathri is one such destination that visitors can go to. The lush green grasses over the vast meadows and silver shining streams running over the large stones further add to its beauty.
There are multiple attractive destinations around Doodhpathri which include Tangnar, Mujpather, Dophkhal, Sochilpather, Palmidan and Parihas. The Tangnar comes on the way to Doodhpathri. This beautiful place consists of small valleys with deodar and pine trees on small hills. The Mujpathri is a small hamlet 3 kilometres from Doodhpathri, situated on the bank of the river Shaliganga. Similarly, Palmaidan (ground of big stones) is situated at a distance of about 5 kilometres from Doodhpathri and is the favourite spot of shepherds and cowboys where they graze their cattle and livestock. The place is rich in deodar and pine trees. Furthermore, Diskhal is a beautiful meadow on top of the mountains and overlooks the Ashtaar glacier.
This famous tourist destination can easily be accessed from Srinagar in under one and a half-hour time in a car. It can be approached from two ways – Srinagar to Budgam to Khansahib to Doodhpathri, or via Srinagar – Gulmarg road via Srinagar to Magam to Beerwah to Doodhpathri via Zaingam and Arizal. The latter route adds 4 to 6 kilometres to the distance. The famous meadow of Tosamaidan lies in the west of Doodhpathri.
The valley is covered with lush green meadows, with an adjoining river meandering through pine trees of the surrounding forests.
During winters, the meadows remain covered under snow and it gives a mesmerizing look to this hill station. During winters and when it is snowing, Doodhpathri doesn’t have a permanent settlement. The destination remains inaccessible to visitors, while in summer, shepherds from the nearby Budgam villages bring their cattle and livestock there for grazing and who make a temporary base there for about six months.
“The destination has a vast potential to generate revenue for the state and provide a livelihood to thousands. But I have been coming here for many years to graze my livestock and I have not seen the government paying due heed to this place. It needs to be addressed. It will provide a livelihood to many,” Sabzar Ahmad, a local told Kashmir Post.
Ahmad added that the roads leading to this hill station are not macadamized and maintained. “If the government will macadamize the roads of adjoining villages, it will benefit not only the government in terms of revenue but the local population as well,” he also added.
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