Skyview Patnitop: A Dreamy Escape!
Skyview Patnitop offers a holistic and hearty experience to all the guests and ensures that they spend their valuable time making countless memories and enjoying every bit of their visit.
I have often driven to Srinagar from Delhi and passed the charming hill station of Patnitop on my way. Sometimes, we would halt for the night and if we made good time, we would bypass the town via the Chenani-Nashri Tunnel (now renamed as Syama Prasad Mookerjee Tunnel) and head to Srinagar directly.
On a recent visit, I was stuck on the Jammu Srinagar highway for six hours and it was almost 10 pm when I reached the Tunnel. Having seen hoardings for Skyview Patnitop on the highway, my interest was piqued and I thought that I’ll check it out as is it was just a few kilometres from the tunnel and maybe spend the night before continuing onwards.
It was the best decision I took to turn off the highway and discovered this amazing jewel of a destination which I had no clue about. Though it is, as of now, a mountain adventure destination with an array of outdoor activities onsite and offsite, it does not offer any accommodation as yet, but plans I understand are in the offing. However, I managed to find a place to spend the night nearby and decided to check out the site in the morning.
Skyview Patnitop by Empyrean is an initiative of Empyrean Skyview Patnitop Projects Pvt. Ltd. (ESPPL) which I understand came into being in July 2019 after a thoughtful amalgam of entrepreneurial skills, relevant international partnerships and the best in class technology to bring forth a one of its kind mountain adventure in Patnitop, an experience worth cherishing for a lifetime.
Skyview Patnitop is the most elaborate tourism project in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and one that looks beyond the Valley! It’s an exemplary case of the largest Indo-French collaboration as the layout and master planning for the 11 acre tourism property was carried out by Dianeige, a French consultancy group. The entire project was completedby ESPPL in just 2 years and 4 months in partnership with Patnitop Development Authority. ESPPL also partnered with eminent global leaders including The POMA Group, MND Group, ERIC, and Sage Geotech who contributed their acumen and expertise in planning, executing and constructing the concept of Skyview Patnitop.
With tourists flocking to the Valley and tourist spots near Srinagar, it is heartening to see that a venture such as Skyview Patnitop has opened up more possibilities. Since Jammu is easily accessible via air, railways and road this makes Skyview Patnitop a preferred destination for mountain adventure. Once the highway is complete, it is a 2 hour long drive from Jammu, 90 minutes from Katra and only 45 minutes from Udhampur.
What caught my attention was the international look and feel of this project hitherto not seen in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir. It was a moment of pride to see the beautifully laid out lifestyle destination complete with activities such as Zip lining, tubing sledge, magic carpet and the piece de resistance -- the highest ropeway (in terms of ground clearance) from the lower terminal to Patnitop, the upper terminal. The ride offered me an opportunity to witness the beauty of nature at its best and a bird’s eye view of the mesmerizing landscape. The ride spans around 2.8 kms and soars over terraced valleys and expansive pine forests.
Another adventure activity I enjoyed was the Magic Carpet which brought a fairytale to real life. This ride spans over 162 meters to the top and has a sturdy conveyor capacity thus ensuring safety of the rider. Asia’s longest zig-zag zipline measuring 580 meters is present at Skyview Patnitop! Swinging across 9 wires and 10 poles is a fun filled experience that gives a sense of accomplishment upon completion and instills fearlessness! Tubing Sledge featuring 238 meters of slopes is another exciting ride. It also has the accolade of being India’s first dry tubing sledge. It is an all season sledge and gives an enlivening ride. A kids zone for children between the age groups of 4 and 12 has been specifically designed and equipped with kids-friendly swings, slides and trampoline to ensure that they make most of their time at Skyview Patnitop and engage in activities suitable for their age.
Skyview Adventure Valley also offers a gamut of offsite activities that include a 2.5 km long leisure trail that gives the hiker an opportunity to witness the breathtaking spectacle of the mountains and the lush green forests and an escape from the concrete jungles we live in. Mountain Biking is another joy filled experience as qualified instructors accompany you on the 7 km long trail as you pass by rough terrain, steep slopes and fragrant pines on special mountain bikes clad in safety gear.
For a lovely culinary experience, Skyview Patnitop houses three eateries namely Skyview Café (A café cum bakery), The Wok (Asian cuisine restaurant) was my favourite, and The Banana Leaf (A restaurant offering the best of Indian, Chinese and Continental food and an exquisite range of Indian and International desserts). Each of these is surrounded by awe-inspiring views of the mountainscapes
A pleasant surprise was the shopping experience at Skyview Patnitop. I picked up Supreme quality honey and a few mementos for my family.
Though I did not have time to visit the nearby attractions which include Madhatop that houses fresh water springs, dense virgin woods and ofcourse the panoramic views of the hills. Sanasar another picturesque town near Patnitop has two beautiful lakes namely Sana and Sar. Sanasar offers picture perfect views and the meadows with lush greenery come as a breath of fresh air away from exhausting city life.The spot also boasts of a Golf course for those who are interested in disovering new fairways.
As a believer in sustainable and responsible tourism, I was delighted that Skyview Patnitop assumes the onus of taking care of Mother nature and communities with its responsible and sustainable business model. Skyview Patnitop in collaboration with local authorities ensures that cleanliness drives and other community welfare programs are continuously carried out so as to ensure an inclusive ecosystem of business activities and social responsibility. In the course of construction not even a single tree was cut down, which in itself has been a beautiful milestone to accoplish; additionally Skyview has planted 8,000 saplings. As for reliable infrastructure, sturdy systems have been deployed for all adventure activities as Skyview Patnitop prioritizes visitor safety over everything else. What’s more, the setting up of Skyview Patnitop has created local employability and created jobs for the youth in the region.
The packages for a fun filled experience at Skyview Patnitop start from as little as ₹ 299 and depending on the activities covered the amount payable varies. There are separate offers for the ropeway as well as combo offers which include ropeway and adventure activities, mountain biking package and an all in one Skyview Adventure Valley Package are also available. The adventure site offers something for everyone, and inclusivity is well embedded in the business model of Skyview Patnitop.
I have never felt more safe than at Skyview Patnitop. Not only are all the activities and the ropeway built to exacting safe standards, in alignment with the ongoing precautionary measures against Covid-19, Skyview Patnitop ensures maximum safety for all visitors and staff members. Regular temperature checks are made at the entrance, wearing of face masks is also mandatory to mitigate the spread of the virus, social distancing norms have to be followed by all visitors and staff members at ticket counters, ropeway terminals and restaurants. Contactless dining and a portal for facilitating digital payment for tickets is in place Regular sanitization drives are regularly carried out at the adventure site. SGS, a global inspection and certification agency has also certified Skyview Patnitop after a rigorous round of audit.
Skyview Patnitop offers a holistic and hearty experience to all the guests and ensures that they spend their valuable time making countless memories and enjoying every bit of their visit. It is worth a visit and if you are travelling to Katra to visit Vaishno Devi do keep aside a few days to spend at Skyview Patnitop.
(Review by Ruhail Amin)
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