Bhaderwah Winter Festival: Unveiling the Enchanting Charm of Chhota Kashmir

December 21, 2023: Nestled at an altitude of 5,295 feet in the foothills of the middle Himalayas, Bhaderwah has rightfully earned its moniker, “Chhota Kashmir” or little Kashmir. The pristine beauty of this region is characterized by deep deodar forests that envelop the landscape in profound silence, and meadows adorned with vivid fuchsia rhododendrons. The valley is steeped in local legends, but it’s the snow-capped mountains that effortlessly steal the hearts of visitors from around the globe.

The Festive Extravaganza: Bhaderwah Winter Festival

From December 27 to 31, Bhaderwah transforms into a celebration hub with the much-anticipated Bhaderwah Winter Festival. A recent meeting presided over by District Development Commissioner (Doda) Harvinder Singh saw stakeholders finalize the event’s programs and plans. Spread across renowned locations like the Qilla (Bhaderwah Fort), Jae Valley, Guldanda, and Gatha Park, the festival promises an array of activities.

Commencing at Bhaderwah Fort, the festival boasts a lineup of cultural activities, local artist performances, melodious music, thrilling sports, delectable local cuisine, and kiosks showcasing indigenous crafts and culinary treasures. The second day in the Jae Valley comes alive with music and adventure sports, including paragliding, horseback riding, zorbing, and trekking.

For winter sports enthusiasts, Guldanda on the third and fourth days is the place to be. Revel in the joy of skiing, snow scooter rides, and indulge your taste buds in local cuisine while soaking in the musical vibes. The festival culminates on the fifth day with celebrity performers and singers entertaining the crowds until midnight, creating the perfect ambiance to welcome the New Year.

Discovering Bhaderwah: Nature’s Masterpiece

Situated in Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district, Bhaderwah is renowned for its unparalleled natural beauty. The landscape is adorned with hundreds of unnamed rivers clinging to mountainsides, alpine valleys hosting centuries-old temples, and snow-capped peaks undisturbed by worldly distractions.

With undulating green slopes and snow-capped mountains providing a breathtaking backdrop, Bhaderwah features meadows and valleys perfect for picnics, such as the meadows of Jae Valley. Seoj Meadow, flanked by tall mountains and the sacred peak of Kailash Kund, serves as a camping area for Kailash Yatra pilgrims. Adventure enthusiasts can partake in exhilarating paragliding tours, experiencing the magnificence of Bhaderwah from the skies.


Exploring the High-Altitude Beauty of Jae Valley

The high-altitude meadows of Jae Valley near Bhaderwah have become a magnet for tourists. At an impressive altitude of 7,850 feet, these meadows witnessed a staggering four lakh visitors this year, including 1.20 lakh students. The valley’s allure extends to Chinta Valley, situated at 6,500 feet, where visitors can embark on horse rides from Baggan to Thuba and explore the ancient Shiva temple.

Journey to Bhaderwah: Getting There

For those eager to embark on this enchanting journey, Jammu, approximately 200 kilometers from Bhaderwah, serves as the ideal starting point.

By Air: Jammu Airport offers well-connected flights to cities like Srinagar, Delhi, Amritsar, Chandigarh, Mumbai, and Bengaluru.

By Train: Opt for rail travel with major railheads from Jammu, including Jammu Express, Shalimar Express, Sealdah Express, Jhelum Express, Jammu Mail, and Malwa Express.

In every season, Bhaderwah unveils its distinct charm, but the Bhaderwah Winter Festival adds a touch of magic to this already mesmerizing destination, making it a must-visit for those seeking an unforgettable experience amidst the snow-capped wonders of Chhota Kashmir.