Athwatoo Bandipora is a picturesque tourist resort situated in the Bandipora district of Kashmir. This offbeat location is quite away from the normal tourist map you see of Kashmir. Visiting this place is a leap to the most gorgeous and serene place in Kashmir. This place has nice stay options just alongside the gushing river stream which is full of trout fish, it has the jungle in its surroundings and a couple of pristine villages that inhabit its surroundings. This place is a beautiful blend of coniferous and deciduous forests. The literal meaning of ‘Ath-watoo’ is the confluence of 8 ways/roads.
This is Cliffhangers India’s hands down the best offbeat place in Kashmir.
The jungle and pastures towards the further end of this place are frequented by shepherds of Kashmir. The place gets connected to Gurez on one side and has the shadow of the towering Harmukh mountain on the other. The trails going from Athwatoo tourist resort goes into serene places which makes it ideal for hiking and perfect for day hikes.
Athwatoo is situated 11km from the main Bandipora district and around 60km from Srinagar. It stands at an altitude of around 1800m. The road takes a turn towards the right before the main Bandipora market and then meanders via the village un till the road turns into a trekking trail. The detour from the main road walks parallel to the Madhumati River.
Athwatoo has the calmness of nature. The time pauses here, with nothing but the whistles of nature wafting in your ears. The chirping of birds, the shimmering river stream sound, the stillness of forests, and the sun-dappled trails. In the morning the first rays of the sun come down with a soothing vibe. In the evening as the sun starts setting, you get to see the entire forest and landscape covered in golden hues.
The village is full of wildlife. It has the presence of a Himalayan black bear and toward the upper reaches, you will find stags. It has quite a variety of birds and other wildlife species. The famous Madhumati river dances down in the middle of this tourist resort. Madhumati river originates from the Gurez and Gangsar lake of the Harmukh area.
- Read the Complete Blog on Gurez: Gurez Valley Travel Guide
There is a mythology that surrounds this beautiful village. It is said that Prophet Moses (A.S) after emigrating from Egypt all the way came to Kashmir and rested here in this village. There is a small place covered with colorful flags that marks the resting place of Prophet Moses here.
It is believed that one of the tribes of Jews settled here in Kashmir post their emigration from Egypt. Locals here firmly believe that Prophet Moses did visit this place before leaving for Palestine.
Cliffhangers India arranges all of the travel requirements for Athwatoo which includes your cozy stay in a guest house or a tree house, your transportation arrangements, and your activities here like angling, hiking, pony riding, etc. Book with Cliffhangers the Athwatoo tour package along with other offbeat places to experience the delightful and serene places of Kashmir.
- Book Athwatoo Tour: Kashmir Offbeat Tour Packages
- Book Gurez Valley Tour: Gurez Valley Tour Packages
Where to Stay at Athwatoo
Since it is an offbeat place and quite not present on the popular tourist map of Kashmir, here are only a few decent but charming stay options. Once the road ends, you will see the beautiful spacious hut of the Tourism Department and Forest department facing the river stream. Past these government huts rest some decent hotel stay with beautiful lawns and rooms for tourists.
You can book any of the lodges for your night stay. One of the fantastic stay options here is the tree house. A beautiful one-bedroom tree house is built around the grand Walnut tree. This house has one bedroom with an attached verandah that opens to the Madhumati River streams.
Things to do at in Athwatoo Bandipora
From Athwatoo there are some beautiful hikes that you can take. One such hike takes you toward the twin waterfalls. The trail goes via the forest and has river crossings with wooden bridges and meadow openings. On your way 2 km up from Athwatoo resort you will see your first waterfall towards your left. Up from above, you will see splashes of water falling on rocks and trees from just across the stream you are walking along. The next waterfall is ideal for taking a lunch break or rest and it is just two km further away from the first waterfall.
Towards the second waterfall, the trail opens up and gives way to a wider view with a mountain range all around you.
In the months of October and mid-November, the hiking trail of Athwatoo sees the gorgeous colorful forest. The trail at some points becomes the autumn tunnel of colorful trees with golden, yellow, crimson, and green colors predominating.
- Check our Trekking Products: Trekking in Kashmir
It is also the ideal place for angling. A lot of fishing freaks come here and spend hours and days trout fishing. Spend your time here with a rod on the banks of the Madhumati River and experience the surreal feel of fishing.
There is a trout fish farm here also where you can see how the fish are cultured and nurtured. Cliffhangers India’s guide will tour you around the fish farm and make you see this place with safety and delight.
Athwatoo has beautiful natural trails which are perfect for pony riding. You can hire a pony with Cliffhangers and take a tour to the extreme ends of this resort along with the surrounding villages.
Many villages are inhabited here in the surroundings of these resorts. The villages are quaint and maintain the age-old traditional way of lifestyle. Tour around these villages with Cliffhangers India’s tour guide and experience the life and times of these people. Stay in the mud houses and enjoy the local meal and listen from the locals the fascinating tales of their lives and these mountains and wildlife.
This place has quite a wide and rough trail perfect for mountain biking. The trail is around 20km in total and goes via a blend of coniferous and deciduous forests. The bike riding over wooden bridges beside the river stream is a dream come true for a mountain biker.
What is the best season to visit Athwatoo?
The best season and time to visit this stunning place is summer. It is an ideal place to be in the months of June, July, August, and September. However, you can also visit this place in May and October. In winter this place gets covered in thick snow and gets inaccessible.
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