High mountains, deodar and pine forests, beautiful neeru naalah, snow-covered peaks in winters and, beautiful green hills and slopes and quiet little resorts and hamlets - Bhaderwah is fastly emerging as Jammu and kashmir's most favourite tourism destination. Bhaderwah is a beautiful valley in District Doda of Jammu and Kashmir state of India. It is popularly known as Chotta kashmir because of its beautiful scenery and kashmir like climate. Bhaderwah is a beautiful valley surrounded by huge Himalayan mountains and thick Deodar and Pine forests. These huge peaks get covered with snow at the end of December every year which starts melting and gets totally cleared in the beginning of April month. The people of Bhadarwah could speak four to five languages - Bhadarwahi, Kashmiri, Dogri, Hindi and English. It has the highest literary rate in the whole of J&K. It is full of beautiful meadows and glens. The valley of Bhadarwah in Himalayas is located on 75º-40' East longitude and 33º-4' North Latitude.
Bhaderwah was a large size ancient Principality of eminence now reduced to a small Tehsil in district Doda of Jammu Division. Its area is consisted of present Tehsil of Bhaderwah, Bhallessa, major part of Tehsil Doda (Trown and Shiva Panchayats). Bhaderwah became a part of the newly created state of Jammu and Kashmir founded by Maharaja Gulab Singh through the Treaty of Amritsar executed between the British Raj and Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1846 A.D.
Bhaderwah continues to be the most beautiful ancient state out of the 22 Hill States of Duggar group of Jammu region. It is one of the oldest states famous for its natural beauty, rich culture, fairs and festivals and folk lore and folk dances. It is located at a distance of 103 miles in the north – east of jammu, 46 miles from the south of Kashmir and 60 miles North – west of Chamba. It is bounded by Kishtwar in the north, on the east by Chamba and on the south by Billawar and on the west by Chenani. Its climate, temperature and topography is mountainous. It has an undulating valley from village Bheja touching Chamba state upto Pul Doda. It has dense alpine forests containing some of the most beautiful scenic spots like Seoj Dhar, Padhri Dhar, Sabar Dhar and jai ( The word Dhar denotes a large sized alpine meadow surrounded by dense forests).
Bhadarwah Valley in the North has beautiful Sabar Dhar Mountains, in the South the series of mountains from Chatter Gali-Sonbain-Guldanda-Padri Gali, in the East the Jai Valley and in the West Seoj Dhar and in the South-West Kablas dhar and Kailash Kund. The dense green forests add charm to the valley which is crisscrossed by a series of mountains. The Neeru River is center to the beauty and the Deodar and Kail forests add further.
Bhaderwah town is commanded from the west by a fort standing on a hill, about 300 feet high. It is larqe square building (Bhaderwah Quilla) with bastions at each corner, chiefly built of large blocks of slate clay that hardens by long exposure to the sun and air. The walls are loop hold for musketry and the fort is said to mount for guns and to have a garrison of fifty men.
Just below the fort is Masjid and Ziarat of Syud Sahib. There is another Masjid in the town and Ziarat of Dunda Sahib. Bhaderwah is a beautiful town with two baazars - Seri baazar and one old baazar (Parla baazar). As soon as the Bus reaching bhaderwah crosses the Kurshari area and enters Domail, a complete view of Bhaderwah starting from Gatha to Sonni Bain comes in front of the eyes and it is such a beautiful view that it remains a-fresh in the mind of the person throught his life.
Vasuki Nag Temple is the presiding deity of the Bhadarwah. There are four Vasuki Nag Temples in the town, one at Gatha, heart of town, second at Nalthi, third at Bheja and fourth at Nagar Bhadarwah.The main idol of the Vasuki Nag Temple at Gatha is a wonderful specimen of art and sculpture. Two idols Naraj Vasuki and Raja Jamub Vahan are made of black schist. The Siva temple is located to the east of the town on the bank of river Neeru at a distance 0.5 km made under natural stone slabs. Inside the temple on a vertically inclined stone slab there is a foot (print of Bhima, one of the Pandava brothers of the Mahabharata fame) on the rock with an ancient inscription as per the local legend. There is a splendid mosque situated in the town proper and is marvelous specimen of wooden architecture with influence of Kashmiri architecture.
There is another ancient temple of Shitla Mata situated on a slopping hill top about four miles by foot between Chinta Valley and Reoshra. The temple is used as the spot scared for mundan ceremony or shaving of head in the region. People from Chamba, Bani-Basohli, Kathua, Doda, and Kishtwar every year on the Navrata (Ashtami) pay obeisance and have the hair of their children. There is a Dharmsala for the night stay of the pilgrims.
Bhaderwah lies approx 208 kms east from Jammu city. It takes approx 7 hours to reach Bhaderwah from Jammu by bus and approx 6 hours from Udhampur. he way to Bhadarwah is quite enjoyable. The road from Jammu to Batote is 130 kms on NHIA and then takes right turn from Batote towards Pul Doda which is 50 kms on NHIB. Then from Pul Doda, a new road takes 30 km to reach Bhadarwah along the Neeru River, a tributary of the Chenab. The road is fine with several sharp curves and hair pin bends to enjoy the beauty of the whole valley to reach the saucer bowl of Bhadarwah in district Doda. The valley is a kaleidoscope of nature with various ethnic groups of people living in the harmony of God’s creativity. The peaceful atmosphere, pleasant climate, self sufficiency in fruits, vegetables, milk etc attracts lot of tourist every year. During winter season dancing sunbeams reflected by the snow blanket make the dance more attractive. The dark green forest is the abode of tigers. Wild herbs in plenty in these areas add their own attraction and charm.
Bhaderwah is also connected directly to the state of Himachal Pradesh. There is a direct road about 66 kms connecting to the chamba district of Himachal Pradesh. On Bhaderwah-Chamba road, there are many beautiful places like Nalthi, Basti, Sartingle, Khani top and Padri.
One more route connecting Bhaderwah directly to Basohli Jammu near Kathua district will also be opened soon.