Situated at an altitude of 3785m on the highway connecting Batote-Kishtwar-Anantnag on NH1B, Sinthan top is a trekkers and nature lover’s delight. Away from the concrete jungle of the adjoining cities of Anantnag and Srinagar, this untouched beauty connects to you so eternally that one can feel the piousness in the air.
The climb to the top starts at Daksum (2438m). Daksum is itself one of the virgin spots at Kashmir which has not yet seen the rush of the tourists. And once the steep and curvy trail from Daksum starts one get transcended to simply another world which is no less than paradise. Stop at Daksum to recoup your refreshments or to freshen up as there are not much amenities available after this spot. It is just going to be you and the nature at its best.
We took this trail along a group of friends in August with a glimmer of hope of seeing snow at this time of year. But it was not successful as there was not an ounce of snow. But it was worth a drive to the top. The traffic on this state of art road (only till Sinthan Top) was equal to none after Daksum. Only a few Bakarwals (locals who rear goats) visible, with their herds grazing, there were ample opportunities to stop and behold the sights offered by the mountains around. During this time of year the mountains are green and verdant. The best sight is the natural patch work created by Mother Nature on the hills that catches one’s eyes. Also, the best game on the way was to spot the Bakarwal’s residences that are so beautifully camouflaged that it would be next to impossible to even think that it can be a home until or unless one just bumps into it.
The trail is home to such exclusive flora that any horticulturist or a plant lover traveling to the top will be awestruck and mesmerized. All the ladies in our group were busy collecting the rare plants specially the variety of succulents that one wanted as ornamental plants for one’s house( alas the plants did not survive in the city climate and pollution).
The road up is met with snow fed rivulets at many places. During that time of year the water content in these rivulets is scarce thus offering a perfect spot for picture clicking session. Stop over and sit on the big boulders with small yet coldest stream flowing beside and just enthrall your senses.
Once on the top, you would be just surprised by the vast expanse of the mountains around and nothing else. With just a family or two loitering around the small little meadow on the top, there is just serenity and purity all around. The clouds are coming and going giving a divine feeling to the whole experience. We walked to the top of a hill around and were panting for breath. It took us a few minutes to get ourselves acclimatized and again get busy with our rendezvous with the nature.
We carried our cooking utensils and a portable gas connection and cooked Biryani. What an experience of enjoying biryani with temperatures dipping, clouds moving around and just greenery around.
After we finished our picnic, we thought of venturing into the only tea stall available on the top. A sugar laden tea in that chilly weather was the icing on the top. The tea stall owner told us that this place experience 12 to 15 feet high snow during the winters. And when we told him our basic aim to travel to Sinthan top he said that there was good amount of snow last week! Though we were not able to see snow at Sinthan but whatever we saw refreshed and rejuvenated our senses and we are still living with the memories of that place afresh in our hearts and minds.