The union territory of Jammu and Kashmir is a home to natural beauty and climatic variations. Most of the tourists visit Kashmir during the summer season to witness the cold weather and scenic beauty. But a very few people visit Jammu for their holidays and those who come either visit Shri Mata Vaishno Devi or Patnitop.
As very few people know about the tourist places in Jammu. Like Kashmir, Jammu too is rich in natural beauty and has a wide variety of tourist places. The state government has also undertaken many projects to promote and increase the tourism sector in Jammu.
Among many tourist spots, one such tourist spot that is known to very few people is Bani in Kathua. Bani is known for its panoramic beauty and cold weather. It is a small valley located at a height of 4200 feet in the lap of mountains.
The valley of Bani experiences cold weather throughout the year. Extreme winter and moist summer are two factors why people visit Bani. It is also famous as Mini Kashmir. Bani is also the base camp for trekkers who come from Bhaderwah and Chamba, Himachal, etc. Bani has numerous waterfalls, thick forests, bursting streams, and Meadows. Banjal, Chandel Bhoond are a few famous spots in Bani.
The boundaries of Bani valley touch Kailash Sarthaldhar in the north, Himachal Pradesh in the east, Banjal in the south, and Dhar Mandi in the west. The valley has a unique geographical entity. Bani has a river named Sewa which flows in the middle of the valley. The evergreen tall trees of deodar, forests of cheel and padtal, the crystal clear water, the cool breeze, springs, and waterfalls, the snow-covered mountains, the greenery, large water bodies all these things makes Bani a visit tourist spot.
The forests of Bani have a wide variety of flowers and animals. The forest area from Banjal to Sarthal Dhar consists of a vast variety of precious herbs that are used in the preparation of life-saving medicines.
The tourism of Bani is divided into parts including one for its natural beauty and another for its religious places. Talking about natural beauty, Bani is an important tourist spot in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir. Bani is blessed with tremendous beauty by the bountiful nature but there are places in the valley of Bani worth mentioning for the information of tourists coming to the Union Territory. Bani has the Tehsil headquarter and is a beautiful valley.
The Sewa river which flows in the middle of the valley divides the valley which is connected by two bridges built over the river.
The valley has been set up in such a way that it gives immense pleasure to see the natural beauty. The oval-shaped valley is covered by huge mountains that are dotted deodar trees. The houses in the valley have been built of with the architecture for hilly areas. The roofs of houses have been painted with different colors that look very beautiful when seen from a height. Bani Valley also has a vast number of walnut trees. The locals collect these walnuts from the trees and sell them at cheap rates in the market during the winter season.
Banjal Gala is at the distance of 44 km from Basholi-Bani road and situated at a peak of a hill which is 1980 meters above the sea level. The Banjal Gala is the only place in the UT which has a number of oak trees. Being situated at a height, at night people can enjoy the twinkling lights of Dalhousie and the neighboring states of Punjab. According to the locals, the British government was so charmed by the beauty of Banjal that they selected Banjal as a tourist spot during their reign.
The ChalaDhar range which reaches Banjal through peaks of various hills. In summer the range is covered with lush green grass and beautiful flowers which increases the beauty of the range. ChalaDhar is known for its trekking and snow activities.
The Lowang village which is situated 13 km north to the Basholi-Bani-Bhaderwah road. The village is also situated at a height of 1760 meters of sea level. No one can leave Bani without visiting the spot. The village is known for its calm and pleasant environment. The population of the village comprises Hindus and Muslims who live in unity with each other. The Jamma Masjid and Lahu Naag temple are the main attraction of the Lowang village. Another famous spot near Bani is the Sat Seer waterfall. The water of the waterfall comes from the foot of the Jourian Mata hills. The water is rich in minerals, sweet in taste, and improves the digestion process. People stop by the river to feel the freshness of the water.
About 66 percent of the area in Bani is covered with forests. Bani is rich in terms of natural beauty, forest, and minerals but people here are poor because of unemployment. They are forced to live hard lives because of proper means of earning. So, it becomes the duty of the Government to promote tourism in Bani so, that people can receive good monthly income and can spend their lives happily.