After having our holy Darshan of Mata Vaishno Devi one can visit Patnitop near Katra and 2 hours drive from Katra. It's a good hill station for relaxing, adventure and fun with snow all around. There was a lot of snow all around Nathatop in Feb 2015 and of course there are a lot of snow activities all around.
We travelled to Patnitop from Katra by Tempo Traveller. One day tours are also available but we selected to stay one night at Patnitop. The road is double lane and one can enjoy the travel through turns and green cover. The distance is about 85 km from Katra and takes around 4 hours but depends on the traffic and particularly on the traffic jam due to truck stuck et al. However, there is tunnel work in progress to reduce the travel time and it is expected to be complete in next 3-4 months. The driver of Tempo Traveller was very good, giving us good information about the place and was very polite. Overall, very good experience.
You can take cab from Katra to Patnitop. It will take couple of hours to reach, on the way to Patnitop, you will find many restaurants to get yourself relax and feed your stomach. As it is hills so no doubts on scenic.
On the way to Patnitop, at one restaurant, we forget are wallet and we recalled that wallet is left 1 hour back. We lost the hope but still we tried and found nothing is stolen from that wallet. It is actually ladies purse so you understand the ladies carries jewellery, money, cards, cosmetics.Not a single thing was missing from that bag.
We have visited katra in June month of 2015 for Maa Vaishno Devi blessings. Second day we made a plan to give a visit ot nearby hill station Patnitop. So we booked a sedan Ford Icon from a local guy. It took us around 3 hrs to reach patnitop from katra.
The best thing we liked in Patnitop is its weather and green lush natural beauty. We thought to give another visit to Patnitop for relaxing for full week.
Although locality was not that good, We struggled to find a good restaurant around.
We returned same day at evening for Udhampur to catch train.
We found the place serene, beautiful, relaxing one should must visit but try to stay there at least for 2 days, do not except anything but relax from the place.
I took a taxi from Katra; the cab was okay sort of, but didn't have a music system. The driver of car was not good. He stooped the car at restaurants from where he took commissions; so we ended up paying more. The place is good, but beware of the cab drivers.