the most popular hill resort in the Kashmir valley. Since it is
rather lower than Gulmarg the nighttime temperatures do not drop so
low and it has the further advantage of the beautiful Lidder River
running right through the town.
Pahalgam is situated at the junction of the Aru and Sheshnag Rivers
and surrounded by soaring, fir-covered mountains with bare,
snow-capped peaks rising behind them. The Aru flows down from the
Kolahoi glacier beyond Lidderwat while the Sheshnag from glaciers
along the great Himalayan.
At the confluence of the streams flowing from the river Lidder and
Sheshnag Lake, Pahalgam was once a humble shepherd's village with
breathtaking views. Now it Kashmir's premier resort, cool even
during the height of summer. A number of hotels and lodges cater to
all preferences and budgets, from luxurious to unpretentious
trekkers' lodges, including JKTDC's delightfully romantic, fully
furnished huts, partially concealed by giant pine trees.
Pahalgam Walks - There are many short walks available from
Pahalgam and in addition it is an excellent base for longer treks
such as those to the Kolahoi glacier or to the Amarnath cave.
Pahalgam can also be used as a starting point for treks out of the
region. Pahalgam is particularly famed for its many shepherds and
they're a common sight, driving their flocks of sheep along the
paths all around the town.
Around Pahalgam are many places of interest, and because the
resort is set between fairly hills, it is worth hiring a pony rather
than walking. Pony fares are posted at prominent locations.
Mamaleshwara is only a km or so downstream from Pahalgam, and on the
opposite side of the Lidder, is this small Shiva temple with its
square, stone tank. It is thought to date from the reign of king
Jayasima in the 12th century, even earlier.
This meadow, about 5-km from Pahalgam and 150m higher, provides
excellent views over the town and the Lidder valley. Pine forests
and the snowclad mountains surround the grassy glen. One can hire
ponies for this trek from near the centre of town.
If one continues 11-km beyond Baisaran one reaches the Tulian Lake
at 3,353m, 1,200m higher up. It is covered in ice for much of the
year and surrounded by peaks, which rise more than 300m above its
shores. It also can be reached by pony trek.
The little village
of Aru is actually the first stage from Pahalgam on the trek to
Lidderwat and the Kolahoi glacier. It makes an interesting day walk
from Pahalgam, following the Lidder river for Pahalgam, following
the Lidder river for 11-km upstream. The main track, which also can
be taken by car, is on the left bank of the river. There is also a
less used, and more difficult path, on the right bank. At Aru one
will often find the Gujars, living in their log huts with their
flocks of sheep and goats, en route to the higher sheep and goats,
en route to the higher pastures for the summer.
Hajan, on the way to Chandanwari is an idyllic spot for a picnic.
Filmgoers will recognize it instantly as it has been the location of
several movie scenes.
Chandanwari & Passage To The Amarnath Yatra
Situated 16-km from Pahalgam, Chandanwari is the starting point of
the Amarnath Yatra, which takes place every year in the month of
Sawan (Rain). The destination is the Amarnath Cave, believed
to the abode of Lord Shiva. Although the road from Pahalgam to
Chandanwari is on fairly flat terrain, and can be undertaken by car,
from Chandanwari onwards the track becomes much steeper, being
accessible on foot or by pony.
Located 11-km from Chandanwari is the mountain lake of Sheshnag,
after which 13-km away is the last stop, Panchtarni. The Amarnath
cave is 6-km away from there. During the month of 'Sawan', an ice
stalagmite forms a natural Shivling (also spelt as Shivlinga), which
waxes and wanes with the phases of the moon.
The state government makes extensive arrangements every year for the
successful completion of the pilgrimage, registering each one of the
over one lakh pilgrims, pony owners and Dandi Walas, providing camps
en route, and ensuring safe, comfortable and speedy progress of the
Even if one's visit to Pahalgam is not during the period of the
Yatra, one can still take a pony ride up to Sheshnag Lake, returning
Pahalgam is one of Kashmir's popular trout fishing beats. Kashmir is
famous for its trout although they tend to be rather small.
Additionally, fishing licences are hard to get and rather expensive.
A compulsion is to keep am guide and one is also permitted to catch
six fishes, which is the daily limit.
is in Anantnag District and is about 96-km from Srinagar. The
nearest airport is in Badgam District. This Airport is connected
with all the major cities of India. Rail: The nearest Rail Head is
at Jammu and from there National Highway NH1A connects the Kashmir
valley with India.
Road: The road to Pahalgam can be taken to Khannabal or
alternatively from Bijbehara villages from National Highway NH1A.
Every sort of transport to suit every budget from Buses to Taxis ply
on this Highway. It takes around 10 to 12 hours to cross this
mountainous road, which crosses some beautiful spots and the famous
Jawahar Tunnel linking Kashmir Valley with India. Bus service is
available from Srinagar and Anantnag, which leave at fixed time from
the Bus stands. Taxis and other sort of transport can be hired from
Srinagar at pre-fixed rates. Assistance is available at Tourist
Reception Centre, Srinagar. On Road to Pahalgam one comes across the
beautiful Lidder Valley with important spots of Mattan and Aishmuqam.