Location : 84 kms from Srinagar, Jammu and Kasmir
Attractions : Baisaran, Tulian Lake, Aru, Sheshnag Lake, Tarsar Lake etc.
Best Time To Visit : Mid-April and Mid-November
Pahalgam, one of the famous hill stations of India, lies at a distance of 45 kms from the district headquarters Anantnag. Once a humble shepherd's village, Pahalgam is situated at the confluence of the streams flowing from Sheshnag Lake and the Lidder river. Now Pahalgam is a premier resort of Kashmir valley and remains cool even during the summers. Set at an altitude of 2,130 mts above sea level, amidst the great Himalayan range, Pahalgam is also considered one of the best health resorts in the country. Far from the hustle and bustle of cities, Pahalgam abounds with snow-covered mountains, glistening glaciers, gushing silvery streams of ice water and thick pine and deodar forests. In addition to a wonderful place for common travellers, Pahalgam is an ideal place for adventure enthusiasts. Pahalgam is a trekker's paradise, besides, it offers excellent opportunity for skiing, mountaineering and camping. You can also enjoy a lazy vacation angling in the rivers, or just lazing in the sun, surrounded by fir-clad hills. Every year, during the month of Sawan, usually in July- August, Pahalgam plays host to thousands of pilgrims who trek to the Amarnath Cave to pay homage to naturally formed ice-Shivling. Moreover, whether you are common traveller or adventure enthusiast Pahalgam is a perfect destination for you. Visit the hill station this vacation and pass some pleasant days in the lap of mother nature.
How to Reach Pahalgam
By Air : Nearest major airport is located in Srinagar at a distance of 96 kms. Srinagar airport is connected with major cities of India. A number of major airlines operate flights to and fro from Srinagar to Delhi. From Srinagar you need to take bus or hire a car or taxi to reach Pahalgam.
By Train : Pahalgam does not have a direct rail connection with rest of the country. Nearest railway head is Jammu railway station at a distance of 280 kms. From Jammu you have to take the road journey to reach Pahalgam.
By Road : National Highway NH1A connects the Kashmir valley with the state capital Jammu and rest of the India. From the National Highway the road to Pahalgam takes from either from Khannabal or Bijbehara towns. Every sort of transport ply on this highway including buses, taxis and cars. Buses are available for Pahalgam at regular intervals from Srinagar (84 kms) and Anantnag (55 kms). You can also hire taxis and other sort of transport from Srinagar. Assistance is available for visitors at Tourist Reception Centre Srinagar.
Places Where You Can Stay
Pahalgam is dotted with a number of hotels and tourist lodges of varied ranges which are open only during summer months. Most famous hotels of Pahalgam include Woodstock Hotel, Hotel Heevan, Pahalgam Hotel, Senator Pine N Peak etc.
Tourist Attractions in and around Pahalgam
Baisaran (2,438 m) : Just 5 kms away from Pahalgam, Baisaran is magnificent meadow flanked by densely wooded pine and deodar forests. From Baisaran you will get a spectacular view of the snow-clad mountains.
Tulian Lake (3,353 m) : A beautiful snow-covered lake, Tulian lake lies at a distance of 11 kms from Baisaran.
Aru (2,408m) : Located 11 kms away from Pahalgam, the beautiful meadow of Aru can be reached by walking along a mounatain path. Here the Lidder river disappears at Gur Khumb and re-appears after 27 mts.
Chandanwari (2,923 m) : Situated at a distance of 16 km from Pahalgam, Chandanwari (2,923 m above sea level) is known for its snow bridge.
Lidderwat (3,408m) : A picturesque camping site, Lidderwat is situated amidst the dense forests. Located at a distance of 22 km from Pahalgam, Lidderwat is also the starting point of the trek to the Sindh Valley.
Sheshnag Lake (3,658m) : Sheshnag Lake is located at a distance of 27 kms from Pahalgam. The greenish blue waters of the lake remain covered with ice till June.
Tarsar Lake (3,962m) : Situated at a distance of 34 km from Pahalgam, the Tarsar Lake can be reached from Lidderwat. 24 kms from here at Sikiwas there are interesting camping sites. For reaching the nearby Mansar lake you have to cross a 243 mts high bridge.
Panchtarni : Panchtrani is the confluence of five streams and lies 40 kms away from Pahalgam. It is also a good camping site. Camping equipment, ponies and skiing equipment is easily available at Panchtarni.
Kolohi (1,467 m) : Kolohi makes an ideal base for a three-day return trek to the Kolohi Glacier.
Amarnath Cave : Pahalgam is the base for the religious trek of Hindus to Amarnath Cave, the abode of Lord Shiva. From Pahalgam a narrow winding path takes the pilgrim to the Amarnath Cave which is home to massive ice shivlingam. Every year thousands of pilgrims visit Amarnath cave in the Hindu month of Sarvana (July to September). Chandanwanri (16 kms) is the starting point for Amarnath Yatra, the road from Pahalgam to Chandnwari lies on fairly flat terrain and can be covered by car. Ahead of Chandanwani the track becomes much steeper and it is accessible on foot or by pony. About 11 kms from Chandanwani lies the lake of Sheshnag, 13 kms ahead is the last stop of Panchtarni.
Adventure Sports in Pahalgam
Golf : Pahalgam has a fine golf course at a height of 2,400 mts above the sea level. Pahalgam Golf Club has 9-hole golf course, which is open for tourists. Golf equipments can be hired from the Pahalgam Tourist Office.
Trekking : For trekkers Pahalgam offers thrilling trekking opportunities. The most famous trekking trail is : Pahalgam - Chandanwari- Sheshnag - Panchtarni- Amarnath Cave Temple- Sonamarg. Another popular trek route is the 35 km trail which traverses through pinewoods to the beautiful Kolahoi Glacier via Aru village a charming meadow.
Horse Riding : Horse riding is one of the most interesting adventure options at Pahalgam. Tourists can hire ponies directly or through the Tourist Office. Tariff boards are displayed at all the important locations of Pahalgam.
Fishing (Angling) : Pahalgam is a paradise for angler's and even a beginner can catch a rainbow trout from the shimmering streams. For brown trout the Lidder river has fine fishing beats. At Pahalgam the angling season stretches from April to September. Permits are issued for fishing at Pahalgam for a maximum of three days at a time, on first-come-first served basis and are charged on a per day per rod basis. For permits you have to contact the Directorate of Fisheries, Tourist Reception Centre, Srinagar. Fishing equipment can be hired in Srinagar. Live baits and spinning are not allowed.
Shopping in Pahalgam
Pahalgam has small markets and the shops have a fine collection of products made of wool. You can purchase Gabbas and Namdas from local shops. If you want to do lots of shopping then Srinagar is a perfect destination for you, which has several big shopping bazaars and offer everything from A to Z.
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