Pahalgam, in Kashmir’s Anantnag district, is about 96 km from the state capital of Srinagar. It is a quaint little village sitting on the banks of river Lidde. Untouched by urban development, Pahalgam is an angler’s paradise, promising to please even an amateur with a rainbow trout. Pahalgam has a golf course at 2400 metres above sea level. For adventure-seekers, camping equipment, ponies and skiing equipment are easily available. Kolahoi is a popular destination for trekkers via Aru, a fascinating meadow. Pahalgam is also the base camp for pilgrims proceeding to the shrine of Lord Shiva at Amarnath. Situated at the confluence of the streams flowing from Sheshnag Lake and the Lidder river, Pahalgam (2,130 m) was once a humble shepherd’s village with breathtaking views.
The most beautiful of these is the huge, undulating meadow of Baisaran, surrounded by thickly wooded forests of pine. 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. Pahalgam has within it no fewer than eight tiny villages, one of which is Mamal. There is a Shiva temple here, generally considered to be Kashmir’s oldest existing temple, dating to the 5th century.
Pahalgam is an ideal place for an adventure sports enthusiast. It offers wonderful treks, skiing, mountaineering and camping sites. Facilities for roller-skating, table tennis, badminton and cards are available at the Pahalgam Club. One can take a temporary membership at the Pahalgam natural golf course.
HOW TO REACH
By Air – The nearest Airport is in Badgam Distt.
By Rail – The nearest rail head is at Jammu.
By Road – Bus service is available from Srinagar and Anantnag. Taxis can be hired from Srinagar at pre-fixed rates. The J&K Road Transport Corporation runs daily sight seeing tours from Srinagar. Assistance is available at Tourist Reception Centre, Srinagar.
WHEN TO GO
The best time to visit Pahalgam is during summers between May to September.
WHAT TO SEE
Chandanwari : (16km: 2,923m) – It is famous for its snow bridge.
Baisaran (5 km: 2,438m) – Pine forests dot this meadow which presents a picturesque view of the snow-clad mountains. The snow covered Tulian lake at an altitude of 3353 m is 11kms from Baisaran.
Aru (11 km: 2,408m) – This charming meadow can be reached by walking along a mountain path. The river Lidder disappears at Gur Khumb and reappears after 27 mts.
Lidderwat (22km: 3,408m) – A beautiful camping site set among dense forests. Starting point of the trek to the Sindh Valley.
Kolohi (1,467 m) – Base for a three-day return trek to the Kolohi Glacier.Golf In Gulmarg – Gulamarg has got the highest green golf course in the world. The layout of the courseis quiet striking and the layout is similar to a normalgolf course with land slopes and inclines along the complete area of the course, which has a par of 72.
Skiing In Gulmarg – Gulmarg makes an excellent base for trekking in the northern Pir Panjal Range. Nanga Parbat can be seen to the north from several view points, including Khilanmarg, west and over 1,500 feet up the forested hillside from Gulmarg. From a distance, the Pir Panjal appears somewhat rounded, but when you are actually walking up its slopes, you will find that its smoother peaks rise above evergreen clad slopes that seem quite equal in steepness to those of the main Himalayas.