A famous hill station ‘Pahalgam,’ lies in the Anantnag district of the state of Jammu and Kashmir at a distance of 95 km from the capital Srinagar. Situated at the confluence of the Lidder and Sheshnag rivers at an altitude of 7,200 feet this beautiful valley is surrounded by thickly wooded pine forests and the snow-clad Himalayas! Once a humble shepherds valley, it is now popular for sightseeing, trekking and many adventure activities.
The town is extremely tourist friendly with lots of hotels, guest houses and lodges to cater to different purses and budgets. You can take a cab from Srinagar and the travel time is a little over 2 hours. Untouched by the trappings of civilization, it has a lot to offer tourists in the form of exhilarating trekking routes into forests and alpine meadows; golfing, fishing, hiking, camping and horse riding. You can also get to do zorbing, zip ling, powered para gliding etc. Spiritual seekers come here too, as the trek to the holy cave of Amarnath commences from here.
Let’s now see the major attractions of Pahalgam:
1 Aru valley-:
12 km from Pahalgam lies the tranquil Aru valley. A scenic village, it is the central point for many a trek particularly the trek to Kolahoi glacier at 18000 feet. It offers many interesting sporting activities like Zorbing, zipling, powered para gliding and river crossing.
2 Betaab valley-:
It is known for its unmatched beauty!! Formerly known as the Hajan valley it lies 15 km from Pahalgam between the Pir Panjal and Zanskar ranges. It serves as a popular base camp for trekkers.
3 Pahalgam Golf Course-:
Located at an elevation of 2400 meters above sea level, amidst snow capped mountains and dense pine forests is the beautiful 18-hole Pahalgam Golf course. There is a golf club here from where visitors can rent equipment and golf caddies. The State Government hosts several championships here.
is the gateway to the famous Amarnath yatra. Situated at an elevation of 2,895 meters it is 16 km from Pahalgam. A major attraction here is the snow glacier that you can see even in the summer months.
5 Baisaran valley-:
Known as “mini-Switzerland “is a top-notch sight seeing destination. Blessed with picturesque beauty of a hilltop green meadow ensconced in lush pine, cedar and fir forests, Baisaran is an offbeat tourist location. Enroute you can see Kanimarg, Kashmir valley point and Deon valley point.
6 Tulian Lake-:
It is a freshwater lake that lies in a meadow packed with pine trees. Located at 16km from Pahalgam it is famous for its bluish green turquoise waters in the shape of the figure of 8. You can reach there by pony or trek which consists of a few steep climbs, dense forests and wide meadows. Another feature of the lake is there are chunks of ice floating on it at any time of the year. Once you reach there the mesmerizing lake makes it worth its while.
This is the start point of the Amarnath yatra. Located at 15 km from Pahalgam, Chandanwari is famous for snow sledging on a snow bridge. November to May is best to enjoy sledging here. The gushing Sheshnag river flows through this area adding to its ethereal beauty. There are many fun activities available here like trekking, hiking, pony riding etc.
8 Kolhoi glacier-:
The Kolhoi glacier is indeed a natural marvel located at 26 km from Pahalgam at an altitude of 4700 meters. It is the source of the Lidder river. It is a hanging glacier and trekking to it can be described as the “trek of a lifetime”. It is a 5-day trek which takes you across pristine alpine lakes, green meadows full of flower beds and acres of coniferous forests. The high point is of course the stunning Kolhoi glacier.
9 Tarsar Lake-:
This Tarsar lake is an almond shaped alpine lake located in the Aru valley in Anantnag district. It is at a distance of 20 km from Pahalgam. It is accessible only during the summer from June to mid-September. The trek itself is 47.6km long. It is surrounded by meadows dotted with conifer trees, and snow-capped peaks. You also get to see a variety of birds like black bulbul, bar headed geese and the Himalayan golden eagles. To reach this lake you have to trek from Aru valley, continue to Lidderwat valley and cross the Shekwas mountains.
So you can seethers lots to do and see in Pahalgam .