A city of Bollywood and valleys, Pahalgam is the most vibrant hill station in the Kashmir valley. It is about 98 Km from Srinagar city which can be covered in 2 hours. It is 2300m above sea level and has the adventage of Lidder river flowing through the town which amplifies its beauty and gives serenity to the mind. Once a humble shepherd’s village with breathtaking views, it is situated at the junction of Aru and Sheshnag river. The famous Amarnath yatra starts from the Pahalgam and every year in the month of July/August Hundred thousand pilgrims start their journey for the holy shrine said to be abode of Lord Shiva.
The actual name for this valley is Hajan Valley which was rechristened as Betaab Valley by the locals after the release of famous Bollywood movie in 1980’s by the same name. Relive the commemorations of old Bollywood movies or if you are lucky, catch a movie shooting in action in Pahalgam.
Positioned in the peripheries of Pahalgam, Chandanwari is a place of colossal religious and tourist significance. It is the initiation point of the annual Amarnath Yatra, which is an important pilgrimage for Hindu brethren. Sanctified with ethereal natural beauty, this place has always been a delightful destination for visitors coming to the Kashmir valley. Rippling terrains and scant greenery overlook the landscape of this small and scenic hamlet. The gushing Sheshnag River traverses this region and makes its landscape all the more enchanting. While driving to this place from Pahalgam, visitors are greeted with stunning vistas of snow-capped peaks and the Lidder River flowing through the vale. Chandanwari offers ample of opportunities for engaging activities like trekking, hiking, pony ride, palanquin ride and snow sledging.
Aru Valley is the last scenic village of Pahalgam or more precisely Lidder Valley. It is at a distance of about 15 km from Pahalgam and is the vital point for any trekker who wants to enjoy the Kolahoi glacier and its scenic beauty at 18,000 feet above sea level. The drive up to Aru is an experience in itself, keep your cameras ready for some gorgeous shots of the Valley.
A few kilometres from Pahalgam are the Baisaran Hills aptly called as Mini Switzerland – enclosed by a dense forest of pines, firs and cedars over the Lidder Valley, this makes for a perfect campsite. A word of caution though- Only ponies are allowed and visit through vehicles is not allowed.
At an altitude of 11,000 feet, the scenic Tulian Lake nestled amidst snow covered mountains is a refreshing sight. Frequented by avid trekkers, it is recommended to take a local guide for a trip here.
Pahalgam Golf Course
“The golf course of Pahalgam is well known because of a multitude of reasons, which include its scenic location, high altitude and an array of facilities. It is located at an elevation of 2400 metres above the sea level, amidst snow-capped mountains and dense pine forestations. Pahalgam Golf Course covers a wide expanse of an elevated and plain area in the narrow valley, which is why locals often refer to it as a plateau. The plateau rises near the spot where the two rivers from Sheshnag and Aru meet.
Initially established as a 9-hole golf course, the Pahalgam Golf Course has now been upgraded to an 18-hole golf course. The state government and hoteliers host several championships in the sprawling green premises of this high altitude golf ground. A golf club lies on one side of this course, from where visitors can rent golf caddies and equipment. Visitors coming to this place can play this interesting game, for which the club charges fees at an hourly basis. They can also visit the deer park, located on one end of this famous golf course.”
One of the most significant aspects of Pahalgam is that the famous Amarnath yatra starts from the Pahalgam and every year in the month of July/August Hundred thousand pilgrims start their journey for the holy shrine said to be the abode of Lord Shiva. The ice lingam that forms naturally within the Amarnath cave is worshipped by believers. It is the concluding point of the annual Amarnath Yatra, which is an important pilgrimage for Hindu brethren.