Pahalgam – valley of romance in Kashmir

Pahalgam – undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places on earth is indeed so mesmerizing that it is hard to describe its beauty by mere words. The lush green meadows, snow-capped mountains, pine forests, swift flowing Lidder River and the absence of the ravages of progress all adds up to make Pahalgam a dream destination and one of the most romantic places on earth. In spite of militancy related problem in the Kashmir valley in recent past, Pahalgam has never been short of tourists. And now, when militancy in Kashmir is on wane, Pahalgam is fast becoming the most popular tourist destination of Kashmir.

Wheather you wish to have a romantic trip with your beloved or want to spend some quality time with your family indulging in various activities like, horse-riding, picnicking on the bank of the river, taking a pony ride, walking barefoot on the meadows or just lie down under the sun and relaxing, Pahalgam is certainly the most ideal place.

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River Lidder flowing through Pahalgam

Where is Pahalgam?

Pahalgam – once a shepherd’s village is a romantic hill town in Anantnag district of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

About Pahalgam

Situated at an average altitude of 2130 m above sea level, Pahalgam is known for its breathtaking views and mystic charm coupled with a laid back attitude, making it a honeymooner’s paradise. The romanticism of Pahalgam can be only be felt once you visit the place. At one point of time, Pahalgam was merely a village of shepherds with breathtaking views, but today it is being reckoned as the premier resorts of the Kashmir valley. Lying at the confluence of streams arising from the Sheshnag Lake and the Lidder River, Pahalgam is a tourist’s paradise not only because of its astounding natural beauty but also due to the fact that the place has something to offer for all kind of tourists. The mesmerizing beauty and the glamorous look of the hill town make it a favourite place for shooting of Bollywood films.

Pahalgam is associated with the holy Yatra of the Amarnath Cave. Chandanwari, 16 km from Pahalgam, serves as the starting point of the Amarnath Yatra. The Yatra is organized every year in the Hindu month of Sawan (July to August). Pahalgam is known to be the starting point of several trek routes. Some of the famous treks from Pahalgam are the Pahalgam-Sonamarg Trek and the treks to Chandanwari, Kolahoi Glacier and Sheshnag Lake. Trekking to Kolahoi glacier via Arau, a popular and charming meadow is the most popular. Snow skiing is an attraction during the winter months drawing tourists from around the world. White water rafting on the waters of Lidder River is must do thing in Pahalgam. Pahalagam is an angler’s delight and even an amateur can catch a rainbow trout from the rushing streams. The Lidder River has excellent fishing beats for brown trout.

No other place captures the essence of Kashmir’s captivating beauty as Pahalgam does. Nestled on the banks of the Lidder River, Pahalgam is the place where nature unfolds its mystery in a wild profusion of color. In spite of being a small place of 2-3 Km, you can spend a week here without getting bored. Dense Pine and Cedar forests, snow clad mountains, sparkling streams, breathtaking glaciers, vast meadows and pastures, cool climate and the aura of romance all around are some of the snapshots that best describes Pahalgam. A couple of days spent at this breathtakingly beautiful hill station will definitely rejuvenate you and will probably be the most romantic days of your life.

Pahalgam Sightseeing

Pahalgam has number of places in and around that are incredibly beautiful. So its highly recommended to stay overnight at Pahalgam to discover the awe inspiring beauty of the place. Here are some of the most popular and famous sightseeing spots of Pahalgam.

Baisaran

Situated at a distance of about 5 Km from Pahalgam is the lush green meadow of Baisaran surrounded by thickly wooded forests of pine. Picturesque view of the snow-clad mountains on the back is a spectacle to the eye. The beauty of the place is comparable to some of the best known European resort and has been the shooting place for some well known Bollywood movies, including Kumar Gaurav starrer ‘Love Story’.

You have to trek to Baisaran on foot or can hire a pony to reach this undulating meadow. It is one of the easiest and friendly treks. Now, there is even a forest road to Baisaran and you could try and drive up there. Beware that there are portions on the forest road where you may encounter a stream or two, with small boulders, and even some steep curves.

The snow covered Tulian Lake at an altitude of 3353 m is 11 Km upward trek from Baisaran. The trek is a real challenging one as some of the heights are steep and there is no trek trail. It is advisable to take experienced guide or go with local poly wallahs hiring their pony. But once you reach Tulian and touch the water of the lake, you will definitely forget all your hardship in reaching the place. You will be amazed by the beauty of the place. The lake remains mostly covered with snow all the throughout the year, except in summer months.

Aru

The charming and beautiful meadow of Aru is at a distance of about 11 Km from Pahalgam. Walking or riding a pony upstream along the River Lidder through some picturesque locality will take you to the meadow of Aru, bordered on one side by a ravine of the Lidder River. One can also hire a local car and reach Aru by the main track, which is on the left bank of the river.

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Picturesque Aru valley in Pahalgam

Apart from enjoying the breathtaking beauty of the golden-green meadow, the other major attraction of tourism in Aru is trekking. Some of the popular treks of this region are those of Lidderwat meadow, Kolahoi Glacier, Tarsar Lake, Marsar Lake, Aru- Sind Valley trek over Sunmos Pass or Yamhor Pass.

Betab Valley

Named after the super hit Bollywood movie Betaab, in which Sunny Deol, son of Dharmendra made his debut, Betaab Valey is indeed a romantic destination often regarded as a “Dream Valley”. Apart from being a favourite destination for shooting of Bollywood movies, Aru is also a world famous tourist resort where tourists from around the world flock in large number. Located at an altitude of about 2530 m above sea level and at a distance of about 7 Km from Pahalgam, the picturesque valley of Aru has been the shooting place of several Hindi and regional movies other than the Betaab. Recently, Superstar Ranbir Kapoor, son of Rishi Kapoor has done shooting for his film Rockstar in Betaab valley.

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Betab valley in Pahalgam

The Valley of Betaab is surrounded by snow covered mountains peaks, dense Pine and Deodar forests with River Sheshnaag originating from Sheshnaag Lake, flowing majestically through it. The river flows down to join River Lidder just 7 Km below At Pahalgham. Clusters of Willows tossing each other in wind are lined on the banks of Sheshnaag River and create an alluring atmosphere.

Golf Course

The nine-hole golf course of Pahalgam at an altitude of about 2400 m above sea level is an extremely popular sightseeing destination for every tourists, wheather he plays golf or not. The awesome beauty of the place will definitely make one spell bound. With snow-capped mountain at the back, carpet of green grass below foot and forest of Pine and Deodar all around, it is undoubtedly one of the most scenic and picturesque golf courses of the world.

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Nine hole golf course of Pahalgam

There is a golf club on one side, where light refreshments, as well equipment and golf caddies could be rented out. Golf can be played in this Golf course on an hourly basis after paying necessary fees. Playing golf among the natural setting of snow capped Pahalgam is really an experience to cherish lifelong.

Hajan

On the way to Chandanwari from Pahalgam is Hajan, a popular shooting location for several Hindi and regional movies. Regular film viewers will definitely recognize the place. It is indeed a great sightseeing destination worthy of visit. Not only for tourists visiting Pahalgam, even pilgrims and tourists visiting the holy shrines of Amarnath Caves, make it a point to spent some time at Hajan.

Mamaleshwara

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this ancient temple dating back to 5th century is believed to be the oldest existing temple of Kashmir. Situated in the Mamal village on the bank of Lidder River, major portion of the temple is in ruins today. Apart from being an important sightseeing destination for tourists, devotees throng this temple in huge numbers.

How to reach Pahalgam?

By Air

Pahalgam does not have its own airport. Airport at Srinagar at a distance of about 95 Km is the nearest airhead from Pahalgam. This airport at Srinagar is well connected by regular flights from Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai and Bangalore. Regular flights of Air India, Air India-IC, Go Air, Go Business, IndiGo, Jet Airways Konnect, Jet Airways, JetLite, Kingfisher Red, Kingfisher and Spicejet lands here.

Satwari airport at Jammu at a distance of about 160 Km is the second nearest airport of Pahalgam. This airport is very well connected with almost all the major cities of India.

By Rail

Pahalgam does not have a railway station of its own. The nearest railway station from Pahalgam is at Jammu, at a distance of about 240 Km. Jammu is well connected with all the major cities of the country. Jammu can also be reached from Delhi by numerous trains which ply between the two cities at regular intervals throughout the day. One can reach Pahalgam from railway station by taxis or buses.

By Road

One can reach Pahalgam from Jammu and Srinagar as well. Special luxurious buses will also be available from Jammu and Srinagar to Pahalgam. Super deluxe, A-class, B-class busses operated by J&K SRTC as well as other transport agencies takes around 10 – 11 hours to reach Pahalgam from Jammu, while it takes 3 – 4 hours to reach Pahalgam from Srinagar.

If you intend to travel by your own car, take to National Highway 1-A, connecting Srinagar with Jammu, and on reaching Anantnag turn right if you are traveling from Jammu or turn left if you are traveling from Srinagar to reach Pahalgam.

Where to stay at Pahalgam?

Being one of the most popular and favoured tourist destination of the Valley of Kashmir, Pahalgam has a number of hotels to meet the budget of every kind of travelers. Though one has the option of visiting Pahalgam on a one-day tour from Srinagar, but the beauty and flavor of Pahalgam can only be felt if one stays here for at least a couple of days.

Account of a few of the hotels of Pahalgam that are considered as good staying options are given below :-

JKTDC Huts and Tourist Bungalow

Jammu Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC) Huts and Tourist Bungalow is the most popular and sought after staying option at Pahalgam among both Indian and International tourists. Hutments and the Tourist Bungalow on the meadow facing the Lidder River make staying pleasurable one. Moreover all the huts have well stocked kitchen with some basic utensils as well.

For booking, contact at – Tourist Reception Centre of Srinagar at – 0194 – 2457927, 2457930 or Tourist Reception Centre of Jammu at – 0191 – 2579554.

You can also opt for online booking at www.jktdc.co.in

Hotel Heevan

It is undoubtedly one of the best hotels of Pahalgam. It stands on the banks of the river Lidder and has the best location. Located away from the chaos of the market, Hotel Heevan provides you the right ambience to enjoy the scenic beauty of Pahalgam.

Exclusively furnished centrally heated rooms and suites with wall to wall carpeting, attached baths with running hot and cold water, TV and EPABX exchange in all rooms, 24 hour prompt room service, own power generators. Laundry and dry cleaning service and Courtesy transport services to and from market makes it the best staying option of Pahalgam if one can afford. The hotel has 40 Double Rooms, 6 Suite Rooms, and 1 Three Bedroom Cottage.

The restaurant of the hotel, Dilkhusha, decorated with rich arts and crafts of Kashmir, provides you impressive views of Pahalgam while you enjoy the rich cuisine from all over the world. The restaurant serves Indian, Continental, Chinese, Gujrati and Kashmiri cuisine. Abshaar, the coffee shop is located on the bank of rive Lidder. While in the coffee shop you can enjoy the view and the soothing sound of river Lidder cascading down the Valley of Pahalgam. The coffee shop has big glazed windows so that you can enjoy the views of Pahalgam.

For all the more information about Hotel Heevan of Pahalgam, just click HERE. You can also call the hotel contact number at: 0194 – 243219.

Hotel Mount View

It offers breath taking views of river Lidder, pine trees and snow capped peaks. Another fascinating fact about the hotel is that, though the hotel is situated in an unique sylvan surrounding, yet it is very close to the main market. Mount View Hotel is one of the oldest and famous hotel of Pahalgam which was re-constructed in year 2002.

Presently it is having 54 Double rooms and 4 suites. All rooms offer panoramic view of pines, River Lidder and the hotel garden. The incomparable three side open views from Deluxe suits make sure that you are in close association with nature while you stay in these suits. The garden that rests in the lap of the Himalayas presents a romantic look while listening to the music of flowing of Lidder River.

To know more about this hotel and to avail its online booking facility, just click HERE. For booking, you can also contact at – 01936-243321, 243221 or 09419049858, 09419045177, 09906676888.

Himalaya House

It is a small Guest House situated right on the River Lidder and just 5 minutes away from the centre of Pahalgam. Himalaya House caters to all types of travelers providing a home away from home while you are in Pahalgam. All rooms have hot/cold showers in attached baths with satellite TV and library. The Peaceful garden of the hotel where one can relax by the fast flowing Lidder River while enjoying the surrounding natural environment makes the stay really memorable. The hotel features rooms with custom-made beds, a common lounge area where guests can gather and relax by the open fire and a garden to lounge in. While at the hotel, guests can enjoy trekking, fishing, camping, horse riding, jeep safaris and white water rafting.

To know more about this Pahalgam hotel, just click HERE. For booking this hotel, you can also contact at any of the following numbers : 01936-243072, 09419045020, 09418020814.

Several other hotels of Pahalgam that are indeed very good staying options include :

Hotel Pine & Pick – This luxurious hotel with 70 rooms is a Category `A` hotel. For booking, contact at – 01936-243210, 243304.

Pahalgam Hotel – This is another Category ‘A’ hotel with 50 rooms. For booking, contact at – 01936-243252.

Woodstock Hotel – It is a very good staying option of Category ‘A’ hotel with 57 rooms. For booking, contact at – 01936-243259.

Grand View Hotel – This ‘B’ Category hotel with 15 rooms is a good budgeted staying option. For booking, contact at – 01936-243273.

Shepherd`s Hotel – It is good budget hotel of Pahalgam with 26 rooms. It is a `B` Category hotel, which can be booked at – 01936-243274.

Hill Park Hotel – It is another ‘B’ Category hotel with 32 well-furnished rooms. For booking, contact at – 01936-243286.

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About the Author: Hi! friends, travelling is my passion and my only hobby. High mountains to deep seas, lush green forests to barren deserts, holy places to sites of historical importance, - every beautiful place attracts me the same way. I want everyone to feel the same and so through my writing I intend to take you all to a virtual trip to all those lovely places that I have visited.

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  1. […] Pahalgam is an epitome of eternal beauty and is regarded to be one of the most romantic places on earth. The unique and mesmerizing beauty of this incredibly beautiful hill station has easily put it into the list of the top 5 hill stations of India. The hill station of Pahalgam is situated in the valley of Kashmir, which is known as the “The paradise on Earth”. The lush green meadows, snow-capped mountains, pine forests, swift flowing Lidder River and the absence of the ravages of progress all adds up to make Pahalgam a dream destination beyond the description of words. Pahalgam – one of the most romantic places on Earth Whether you wish to have a romantic trip with your beloved or want to spend some quality time with your family indulging in various activities like, horse-riding, picnicking on the bank of the river, taking a pony ride, walking barefoot on the meadows or just lie down under the sun and relaxing, Pahalgam, at an altitude of 2130 m with breathtaking views, mystic charm and laid back attitude is the perfect place to be in. To know more about the hill station of Pahalgam, how to reach there, where to stay and what are the sightseeing spots around, click HERE. […]

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