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Pahalgam – The Valley of Shepherds

Located 95 km from Srinagar at a height of 7200 ft, Pahalgam, known as the ‘Valley of Shepherds’, is a famous hill station in Jammu and Kashmir where many films have been shot. Standing at the confluence of Lidder river and the Sheshnag lake, Pahalgam is surrounded by thickly wooded pine forests, breathtaking vistas of meadows and the snow-clad Himalayan mountains.

Serving as the base camp during the Amarnath Yatra, the Pahalgam-Chandanwati-Amarnath route is preferred by tourists trying to reach the mountain cave of Lord Shiva. The town also holds an amazing two-day long Snow Festival that showcases winter sports like skiing, snow-sledging and many more which tourists can participate in. Other activities that tourists can indulge in are golf, trekking and angling.

Apart from being a pilgrimage site, Pahalgam is also a treat for adventure junkies and is the starting point for several treks. However, the highlight of the activities available for tourists is the white water rafting facility winding down the Lidder River through the forests and down the rapids.

Places To Visit in Pahalgam

Aru Valley

Located around 11 km from Pahalgam, Aru Valley is the base camp for trekking to the Kolhoi Glacier and the Tarsar-Marsar Lake. Aru lies beside the Aru river and is known for its scenic meadows and activities like horse riding, hiking and trekking.

Betaab Valley

Betaab Valley is a breathtaking combination of picturesque surroundings encircled by tall deodar trees and pine forests, with the Lidder River flowing right through it. It got its name from the Bollywood movie Betaab starring Sunny Deol and Amrita Singh shot here.

Lidder River

The Lidder River is a 73 kilometer long glacial river that originates from the Kolhoi glacier. Flowing through the valleys of Pahalgam, this mighty river is a sight to behold and is a popular tourist attraction. The peaceful aura combined with its scenic beauty makes the Lidder River a quaint picnic spot.

Kolahoi Glacier

Situated over the Lidder River, Kolahoi glacier is a hanging glacier known for its breath taking views. While the only way of reaching this glacier is though trekking, one can also hire ponies or horses for some parts of the journey.

Chandanwari

Chandanwari, located 15 km from Pahalgam, is the starting point of the famous Amarnath Yatra. It is also famous for the snow sledging on a snow bridge. It is also famous to enjoy a picnic and enjoy the natural beauty.

Mamleshwar Temple

Mamleshwara Temple is a famous temple in Pahalgam, dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is one of the few temples constructed purely of stone, by the then King Jayasima. Inside the temple complex is a shrine completely covered in gold.

Lolab Valley

Lolab Valley is an oval-shaped valley and a top camping site in Kashmir, famous for its scenic natural beauty, dense pine forests and bubbling springs. It is also home to some animals like Himalayan brown and black bear, snow leopard, hangul and musk deer.

Amarnath Yatra

Pahalgam is also a host to the famous Amarnath Yatra which takes place each year during the month of Sawan (July to August). It commence from both routes, of Pahalgam and Baltal.

Shopping in Pahalgam

While in Pahalgam do shop for woolens, carpets, kaftans, Namaz prayer rugs, Kashmiri handicrafts and tea cozies. Zamindar-Home of Handicrafts, is a shop in Pahalgam where one can not only get carpets and Gabbas but also fantastic shawls and dress materials with some lovely Kashmiri embroidery.

Tulian Lake

Tulian Lake is a famous tourist attraction in Pahalgam, located between the Pir Panjar and the Zanskar range. It is a sparkling blue lake which is popular for the 2-day trek needed to reach it.

River Rafting in Pahalgam

Indulge into pure awesomeness in the rivers flowing in and around Pahalgam by rafting in its gentle gradients. A 2km stretch on the Aru branch of Lidder River is the popular rafting spot in Pahalgam. In Pahalgam, white river rafting generally starts in the month of June.

Skiing in Pahalgam

Skiing in the mesmerizing terrain of Pahalgam is an experience you would not want to miss. After Gulmarg, this town is one of the best options that offer the true essence of Kashmir.

Panchtarni

A camper’s delight, Panchtarni is one of the most scenic spots around Pahalgam. It is the final helicopter drop point for the Amarnath Yatra from where the pilgrims have to undertake the 6 km remaining trek on foot or by mule.

Golfing in Pahalgam

At an altitude of about 2400m above sea level, a nine hole golf course is sported by Pahalgam, also referred to as ‘Plateau’ by a lot of locals. One can also rent equipments here as well as enjoy the few refreshments available in the premises.

Trekking in Pahalgam

With plenty of trekking trails, Pahalgam is the base camp for countless trekkers. Challenging mountain ranges, pristine lakes and plateaus make the region of Pahalgam suitable for all types of trekking. Best time to trek in Pahalgam is from April to June.

Sheshnag Lake

Sheshnag Lake is one of the topmost attractions of Pahalgam and is an epitome of natural beauty, peace and serenity. Enveloped in snow capped mountains and surrounded by tall alpine meadows, the lake is a haven for nature lovers.

Lidder Amusement Park

Lidder Amusement Park is one of the best amusement parks in the region replete with paddle boats, miniature railways, bumping car rides, and other swings and fun games; all in the lap of the mighty mountain peaks.

Baisaran

Baisaran is a beautiful destination 6 kms away from Pahalgam. With tranquil meadows, pristine lakes and picturesque setting, it also has very many options of fun games and rides, pony rides, zorbing etc.