Pahalgam is a beautiful valley, and the Lidder River running through it makes it even more picturesque. The river is one of the favorite spots for trout fishing in the country. Rafting is also organized at this river. Here are 10 interesting things to do when you are in Pahalgam.
1. Visit Club Park: Club Park is one of the oldest parks in Pahalgam. It is crowded, specifically on weekends. The garden blends perfectly with its surrounding hills and river running nearby and looks more like a naturally created garden.
2. Stop at Aru Village: Aru village is around 12 km from Pahalgam. Taxis are available from Pahalgam on shared basis. It is a beautiful village, visited by far lesser tourists and is more peaceful than Pahalgam. Some scenes from the film ‘Jaab Tak Hai Jaan,’ were shot here. The ride from Pahalgam to Aru has some of the most picturesque viewpoints. Pony rides are organised on the gentle slopes at Aru.
3. Go camping at Lidder Valley: Lidder valley is a popular camping site. It is around 12 km from Pahalgam and 12 km from the nearest motor accessible village, Aru.
4. Trout fishing at Lidder River: If you want to indulge in some fishing, there is no better place than Pahalgam. As much fun as it is, it doesn’t come cheap. Fishing permits are issued only in Srinagar by the Fisheries Department. If you are a first timer you can hire the service of a shikara (offered by fishermen in this case) but it can be quite expensive. With a permit I’m told that one can catch more than six fishes. So more or less it is a give and take process but a fun-filled adventure altogether. Pahalgam is thus also known as a ‘anglers paradise.’
5. Rafting at Lidder River: River rafting is one popular sport here. Some people just come here to indulge in the sport. The white frothing water makes it more enticing.
6. Jamia Masjid Mosque: The green roof mosque just near the main bazaar (market) with its beautiful design is a major attraction. The location of the mosque also adds another dimension to its aura. The Lidder River below and the mountain as the backdrop make it a peaceful place to worship.
7. Gauri Shankar Temple: This temple is one of the oldest temples in Pahalgam. The Amarnath Yatra also begins here. The temple is small but much revered by the Hindus.
8. Visit the zoo: Around 1 km from Pahalgam town, wildlife lovers can see different species of deer, leopard and bear at the zoo.
9. Visit Betaab Valley: Betaab Valley is 15 km from Pahalgam town and is one of the most beautiful valleys around Pahalgam. The valley is famed as a setting for a popular Bollywood film, Betaab.
10. Visit Amarnath Cave: Amarnath is a famous cave where myth and beliefs meet. It is believed that Lord Shiva is seated in the cave. The cave was first discovered in 19th century by a local Buta Malik of Batakote. The cave and the naturally formed ice Shiva Linga has become a revered and one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in India. Most pilgrims stop at Pahalgam before continuing their journey to Amarnth. Tourism has flourished here richly after the insurgency problems have dissipated.