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Travel to Pahalgam



Pahalgam Travel



Pahalgam, also known as 'Valley of Shepherds', lies in the Kashmir region of Jammu and Kashmir. It attracts lots of tourists, both domestic and foreign. 99.73 lakh domestic and 0.48 lakh foreign tourists visit J&K, as per available government data. There is a positive rise in domestic tourists here. That said, this state receives only 1.32% of the total number of tourists in India due to militancy and frequent unrest. The total number of foreign tourists has actually decreased, both in terms of absolute number and rate of growth. Picturesque valleys, lakes, mountains, snowy mountains, trekking trails, palaces, monuments, and religious places, make Pahalgam and the entire state worth visiting. More tourism promotion, developmental works, better relationship between civilian and security personnel, better relationship with Pakistan, and stricter anti-insurgency measures along the LOC will definitely make this place one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the world.

Places to Visit

The must-visit places in Pahalgam are:
  • Aru Valley
  • Sheshnag Lake
  • Lidder River
  • Chandanwari
  • Betaab Valley
  • Tarsir Lake
  • Mamaleshwara Temple
  • Baisaran
  • Kolohoi Glacier
  • Panchtarni
  • Amarnath Yatra
Best Time to Visit

If you want to get the best out of your tour in Pahalgam, visit between March and November.

It is important for you to know that winters are chilly and often receive snowfall. However, summers are pleasant and cool. One of the popular Hindu pilgrimiges, Amarnath Yatra, also takes place during summer (March to June). Though snowfall doesn't take place during summer, snow can be found at high altitudes. The monsoon season, especially from July to September, remains highly humid and due to the overcast sky, views of landscapes do not remain clear. However, you will get great view during winter season. If you are planning for your honeymoon or enjoy winter sports, winter is the best time for you to visit Pahalgam.

How to Reach Pahalgam

Pahalgam is well connected with major cities of India by airways, roads, and railways.
  • By train and then road: Jammu is the nearest railway station, located 255 km from here. From railway station to Pahalgam, you can get buses as well as taxis.
  • By air and then road: The nearest airport to Pahalgam is Srinagar, which is just 95 km away. Regular flight services are available from Delhi to Srinagar. You can take a taxi to reach Pahalgam from the airport. It will take you around two-and-a-half hours on road. When it comes to the trip from Jammu to Pahalgam, it will take you eight hours on road. Buses are also available from Jammu. These are cheap (costing between Rs. 150 and Rs. 200) but will take you more time, anywhere between 12 to 14 hours to reach Pahalgam.
Local Transport

You can enjoy Pahalgam by getting around on ponies or by walking. Taxis are also available. If you want to reach the nearby markets (such as main market, Aru, Laripora, etc.), you can take a taxi. In case you want to trek from Aru to locations such as Kolohoi Glaciers, Lidderwat, etc., you can do so by walking. To visit various attractions around the place, you can hire taxi or cab for the entire day or for certain hours.

Food

You will get all kinds of cuisines in the Pahalgam restaurants, especially Kashmiri, Punjabi, South India, Gujarati, Chinese, and other lip-smacking delicacies. You must not forget to taste the Kashmiri bakeries such as baqerkhani, sheermal, tsochvoru, tsot, etc. You can also try some of the traditional delicacies of the place such as Rogan Josh, Gushtaba, Zafrani Murg, Tabakh Maaz, Safed Murg, Daniwal Korma, Tabak Maaz, Seekh Kababs, Methi Korma, Aab Gosht, Marchwangan Korma, Rista, and many other mouth-watering specialties. Don't forget to sip on the special green tea of the place, which is made from cinnamon bark, saffron strands, and cardamom pod with walnuts and almonds. If you are looking for economical traditional vegetarian foods, chaman and dum aaloo are the best options available to you.

Shopping

Visiting Pahalgam and not buying any beautiful handicraft or woolen garments will be a sin. Try out some beautiful ones, having unique kashmiri embroideries. In the shops and Kasmiri emporium, you will find sculptures made of apple tree wood, woolen apparel or phirans, flowing kaftans, beautiful dyed stoles, colorful jackets, mats, embroidered articles such as tea cosies, wall hangings, shawls, and carpets. You can also shop for gabbas and namdas. You can visit the Main Market area, located at the center of Pahalgam, which adequately quenches the thirst of the shopaholics.

Popular Things to Do

There are many things to do while staying in Pahalgam:
  • You can enjoy golfing in the beautiful Pahalgam Golf course, located 2,400 feet above sea level.
  • Go fishing in the famous Lidder River and catch some trout fish there. You can get fishing permit and also get equipment from Pahalgam or Srinagar.
  • You can trek or ride a horse and reach a picturesque meadow called Aru, 5 km from Pahalgam. You can also stay overnight in the hotels and lodges of Pahalgam.
  • There are innumerable trekking routes in this place. You can get the help of trained guides to trek smaller, longer, or dangerous trekking routes.
  • Pahalgam is the starting point for the pilgrims' holy journey to Amarnath. The Amaranth Yatra starts from the month of June every year and continues for two months.
  • Enjoy winter sports like skiing and white water rafting in this divinely beautiful place.
  • One of the picturesque valleys in Kashmir is the Betaab Valley, a lush green valley. This is widely known to cine lovers as many Bollywood movies were shot here.
  • You can check out the hollow glacier named Kolohoi Glacier. However, it should be noted that this glacier is safe to access only a few times in a year.
  • Chandanwari is a beautiful place. You can drive, trek, and ride a horse from Hajan. You can live in tents there for camping. Huts and restaurants are available too.
  • You can visit Anantnag and Gulmarg, only hours away from Pahalgam.
Travel Tips
  • If you love snow, try to time your visit to Pahalgam during the special Snow Festival. This two-day event features horse race, snow sledging, skiing, etc.
  • STD code of Pahalgam is 01936.
  • Approximate distances:
    • Airport from Srinagar is 87 km.
    • Railhead from Jammu is 280 km.
  • Pahalgam from Srinagar and Anantnag is 76 km and 55 km, respectively.
  • You can watch different kinds of mammals in the lower areas from September to May. Bird or mammal watching can be done in the lower areas between March and May. In the upper areas, you can watch mammals or birds from May to August.
  • Make sure you have trekking shoes, light clothing, raincoat, windcheater, heavy woolen garments, etc.
Cost to Travel

From Jammu to Pahalgam, it will cost you anywhere around Rs. 3,000 on taxi. From Srinagar Airport to Pahalgam, it will cost you Rs. 2,200 on taxi. You can also avail buses, which will cost you anything from Rs. 150 to Rs. 200.

One affordable travel itinerary is as follows. You can first take a train to Jammu. From there get a shared taxi (4WD Sumo) or minibus to Khanabal, a journey of six to seven hours. It will cost you around Rs. 200 to Rs. 400 per person. From Khanabal you can take an auto rickshaw to reach the Anantnag Sumo stand, which will cost you Rs. 30. Now, get a shared Sumo to reach Pahalgam, costing Rs. 40 to 50 per person. It will take you around an hour.

How many days are enough to travel?

The number of days one will need to explore Pahalgam depends on the extensiveness in travelling the place. However, it will take you at least three days and two nights to explore the place.

Tourism Department Contacts

Helpline of Jammu & Kashmir Tourism: 1-800-103-1060
Tourist Reception Centre, Pahalgam: 01936-243224
Jammu Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation, Customer Care: 1-800-103-1070
Jammu Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation, Head Office, Srinagar: 0194-2457927, 0194-2457930

Emergency Contact Numbers
Police Control Room - 100
Fire Service Control Room - 101
Ambulance: 102
Police District Headquarter, Srinagar: 0194-2455047, 0194-2453897
Police Station Women Cell, Srinagar: 0194-2466971
Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Bemina, Srinagar: 0194-2493104
Airport Authority of India, Srinagar: 0194-2303311



Last Updated on : December 31, 2013