Pahalgam - The Valley of Shepherds

Bakirwal PahalgamLocation: Anantnag - Kashmir Valley

Altitude : 2130 mts

Population: 5922 (2001)

Area: 2,740 m (8,990 ft)

Side Valleys: Aru Valley, Chandanwari, Bisaran, Beetab Valley, Hajan, Mamal

Major Tourist Activity : Trout Fishing, White Water Rafting, Golf, Horse Riding, Camping, Trekking, Mountaineering

Best time to visit : March to November

Arguably one of the most beautiful places on earth, the town of Pahalgam (Village of Shepherds) offers breathtaking views. One can just relax in one of the many hotels in Pahalgam, or trek on some of the many mountains. One can trek to Lidderwat, Kolohoi Glacier or to Sonmarg. Snow skiing is an attraction during the winter months (from December to late February).

Shepherd’s village”, Pahalgam is visited by tourists and locals in huge number for its gradual lowering of temperature and river Lidder flowing at an approachable distance. Traveling through meandering roads, Pahalgam opens up with a fresh coo1 breeze of the river. The Lidder river rises from the Kolohoi glaciers, Tarsar lake and Sheeshnag to join as tributary of Jhelum. Pahalgam has an astounding 9 hole golf course open for tourists now being extended into an 18 hole. The golf championships are organised by state government and private hoteliers in summer. Here, tourists and locals putt together in the shades of Pine trees surrounding the golf course

Pahalgam, a world famous hill station is 45 Kms. from the District Head Quarter at Anantnag and located on the banks of river Lidder at an altitude of 7200 ft. from sea level. Pahalgam is one among the five tehsils of Anantnag district and tehsil head quarters are located in the main town of Pahalgam. Once a great tourist puller and favourite place for shooting of Bollywood films is perhaps the best health resort in the country. Pahalgam also serves as base camp for the famous Amarnath Ji Yatra. The Pahalgam Valley presents glamorous look due to its pine forests, snow clad mountains, healthy climate and vast meadows and pastures. Pahalgam skirts Lidder river and torrential flow of water in Lidder river enriches the awesome beauty of the Valley.

Geography

Pahalgam is located at 34.01°N 75.19°E. It has an average elevation of 2740 metres (8989 feet)

Tourist Attractions:

 

Baisaran PahalgamBaisaran

3 km from pahalgam is an exciting place where a stream flows through the meadows and pine trees.Visitors can enjoy a horse ride available at the market place near the bus stand.

Amarnath Yatra

Pahalgam(Nunwan) is a base camp for the annual Amarnath Yatra. Which starts from June to August every year. Enrote to Anarnath Cave is Chandanwari (2,895 m), 16 kms from Pahalgam, is the starting point of the. The road from Pahalgam to Chandanwari is on fairly flat terrain and can be undertaken by car. From Chandanwari onwards the track becomes much steeper, and is accessible on foot or by pony. About 11 kms from Chandanwari is the mountain lake of Sheshnag (3,574 m), after which, 13 kms away is the last stop, Panchtarni. The Amarnath cave is 6 kms away from there. During the month of Sawan, an ice stalagmite forms a natural shivling in the Amarnath cave, which waxes and wanes with the moon.

The Holy Cave of Amarnathji is 46.7 km from Pahalgam at a altitude of 3952 meters, believed to be the abode of Lord Shiva. The ice lingam formed by water droplets, symbolises Lord Shiva. Nearby are ice lingams of Mata Parvati, Lord Ganesha, and Lord Kartikeya also. People visit the Holy Cave during the scheduled Yatra period.Yatris can hire a pony or Dandy from (Nunwan) Pohalgam. According to Bringesha Samhita ,a book in sanskrit , Rishi Bringesha once instructed his disciples to have darshan of sacred lingam at the holy cave , The pilgrims were harassed by demons on the way, Lord Shiva gifted rishis a scepter for their safeguard. Charri Mubarak today is a symbol of this protected caravan.

This Hindu pilgrimage is believed to be the discovery of a Muslim shepherd named Butta Malik who’s descendants still receive a percentage of the donations made by pilgrims. The State government organizes Yatra generally during June to August depending upon the Hindu calendar (Sawan Purnima). The yatra registration is must for all yatries, which is made available at J&K bank branches at selected cities of India. All stopovers have facilities from tents to medical camps and langars. The trek is covered in 2 to 3 days.

Shikargha

Pahalgam's famous picnic spot is a wild life reserve, reached on foot or by pony from main market.

Betaab Valley

At a walkable distance is a tourist spot amidst pine trees in pahalgam is famous for many film shootings.

Tulian Lake

Most captivating lake at an altitude of 4000m, surrounded by the snow capped mountains. It is a full day long trek from Pahalgam. Assistance of a local guide is highly recommended for conducting trekking to this high altitude lake.

Mamal Temple

Mamalika one of the ancient temple in Pahalgam built in 11th century by King Jayasimha, is situated on the right bank of the Lidder. The temple has a pedestal and a Shivalinga. A pure water spring rises at the site covered by a basin.

Aru

is a resort village 11km from Pahalgam with a motorable road. From here, famous trek via Lidderwat leads to the Kolohoi Glaciers (36km) at an altitude of 3400mtrs. Here, you can have a glimpse of Kolohoi Peak, 5370 mtrs. Another trek from Lidderwat leads to the most desired twin Lakes, Tarsar 3794mtrs & Marsar 3788 mtrs (2-3 days trek).

 

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