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Situated away from the hustle and bustle of city life, around 95 kilometers east of Srinagar, is the quaint little town of Pahalgam. Surrounded by the Himalayas and abound with natural beauty, Pahalgam draws thousands of tourists from all over the world every year.

This hill station is full of scenic beauty and laden with tall pine trees, gushing rivers, meadows, and mountains all around. The picturesque Lidder river gushes through this gorgeous town, making it even more beautiful. Originally inhabited by shepherds, Pahalgam is popularly known as the ‘Valley of Shepherds’.

Whether you are looking for some peace and quiet away from the grind of everyday life or a trekker looking for some adventure, Pahalgam is sure to leave you awestruck. Pahalgam, with its movie-like settings, even has the Bollywood world captivated. Quite a lot of Bollywood movies like Haider, Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani and Jab Tak Hai Jaan have been shot here. 

Pahalgam truly has a charm of its own. Let’s delve deeper into the beauty of this place and get to know the little town that travelers around the world have an undying love for, a little better.

Why is Pahalgam Kashmir famous?

Pahalgam is famous for its mesmerizing beauty. Its beauty combined with the perfect weather and lush green surroundings makes it the number one destination for tourists running to Kashmir. A trip to this magical place is sure to rejuvenate your mind and body like nothing else. Be prepared to be astounded with Pahalgam’s breathtaking landscapes.

Pahalgam’s setting also makes it ideal for various adventure activities like trekking, river rafting and trout fishing. Unleash the adventurous spirit in you by indulging in many such activities that this place has to offer. And as for the less adventurous ones, can just sit, relax and get lost in Pahalgam’s old world charm.

So, have you mentally started planning a trip here yet? If not, we give you more reasons to add this place to your bucket list!

Best places to visit in Pahalgam Kashmir:

Here are the top 10 best places to visit in and around Pahalgam Kashmir.

1. Betaab Valley:

Betab Valley

Just close your eyes and imagine the sound of a river gushing by, the chirping of birds, tall pine and deodar trees and mountains as far as you can see. Sounds like a picture-perfect scenery, doesn’t it? Well, that’s exactly how the Betaab valley is!

Betab Valley is around 15 kilometers from Pahalgam and falls on the route to the Amarnath temple. Previously called Hagan Valley, it was renamed after the blockbuster movie ‘Betaab’ was shot here. You can have your own little Bollywood moment here. Go horseback riding or you can also have a picnic here. Just grab some food, find your favorite spot, and soak in all the beauty that this place has to offer, one sight at a time.

2. Sheshnag Lake:

Sheeshnag Lake
Sheeshnag Lake

This lake is situated around 23 kilometers from Pahalgam. This spot is also on the way to the Amarnath temple and pilgrims on this yatra visit this lake before moving towards the temple. You can either get here by trekking or take a horse ride.

According to legend, Lord Shiva is believed to have left a ‘sheshnag’ at this place. While another legendary story suggests that sheshnag himself dug this lake and made it his abode. Till date, the sheshnag or ‘king of snakes’ is believed to live here. This beautiful lake, with its clear water, is a treat to the eyes.

3. Aru Village and Valley:

Aru Valley
Aru Valley

This is yet another valley situated near Pahalgam. Aru Valley is popular for its meadows. You can take a day’s trip here. Take a horse ride or just trek along the way. Head here for some tranquility or take part in adventure sports like ziplining, paragliding or river-crossing. Aru valley is also the starting point for numerous treks; the Kolahoi glacier trek being one of them.

4. Chandanwari:

chandanwari
Chandanwari Road End

Chandanwari is the starting point for the Amarnath Yatra. This is a must-visit place for all snow lovers. You can indulge in snow fights to sledge rides or just play in the snow here. The enchanting Sheshnag river travels through this place, making its landscape even more beautiful. That and the snow-capped mountains make this place a must-visit.

5. Tulian Lake:

tulian lake
Tulian Lake

Pahalgam is full of lakes and the Tulian lake is one such lake that beautifies Pahalgam all the more. Snuggled between the Pir Panjal and Zanskar mountain ranges, is the Tulian Lake. Its crystal clear blue water is a beautiful surprise for the eyes. You can either take a horse ride or trek all the way here. The trek is often challenging but the view at the end of it is totally worth it!

6. Mamal Temple:

Also known as Mamaleshwar temple, this is one of the oldest temples in Pahalgam. The Mamal temple lies along the Kolahoi glacier and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This small temple is one of the top tourist attractions in Pahalgam.

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7. Baisaran Valley:

This place is popularly known as ‘Mini Switzerland’, owing to its meadows having a striking resemblance to those in Switzerland. Surrounded with lush green pine trees, Baisaran valley has breathtaking scenery. It cannot get any more beautiful than this, can it? Take a short trip here and revel in nature’s bounty. This is also a great camping site for trekkers.

8. Avantipur Temple:

Avantipur Temple
Temple Ruins

The King Avantivarman built this temple during his reign from AD 855-883. This place had two temples- the Avantishwar temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Avantiswami temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Today, all that is left of it are beautiful ruins telling the story of an era gone long by. This is an extremely interesting site; especially if you are intrigued by history and heritage. When in Pahalgam, do visit this place.

 9. Pahalgam Golf Course:

If you are looking to do a fun activity, you can go for some golfing. If you are an expert golfer, this 18-hole golf course is the best place for you. If not, you can even take up some golfing lessons. This is a great place for travellers visiting Pahalgam for leisure.

10. Kolahoi Glacier:

The only way to get to this spot is through a laborious trek. This is a tough trek and if you are an experienced trekker, you can add this place to your ‘must-visit’ in Pahalgam. The Kolahoi glacier offers some pretty stunning views. 

Things to do in Pahalgam Kashmir:

  • This hill station is a paradise for trekking enthusiasts. There are many trekking routes here including Chandanwari, Tulian Lake, Sheshnag Lake and many more.
  • Take a horse ride to the major tourist attractions like Betaab Valley and Baisaran Valley.
  • Go white river rafting in the Lidder river.
  • Go trout fishing. However, you need to obtain a permit for this.
  •  Enjoy a golfing session.
  • Go for a picnic.

How to reach Pahalgam?

Well, now you know the best places in Pahalgam. But, how do you reach there? Here’s how:

If you are travelling by flight, the nearest airport is the Srinagar Airport which is about 90 kilometers from Pahalgam. From there, you can either take a taxi or a bus to this hill station.

The other way to reach is by rail. The nearest railway station is Udhampur railway station, 218 kilometers from this town. You can then hire a taxi from here. 

However, the best option would be to book a private taxi from Srinagar.

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Best time to visit?

Now that you know almost all details about this gorgeous little town, the next important question that comes to mind is- What is the best time to visit?

Pahalgam has very pleasant weather during the summer season. This makes the months of April to June a peak season for tourists. However, if you love snow and would love to visit this place in all its white winter glory, you can also take a trip here during the winter months. This is an especially great time to visit if you love indulging in snow-related activities.

Accommodation

Right from cottages and guest houses to resorts and 5-star hotels, Pahalgam offers excellent accommodation to suit every traveller’s budget. For the backpacker, there are great economic options. For the leisure traveller looking to spend a few days in the lap of luxury, there are top-notch hotels with spas and other state of the art amenities.

Pahalgam Amarnath Yatra:

Interestingly, Pahalgam is also the place where the annual Amarnath Yatra begins. It is one of the two base camps for the yatra; the second one being the Sonmarg-Baltal route. However, this is the route that pilgrims most commonly take. The holy Amarnath cave is around 45 kilometers from Pahalgam. The route begins at Pahalgam and the first place that pilgrims reach is Chandanwari, which is about 16 kilometers from Pahalgam. The next point is Sheshnag, about 12 kilometers from Chandanwari. Then, Sheshnag to Panchtarni is around 14 kilometers. And finally, from Panchtarni, the holy caves are around 6 kilometers away.

All in all, Pahalgam is a place with supremely beautiful scenery. A trip here is truly a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience.

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