A popular tourist destination of Jammu & Kashmir, Pahalgam is a famous hill resort. This is a land of dusty roads and massive green expanses. All of these are surrounded by stunning mountain ranges that add to the mystic look of Pahalgam. There are scenic meadows to explore along with the famous Amarnath Yatra.

Pahalgam is a municipal committee and a town in the picturesque Anantnag district in Jammu and Kashmir, the northernmost state of India. Pahalgam is a much frequented tourist destination because it is the starting point for amaranth Yatra.

One of the five tehsils located in Anantnag district, Pahalgam was one of the most favorite places for Bollywood shootings a few years back. The place continues to be a much visited health resort. The tourist huts are quite popular here. Many luxury hotels have sprung up here and most of these hotels are well equipped with modish amenities to cater to guests of various nationalities.


A renowned hill station located around 45 km from the district head quarters in Anantnag, Pahalgam is situated on Lidder River banks. This town lies at a height of 7200 feet from sea level. It holds key importance in the serene Lidder Valley. The geography of Pahalgam also makes it the place from where one can begin a religious sojourn to Amarnath Caves. Chandanwari, which lies 16 km from Pahalgam, is the starting point for the Amarnath Yatra that’s undertaken by devotees every year. For Hindu devotees, the Amarnath Yatra is a must do atleast once in their lifetime. It is done in the Sawan months, which lie from July to August. A flat road takes you from Pahalgam to Chandanwari. This can also be done via car. However, beyond Chandanwari one has to go by foot or take a pony because the road is steep.

An 11 km walk from Chandanwari takes you to Sheshnag at 3,574 m high. This is a popular mountain lake. From here, one has to walk another 13 km to get to Panchtarni, which is home to the Amarnath caves. This cave is popular for the natural Shivaling that forms here during these months. It’s an ice stalagmite that looks glorious.


Popular sightseeing locations in Pahalgam are Betaab Valley, Chandanwari and Aru Valley.

Betaab Valley

This valley is named after the popular Bollywood movie Betaab which was shot here. For Pahalgam, you can only travel by local taxies like Tavera, Sumo or a 7 seater taxi or car since cabs from Jammu or Srinagar are prohibited to take tourists to Pahalgam. Taking a local taxi to Pahalgam will cost you nearly Rs. 1500 and one cannot bargain.

Amarnath Yatra

The must do when in Pahalgam is to take a religious trek to Amarnath Caves. This holy pilgrimage to an ice stalagmite figurine is highly popular among Hindu devotees. A Shiva Lingam forms here every year in the months from July to August. This is a yearly pilgrimage that takes up to 3 days to finish. One can take a taxi to Chandiwari because the road is motorable. However, from here one has to walk or take a pony. This trek takes two days and it’s recommended to stay overnight at Shishnag or Panchtarni.

Kolohoi Glacier

Located in Lidder Valley, this is a hanging glacier and a geographic delight. This glacier lies just below Kolhoi Peak and lies close to Pahalgam. So it’s a must visit when you are here. A road via Aru takes you to Kolohoi Glacier. While this glacier is said to have initially been 35 km long, the glacier has thinned out over the years due to environmental degradation and global warming. The Asian brown cloud is also said to have caused its decline. However, it’s important to keep a safe distance from here because the glacier is hollow in places with deep crevices.

Pony Ride

Pony Ride is a must thing to do when you are in Pahalgam. Pony rides can be availed to Amarnath as well as to a picturesque meadow Baisaran. It is popularly known as ‘Mini Switzerland’. These pony rides are available from city centre and tourists bargain a lot. The beauty of this place will leave you over awed.

Things to do

When in Pahalgam, one must take a trek to interesting places such as Aru Valley, Kohli Glacier and Tarsar Lake. While this is not possible during harsh winters of Ladakh, summers are a great time to take treks. One can also drive to these places in jeep safaris. Camping and fishing in and around Pahalgam are also popular.

Another interesting thing to do in Pahalgam is taking a white water rafting trip. This is done on Lidder River, which is a happily undulating stream. The rapids here take you through natural forests and chilly splashing waters.

Cultural Background

Pahalgam culture is known for its locality, festivals and cuisine. The Jammu & Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages sets up multi-hued programmes where they host various artistic events in the town. This brings alive the culture of the place. The people here also exhibit Kashmiri music and folk theatre. Some well-acclaimed folk artists from Bhand Pather, Pahalgam valley sing ghazals and light music.

One can also shop a lot in Pahalgam, which is a center of cultural handicrafts. You can buy a variety of things such as Kashmiri shawls and carpets. Interesting Kashmiri embroidered clothes can also be bought. You will find an interesting collection of chain-stitch embroidery clothes, farens or ponchos that are all designed in a Kashmiri way.

Culinary delights at Pahalgam are also a great hunt. The many restaurants and dhabas here offer great food. Some of the popular ones include Nathu Rasoi, where you can find North Indian food at reasonable prices. This is the place for chat, chola kulcha and puri bhaji. However, the place is open only during summer time. Another interesting vegetarian restaurant here is Dana Pani, which is most popular for its delicious kulfi.

Best Time to Visit Pahalgam

The best time to visit Pahalgam is during summer season. Pahalgam’s climate is lovely, fresh and breezy in summer, while winters are really freezing as temperature reaches sub zero degrees. March to November is the best months to visit Pahalgam. The weather during this time is pleasant and romantic. The atmosphere is serene and cold.

How to Reach

There is no airport or train station at Pahalgam. First, you need to travel to Srinagar by train or air.

By Air

Srinagar airport is the nearest airport form Pahalgam. The airport is approximately at a distance of 96 kilometers.

By Rail

Jammu Tawi is the closest railway station from Pahalgam. It is located nearly 285 kilometers away from Pahalgam.

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