Situated at the confluence of the streams flowing from Sheshnag Lake and the Lidder river, Pahalgam (2,130 m) was once a humble shepherd's village with breathtaking views. Now it is Kashmir's premier resort, cool even during the height of summer when the maximum temperature does not exceed 250C. A number of hotels and lodges cater to all preferences and budgets, from luxurious hotels to unpretentious trekkers' lodges. |
The most beautiful of these is the huge, undulating meadow of Baisaran, surrounded by thickly wooded forests of pine. Hajan, on the way to Chandanwari, is an idyllic spot for a picnic. Filmgoers will recognize it instantly as it has been the location of several movie scenes.
Pahalgam has within it no fewer than eight tiny villages, one of which is Mamal. There is a Shiva temple here, generally considered to be Kashmir's oldest existing temple, dating to the 5th century.
Pahalgam is also associated with the annual Amarnath Yatra. Chandanwari (2,895 m), 16 kms from Pahalgam, is the starting point of the yatra that takes place every year in the month of Sawan (July to August). 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.
Pahalgam is the base of a major trek that passes along Aru and Kolohi Glacier. Pahalgam Club has a 9-hole golf course, which can be used by tourists. Golf sets can be hired on the spot. You can enjoy the trip to Pahalgam by booking Adventure holiday packages from travel companies.
Sheshnag Lake is a charming lake situated at an altitude of 3,658 meters above sea level, 27 km from Pahalgam. It is among the most sought after religious destination of this region which is also visited by nature lovers because of its panoramic natural beauty. The water of this lake is cold, clear and greenish blue in color which remains frozen till June holidays . During Amarnath Yatra this place becomes the hotspot where one can see large numbers of tourist camps at the lake-side serving various religious purposes. This place derives its name from the Seven Peaks which resembles the heads of the seven Hindu mythical snakes.
The nearest airport to Pahalgam is at Srinagar. It is placed at a distance of about 95 km from Pahalgam. The nearest major railhead is at Srinagar, which is 90 km away. It is connected by Jammu and Kashmir state owned road transport corporation buses. It is possible to avail tour package from various travel companies as well as train tickets and also online booking services.
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