Places to Visit And Things to do in Pahalgam
Kashmir, being the ultimate beauty that it is, has no doubt been in the bucket list of tourists from all over the world. Pahalgam is one of the must visit places in Kashmir, because of it’s unparalleled beauty, and serenity. Located at a height of 7200ft, Pahalgam is called the “Valley of Shepherds”, and is so beautiful a location that numerous Bollywood films have been shot there.
Pahalgam has a long list of places that it has to offer, and things to do:
1. BAISARAN HILLS
A trip to Pahalgam is a real treat for the senses. Pahalgam is known to have been called as the ‘Mini Switzerland’ because of its long, dark meadows looking like those found in Switzerland, Baisaran is a beautiful photogenic scenery, laid out just 5 km from Pahalgam. The thick pine timberland that gives the lush green carpet-like look to the landscape, gives a different, but breathtaking touch to snow-topped crests of the encompassing mountains.
2. KOLAHOI GLACIER
Kolahoi Glacier, the largest glacier in Kashmir, is spread over an area of 11 sq. km at an elevation of 4700 m. Part of the mighty Kolahoi Peak, this glacier is also the source of the Lidder River, the main source of Kashmir’s largest river, Jhelum.
Kolahoi Glacier, other than being a hanging glacier, is also known for its breath taking views and is a major trekking destination. The trek to Kolahoi Glacier starts from Aru, 10 km from Pahalgam, and passes through terrain mostly under snow, along the course of Lidder River, through thick forests inhibited by wild animals.
3. TARSAR LAKE
Tarsar Lake is situated at an elevation of 3,962 m, at a distance of 34 km from Pahalgam. Travelers willing to visit the lake can travel via Lidderwat, and cross a bridge, which is at a height of 243 m above ground level. 24 km away from Tarsar Lake is Sikiwas, which houses beautiful camping sites with flower meadows.
4. PAHALGAM GOLF COURSE
For golf aficionados, playing their favorite sport here is a one of a kind experience. But newbies too can try a hand at golf amidst the rich ambience of the Pahalgam Valley. Pahalgam offers a magnificent full 18-hole golf course, and the experience of playing in between all the beautiful hills of Pahalgam is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
5. AVANTIPUR TEMPLE
The famous Avantipur Temple, established by Maharaja Avanti Varman who ruled from AD 855-883, is another one of the places that need to be explored in Pahalgam. Today, the temple is in ruins yet it is one of the most visited sites. The shrine in the center, is covered by a wall, is an ideal point to click pictures of this attraction. The ruins of Avantipur makes up for a great setting to photographers.
6. SHESHNAG LAKE
Sheshnag Lake is one that makes for a great tourist destination, as it is located very close to Pahalgam in Kashmir. Its name originated from Sheshnag – the sacred serpent according to Hindu mythology. According to the legend the serpent burrowed this lake and made it his residence, where he lives to this day. In order to reach the lake one needs to take an uphill trek, starting from Chandanwari. Another option is a pony ride.
Hajan is an ideal spot for a picnic, since it is located close to Pahalgam. Lying en route to Chandanwari, this town is a notified area committee that has served as a location for several movie scenes. Travelers visiting Pahalgam can simply walk or trek, or take a pony ride to the town, and stop by for a typical picnic with an amazing view around you.
8. SINTHAN TOP
Sinthan Top is close to Pahalgam and is a beautiful place. The spot is quickly developing as one of the top travel destinations in Kashmir. It is situated nearly 37 kilometers away from Daksum, and is a thrilling journey. On reaching the Sinthan Top one gets to see the amazing panoramas of the snow-clad terrains. The place offers many opportunities for mountaineering, trekking and skiing.
Lidderwat is situated 22 km (approx.) away from Pahalgam. The breathtaking natural scenery of the spot is captivating with its thick forest and rich green meadows. Situated at an elevation of 3408 m above ocean level, it serves as a perfect campground for travelers. Adventure seekers can venture on a trekking expedition, up to the Kolahoi Glaciers and the twin lakes of Tarsar and Marsar. To get here tourists either hire taxis or ponies.
10. SUN TEMPLE
Sun Temple, situated in Martand that is 64 km from Srinagar and just 7 km from Anantnag, belongs to the era of Pandavas. This sun temple was built by King Lalitaditya Muktapida (699 – 739 AD). However, some legends reveal that the foundation stone of this temple was laid in 370 – 500 AD by King Ranaditya Muktapida. Standing on the top of a plateau, this temple provides a bird’s eye view of the beautiful village of Mattan.
11. MAMALESHWAR TEMPLE
Mamaleshwar Temple is one of the most ancient temples in Pahalgam, with its history dating back to the 12th century. Built by King Jayasimha on the right bank of River Lidder, this temple is devoted to Lord Shiva. The temple encompasses a pedestal and a Shiva Lingam, with a pure water spring covered by a basin. Situated 1 km downstream from Pahalgam, this temple is easily accessible from the town on foot.
A couple of kilometers from Anantnag on the Pahalgam road, is a sacred Hindu site called Mattan. This place attracts a large number of people who want to devote from all parts of the country. This is one of the holy places in India where the ministers assembled for worshiping the God of the Sun. The temple has lovely Shiva Lingam, which is safeguarded inside a brick structure, which is surrounded by clear blue water on all sides.
13. MARSAR LAKE
Marsar Lake is seen as one of the top tourist destinations in Pahalgam. The lake is 5 km away from Nagberan village. Marsar Lake and Tarsar Lake together, make up a great trekking trail, and adventure seekers can look forward to enjoy every bit of this landscape. The Marsar Lake trek offers tourists a glimpse of the stunning beauty of Kashmir. The traveler gets the opportunity to experience its scenic lakes and valleys. The rocky landscape around the lake draws in trekking lovers from all over the world, in this way making the lake a famous name among Pahalgam’s best tourist places to visit.
14. BETAAB VALLEY
Betaab Valley is a beautiful spot located in the upper east side of Pahalgam. This valley got its name from the hit Bollywood film Betaab, which was shot in this location. Lush green meadows, snow-capped peaks and rushing rivers form the amazing topography of this valley. This valley is also a well-known trekking base and campground for tourists or expeditioners who are looking to explore the highland regions next to this valley. The natural lush surroundings, and the seclusion of the Betaab valley attracts many newly-wed couples, who are on a honeymoon in Kashmir.
Chandanwari, located on the outskirt of Pahalgam, another popular tourist place, which has great religious importance. It is the starting point of the Amarnath Yatra, an important pilgrimage held in the Monsoon season. With breathtaking beauty, this location is a popular attraction for travelers. Landscapes and greenery describes the topography of this picturesque location.
16. TULIAN LAKE
Tulian Lake is at an altitude of 3353 m. At a distance of 11 km from Baisaran and 16 km from Pahalgam. This snow-covered lake is surrounded by peaks that rise to a height of more than 300 m above its shores. Tulian Lake is set along a trek route via Baisaran, and thus can be reached either by trekking, or by hiring ponies from near the center of the town.
17. ARU VILLAGE & VALLEY
Aru is a village located approximately 11 km from Pahalgam. Lying at an elevation of 2,408 m, this village leads to the popular trekking track via Lidderwat, extending to Kolahoi Glaciers (36 km) at an altitude of 3,400 m. Travelers visiting Pahalgam can reach this village by travelling on a motor-able road or walking along a mountain path.
Situated 5 km away from Pahalgam, is a lush meadow which has dense vegetation, called Baisaran. The meadow has thick wooded forests of pine, and provides a view of the beautiful snow-clad mountains that surrounds it. Resembling resorts, this huge meadow serves as a good campsite.
Located at a distance of 13 km from the Sheshnag Lake and about 40 km away from Pahalgam, is Panchtarni. This location is so names, because it is situated at the intersection of five rivers. Panchtarni is the last stoppage of the Amarnath Yatra, and is most popular for camping.
Shikargah is a famous wildlife reserve located near the main market area of Pahalgam. Tourists often visit this site with family and friends for enjoying the scenery and having picnics. Tourists can hire ponies from the main markets to get to this location, or they could also walk if they want to pick the ideal picnic spot.