Things To Do In Pahalgam

If you travel towards the east from Srinagar for approximately 2.5 hours, you will arrive at Pahalgam, a stunning hill station in Kashmir. Once a small village for shepherds, it has now become a popular tourist destination with valleys renowned for their stunning beauty. In addition to the scenic views, visitors can enjoy activities such as camping, trekking, and horse riding. Furthermore, there are opportunities to shop for local Kashmiri handicrafts and indulge in the delicious Kashmiri cuisine. Pahalgam truly has something special to offer for everyone.

Nearest Airport: Srinagar International Airport.

How to get to Pahalgam: Pahalgam is around 95km from Srinagar airport and can be easily reached by road. Taxis are available for hire at the airport (Keep in mind – Uber and Ola don’t operate in Kashmir) and the prices are a little exorbitant as compared to rest of India.

Local transport in Pahalgam: Easiest way to travel around in Pahalgam is to hire a taxi at the tourist taxi stand which charges standard taxi fares. Be wary of the hill roads if you are travelling by your own car.

If you are travelling to Pahalgam, here are 10 things you MUST add to your itinerary.

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Aru Valley

Located about 11 kilometers from Pahalgam, Aru Valley is known for its natural beauty and is a starting point for numerous treks. The lush meadows and pristine surroundings make it a great spot for trekking and camping. Trekkers use Aru Valley as a base for exploring nearby trails (Lidderwat, Tarsar Lake, and Marsar Lake).

Betaab Valley

Named after the Bollywood movie “Betaab,” which was filmed here, this valley is a lush expanse of meadows and dense forests. It’s a serene spot for nature lovers and a perfect place for picnics. I visited during the winter months, so my pictures don’t do this place justice.

Chandanwari

This is the starting point for the famous Amarnath Yatra pilgrimage. Even if you’re not participating in the pilgrimage, you can take a short trek to see the stunning landscapes and glaciers.

Visit the ruins of Avantipura

If you are travelling between Pahalgam and Srinagar, be sure to ask your driver to make a stop at Avantipura (aka Awantipora) near Anantnag district. These temple ruins from the 9th century named after the Kashmiri king Avantivarman is a living testament to the Kashmir of old – to the times before the arrival of Mughals.

Shop for some Saffron and visit the Saffron fields

While travelling between Pahalgam and Srinagar, your driver will surely stop at one of the many spice shops in Pampore. Pampore, the Saffron town of Kashmir, is known worldwide for its Saffron, so if you are looking to buy this expensive spice, here’s the place to do it. The quality and price of Saffron bought here is unmatched. If you are lucky, you can also visit the saffron fields when the purple flowers are in bloom. 

Did you know it takes thousands of flowers to make a few grams of this spice? No wonder it is called Red Gold – the costliest of all the spices in the world. 

Lidder River – Raft or just Relax. 

The Lidder River flows through Pahalgam, offering opportunities for white-water rafting during the summer months. But for the non-adventure-enthusiasts like me, the riverbanks are also perfect for leisurely walks and picnics.

Trekking

Pahalgam is the starting point for so many treks and pilgrimages. Tulian lake and Sheshnag lake trekking are two great options which offer crystal clear lakes and a panoramic view of the majestic mountains. The famous Amarnath Yatra also starts here at Chandanwari.

Visit the Apple and Walnut Orchards

Before reaching Pahalgam, you can also stop at  the many Apple and Walnut orchards along the way. If you are lucky enough to be visiting during Autumn, you will be treated with the sweet smell of thousands of apples everywhere. 

Be sure to enjoy a refreshing cup of freshly pressed apple juice while you are here.

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