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A Complete Tour Guide To Pahalgam Hill Station

Pahalgam is a scenic hill station in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and is located on the banks of the glacial Lidder River. The town is located at the foothills of the Kolahoi Peak of the Western Himalayas at an altitude of 2,740 meters above sea level. Pahalgam is also a major stopover for the Hindu pilgrimage called the Amarnath Yatra which takes place each year between the months of July and August. The terrain in Pahalgam comprises mostly of coniferous forests, flowery meadows, grasslands and hills. The hanging Kolahoi glacier is also accessible from Pahalgam via the enchanting meadows of Aru and attracts several hikers, trekkers and adventure sports enthusiasts.

pahalgam
Photo by Partha S. Sahana, CC BY 2.0 

The region was originally inhabited by shepherds and is also known as the ‘Valley of Shepherds’. Pahalgam and the surrounding area came under the Mughal suzerainty in medieval times and later became a part of the Princely state of Kashmir during the British Raj. Pahalgam is also famous for being one of the most popular locations for Bollywood movies due to its marvelous and picturesque surroundings.

Climatic Conditions

Due to its high altitude location in the Western foothills of the Himalayas, Pahalgam has a Sub-tropical highland climate with cold and snowy winters and mild and pleasant summers. The months of March and April see the maximum precipitation with a chilly weather that can drop to freezing temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius. The summer months from May till August enjoy a mild winter with temperatures never exceeding 20 degrees Celsius with frequent showers during the monsoons. Winter starts early in Pahalgam with temperature drops in October and snow in November.

Best Time to Visit

Pahalgam is a part of the Amarnath Yatra pilgrimage and is visited by thousands of Hindu pilgrims and devotees during the months of July and August. While the town is visited by tourists and adventure seekers throughout the year, the best time to visit Pahalgam is between the months of April and June when the climate is the most pleasant with plenty of sun and mild winters.

Attractions/Things to Do

Being a small town Pahalgam has only a few numbers of listed attractions. Nevertheless, making the best out of Pahalgam depends solely on the visitor’s interest to explore the place. If visited in summers Pahalgam offers the most serene and enchanting locations fit for escaping the bustle of the cities. The grasslands and flowery meadows of Pahalgam make it perfect for relaxation and experiencing nature at its best. Amarnath Yatra, Betab Valley, Pony Ride, Baisaran, Rafting, Trekking, Trout Fishing and Hiking are the major attractions in Pahalgam.

How to Reach

Being a largely unspoilt location, Pahalgam is only accessible via Srinagar, Anantnag or Jammu via road. The nearest railway stations are again Srinagar and Jammu which are well connected with Pahalgam. The nearest domestic airport is located in Srinagar which is located at a 2 ½ hours journey from Pahalgam. Getting in cheap can be a problem for most people as the town is not easily accessible during the non-tourist seasons. Hiking a ride with a pilgrim group is also an easy way but one needs to be really convincing.

Distance from Major Cities

1. Anantnag to Pahalgam – 41 Kilometers
2. Srinagar to Pahalgam – 87 Kilometers
3. Jammu to Pahalgam – 283 Kilometers
4. Dharamshala to Pahalgam – 434 Kilometers
5. Shimla to Pahalgam – 647 Kilometers
6. Chandigarh to Pahalgam – 579 Kilometers
7. Dehradun to Pahalgam – 749 Kilometers
8. Delhi to Pahalgam – 827 Kilometers
9. Jaipur to Pahalgam – 1,039 Kilometers
10. Ahmedabad to Pahalgam – 1,705 Kilometers
11. Mumbai to Pahalgam – 2,176 Kilometers
12. Kolkata to Pahalgam – 2,280 Kilometers
13. Hyderabad to Pahalgam – 2,352 Kilometers
14. Bangalore to Pahalgam – 2,941 Kilometers
15. Chennai to Pahalgam – 2,979 Kilometers

Accessibility and Accommodation

Once you get in Pahalgam, you get plenty of accommodation facilities which suit most tourist budgets. To get the best out of the nature is it highly recommended to book the cheap and convenient Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department huts that are located in some of the most enchanting locations. One can get around the town either on foot or by hiring ponies that are readily available all around Pahalgam. Taking a pony is one of the most recommended ways to experience the enchanting surroundings.

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