Out of the numerous places in Kashmir, Pahalgam stands out as one that is a must see. Pahalgam has plenty of sightseeing places, making it one of the go to destinations for all kinds of travelers, from family to couples and corporate teams, and so on. Located at a height of 7200 ft, Pahalgam, called the ‘Valley of Shepherds’, is a scenic hill station in Kashmir where great many Bollywood movies have been shot. Perched at the intersection of Lidder River & the Sheshnag Lake, Pahalgam is encompassed by thickly lush pine backwoods, stunning vistas of knolls and the snow-clad Himalayan mountains. The best time to travel to Pahalgam, is from the start of March month to end of November. Although winter is also a great time as then you would be able to see Pahalgam in a different Avatar.
Here are some of the must see places in Pahalgam that make your tour quite memorable no matter when you visit:
Known worldwide as the ‘Mini Switzerland’ owing to its long, dark meadows looking like those found in Switzerland, Baisaran is a picturesque glade, set just 5 km far from Pahalgam. The thick pine timberland that lends the green-carpet look to the glade gives a differentiating hue to snow-topped crests of the encompassing mountains. One of the top places to visit in Pahalgam, a trip to the knoll is really a treat for the senses. Furthermore, Baisaran is a perfect campground for trekkers who wish to travel further up to Tulian Lake. To get there you need to ride the ponies. An off-beaten track it lets one enjoy panoramic views of the Lidder Valley.
With a rich history dating back to the 12th century, Mamaleshwar is among the ancient temples in Pahalgam. Set on the bank of River Lidder, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple encloses a plinth and a Shiva Lingam, with a sparkling water spring covered by a gorge. Located One km downstream from Pahalgam, tourists generally walk to the temple from the town. The holy complex furthermore has a sanctum that is totally adorned with gold, and was set up during the reign of a former ruler. The temple is unmistakably one of the most attractive tourist places to visit in Pahalgam.
Pahalgam has many things to offer to dedicated explorers. The famous Avantipur Temple, established by Maharaja Avantivarman who ruled from AD 855-883, is one of them. Today, the temple is in ruins yet it is the most visited site for the devout. A wall encases the central shrine, an ideal point to click pictures of this attraction. The eerie ruins of Avantipur gives an impeccable setting to photographers.
The Pahalgam fairway offers gorgeous views of the azure skies overhead a thick green turf and snow-covered peaks standing tall at the backdrop. For golf aficionados, playing their favorite sport here is a one of a kind experience. But novices too can try a hand at golf amidst the rich ambiance of the Pahalgam Green.
A breathtakingly beautiful spot Kolahoi Glacier is one of the must see sightseeing places in Pahalgam. The lone way to get to the Kolahoi Glacier is through a laborious trek, not for the weakling. At 18,000 feet, the stunning views upon entry truly make the journey a memorable experience. The trek is flushed with dense green mountain vegetation & green glades. Thundering River Lidder, thick conifer backwoods with ice cold loquacious rivulets are all there to make the trek to the icy mass all the more memorable.
When in Pahalgam, take a tour of the town of the Lidder Valley, Aru. Just 15 kilometers away from Pahalgam, it’s the median location for any hike to the Kolahoi glacier, set at a height of 18,000 ft. The drive up to Aru is a scenic one so be ready with your cameras for some stunning shots of the Valley. On the way you’ll also see plenty of young fouls and calves. The blue canopy over the head, surreal surroundings, whispers of the local pines & conifer woodlands and wonderful green glades, make Aru an Idyllic honeymoon destination.
Chandanwari, located on the periphery of Pahalgam, is one of the top tourist places having great religious importance. It is the initiation point of the Amarnath Yatra, an important pilgrimage held in the Hindu month of Sawan. Endowed with breathtaking beauty, this spot is a chief attraction for travelers coming to the Kashmir Valley. Undulating landscapes and sporadic greenery overhangs the topography of this little and picturesque hamlet.
Among the top tourist activities in Pahalgam a visit to the Tulian Lake is a never to miss opportunity. Set in the midst of the Zanskar and Pir Panjal Mountain ranges the lake gives stunning views of the bordering snow-capped peaks that are for the most part 300 meters above its level. Primarily overlaid with snow, Tulian Lake journey is a perfect way to witness the natural beauty of Kashmir Valley. Its way from Baisaran is a bit weary, with unmarked trekking trails, but the barren hills and the eye-catching landscape make up for the tiredness.
Sheshnag Lake is a notable vacationer destination and pilgrimage site, located 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. This every travel guide will tell, that in order to reach the lake one needs to take an uphill trek, starting from Chandanwari. Another option is a pony ride. The picturesque surroundings of this lake comprise of green meadows and snow-covered hills. The lake is also habitat of brown trout fish.
Betaab Valley is a beautiful spot located in the upper east side of Pahalgam. This valley ascribed its name to the hit Bollywood film Betaab, which was shot in its picturesque surrounding. Sprawling lush meadows, snow-topped peaks and winding streams form the amazing topography of this valley. Aside from being a spot with noteworthy topography, the valley is a well known trekking base and campground for voyagers who are looking to scout the adjacent highland regions. The secluded settings, and the natural lush surroundings of the Betaab valley attracts many just-married couples, who are on a honeymoon tour to Kashmir.
Marsar Lake, one of the high-altitude lakes is a scenic spot and is seen as one of the top tourist destinations in Pahalgam. The lake is 5 km away from Nagberan village. Marsar Lake alongside Tarsar Lake make up a testing trekking trail – however adventure seekers can look forward to enjoy every bit of this rugged but mesmerizing landscape. The Marsar Lake trek offers tourists a glimpse of the stunning beauty of Kashmir. The traveler gets the opportunity to experience its scenic knolls, unspoilt lakes and aesthetic valleys – that are famous across the world. The rocky landscape around the lake draws in trekking lovers from every nook of the world, in this way making the lake a famous name among Pahalgams’ best tourist places to visit.
Mattan, located a couple of kilometers from Anantnag on the Pahalgam road, is a sacred Hindu pilgrimage site. The holy place attracts large number of devotees from all parts of the country. It is one of those religious spots in India where the ministers and savants used to assemble for worshiping the Sun God. The temple is well known for its lovely Shiva Lingam, which is safeguarded inside a captivating brick structure encompassed by clear blue water on all sides.
Lidderwat is situated around 22 km 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.
Sinthan Top is close to Pahalgam and is a beautiful place with plenty of tourist attractions. The spot is quickly developing as one of the top vacationer destinations in Kashmir. Nearly 37 kilometers of winding and uphill drive from Daksum, it takes the traveler to 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.
To conclude there are so many tourist attractions and things to do in Pahalgam, to keep a vacationer busy and engaged during their entire trip.