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20 things to do on a holiday to Pahalgam, India.

Updated on September 18, 2013

Sightseeing,eating,shopping and trekking.

Baisaran meadow,near Lake Tulyan in Pahalgam,Kashmir,India.
Baisaran meadow,near Lake Tulyan in Pahalgam,Kashmir,India. | Source
Trout fishing in the lidder valley.
Trout fishing in the lidder valley. | Source
Trees through the trekking route, Pahalgam.
Trees through the trekking route, Pahalgam. | Source

Make sure to try these 20 great things when in Pahalgam.

  1. Go Golfing:The Pahalgam Golf course is built on a plateau and is one of the few courses ,which lie over 2400 feet above the sea level and offer a nine hole golfing experience.Golf carts and caddies can be hired near the course.
  2. Trout fishing:The famous lidder river flows through the valley, which when not frozen, offers great fishing opportunities.Fishing permit and equipment can both be hired from Pahalgam or Srinagar.
  3. Go to Aru:Aru is a famous meadow around 5 kms ahead of Pahalgam along a winding road built into the mountainside.One can trek or ride or horseback to Aru from pahalgam.There are lodges and hotels in Aru for an overnight stay.
  4. Trekking:There are hundreds of trekking routes and backpackers can trek the smaller routes, though the longer and more dangerous treks into the mountains may require the services of a trained guide.
  5. Amarnath yatra:Pahalgam is the base point for the annual Amarnath yatra and people assemble here for the religious journey to the Amarnath cave.The yatra starts around june every year and the chaos and merrymaking lasts around 2 months.The Amarnath cave is devoted to the hindu deity Lord Shiva, and has a "shivling" which is snow covered throughout the year and devotees throng here to pay their respects and prayers.
  6. Visit Panchtami: On the way to Amarnath lies Panchtami, which literally means "five"and is at the confluence of five streams and a tourist spot as well.
  7. Go Horseriding:This is the mainstay of the simple "shepherds" in pahalgam who keep horses to lend them for horseriding to the tourists who visit Pahalgam.
  8. Sample the local food:The rich love feasting and the traditional Kashmiri "wazwan" is a spread of primarily non vegetarian dishes fit for a king indeed.While in Pahalgam, remember to sample some of the signature dishes.
  9. Stay in a log hut:There are many government-run and privately owned log huts lining the landscape and one can stay in one of the huts for a experience different from that of staying in a hotel.
  10. White water rafting and winter sports such as skiing:These are subject to weather permitting.Skiing is possible only in winter and rafting can be done after obtaining permission from the concerned authorities.
  11. Shopping:There is tons to shop for in Pahalgam from Papermache vases,frames and pots to handpainted items and other handicrafts made from walnut wood.One can also buy Kashmiri carpets in various sizes and designs as well as garments and bedcovers with embroidery work.
  12. Go to the Kolohoi glacier which is a hollow glacier reduced in half due to global warming.Though it is beautiful,it is safe to access only few times in a year and lies ahead of Aru.
  13. Bobby-cottage: This is (where the famous Bobby movie of the eighties was shot) and is a tourist spot near the mall.
  14. Visit the Betaab valley which is a picturesque valley with lush greenery where Bollywood movies were shot in the seventies and later.
  15. Trek to Shikargarh which is a trail leading to a river covered by snow.
  16. Gallop,trek or drive to Chandanwari after crossing Hajan on the way.Chandanwari is usually ice covered and sledges are available with tents for camping.Some restaurants and huts are also available.
  17. Visit the meadow of Baisaran after crossing the lake Tulyan.There is plenty to explore.
  18. There are many small quaint villages,such as Mamal, which offer an insight into village life.
  19. Gulmarg, another popular hillstation cum resort is approximately 2 hours away with great sightseeing.
  20. Anantnag is one hour away form Pahalgam and is a quaint and quiet city on the way to Srinagar.

Tourist and picnic spots.

  • Most hotels and guest houses in Pahalgam have arrangements for sightseeing starting from half day packages and extending to 3 day sightseeing tours where most activities and picnic spots are covered.
  • A guide can also be arranged for mountain climbing, hiking and a visit to the glacier or other mountain spots which are not very accessible.
  • There is an amusement park too for the little kids to keep them occupied.
  • There are many open meadows and patches which are ideal as picnis spots.
  • Hotels can pack a picnic hamper if told in advance.


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Location in Jammu and Kashmir,

Country - India

State- Jammu and Kashmir

Elevation2,740 m (8,990 ft)

Population (2011) Total7,500 Town Area + 12,500 Rural Area=30,000

Languages -Official language-Urdu • Local language- Kashmiri

hindi/English also spoken in most areas

time zone IST ( UTC+5:30 )


Travel tips

Things to pack
Boots and sneakers for trekking or mountainclimbing
Light clothes from march to end of august,warm clothes and skiis for november to february for winter sports
Nearest airport
Travel by air to Srinagar, the capital city
Take a shared or solo cab or bus to pahalgam( 2 hours away from Srinagar airport).
Bus service
Most buses, deluxe or ordinary available from pahalgam busstand.
Connected by bus to all nearby towns/cities...good network but not very comfortable.
Railway service
New trains launched but check for schedule.
Take a cab/private taxi from the railway station to Pahalgam.

Low budget to high budget accommodation available.

Woodstock is one of the many hotels dotting the valley..
Woodstock is one of the many hotels dotting the valley.. | Source

Accomodation tips and facts.

  • Prices vary depending on the season and accommodation.
  • A log hut might cost INR 1500 a day with a kitchenette,yard and 2-3 bedrooms with attached bathrooms, but you need to wash and cook yourself.
  • A motel/basic hotel might cost INR 3000 per day including breakfast ,laundry and some perks. A proper upmarket hotel might cost up to INR 5000 or more with fancy rooms and sightseeing thrown in.
  • Peak season and off season rates vastly differ.

Lidder River valley

A view of the lidder river gushing through.
A view of the lidder river gushing through. | Source

Food and culture tips.

  • Hindus and muslims live here in harmony, but hindus avoid beef and muslims hate pork so be sensitive.
  • Other neutral Indian food is also available like most curries,chicken and naan dishes
  • A lot of sweet shops and street food shops are there in the main market area,
  • A centre road cuts through the main marketplace in Pahalgam with clusters of small shops on both sides.
  • Horses and cabs are freely available for picnics and sightseeing.


Pahalgam is derived from "gam" meaning village and is close to another famous hillstation called Gulmarg and around 45 kilometres away from the district headquarters located in Anantnag.

Climate, politics, events and lifestyle.

  • The climate averages around 25 degrees celcius, though in winter, it goes down to -2 degeees also.
  • There was some political unrest in the past decade but things are calm now with different national and international artists performing here since past couple of years.
  • Major events are skiing and sledging and the annual Amarnath yatra.
  • Carpet weaving and making cricket bats form the Kashmiri wood is a big pastime here.
  • Women dress in traditional jewellery and Kashmiri pherans and sing folk songs once in a while.

A view of the pine trees camouflaging the cottages.

log cottages.
log cottages. | Source

Natural beauty.

White water rafting.

  1. White water rafting is also indulged in ,subject to availability,depending on political and weather conditions.
  2. A raft accommodates up to 6 people at a time down the lidder river.
  3. Lifejackets and helmets are provided and 1-2 instructers are available per raft/boat and the experience lasts for 30- 40 minutes.
  4. Rafting season is typically between the months of May to August.

Demographics,History and geographical facts.

  1. According to the latest report, the male population is 56% and female population makes up the remaining 44%.
  2. Pahalgam is one of the 5 districts making up Anantnag.
  3. The Pahalgam development authority overlooks things over here.
  4. Jungle crows and wild bears are spotted frequently in Pahalgam.
  5. Pahalgam is a part of the northern most state in India.


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