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Pahalgam has numerous places of tourist's interest. It is one among the five tehsils of Anantnag district and tehsil head quarters are located in the main town of Pahalgam. Once a great tourist puller and favourite place for shooting of Bollywood films is perhaps the best health resort in the country. Pahalgam also serves as base camp for the famous Amarnath Ji Yatra. The Pahalgam Valley presents glamorous look due to its pine forests, snow clad mountains, healthy climate and vast meadows and pastures. Pahalgam skirts Lidder river and torrential flow of water in Lidder river enriches the awesome beauty of the Valley. Pahalgam is the starting point for several trekking trails, such as to the Kolohoi Glacier, Amarnath, Zanskar and Kargil. This is the world famous hill station Pahalgam is 45 Kms. from the District Head Quarter at Anantnag and is about 96 Kms from Srinagar, at a height of 2240 m is situated at the union of the streams flowing from Sheshnag Lake and the Lidder river in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. The origin of Pahalgam is obscure. Mughal rulers ruled this region in the medieval period. It was later a part of the Kingdom of Kashmir, which was ruled by local Hindu rulers. This princely state remained independent even during the British period and later on merged into independent India. Once a humble shepherd's village with awesome vistas, Pahalgam is now Kashmir's premier resort, cool even during the height of summer when the maximum temperature does not exceed 250C.

Thing to do

Pahalgam is an ideal spot for adventure. There are many short walks available from Pahalgam and in addition it is an excellent base for longer treks such as those to the Kolahoi glacier or to the Amarnath cave. Pahalgam is the starting point of a number of trekking and hiking trails to the surrounding mountains. Pahalgam is particularly famed for its many shepherds and they're a common sight, driving their flocks of sheep along the paths all around the town.

Pahalgam is a small hill station. The town provides a panoramic view of the lush green hilly environs. Travelers can enjoy the scenic beauty of this place by taking a walk around. Today, the Pahalgam is very rich in tourist spots. A nature lover's paradise, the famous hill resort of Pahalgam offers a lot of sites to visit. Few of them are -

Tulian Lake, if one continues 11-km beyond Baisaran one reaches the Tulian Lake at 3,353m, 1,200m higher up. It is covered in ice for much of the year and surrounded by peaks, which rise more than 300m above its shores. It also can be reached by pony trek.

Mamaleshwara, is only 1 km or so downstream from Pahalgam, and on the opposite side of the Lidder, is this small Shiva temple with its square, stone tank. It is thought to date from the reign of king Jayasima in the 12th century, even earlier. Martand, the lofty plateau, on which the remains of the ancient temple of Martanda stand, overlooks the modern village of Matan, located at its foot.

Mattan & Martand, only a few km beyond Anantnag, on the Pahalgam road, Mattan is a Hindu pilgrimage point due to its fish filled springs. On a plateau above Mattan and 3-km to the south, stands the huge ruined temple of Martand (Sun). Built by Lalitaditya Mukhtapida (8th- century AD) it is the most impressive ancient ruin in Kashmir and beautifully sited. The ruins are 67m by 43m and consist of a portico with a small-detached shrine on both side and a quadrangular courtyard. 84 columns surrounded the courtyard - the multiple of the number of days in the week by the number of signs in the zodiac.

Overa Wildlife Sanctuary, is located 76-km from Srinagar, near Pahalgam, spans in an area of 32.27 sq-kms. The area is home to a number of rare, endangered and protected species of birds and mammals.
And the other, excursions from Pahalgam are -

Chandanwari & Passage To The Amarnath Yatra (16Km.), situated 16-km from Pahalgam, Chandanwari is the starting point of the Amarnath Yatra, which takes place every year in the month of Sawan (Rain). The destination is the Amarnath Cave, believed to the abode of Lord Shiva. Although the road from Pahalgam to Chandanwari is on fairly flat terrain, and can be undertaken by car, from Chandanwari onwards the track becomes much steeper, being accessible on foot or by pony. Located 11-km from Chandanwari is the mountain lake of Sheshnag, after which 13-km away is the last stop, Panchtarni. The Amarnath cave is 6-km away from there. During the month of 'Sawan', an ice stalagmite forms a natural Shivling (also spelt as Shivlinga), which waxes and wanes with the phases of the moon. The state government makes extensive arrangements every year for the successful completion of the pilgrimage, registering each one of the over one lakh pilgrims, pony owners and Dandi Walas, providing camps en route, and ensuring safe, comfortable and speedy progress of the Yatris. Even if one's visit to Pahalgam is not during the period of the Yatra, one can still take a pony ride up to Sheshnag Lake, returning late evening.

Daksum (90Km.), somewhat above Kokarnag, along the bring river valley, there's the small hill resort of Daksum at 2,438m. It's on the trekking route to Kishtwar and has a Rest house, Tourist Bungalow and plenty of camping spots. From Daksum the trail rises fairly steeply to the Sinthan Pass at 3,748m. The pass is open from April to September for trekkers.

Sangam (35Km.), a little further down the road, Sangam is interesting for its strong local industry of cricket bat manufacturing! One'll see thousands of cricket bats displayed by the roadside and thousands more roughly cut lengths of wood being seasoned.

Tulian Lake (16 km), if one continues 11-km beyond Baisaran one reaches the Tulian Lake at 3,353m, 1,200m higher up. It is covered in ice for much of the year and surrounded by peaks, which rise more than 300m above its shores. It also can be reached by pony trek.

Best Time to Visit : In Summer - May to September
In Winter - November to February.

How to reach

Pahalgam can be easily accessed through air or road.

By Air: The nearest airport is at Srinagar, which is 95 km from Pahalgam. This Airport is connected with all the major cities of India.

By Rail: The nearest Rail Head is at Jammu and from there National Highway NH1A connects the Kashmir valley with India.

By Road: It is well connected by road with Srinagar. The travel time between the two is 2½ hours. Travelers can either use bus or taxi from Pahalgam to reach Srinagar. Tourists can hire guided ponies and horses to explore Pahalgam and the areas around it.

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