Pahalgam Trip - The Valley of Shepherds
At the confluence of the streams
flowing from the river Lidder and Sheshnag lake, Pahalgam was once a
humble shepherd's village with breathtaking views.
A number of hotels and lodges cater to all preferences and budgets,
from luxurious to unpretentious trekkers' lodges, including JKTDC's
delightfully romantic, fully furnished huts, partially concealed by
giant pine trees.
Around Pahalgam are many places of interest, and because the resort
is set between fairly steep hills, it is worth hiring a pony rather
than walking. Pony fares are posted at prominent locations.
The most beautiful of these is the huge, undulating meadow of
Baisaran, surrounded by thickly wooded forests of pine. Hajan, on the
way to Chandanwari is an idyllic spot for a picnic. Film goers will
recognize it instantly as it has been the location of several movie
¤ Gulmarg- A Gateway To Amarnath
Chandanwari, 16kms. from Pahalgam, is the starting point of the
Amarnath yatra which takes place every year in the month of Sawan
(July-August). The destination is the Amarnath cave, believed to be
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.11kms.
from Chandanwari is the mountain lake of Sheshnag, after which , 13
kms. away is the last stop, Panchtarni. The Amarnath cave is 6 kms.
away from there. During the month of Sawan, an ice stalagmite forms a
natural Shivling 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 trip, registering each one of
the over one lakh pilgrims, registering pony owners and dandi walas,
providing camps en route, and ensuring safe, comfortable and speedy
progress of the yatris. If your making your trip to Pahalgam,not
during the period of the yatra, you can still take a pony ride up to
Sheshnag lake, returning late evening.
Courtesy J&K Tourism