PAHALGAM(Introduction) Ninety five km east of Srinagar at an altitude of 2,130 metres, Pahalgam is unspoiled by the ravages of progress. Away from the grind of daily life, Pahalgam is situated among the soaring mountains, glistening glaciers, gushing silvery streams of ice water and dense pine and cedar forests with soft whistling winds and revitalising air. Pahalgam is an ideal place for an adventure sports enthusiast. It offers wonderful treks, skiing, mountaineering and camping sites. En route to Pahalgam one comes across the beautiful Lidder Valley with tourist spots at Mattan, famed for its springs and the hillside cave shrine of Aishmuqam. The river Lidder is an angler's delight and even an amateur can catch a rainbow trout from the rushing streams. The large brown bear is a natural inhabitant of the thick forests. Pahalgam is in Anantnag district which is famous for Kashmir handmade "gabbas" and exquisitely designed wooden toys. LOCATION Pahalgam is located in the western part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is located at an altitude of 2130 m above sea level amidst the great Himalayan range. It is positioned beside the Liddar River, in the Liddar valley. Pahalgam is 95 km east of Srinagar. The weather in Pahalgam is alpine. Summers (April-June) are mild while winters (November-February) are cold. It experiences rains between July and September. It experiences heavy snowfall from December to February. PHALGAM (History) 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. PHALGAM(Places to See) Chandanwari (16km: 2,923m) It is famous for its snow bridge. Baisaran (5 km: 2,438m) Pine forests dot this meadow which presents a picturesque view of the snow-clad mountains. The snow covered Tulian lake at an altitude of 3353 m is 11kms from Baisaran. Sheshnag Lake (27 km: 3,658m) The waters of this greenish blue lake are covered with ice till June. Panchtarni (40 km) It is the confluence of five streams and gives Panchtarni its name. A good camping site. Amarnath Cave Pahalgam is the base for the religious trek to the abode of Lord Shiva. A narrow spiralling path from Panchtarni leads to the Amarnath Cave. The massive ice shivlingam is visited by thousands of pilgrims between July and September. Aru (11 km: 2,408m) This charming meadow can be reached by walking along a mountain path. The river Lidder disappears at Gur Khumb and reappears after 27 mts. Lidderwat (22km: 3,408m) A beautiful camping site set among dense forests. Starting point of the trek to the Sindh Valley. Kolohi (1,467 m) Base for a three-day return trek to the Kolohi Glacier. Tarsar Lake (34 km: 3,962m) It can be reached from Lidderwat. There are delightful camping sites and flower meadows at Sikiwas, 24 kms from here. To reach the nearby Mansar lake one has to cross a 243 mts high bridge. PAHALGAM(When to Visit) The best time to visit Pahalgam is during the summers, between mid-April and mid-November. It can also be visited in July-August during the annual pilgrimage to the holy cave of Amarnath. PAHALGAM (Adventure) The Liddar River is popular among travelers interested in angling. Stretches of this river are suitable for trout fishing. Travelers interested in fishing have to obtain a fishing license from the Directorate of Fisheries in Srinagar. Pahalgam is the starting point of a number of trekking and hiking trails to the surrounding mountains. Trekking around Pahalgam is exhilarating, as it takes the traveler through virgin pine forests, clear mountain streams, and meadows of wildflowers. FAIRS AND FESTIVALS Pahalgam is the starting point of the annual Amarnath yatra (holy journey) to the holy cave shrine of Amarnath, which is said to be the abode of Lord Shiva. Every year in the month of July/August, thousands of pilgrims descend on Pahalgam on their way to the holy cave.
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