To read this series from the start please click here.
In Betaab Valley pictures become more beautiful when you have someone in it. The expressions on face shows the pleasant and blissful mood in Betaab Valley.The entire experience can be termed as elated, blissful and overjoying.
Here majority of the pictures are taken by our Guide Mushtaq. Hence you will see many pictures with my family in it.
1st August 2012
Early Morning and Something about Pahalgam
Now after the Amarnath Yatra all of us were tired and exhausted. But I cannot sleep more after clock ticks more than 7.00 AM and now ghumakkari (travelling) has infused completely in my blood. So that day also I woke up at 6.30 AM and started to freshen up. Sonali , my father in law and Aarya chose to sleep and relax. But as usual I was in no mood to relax. I had a quick bath with hot water provided by Ishwaq, our Hotel owner and started off towards the main baazaar in Pahalgam. First of all I like to say that Pahalgam itself is divided into two parts . One is Pahalgam village . It is towards Chandanwadi and there everything is reasonable in budget. This is where I was staying. From Pahalgam village around one, one and half kms you will find Main bazaar ( market ) towards Anantnag where there are majority of all big Hotels , Restaurants and shopping items . This all you will get in Pahalgam village also but all at half the price. So people who want to stay will tight prices I would advice them to stay at Pahalgam Village. From Pahalgam Village to main bazaar the distance is around one km and sharing cars like Tavera , Sumo’s run between these Pahalgam main bazaar,village and Chandanwadi etc.
Now coming back to my ghumakkari , I wanted to go for Pahalgam sight seeing if my family wakes up before 12.00 noon. The main sight seeing places in Pahalgam are
- Betaab valley
- Aru valley
- Baisaran, Pahalgam
- Gauri Shankar Temple
- Pandava Mamaleshwar Temple
- Pahalgam Main Bazaar
- Gardens of Pahalgam
- Deer Park
In above list, I have already seen Chandanwadi in Amarnath Yatra and Gauri Shankar Temple was already seen on the day we arrived. Baisaran was good to see only in winter when snow falls. Gardens were in the vicinity. So rest of the places I had to cover in the car.I started searching out for taxi stand in Pahalgam main bazaar. There are again two taxi stands.Stand no.1 is the between Pahalgam Main village and Main Bazaar (shown in the map) and Stand no. 2 is near Hotel Noor Mahal, shown in the map. The drivers are part of Union here. So there is very less question of negotiation here , because rates are fixed. I tried also by asking few drivers on the road but no one was willing to come at negotiated price. In fact if union finds that driver rented his vehicle to tourists without their knowledge, then he has to pay Rs. 10000 as fine. So I booked Sumo for visiting Aru Valley , Betaab Valley, Deer park and Mamleshwar Temple for Rs. 1200. My Whole family was ready by 11.00 Am to hit the beautiful places of Pahalgam.
Here at both the taxi stands one can find board and map of entire Pahalgam and its sight seeing destinations.
First we were set to go to a place called Betaab Valley. At this moment temperature was mild around 18 degree C and sun was hiding inside the fluffy white clouds and mild cool breeze was blowing. Everything was seeming very pleasant and beautiful. With full enthusiasm we started off towards Betaab Valley in Chandanwadi Road. Betaab Valley was in between Chandanwadi and Pahalgam at a distance of 11 kms. All of us again started enjoying the scenic beauty of Pahalgam in the car.After around 20 minutes we reached Betaab Valley.
Betaab Valley was previously called HAGOON or HAGAN VALLEY before 1983. Then in that year a movie named Betaab, starring Sunny Deol and Amrita Singh ( Famous Bollywood actors) was released and it was a blockbuster with highest grossing revenue in that year. From then , the name of this valley has changed. Betaab Valley is combination of lush green Lidder river which divides into two streams forming an island in between and rejoining again , mountains with pine and deodhar trees on all sides, colorful huts, Akhrot (Walnut) trees, Willow trees, Ice Capped Peaks and plethora of colorful flowers. Along with that we find lot of species of birds chirping around the valley. The whole view is absolutely angelic. Along with the beatific scenes , climate and cool winds adds a lot to the spectacular combination. Betaab Valley is the right place for horse riding. You can hire horses here by the hour and you must try it. Betaab Valley is also a favorite campsite of travellers from America and Europe as it is also serves as a base for trekking and further exploration of the mountains.
Here after entering we were approached by a local GUIDE named, Mushtaq. I first was hesitant in hiring a guide, but due to his persistent follow up we hired him for Rs. 100. In that, he not only showed and narrated each and everything related to Betaab Valley but he took our snaps also in this beautiful valley.
One thing I would say which eventually you would agree with me after seeing the pictures that ,
SIT, STAND OR POSE AT ANY POINT, ANYWHERE, ANY SECTION OR ANY CORNER IN BETAAB VALLEY, YOUR PICTURES ARE GOING TO BE MARVELOUS.
So picturesque is this valley that it offers myriad mini locales for photography and a bunch of photographers are always jaunting around clicking away photos of visitors.
Please enjoy the pictures of stupendous valley.
The entry fee for Betaab valley is 20 Rs.
In Betaab movie, there was a song called “ जब हम जवा होंगे , जाने कहा होंगे ” where entire valley is seen. So if you want to see the video of entire Betaab valley and enjoy the song please click here .
Below the picture shown is of Akhrot (Walnut) tree
Beautiful yellow house entirely made of wood.
Sunny Deol used to bath here in Lidder river shown in the movie Betaab.
Sunny Deol and Amrita Singh clashed with each other with their cars in this area on this bridge in the movie.
After crossing the bridge we reach an island on Lidder where Sunny Deol’s house was made with wood. Now everywhere there are rows of Willow trees in that area. World’s best cricket bats are made of wood of Willow trees from Kashmir.
Its here where the whole shoot of the film takes place . Now it is completely covered with Willow trees. It was indeed a very good long 1.5 km walk around Betaab Valley
When I was in Betaab Valley I was remembering a song from a Bollywood film called Bemisal starring Amitabh Bachchan, Vinod Mehra and Rakhee. I was just feeling the same when I was in Betaab and Aru Valley .
कितनी खूबसूरत यह कश्मीर है
मौसम बेमिसाल बेनजीर है
यह कश्मीर है … यह कश्मीर है … I
पर्वतो के दरमियान है
जन्नतो के दरमियान है
आज के दिन हम यहाँ है
साथी यह हमारी तक़दीर है
कितनी खूबसूरत यह कश्मीर है
यह कश्मीर है … यह कश्मीर है … II
इस ज़मीन से आसमान से
फूलो के इस गुलसितां से
जाना मुश्किल है यहाँ से ——————-> ( This line suits me the best in the situation I was )
तौबा यह हवा है या ज़ंजीर है
कितनी खूबसूरत यह कश्मीर है
यह कश्मीर है … यह कश्मीर है … III
Today every day I listen to this song at least 5 – 10 times.
For listening the song in you tube please click here.
Then we had few pictures wearing local Kashmiri dress. Local Kashmiri dresses are available at a rent of Rs. 60/dress.
- Betaab Valley, Pahalgam , J & K.
From the Betaab valley one can see Pandava Gufa. Here Pandavas stayed when they were in exile.
In olden days People used to write Sanskrit texts on Bhojpatra ( Betula utilisa) leaves. Those trees are present on high altitude mountains around Betaab Valley. According to our Guide Mushtaq when there is a presence of Bhojpatra Tree that means , from here onwards there will be scarcity of oxygen . So going further will be dangerous.
Place where Lidder rivers splits to form this island, below.
On the right side of my face in the below picture there is a small pointed hill , besides the huge mountain. On the top of that hill Sunny Deol sings the song “पर्बतो से आज मैं टकरा गया, तुम दी आवाज़ लो मैं आ गया “ in the Betaab movie.
Then we had some enjoyment splashing around in the crystal clear waters of Lidder . I and Aarya wanted to bath but the river might be contaminated due to rush in Chandanwadi ( Amarnath Yatra) , so we chose not to bath. But bathing is there in Kashmir. It is my wish to bath in waterfalls or river with crystal clear waters. Lets see whether my wish gets completed in Kashmir or not.
Finally while coming out we had Bhelpuri from Bhelpuri wala from Bihar. It reminded us that we are not Kashmiris and we are Mumbaikars ( due to presence of Bhelpuriwalas in each and every street in Mumbai) and need to come out from the flow sometime or the later, but yaa after seeing this guy we came to know that our trip to Kashmir is nearly coming to end.
I hoped so you have enjoyed my post on this splendid heaven called Betaab Valley in Pahalgam and in the ncxt post I am going to show you clear waters and green mountains of spellbinding Aru valley. Till Then
To read the next post in the series please click here.
Dear Readers if you want to read my other Yatras with more pictures PLEASE CLICK BELOW