Pahalgam turned out to be very beautiful too, with the roaring Lidder and the rocky snow clad mountains complimenting each other. After finishing our breakfast, we headed for our first destination, Betaab Valley. It is so called as it was once the location for the filming of the film, “Betaab”. It was also the background in many scenes from the Ranbir Kapoor starrer, Rockstar. To reach the valley, a detour has to be taken from the road leading to Chandenwadi. It is located beside a much calmer portion of the Lidder, and with its artificially planted forest, does give the feel of being in the UK. Although Betaab valley is slightly commercialized, it has a very calming effect on the nerves.Read More
Located on the banks of the river Lidder, Pahalgam is a popular hill station in the Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir. Pahalgam offers health resorts, tourist huts and hotels for stay and a number of treks. A 35km trail begins from Pahalgam, traverses through beautiful pine woods and reaches the spectacular Kolahoi Glacier. For the adventurous, besides trekking, there is White Water Rafting too. The scenic meadow of Baisaran sometimes called “Mini-Switzerland” can be reached by a fun journey on pony backs.
Pahalgam is also associated with the annual Amarnath Yatra, whose starting point Chandanwari lies some 16 km from here. About 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 in the Amarnath cave.
Pahalgam can be accessed by road only, either from Srinagar (2.5 hours drive) or from Jammu (8 hours drive).
Best time to visit: July to August
Languages spoken: Kashmiri
Climate: Pleasant summers and very cold winters with snowfall
Holy Places: Amarnath Temple
Natural Wonders: Kolahoi Glacier, Chandanwari, Betaab Valley, Aru valley, Baisaran, Sheshnag Lake
Adventure Tourism: Kolahoi Glacier Trek, White Water Rafting
Other Other famous cuisines include: Kahwah (GreenTea) and Noon Chai. Kashmiris are heavy tea drinkers. Over 20 varieties of Kahwah are prepared in different households. One must taste the unheard “Kamal Kakri ke Pakore” near Nishat Gardens in Srinagar. Kashmir offers a vast variety of Kebabs. Non-Vegetarians must enjoy the mouth watering Chiken,Kebabs etc. But then, Nothing can beat the very own Lucknawi Kebabs! (Seriously),Read More
Sindhu was flowing just behind the hotel. So the sound of the full flowing river was continuously available. We saw the setting sun in its full glory. Entire surrounding was magnificent with absolute calmness, except chirping of birds and roar of theRead More
Collect your entry tickets and then wander around the meadow or sit for a while, take tea, snacks or cold drink from the stalls here and enjoy misty clouds and a cool breeze. Baisaran is a lush green meadow with undulating hills and dotted with tall pine and deodar trees all around. It presents a picturesque view of the snow clad mountain on the backdrops.
You slowly start relating all bollywood songs, especially 1960’s, 70’s and even of early 80’s, which were shot here with both male and female protagonist running towards each other from opposite side, ended in holding each other’s hands and singing some great songs.
Special guests are here too who will fill your photographic hobby and the very little cute rabbit will come at Rs.10/- for as many snaps as you can take within a limited time. Horses are at free of cost for photo shoot.Read More
Next morning, had early break fast and went out to look for ponies as we shall explore Pahelgam on horseback. After some bargaining with the local pony owners we decided to visit Baisaran, Dabian, Kashmir valley & Pahelgam valley.We hired 3 ponies, one each for us and started off at a gentle pace. The pony attendants walked beside us guiding the animals. These places are some of the most beautiful locales in Pahelgam but can be explored only on horseback. So aged people and those who are not capable to ride ponies will be deprived from such scenic places. we moved on through the hilly trails and reached Pahelgam valley, a point from where the city can be viewed. Then we moved across streams, hilly terrain, boulders and reached a vast grassland called Baisaran or mini Switzerland.
The lush green grasslands, lined with pine trees and mountains beyond, were a treat for the eyes.After running around for some time we mounted on our ponies again and started moving down the slope of the mountains through the pine forest. By this time we had learnt to control the ponies with the reins. My son particularly was very excited. It was really an amazing experience. Next we arrived at Dabian.Read More
…Srinagar’s Tulip Garden is Asia’s largest Tulip garden, which was opened just few days back for the season. It had more than 3 lakh flowers in full bloom imported from Holland…A single visit to House Boat was sufficient to clear all our doubts regarding safely of child, mosquitoes, stinking issues blah blah. We changed our minds and negotiated with the owner of “PANZEY” (House Boat) and settled there for all 3 three nights.Read More
Doodhpathri is a beautiful place with carpet like meadows. You will find cattle grazing and shepherd boys. It is called the valley of milk because it produces rich milk in large quantity. I truly loved this place and also managed to click some pictures with the shepherd boy and his sheep. Check out the mud huts where the Gujjar live. Lazing around the meadows is a must.Read More
Pissutop is situated at an elevation of 2500 feet from Chandanwadi and from here there is steep, dangerous about 3 km, zig zag climb on rocky and rough surface. This is the terrific start from here. From our group, Shushil, Swarn and me had already come to this track more than once but for rest of members, it was a new experience. From the bottom, top of Pissutop is not visible. The top which is visible from down is the half way point and most of the Yatris think it as the Pissutop. Pissutop becomes visible only after reaching at the midpoint.Read More
Mr. Bhajji was clever enough to place the vehicle among the local vehicles and we crossed the vehicle only to find a toll office on the left side where a person was noting the number of the vehicle. If it was the local vehicle , those were allowed without paying any tax. If the registration number was outside state and not a tourist vehicle registered in Jammu and Kashmir then tax was levied. So folks no option but to pay that tax to reach the main snow point.Read More
Remember the song “AADMI MUSAFIR HAI AATA HAI JAATA HAI” from movie Apnapan picturized on Sudhir Dalvi and that unknown girl in the bus en-route to Srinagar. The verses contain a philosophical message but in the language of common man which was forte of Anand Bakshi Sahib. As our vehicle moved towards Srinagar it seemed to me that a dream shall be chased in a few hours but the destination was quite far away.Read More
So folks back again to apprise all of you about my yatra to the paradise on earth which I undertook…Read More
Houses and Hotels of Kashmir
One of the most unique things of Kashmir is their houses and hotels. The walls of the houses are made of normal one layer of bricks or pure pine tree wood in many places. Roofs are made of thick sheets of Asbestos or thin metal. They generally sloppy so that ice does not remain on them and falls down. Floors are generally made of cement and plain tiles , but each and every room is covered with famous Kashmiri Carpet called Ghalicha. Each bed is covered with huge and thick double bed sheet or you can say Rajaai which protects from sheer cold. The other good feature is the rooms of budget hotels are very large and have attached washroom unlike the budget hotels in other tourist places where they are relatively small and washrooms may be common or private depending upon pockets and choice.
The best quality which I liked is that the rooms does not have fans at least in Pahalgam because of two reasons. One is the climate is almost cold and pleasant for full 12 months and hence not required. Second thing is the houses have lot of windows. The ventilation is of ace quality. There are at least 3 windows in one room in each and every house . You won’t see any single room with single window in it. Three is minimum figure. Secondly they don’t have metal grills inside the windows as we have in our cities specially to protect from thieves.Everything window is open everywhere. I guess there aren’t any thieves or robbers in Kashmir or crime related to robbery may be nil now. Continuous cool and pleasant breeze blows in summer and chilled winds in winter. To have privacy all you have is thick and colorful curtains. Also in budget Hotels they provide cupboard, TV, dustbin, geysar good and clean washrrooms.
They have hall but in that they don’t have tables, sofas or chairs. All they have is a huge Kashmiri Carpet on the floor surrounded by pillows on the walls. One can have a good time with family and friends sitting on that carpet. The outer walls of the House and Hotels are painted in light as well as bright colours depends on the individuals choice.
Majority of the houses have only one floor i.e. ground floor . In some cases one floor plus ground floor and in rare cases two floors. All majority hotels have two floors and only some have three floors.Read More