Pahalgam, also known as "Land Of The Shepherds", is a hill station located at the confluence of Lidder River and the streams originating from serene Sheshnag Lake. The valley offers breathtaking panoramic views of the beautiful Himalayan Ranges and is also the base camp for the renowned pilgrimage to Amarnath. The unexplored undulating hilly terrains and the plain valley regions are equally eye catching. It is also perfectly suitable for adventurous activities like golf, horse riding, trekking and many water sports.
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.
Air: The nearest airport to Pahalgam is at Srinagar. It is placed at a distance of about 95 km from Pahalgam. Srinagar is air connected to Delhi with regular flight services. Taxi services are available at the airport and taxi fare from Srinagar to Pahalgam will be about Rs.1000.
Rail: The nearest major railhead is at Srinagar, which is 90 km away. One can reach Pahalgam from railway station by taxis or buses. Taxi fare is about Rs. 1000.
Road: Pahlagam is connected by Jammu and Kashmir state owned road transport corporation buses. Pahalgam is well connected to Srinagar (95 km, Rs. 50) by buses. Special luxurious buses will also be available from Jammu and Srinagar to Pahalgam.
Pahalgam has small markets and the shops have a fine collection of products made of wool. You can purchase Gabbas and Namdas from local shops. If you want to do lots of shopping then Srinagar is a perfect destination for you, which has several big shopping bazaars and offer everything from A to Z.
Pahalgam offers a number of hotels and lodges from budget class accommodation to the luxurious one. Apart from this, one can find good facilities in trekkers' lodges, and JKTDC's fully furnished huts.
Pahalgam is dotted with a number of hotels and tourist lodges of varied ranges which are open only during summer months. Most famous hotels of Pahalgam include Woodstock Hotel, Hotel Heevan, Pahalgam Hotel, Senator Pine N Peak etc.
Fishing: The Lidder River has excellent fishing beats for brown trout. The fishing season stretches from April to September. Permits are issued, for a maximum of three days at a time, on a first-come - first-served basis and are charged on a per day per rod basis. Fishing equipment can be hired in Srinagar. Live baits and spinning are not allowed. For permits contact the Directorate of Fisheries, Tourist Reception Centre, Srinagar.
Trekking: Spell bounding natural setting, adventurous trekking trails, snow capped undulated hilly terrain and the pleasant climate during springs and summers make the trekking expedition in Pahalgam a wonderful experience. Formidable mountain ranges, amazing valleys and plateaus make the region of Pahalgam suitable for all types of trekking, mild to very challenging.
Pahalgam-Suru Valley, Boktal Pass, Lonvilad Gali are all perfect trekking trails connecting Pahalgam. Pahalgam serves as the base camp for many trekkers. Mountaineering routes and trekking trails are all challenging for the adventurous travelers. Day treks and hikes are usual tourist activity in this region.
Breathtaking Kolahoi Glacier which goes via Aru is one of the most popular trekking route. Trek from Pahalgam to Chandanwari and to Sheshnag lake, trek from Sonamarg to Pahalgam are all really worth experiencing.
Golf : Pahalgam has a fine golf course at a height of 2,400 mts above the sea level. Pahalgam Golf Club has 9-hole golf course, which is open for tourists. Golf equipments can be hired from the Pahalgam Tourist Office.
Horse Riding : Horse riding is one of the most interesting adventure options at Pahalgam. Tourists can hire ponies directly or through the Tourist Office. Tariff boards are displayed at all the important locations of Pahalgam.