Pahalgam - Pahalgam, Kashmir - the unofficial guide

A Quick Guide to all things about Pahalgam, the famous hill resort in Kashmir, including Amarnath Yatra


What is it about Pahalgam

that makes it one of the most famous and worthy-of-a-visit-and-a-stay hill station in the entire Himalayas?


Even so, what really is a hill station? A "hill-station" is a very colonial era name given to a town which is at a higher elevation such that people can go there to escape the heat of the plains in the months of summer.

Pahalgam is not a mere hill-station. Its a recreationresort. Its like going into the lap of nature to do many things - one of the best - that "do-nothing". You want to have a romantic trip with your beloved, want to get together with you family, and have what they call a 'quality' family time, you want to do those little interesting things with the family and kids, like take a pony ride, just picnic next to a beatiful river, just lie down under the sun next to your 'hut' with fresh breeze blowing, and read a book, or have a game of cards. Go to a cosy market and have a cup of coffee, or eat normal not-cooked-at-home food, or shop some of the exquisite of Kashmiri handicraft.


Well, that's what Pahalgam used to be. The new resurrected Pahalgam is a little more commercialized, albeit the same beauty. You could take rides in a new children part, or raft down the river Lidder. Golf is still there - the Pahalgam club with its table-tennis rooms, mini-golf and cards room missing.


Is it safe place to go to?

Pahalgam is not a new place. Its been very popular. People from all over India, and a lot of foreigners - especially trekkers, would really like to go there. Pahalgam doesn't need to sell itself to many as such - for all its credentials. But one question that is primary on every body's mind when it comes to Pahalgam is - is going there, or going to Kashmir, safe enough?


Well, surely yes. An emphatic yes.

Militancy in Kashmir is on wane; and in any case, militants have no enmity to Indians, or tourists, wherever they come from. There is a general perception that if any harm is caused to tourists and in the inflow decreased, it just hurts the common man where it hurts the most - on the belly. And no insurgency can ever survive without the support from the local population.

That, plus, there is a lot of armed forces all over Kashmir, and in Pahalgam as well as its the center of activity around Amarnath Yatra - hence always under focus. It does help to give a lot of sense of security - though in the beginning the scenes of loads and loads of army or policy raises some apprehensions.

Bottom line is Kashmir is as safe as any where in India can get to be.


Ok, how to get there?

Pahalgam is accessible from road, unless you can find a way to travel in a copter. There is, of course, no railraod either. If you are driving from Jammu, you can decide to go to Pahalgam some 45 kms before Srinagar (at Khanabal). Or you can fly into Srinagar, or drive first to Srinagar and then drive to Pahalgam - which is 96 kms away. It can take 2-3 hours.

Don't bank on the copter ride unless you are kin of a VVIP. There is no commercial service.


Pahalgam, Jammu and Kashmir

Some Pictures

Well, lets quickly take a look at Pahalgam in pictures:

Pahalgam, Kashmir, India

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