Pahalgam is an important tourist destination in Kashmir. This hill station is famous for beautiful panoramic viewpoints, Lidder River, green meadows, lush pine forests, and much more. Are you planning to visit Pahalgam? Here are the 20 Best Places to Visit in Pahalgam:
1. Betaab Valley
Betaab Valley might look familiar if you are a fan of Bollywood movies. This is one of the most commonly used post-card perfect destinations for shooting movies. If you visit during summer, this valley will be lush with foliage and wild flowers. The river would be sparkling during summer. This is the best place to explore, stroll, or spend an evening with picnic and outdoor games. If you are up for some adventure activities, you can find ziplining and other adrenaline activities here.
2. Lidder River
The Kolahoi Glacier gives the Lidder River, which flourishes Pahalgam and the surrounding regions. This river runs from 73 km through fir forests, valleys, villages, and others. A scenic walk along the river bank is a romantic activity to enjoy here. Trekking, river rafting, fishing, horse riding, and numerous other adventure activities are open to tourists on and around Lidder River. If you visit during chiller months, snow skiing is a common activity here.
3. Mamaleshwar Temple
This is a small shrine located closer to Lidder River. This shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is said to have high spiritual powers. Located a little away from the main town of Pahalgam, this temple was built in 400 AD. Apart from the spiritual beauty, the shrine also holds a spring of pure water, which flows throughout the year. This is also called Mamaleshwar temple.
4. Amarnath Cave Temple
Located 29 km away from Pahalgam, this site is one of the major reasons for the population of tourists in the town. The only way to reach Amarnath cave temple is trekking for 15 km. This is one of the most sacred temples for Hindus. This Shiva temple has a large Shivalinga made with ice. This cave is the place where, according to mythology, Lord Shiva explained the secrets of the universe and immortality to Lord Parvathi.
5. Kolahoi Glacier
As mentioned before, River Lidder originates from Kolahoi Glacier. Some avid adventure lovers choose to trek to the glacier for breathtaking view. This hanging glacier is famous for pony rides too. Remember that this trekking trail is very challenging and it is best for avid trekkers alone. Even if you are an avid trekker, it is best to hire a local guide if you are taking up this trail.
6. Sheshnag Lake
This is one of the interesting and mesmerizing destinations, which is on the Amarnath trek route. It is said that the mythicalSheshnag (snake) lives in this lake. Even if you are not into mythological stories, this alpine meadow covered lake is a beautiful place for nature photography, camping, trekking, picnicking, and other activities. This glacier lake is a must visit if you are on a honeymoon trip.
7. Lolab Valley
This is one of the hidden beauties of this region. This is the best place to enjoy a warm and cheerful natural ambience and the place will be secluded with minimum number of tourists, even during peak season. The Lolab Valley is famous for trekking, camping, picnicking, and others.
8. Lidder Amusement Park
There is nothing extranormal about this amusement park. However, the backdrop of the forested mountains adds more fun to your time. If you are visiting with kids, this could be the perfect place for them to enjoy their time here. You can find miniature train ride, paddle boats, fun rides, and others. The park is open only from April to November and thus, you need to plan accordingly.
9. Pahalgam Markets
You can find a handful of traditional markets around the region. If you love shopping for souvenirs, these markets would be the best places to spend an evening or two. The Kashmir Emporium is a government run store in Pahalgam Market region, where you can buy elephant figurines, jackets, sweaters, shawls, and others. You can also find numerous other stores selling unique souvenirs and interesting delicacies.
10. Aru Valley
It is not hard to find spots for a honeymoon stay in Pahalgam. However, if you want the best of everything, Aru valley and the village are the best options. This valley is located 12 km away from Pahalgam. The drive from Pahalgam to this valley is a scenic beauty. This is a quaint place to explore, camp, and enjoy picnic. Are you looking for some adventure experiences? The valley is the best place to enjoy powered paragliding, ziplining, zorbing, river crossing, trekking, and others. If you are an avid trekking, you should try the Kolahoi Glacier trek, which would take you closer to the glacier.
Panchtarni is a small scenic site located closer to the town of Pahalgam. This is an important site on the Amarnath pilgrimage circuit route. If you love trekking and camping, then you ought to try out this destination to enjoy adrenaline action or serene escapade. The place will be at prime beauty during summer with lush foliage.
12. Baisaran Hill
This is a small hill with dense pine patches, fir forests and a beautiful Himalayan meadow. The Baisaran meadow is the most important destination in this hill. You can catch a cab or try pony riding to reach this meadow. Once you are in the meadow, you can find simple activities like zorbing and others or you can camp and trek through the forests. The best time to visit this meadow is during afternoon.
13. Avantipur Temple
This ruin of an ancient temple is located on the highway towards Pahalgam. This is a historical beauty, which is famous among architecture lovers and spiritual travelers. Built in 9th century by Avantivarman, this ruin still holds numerous carved pillars, broken stairs, intricate sculptures, and much more. Among these ruins Avantiswhar temple (Lord Shiva) and Avantiswami temple (Lord Vishu) stand as a tribute to a once grand structure. This is the best place to take interesting photographs.
14. Golf Course
Are you a golfer? Then, you would love playing an 18-hole course on a field covered with Himalayan ranges and the cool mountainous breeze. Do you know that this course is the world’s highest golf ground? If you are new to golfing, you can also find trainers who can offer preliminary lessons for starters. The ground is bordered by the Lidder River on one side and the dense mountains on the other, making it a natural beautiful paradise.
15. Tulian Lake
This is the destination for both nature lovers and adventure lovers. Located closer to Pahalgam, this Himalayan Lake is famous for trekking, pony riding, camping, picnicking, and others. This lake is located in a meadow, which is bordered by pine forests. The backdrops of Zanskar and PirPanjal ranges would add splendor to the place. Remember to wear warm clothing as the lake is around 12,000 ft above mean sea level. If you are choosing trekking, remember that the trails leading to the lake does not have any trail marks beyond Baisaran. Thus, hire a local guide while trekking
Chandanwari is the official starting point of the Amarnath pilgrimage trip. This place is best visited during early summer, when the place still has its fresh snow. The best activity to enjoy here is sledging on the snow bridge. The Sheshnag River is visible from this region and you can also spot Lidder River here. The cascading mountains in the background would add more beauty to your photographs.
Mattan is a small temple located closer to Anantnag. This shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva, but is very famous for rituals and celebration of Sun God. The temple is also famous for its brick structure and pristine natural beauty around it. The temple comes under the military controlled region and thus, prior permission is needed to reach this temple.
Lidderwat is a camping destination standing at 3,408m above mean sea level. This is a small mountain village, where tourists love to camp overnight to enjoy the natural beauties. Avid trekkers take the Sindh Valley trek from Lidderwat. You can also find pony riding in this region. Lidderwat is around 22 km away from Pahalgam and you can find cabs from Phalgam to Lidderwat and vice versa.
19. Marsar Lake
Marsar Lake is located closer to Nagberan Village and is a famous scenic spot for romantic strolling, camping, and simple water activities. If you are into adventure activities, you can take up the lake trek trail, which would take you along the river banks through the valley and several beautiful sights. Evening, right around sunset is the best time to visit or, you can choose to visit early in the morning.
20. Sinthan Top
Sinthan Top is a small high-altitude destination filled with snow and rugged terrain. The drive from Phalagam to Sinthan Top is the major attraction of this region. The winding uphill drive would give a thrilling experience. Once you reach Sinthan Top, you can enjoy high altitude activities like skiing, mountaineering, and trekking.
Pahalgam might be a major tourist attraction in Jammu and Kashmir, but regions around Pahalgam are hidden beauties with not many amenities. Thus, if you are planning to explore nearby regions, make sure to hire a local guide.