Jammu & Kashmir, Pahalgam

Pahalgam….a jewel in the mountains

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The Betaab Valley

Nestled in the himalayan range in the state of Jammu & Kashmir, is the beautiful valley of Pahalgam. My visit to Pahalgam was a part of my whole Kashmir itinerary and this happened in the month of May,2016. This is one of the perfect times to visit the serene valleys of Kashmir. I along with my parents reached Pahalgam from Srinagar a day earlier. The journey took around 5 hours with lunch stop in apple valley. At this time of the year, only apple trees can be seen, but no apples–alas!! 😦 . By late afternoon, we checked in to our hotel booked by our travel agent. The beautiful Lidder river can be seen flowing by the side of our hotel. It was so peaceful to hear the gushing sound of water all throughout 🙂 .  We had our dinner and went for a good night’s sleep to be fresh next morning for our tour.

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Cherries in apple valley

 

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Varieties of apple jam

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Lidder river

 

The next morning felt  so refreshing as the views of the mountains beckons you as you open the window. I was just eagerly waiting to explore the sights of this beautiful place. Soon we had our breakfast and embarked on our tour to Chandanwari Glacier. It took us almost half an hour to reach Chandanwari, which is located at a distance of about 12km from the town of Pahalgam. The scenic drive through hills and curved roads was so exciting. Chandanwari is mainly famous for being the starting point of the great Amarnath Yatra, which starts by end of June. We could only see the base camp for the yatra. The journey is around 32kms from Chandanwari to Amarnath. Its a treacherous terrain, but people from all over the world  flock to this place to start their journey to receive the divine blessings of Lord Shiva.

Chandanwari Glacier
Chandanwari Glacier
Amarnath Yatra Base camp
Amarnath Yatra Base camp
Cute little shepherdess
Cute little shepherdess

The next stop for us was the Hagun valley, fondly called as Betaab valley after the superhit Bollywood movie “Betaab”. It took us around 20mins to reach here. The first look of the valley from the road above will leave you spellbound. Its so so mesmerizing. I stopped the taxi driver to take some snaps of this place from the road itself 🙂 . The whole valley is surrounded by snow capped mountains, covered with green meadows and the blue lidder runs through it. Its without doubt an apt choice for romantic film shootings ❤ .

View of Betaab valley from above
View of Betaab valley from above
The house where shooting of "Betaab" movie was done
The house where shooting of “Betaab” movie was done
Flora and fauna
Flora and fauna
Me posing with Lidder as the backdrop
Me posing with Lidder as the backdrop

After enjoying and relaxing in the lap of nature , we proceeded to our next stop Aru valley. This is another scenic location for nature lovers. On the way, the driver showed us the bridge where “Jab Tak hai Jaan” shooting was done 🙂 . We were really amused. A deer park is on the way, where you can halt if you wish to. Finally we reached the beautiful Aru valley, where horses can be seen grazing in the lush green fields. There are many options for adventure sports like paragliding, zorbing, etc. But i preferred to sit back with a bowl of hot maggi noodles and relax as the temperatures were coming down.

Maggi + Hilly region = Perfect
Maggi + Hilly region = Perfect
The deer park on the way to Aru valley
The deer park on the way to Aru valley
Aru valley with horses grazing around
Aru valley with horses grazing around

The whole day was well spent in the tranquility of nature and admiring its manifold show of beauty. As the sun set in(which obviously we could not see due to clouds), we retraced back to our abodes for the night and packed our bags to start our journey to the next stop at Gulmarg. I have only read and heard about Kashmir, its different political scenario and the disturbances, but visiting this place felt so different. The people here are so warm and welcoming. I wish the atrocities in this beautiful land end at the earliest and pray that the people can live peacefully.

With a desire to visit again…. 🙂

Best time to visit : March To October

Taxi for Pahalgam 1 day Trip : Rs 2000-2500

Hotels : Grand Akbar (Standard), Paradise Inn(Deluxe), Grand Mumtaz (Premium)

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