Pahalgam (2130m) – located 95km east of Srinagar is Kashmir’s premier resort, spread along the banks of the Lidder River. It is the base of several trekking trails such as to the Kolohoi Glacier, Amarnath, Zanskar and Kargil. Around Pahalgam are many places of interest. The most beautiful of these is the huge undulating meadow of Baisaran, surrounded by thickly wooded forests of Pine. Pahalgam has within it no fewer than eight tiny villages one of which is Mamal. There is a Shiva temple here, generally considered to be Kashmir’s oldest existing temple dating to the 8th century. The nearby meadow of Chandanwari is the starting point of the Amarnath Yatra One of the most sacred Hindu pilgrimage.
Amarnath Tours Pahalgam, Baisaran Tours Pahalgam, Marnaleswara Tours Pahalgam which takes place every year in the month of July-August. The destination Amarnath Cave is the abode of Lord Shiva. During the month of Sawan (Monsoons), an ice stalagmite forms a natural Shiva linga, which waxes and wanes with the phases of the moon.
The most beautiful of these is the huge, undulating meadow “Baisaran” surrounded by thickly wooded forests of pine. A further 11 Kms takes you to ” Tulian Lake” at 3353 meters. It is covered with ice for much of the year.
On the opposite bank of Lidder river, this small Shiva temple with its square stone tank is thought to date back to the 12th Century.
The Pleasant little village of Aru makes a very interesting day walk, following the Lidder river for 11 Kms upstream. The car also goes upto Aru and is actually first stage of the Kolahoi Glacier trek.
It is about 16 Kms. from Pahalgam and takes about 1 hour in Car to reach there or a full day to go and come back on a pony. Chandanwari is the first stage of Shree Amarnath Ji Yatra ( The Holy Yatra).
Gulmarg Tours Gulmarg, Kashmir Travel Vacations, Gulmarg (2730 m) – located 52 km southwest of Srinagar is this huge cup shaped meadow, ringed by pine forests, lush and green with slopes where the silence is broken only by the tinkle of cowbells. The name means ‘Meadow of Flowers’ and in the spring it is just that. All round are the snow-capped mountains, and on a clear day you can see all the way to Nanda Parbat in one direction and Srinagar in another. Gulmarg also has one of the world’s highest green 18 hole Golf course which attracts sportsmen in the summer just as its ski runs make it India’s premier skiing centre in the winter. Very popular with the tourists is the Gondola Project for a fun filled ride of a most unusual kind. Gulmarg’s newly constructed gondola lift (cable car) ferries tourists right up to a height of 3090 m from 2690 m at the base, through pine-clad slopes.
Golf Club Gulmarg Gulmarg has long been famous for golfing. The 18-hole Gulamrg Golf Club, in existence for 100 years, has records dating from that time which make fascinating reading. The culb house, with its sloping roof, has a rare character. Temporary membership is permitted on payment of a daily fee. It is possible to hire clubs from the stock available at the Tourist Office next door.
This smaller valley is about 6 Kms walk from Gulmarg. The meadow, carpeted with flowers in the spring, is the site for Gulmarg’s winter ski runs and offers a fine view of the surrounding peaks and the Kashmir valley.
A high mountain lake is about 13 Kms from Gulmarg at the foot of the 4511 meters Apharwat Peak, this lake is frozen until mid-June and even later in the year one can see lumps of Ice floating in its cold waters.
Sonmarg (3000 m) – located 84 km northeast of Srinagar is a quiet valley along the Srinagar-Leh Highway. The road that leads to Sonmarg is almost like heading for an enchanted journey into a wonderland of nature. Literally meaning ‘Meadow of Gold’, has as its backdrop, snowy mountains strewn with the loveliest of alpine flowers and surrounded by towering mountains.
The Sindh (Indus) River meanders along here and abounds with trout and mahaseer. Ponies can be hired for the trip up to Thajiwas glacier, a major attraction during the summer months. Waterfalls and the Thajiwas glacier form a sparkling white contrast to the greenery – covered meadows.