Kashmir travelogue 8: Recuperating in Pahalgam

You can read the previous parts of the travelogue here:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

We drove about 3 hours from Srinagar to reach Pahalgam, across rocky paths, mountains, villages and gushing streams. I was immediately enchanted by the simple beauty of the place when I reached Pahalgam. The fresh mountain air hit us as soon as we got out of the car, and the slight drizzle that was there set our teeth chattering.

I found Pahalgam extremely beautiful – probably the most beautiful part of our trip. It has a lovely, old-world charm about it, is very peaceful, and is comparitively less commercial (at least the part that we visited). Thanks to a stomach bug that hit me as soon as we reached Pahalgam, we couldn’t explore much. We couldn’t do the touristy things in Pahalgam – like riding to the Betaab Valley (where the Sunny Deol-Amrita Singh starrer was shot)Β and Baisaran, which is also called Mini Switzerland. There is no real mode of transport to these touristy spots except horses, and we were not too keen to do horse riding again after the one at Sonamarg. We were tired to the bone, and Pahalgam was the perfect place to rest and recuperate for us. Pahalgam was located somewhere in the middle of our one-week holiday in Kashmir, and I am glad it was. We could regain a little bit of strength and will power to proceed on the rest of the journey after Pahalgam. We spent most of our time here cosied up inside our warm blankets on our hotel bed, looking out the window at awesome views, reading and watching TV, and occasionally going out for short walks to look around.

The Lidder river runs through Pahalgam, and river rafting on its many tributaries is quite common here. We weren’t up to doing it, but we loved watching other tourists in action.

Pahalgam was where I had my first encounter with pine trees, which I had only read and fantasised about till then. I had loads of fun picking up pine cones to carry back home. And, of course, I went crazy taking pictures of these lovely trees, which give the place a straight-out-of-a-painting look.

The hotel we were staying in in Pahalgam was in the midst of a small village, with not many shops around. We had gorgeous views all around us, though. For instance, this spot (in the pic below) was just outside our hotel – a perfect, tranquil place to sit and talk or read, or just play hop, skip and jump on the many stones here. Until you are spotted and assailed by one of the hundreds of shawl- and dress material-vendors who roam around here with their wares bundled up in huge sacks on their backs, that is.

We had to walk about 5 minutes from our hotel, to meet this, another gorgeous view (the pic below). Fresh-water streams are everywhere in Pahalgam, and the water is amazingly cool and clear. It is a beautiful feeling to put your hand inside these waters (the current is too strong to stand or play in the waters, though).

Snow-capped mountains are charming, no doubt about that. They look all the more charming when you view them through some beautiful pine trees. Apart from the pines, I fell in love with the roses that abound in Pahalgam.

We were not ready to bid goodbye to Pahalgam when we had to. We were sorry that we hadn’t seen much of it, but the rest had done us good, and we were fit as fiddles when the onward journey beckoned us. We most definitely want to go back to Pahalgam to see all that we missed then.

PS: So you thought the Kashmir diaries had come to an end, eh? Not yet! πŸ™‚

39 thoughts on “Kashmir travelogue 8: Recuperating in Pahalgam

  1. Hi which camera you have used in these pic . I amplanning to buy a camera for my forthcoming trip to Kashmir and your pics are really gorgeous . My Range is not more than 60 k any suggestions


  2. We went to Kashmir over the Christmas vacation, TGND, and I kept thinking of your posts. It all seems so different in winter. Have blogged about it, though not in such detail as here. Am going to revisit all your Kashmir posts for the sheer nostalgia, and to see again how our experiences matched or differed.


  3. Dear girl next door, I’ve pent the last 2 hours devouring ur Kashmir travelogue. It’s beautifully written and peppered with the most fabulous pictures! I plan to visit Kashmir in January with my wife and 4 year old boy – getting itinerary worked out currently and after reading this, can’t wait to get there! Would it be possible for you to share your itinerary/agent details and a few tips on what I should watch out for (car hire/kid friendly etc)? Plan to cover pretty much the same destinations that you’ve mentioned and any help in making our first Kashmir trip memorable will be much appreciated. Tk u in advance. talktokapil@gmail.com


  4. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous

    Smart lady, you booked the best hotel πŸ˜€ Whatay view!!

    I wish someday I too get to see Kashmir in all its glory πŸ™‚


    1. @Visha

      Thank you! πŸ™‚

      The hotel was booked by the holiday-makers with whom we had booked the package. They sent us a list of the hotels they would be booking throughout our stay, and we just okay-ed them.

      Hope you get to go to Kashmir soon. πŸ™‚


  5. Beautiful pictures. The mountains reminded me of Switzerland. Geet and I were so fascinated by the snow covered mountains all around our hotel that we wrapped the quilt around us and sat at the door to our balcony.
    I have to visit Kashmir and Ladakh. Soon.


    1. “Geet and I were so fascinated by the snow covered mountains all around our hotel that we wrapped the quilt around us and sat at the door to our balcony.”- that is exactly what we did in Pahalgam. πŸ˜€

      Oh, you should visit Kashmir soon. Leh and Ladakh are on my list of must-visit places, too. πŸ™‚


  6. LOVED this TGND ! πŸ™‚
    I have come to believe (and as emphasized by other tourists from abroad) that India has such lovely scenic places but always unexplored/ understated/not thought of as “exotic”. It is really sad because sometimes people from Europe tell you of the beauty of Kashmir or the north-eastern states.
    You stayed in some awesome hotel ! Those views are exhilarating! :)And I so get it when you mean you were well rested. The beauty of the place must have added to the quality of rest and retrospection. I really wanted to go to Kashmir. Your travel tales make me want to do it right away. And not wait for it to happen.

    And trust me, I don’t want your Kashmir series to end. No way.


  7. I was actually waiting for this post πŸ™‚ I knew you couldn’t wind up the Kashmir series without doing a post on Pahalgam πŸ™‚ Beautiful beautiful place!!! The location of your hotel sounds interesting.
    Collecting pine cones?! … Ah that brings back memories of my childhood where my mom and me have collected plenty of them during our vacations to the hills of Uttaranchal…. We used to bring them back home and paint it for decoration πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚


    1. @Lifesong

      He he, smart girl! πŸ™‚

      I do not know what to do with the pine cones. I have kept them in my showcase. Honestly, I love them just as they are. I am not used to seeing them around, and went crazy collecting them when I saw them in Kashmir. The few that I managed to collect were the last of the season, apparently, and not very firm. Still, it was a novelty for me…

      Any idea how long the pinecones stay? Can I keep them as it is?


      1. Well, I have one with me here that I had collected more than 15 years back (the rest are with my mom) and it is still in good condition πŸ™‚ so I guess that they would stay like that for a long time πŸ™‚


  8. It is interesting to see Kashmir Travel on the rise. In a years’ time, between family and friends, I’ve read of some six trips so far. None of their pictures come close to yours – Absolutely stunning !!


  9. I’m so glad the Kashmir diaries aren’t over! Is there more to come? πŸ™‚
    The pictures are so stunning! You have a good eye.
    Did you stay at the Pahalgam hotel? I think that was one of the options our agent gave us when we were planning our trip.
    I can’t wait to explore Kashmir!! Wonder when that will happen ::(


    1. @Aparna

      Yes, there is more to come! πŸ™‚

      Thank you!

      We did stay at a hotel in Pahalgam. As I said, we were recuperating – I from sickness and tiredness, and the OH from tiredness and soreness. πŸ™‚

      Hope your trip to Kashmir works out soon.


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