Pahalgam is a city in India. Heaven on Earth. A Small place of 2-3 KM but you can spend a week without getting bored.
Taxi from Airport to Pahalgam or Srinagar to Pahalgam should be 1500 -1800 Rs. From Jammu is 8 hours to get Pahalgam.
For budget travellers, the cheapest and decently comfortable way to reach Pahalgam is to reach Jammu by rail and catch a share taxi (4WD Sumo or Minibus) from the bus stand to Srinagar which costs Rs. 200-400 pp and get off at Khanabal. This journey takes 6-7 hours. Within Khanabal district, catch a three-wheeler auto to Anantnag Sumo stand (Rs. 30 for an auto) from where you should be able to get another 4WD share Sumo to Pahalgam for Rs. 40-50 per person which drops you off at the Pahalgam Sumo stand in approximately 1-1.5 hours.
These rates vary from season to season with extreme rates in peak season (Mid-April to June). For those without any budget constraints, another option is to hire a personal Sumo from Jammu bus stand to Pahalgam for Rs. 3400 (March 2008). A hired sumo from Anantnag to Pahalgam costs Rs. 500-700 (March 2008)
Sometimes the localites confuse the word Share taxi with a hired taxi. So its easier to explain it to them by saying that you want to travel in a "Service gaadi".
Buses also ply from Jammu bus stand to Pahalgam but they are very uncomfortable and take more time (12-14 hours). The rates are around Rs. 150-200.
Getting around Pahalgam is done mostly by walk,taxi,pony,treks,whatever you want etc.
There are 3-4 sights to be seen like Baisaran, ChandanWadi, Aru.
- Shooting the rapids Pahalgam offers white water rafting trips down the Lidder River. The season for rafting is May to August and the trips go for 30 minutes and approximately 3 kms. It is a beautiful trip winding down the Lidder River through the natural forests and down the exhilerating rapids. No experience is required as all training provided. Each boat takes 6 passengers with 2 rafting guides with helmets and life jackets provided.
- Amarnath Yatra The holy pilgrimage to the Shiva Lingam this year starts in June 2007 and runs for 2 months. This yearly pilgrimage starts in Pahalgam and takes 3 days. Pilgrims take a taxi 16kms to Chandiwari then they walk or take a pony to the cave and back which takes at least 2 days with an overnight stay in either Shishnag or Panchtarni. It is a trip not for the faint hearted as it is quite arduous though the faithful in their devotion to Shiva push on regardless and always make it.
- Pahalgam offers lots of treks: Aru Valley, Kohli Glacier, Tarsar Lake, Chandiwari and Leh. The road to Ladakh is now open after winter so jeep safaris and camping trips to Leh, Pahalgam offers Fishing.
- Go for a pony ride to Kashmir Valley, Dabian and Baisaran where you can even have a picnic. Make sure to carry food and water along with you. Pony rides cost Rs. 300 in off-season (Feb-Mar) and can even go as high as Rs. 1500 in peak season (May-July)
- Other tourist spots include the fisheries, Bobby hut, Golfcourse, Amusement park. These places can even be covered by a pony ride but its better to walk.
View from besides the fisheries in Pahalgam
Pahalgam has lots shops and you can buy everything which is made in Kashmir. It is a huge market with everything you want.
Pahalgam has lots of restaurants, dhabas and coffee shops and all the hotels have their own restaurants.
- Nathu Rasoi is a budget restaurant (dhaba) specialising in North Indian food. It is highly recommended by the localites, although it opens only during the peak season.
- Dana Pani is a vegetarian restaurant serving delicious North Indian food at cheap rates (Rs. 100-150 pp in off season). Fixed meals come at Rs. 75.
- Hotel Noor Mahal, Close to Main Market-Tourist Office, Pahalgam. Tel. 094149532530, 09906886742, +91-1936-210612. Fax. +91-1936-243227. Very clean and comfortable rooms available at Rs. 350-400 (Feb-Mar) and Rs. 1000-2000 (May-June).
- Himalaya House, Laripora Road, tel. +91-1936-243072, . Himalaya House is a guest house with 8 rooms and a dining kitchen. From the rooms you have a great view over the mountains and rivers of the Himalayan Kashmir. Rooms starting from 400 Rs.
- Hotel Brown Palace, Lari Pora Pahalgam,tel.+91-1936-243255. . The place is ideally located with the lidder river running past it in the front. The hotel building is from early 70s - the rooms are varied, the furnishings are comfortable , some rooms are unsuited. The in-house restaurant specializes in home cooked meals, both western and Indian. The hotel includes modern amenities including hot showers, clean cozy rooms with great views, and a quiet location 15 minutes walk from the city.