Location in Jammu and Kashmir, India
|Union Territory||Jammu and Kashmir|
|Elevation||2,740 m (8,990 ft)|
|• Official||Kashmiri, Urdu, Hindi, Dogri, English|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
Pahalgam (Hindustani pronunciation: [pɛhɛlɡaːm]), known as Pahalgom (Kashmiri pronunciation: [pəhəlʲɡoːm]; lit. 'village of shepherds' in Kashmiri) is a town and a notified area committee in Anantnag district of the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir. It is a popular tourist destination and hill station. Its lush green meadows and pristine waters attract thousands of tourists from all over the world each year. It is located 45 kilometres (28 mi) from Anantnag on the banks of Lidder River at an altitude of 7,200 feet (2,200 m). Pahalgam is the headquarters of one of the eleven tehsils of Anantnag district.
Pahalgam is associated with the annual pilgrimage to the shrine Amarnath Yatra. Chandanwari, located 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) from Pahalgam. The town is the starting point of the yatra that takes place every year in the months of July–August, receiving hundreds of thousands of tourists. Because of its religious significance and role as a base camp, the town attracts 70% of visitors to the valley. This flood of tourists overwhelms some of the local infrastructure, especially waste management in the town.
The name Pahalgam is derived from two Kashmiri words;
Puheyl and Goam, wherein Puheyl means Shepherd and Goam means Village, this over the time became Puheylgoam or Pahalgam. It is because the place acts as a gateway to many meadows & pastures and traditional Bakharwal communities settle in those places from spring season to pre winter to herd their cattle. Hence the name "Valley of Shepherds" which it has been referred to as by various Governmental Bodies to exotify it and turn it into a brawling tourist hub.
According to Hindu traditions, Pahalgam was originally called Bail Gaon (बैल गाँव) meaning (village of bull (nandi)) where Hindu God Shiva left his bull before entering Amarnath Cave
Pahalgam is located at. Pahalgam holds a central position in the Lidder Valley. It has an average elevation of 2,740 metres (8,990 ft).
Pahalgam has a temperate climate with long and cold winter and short and mild summer.
|Climate data for Pahalgam (1981–2010, extremes 1978–2012)|
|Record high °C (°F)||13.2
|Average high °C (°F)||4.4
|Average low °C (°F)||−6.9
|Record low °C (°F)||−18.6
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||120.3
|Average rainy days||7.9||8.9||10.9||9.9||9.9||8.5||9.0||9.0||6.5||3.7||2.9||4.9||91.9|
|Average relative humidity (%) (at 17:30 IST)||82||77||68||60||57||57||65||67||62||59||67||75||66|
|Source: India Meteorological Department|
As of 2011[update] India census, Pahalgam had a population of 5922. Males constitute 56% of the population and females 44%. The average literacy rate is 35%, lower than the Indian national average of 59.5% with male literacy at 49% and female literacy at 17%. About 14% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Pahalgam is administered by the Pahalgam Development Authority, headed by a Chief Executive Officer who functions as the administrator of local town area committee.
The town has 3,510 rooms with 7,020 beds for tourists.
Main article: Amarnath Temple
Amarnath cave is a Hindu shrine located in Pahalgam. The cave is situated at an altitude of 3,888 m (12,756 ft).
Main article: Kolhoi Glacier
Kolohoi Glacier, situated up the Lidder Valley, just below Kolhoi Peak is currently a hanging glacier. It is accessible from Pahalgam via Aru and is known to have extended for at least 35 kilometres (22 mi). According to the mountaineers from Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering, in 2008, the glacier receded by half since 1985 and it is not safe to study because it is hollow and has 200-foot-deep (61 m) crevices.
Main article: Betaab Valley
Also known as Hagoon or Hagan Valley, locally.
Betaab Valley is a valley located 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from Pahalgam. The valley got its name from a Bollywood movie Betaab that was shot here.
Baisaran Valley, barely 5 kilometres from Pahalgam in Kashmir's Anantnag district, is a popular tourist attraction that has been dubbed "mini-Switzerland" due to its scenic splendour. It's a verdant meadow on a mountaintop flanked by snowcapped mountains and studded with thick pine woods. The optimum time to go to Baisaran is determined on the type of experience you wish to have. From January through March is the best time to visit if you want to experience the snow. Visit there during April and June to appreciate the foliage and lovely weather.
Pahalgam is one of the most important site for Hindus. Amarnath cave situated at 3,888 m (12,756 ft) is an important Hindu shrine located in Pahalgam.
Lord Shiva is believed to impart the secret of immortality (Amrit Vachan) to Parvati in Pahalgam. Before entering Amarnath cave Shiv left nandi in Pahalgam, moon in Chandanwari, snakes in Sheshnag Lake, Ganesha on Mahaguna Parbat, five elements at Panchtarni.
Annual tourist flow to the town produces much more waste than locals, overwhelming the local solid waste management system, and leading to dumping of waste throughout the town. 74% of the total municipal waste comes from the tourism sector. This waste issue increase waterborne disease downstream and other health issues, as well as polluting the local landscape.
Pahalgam has a scenic 9-hole golf course; where championships are organized by the state government and private hoteliers in the summers. The course remains closed in winters due to snowfall. Club. Pahalgam Golf Course is approximately 100 km from Srinagar and situated at an altitude of 2150 metres. The course is an expanse of relatively large plain area in a relatively narrow valley. The locals would refer to this golf course simply as the 'plateau'. Portions of the plateau have been occupied by the military in the days of insurgency, leaving it out of bound of normal tourists. Mini-golf could also be played at the Pahalgam Club.
The nearest airport is Sheikh ul-Alam International Airport in Srinagar located 91 kilometres from Pahalgam.
Pahalgam is not connected with railways. The nearest railway station is Bijbehara railway station located 45 kilometres from Pahalgam.
Pahalgam is well-connected with roads and highways. The NH 501 passes through Pahalgam alongside other intra-district roads.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Pahalgam.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pahalgam.|
The Shiva is one of the most important Hindu traditional route from Pahalgam to Amarnath pilgrimage centres in the country. The holy cave via Chandanwari, Sheshnag and Panchtarni perched at an altitude of 3962 metres is 2 feet is endowed ...