Pahalgam (Hindi: पहलगाम, Urdu: پہلگام) is a town and a notified area committee in Anantnag district in India's northernmost state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is a popular tourist destination, and every year, many tourists visit Pahalgam. Pahalgam is located at 34°01'N 75°11'E? / ?34.01°N 75.19°E? / 34.01; 75.19. It has an average elevation of 2740 metres (8989 feet).
As of 2001[update] India census, Pahalgam had a population of 5922. Males constitute 56% of the population and females 44%. Pahalgam has an average literacy rate of 35%, lower than the Indian national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 49%, and female literacy is 17%. In Pahalgam, 14% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Arguably one of the most beautiful places on earth, the town of Pahalgam (Village of Shepherds) offers breathtaking views.
One can just relax in one of the many hotels in Pahalgam, or trek on some of the many mountains. One can trek to Lidderwat, Kolohoi Glacier or to Sonmarg. Snow skiing is an attraction during the winter months (from December to late February).
Pahalgam is also the entry point for the famous Amarnath Cave, a holy site for Hindus. There was a conflict recently involving the temple.
Kolohoi Glacier, situated up the Lidder Valley, just below Mount Kolohoi, is currently a hanging glacier. It is basically hollowed out from global warming, the Asian brown cloud, and local environmental factors associated with mountain hydrology. According to the mountaineers from Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering (JIM)in 2008, the glacier has receded by half since 1985.
The glacier is not safe to study because it is hollow and in places has 200 foot deep crevasses. The sounds of cracking can be heard from either side of the ice field, which indicates an imminent collapse. The preferred method of approach for viewing is to take the right side. This approach offers less boulder fields on the approach, and the occasional goat/horse/cattle herder can be approached for cheese and Kashmiri tea on the way. Reaching Kolohoi, trekking up the Lidder Valley, you will encounter some of the most difficult terrain in the western Himalaya, but the views are breathtaking.
Wild Bears still roam much of the area and local villagers are on constant alert for their presence. Due to the constant threat of illegal boarder crossings the Indian army is always patrolling the area and is on constant high alert. As the local population can’t carry firearms this has saved the bears from being hunted to extinction.
With the abundance of fresh trout in the rivers and local farm animals they have plenty to eat. Monkeys also populate the area, most monkeys are quiet shy but given an opportunity they will steal food from visitors campsites.
Plants and Forna
During spring the abundance of wild flowers is breath taking.
Fresh trout caught in Pahalgam Valley
The Pahalgam valley.
Horse riding in the Pahalgam valley.