Pahalgam – A COMPLETE Travel Guide and Itinerary

by Vargis.Khan

pahalgam vargis khan

The name Pahalgam needs no introduction. It is one of the most visited destinations of Kashmir, one that receives tourists all year long. No trip to Kashmir is complete unless Pahalgam is a part of the itinerary.

Located at a distance of about 100 kilometers from Srinagar, Pahalgam is best known for its awe-inspiring vistas, lush green meadows, dense forests, and pristine waters. The place is also noted for the annual pilgrimage to the shrine Amarnath Yatra that starts here in July and August.

In this article, I will provide complete details on how to plan a trip to Pahalgam. The post below covers information like how to reach, where to stay, places to visit, things to do, what & where to eat, mobile network, shopping, and other safety tips.

For all other details on Kashmir like mobile connectivity, public transport, taxi services, and several other tips, please take a look at How to Plan a Trip to Kashmir – A Complete Travel Guide.

To get the best hotel rates, and taxi charges, and to organize your trip to Kashmir, you can speak with Kunal @ 9910 402 252. Give him my reference and you will surely get a discounted rate.

Below is a video that I shot in Pahalgam during my recent winter trip. You can also consider checking out this video for more details.

About Pahalgam

The name Pahalgam literally means a village of shepherds in the Kashmiri language. The town is located in the Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Because of its religious significance, natural beauty, and role as a base camp for Amarnath Yatra, the town attracts roughly around 70% of visitors to the valley.

Pahalgam is a little different than other tourist destinations in Kashmir. While places like Gulmarg and Sonamarg are quite small in size, Pahalgam is comparatively bigger and spread over a larger area.

The place remains open for tourists for all 12 months but the majority of its visitors arrive in late June, July, and early August.

There is not much to see or do in Pahalgam itself, to be honest. Most of its primary tourist attractions are located at a distance of 8-10 kilometers from the main town.

The majority of the hotels however are located in Pahalgam. Because of this, it serves as a base to explore all of the nearby areas.

Religious Significance

Pahalgam is one of the two starting points of the annual Amarnath Pilgrimage, the other being Baltal near Sonamarg. Chandanwari is where the trek to the Amarnath Cave starts and it is located about 15 kilometers uphill from the main town.

As per the mythology, 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, the moon in Chandanwari, snakes in Sheshnag Lake, Ganesha on Mahaguna Parbat, and five elements at Panchtarni. (Source: Wikipedia)

Where is Pahalgam Located

Pahalgam is located at a distance of about 100 kilometers from Srinagar, depending on where you were starting from in the city. From Anantnag, the distance is about 41 kilometers.

how to reach pahalgam

How to reach Pahalgam

Let me first talk about how to reach Pahalgam by different modes of transport. If you were coming from a place like Delhi, Mumbai, or Hyderabad, then you would first have to get to Srinagar.

The place is very well connected to the rest of the country and can be reached either by road, train, or flight. For more details, please take a look at How to Plan a Trip to Srinagar.

Once you have arrived in Srinagar, the only way to reach Pahalgam is by road. There is a helicopter service available as well but it is mostly during the time of Amarnath Yatra only.

For regular tourists, you will either have to drive on your own, find a private or shared taxi, or board a Bus.

Srinagar to Pahalgam by Road

Let us first take a look at how the journey would be if you were traveling by your self-owned vehicle, either in a car or on a bike.

The route of the journey will be as mentioned below.

Srinagar – Qasim Bagh – Pampore – Awantipora – Anantnag – Mattan – Hassan Noor – Aishmuqam – Pahalgam

This is the most commonly used route for the journey. From Srinagar, you drive through the city, cross Qasim Bagh, and reach NH44 (Jammu Srinagar Highway).

From there, you start driving towards Pampore and Awantipora. You will not have to drive through the towns though. Both Pampore and Awantipora will be on your left but you will remain on the highway and drive past them.

As you get closer to Anantnag, you exit the highway and take the single-lane road to your left. You will then drive through the busy towns of Anantnag, Mattan, and Hassan Noor to reach Aishmuqam.

Aishmuqam is the place where the famous qawwali ‘Bhar do Jholi Meri’ in Bajrangi Bhaijaan was shot. The dargah sits on the top of a hillock and is visible from the road. If you have time in hand, you can take the uphill road to the shrine and pay a visit.

aishmuqam

After Aishmuqam, continue driving along the Lidder River for another 40 kilometers to reach Pahalgam. The views also will get better after Aishmuqam and the drive will become more enjoyable.

The condition of the road on this entire route is a mix of good and average. There are hardly any bad sections in between and the journey can easily be completed in about 3 hours.

Alternate Route

There is another route that exists for this journey. You will have to ask around a bit for this as it is not easy to locate and Google Maps by default will take you through Anantnag.

To travel by the second route, you leave NH44 about 15 kilometers before Anantnag and take a road to your left. This will have you avoid traveling through the busy and congested Anantnag roads and exit straight near Hassan Noor. It also shortens the distance by about 10 kilometers.

My suggestion would however be that you stick to the main Anantnag road. It is easier to navigate and in better condition.

If possible, start from Srinagar as early as 7 AM. This way, you will get past Srinagar and Anantnag before the traffic builds up and the markets open.

Srinagar to Pahalgam Bus Service

The direct bus between Srinagar and Pahalgam remains available only during the Amarnath Yatra season, from late June to early August.

This bus starts from Pantha Chowk in Srinagar and reaches Pahalgam via the Anantnag route that I mentioned above. You can also look for a bus to Anantnag from Dal Gate but the chances of finding one are very little.

For the rest of the year, if you were traveling by public transport, you would have to break your journey into two parts. From Dal Gate, you will first have to look for a bus for Anantnag. These buses are privately owned and operated and there is no set timing for them.

From Anantnag, you will then have to look for another mode of transport for Pahalgam. Regular buses are available throughout the day and like Srinagar, they do not stick to any specific timings.

By Taxi

A taxi will come in two forms, a private taxi, and a shared cab. If you were looking for a private cab, it would cost you anywhere between Rs. 2000 to Rs. 3000 for a drop to Pahalgam, depending on your negotiation skills.

A better way to manage your trip by cab in Kashmir is to book one taxi for the entire trip. That way, you will be able to reduce the taxi cost a little.

One important thing to note here is that a taxi from Srinagar will only be able to drop you off in Pahalgam. You cannot use the same cab for local sightseeing. The local taxi union restricts the Srinagar cab from taking tourists to places like Betaab Valley, Chandanwari, or Aru Valley.

To visit local attractions, you will have to rent another cab from Pahalgam itself. Depending on the places you want to visit, this will cost you another Rs. 2000 for a day approximately. For more details on the rates, please take a look at Pahalgam Local Sightseeing Taxi Rates.

Srinagar to Pahalgam Shared Taxi

Shared cabs work pretty much in the same manner as a bus. You will first have to look for a shared cab for Anantnag from Dal Lake in Srinagar. Once you get to Anantnag, you will then board another shared cab for Pahalgam.

The frequency of the shared cabs is much better than a bus in Kashmir and you will have no trouble finding one.

Srinagar to Pahalgam Bus Fare

The fare per person for a journey from Srinagar to Pahalgam is Rs. 150 approximately. The same journey by shared cab will cost you slightly more, around Rs. 200 per person.

Srinagar to Pahalgam by Helicopter

As I mentioned, the helicopter service remains available mostly during the Amarnath Yatra. For the rest of the year, you will have to travel by road. I am sorry but I do not have any more information on this.

Srinagar to Pahalgam by Bike

If you wish to, you can also rent a bike in Srinagar. The benefit of a bike will be that you will not have to rent another taxi in Pahalgam. The rent of a bike will be around Rs. 1500 to Rs. 2500, depending on the bike you choose.

For renting a bike in Srinagar, you can contact Faisal at 9596 410 670. For more details, please take a look at How to rent a bike in Srinagar.

Srinagar to Pahalgam by Train

There is no train service available between Srinagar and Pahalgam.

Srinagar to Pahalgam Flight

There are no flights between Srinagar and Pahalgam. Helicopter service, as I mentioned above, may be available during the Amarnath Yatra season.

pahalgam

Where to Stay in Pahalgam

Being the popular tourist destination that Pahalgam is, there is no scarcity of hotels here. The entire town has a lot of hotels and guest houses to choose from.

The only thing that you should keep in mind is that the hotels here can be a little on the expensive side, especially in June, July, and August during Amarnath Yatra.

The average rate of a decent enough hotel will be around Rs. 2000 to Rs. 2500. If you were getting a room for less, the hotel would either be in poor condition or at a little distance from Pahalgam.

Whether or not to book in advance is entirely up to you. My recommendation will be that if your trip is around Amarnath Yatra time, then you must book in advance. Hotels in these months get occupied completely and you may not find a place to stay at all.

For the rest of the year, booking in advance is not necessary but you may do so for peace of your mind.

Budget Hotels in Pahalgam

If you were looking for budgeted accommodation, I would recommend staying in Aru Village. Hotels there are considerably cheaper and you will easily be able to get a room for Rs. 800 to 1000.

I do not recommend any hotel in particular though. Just take a walk through the village, see a few hotels, and check into the one that you like the most.

Best Location to Stay in Pahalgam

Aru Valley is the best location to stay in Pahalgam. Other than the tariff, Aru is also much more scenic. So staying there will be beneficial in that way as well.

There are no hotels near Betaab Valley, Chandanwari, and Baisaran Valley.

aru valley

What to see in Pahalgam

This may be just my personal opinion but, in all honesty, Pahalgam is not that scenic. I was disappointed by it the first time I visited there. It just looks like an ordinary town with no scenic beauty. Horse dung is everywhere and its smell will surely drive you crazy.

With that being said, the areas around are very scenic. When you plan to visit here, you do not see Pahalgam but the places around it. Pahalgam just becomes the base to explore those places because most of the hotels in the region are located here.

I have covered this topic in another article Places to Visit in Pahalgam and Things to Do. But for a brief overview, I will list these places here as well.

Betaab Valley

Without any doubt, Betaab Valley is possibly the most popular tourist attraction in Pahalgam. It is uphill at a distance of about 7 kilometers from the main town.

So, what is Betaab Valley? Before 1983, it was just a meadow that the local shepherds used to graze their livestock in. At that time, it was called Hagan Valley or Hagoon.

Then in 1983, Sunny Deol and Amrita Singh starrer movie Betaab was shot here. Both the movie and the valley were instant hits. Due to the popularity of the movie, the meadow itself was renamed Betaab Valley.

betaab valley

It has now been converted into a park-like area and is a favorite among the locals as well. You will find a lot of Kashmiri families here out for a picnic. The entire setting of the place is very scenic with the Lidder River flowing right next to it.

To read more about Betaab Valley, take a look at Road Trip from Pahalgam to Betaab Valley.

Chandanwari

The next on the list is Chandanwari, located at a distance of about 8 kilometers from Betaab Valley and 15 kilometers from Pahalgam. This is the place where the motorable road ends and the trek for Amarnath Cave begins.

There is nothing special about Chandanwari, to be honest. It is located in the middle of the forest and is marked by a lot of small dhabas.

chandanwari

It is only the setting of the place and the natural beauty around it that makes it worth a visit. Even the drive from Pahalgam to Chananwari is quite scenic.

If you want to explore a little more, you can hire a pony and venture into the forest. There is a waterfall as well somewhere nearby (as per the pony owners) but I cannot comment on how it was because I did not go.

For more details, please take a look at Pahalgam to Chandanwari Road Trip.

Aru Valley

This in my opinion is the most scenic place near Pahalgam. The small village of Aru is located about 12 kilometers from Pahalgam. It is the starting point of several treks and is always bustling with trekkers either starting or returning from their excursion.

There is also a meadow at one end of the village which is perfect for spending some time and having fun.

aru valley

Even the drive from Pahalgam to Aru is quite scenic with several viewpoints in between. Aru Village, as I also mentioned previously, also has a lot of cost-effective hotels which makes it a great place to stay for budget travelers.

For more details, please take a look at Pahalgam to Aru Valley Road Trip.

Baisaran Valley

It is a valley or a meadow located about 6 kilometers from Pahalgam. The place can only be accessed either on foot or on a pony. The trek takes you through a dense forest before ending in a village called Baisaran up in the mountains.

The same trek then goes further up to other villages like Kani Marg and Tulian Valley (also Tulian Lake). The difficulty level of the trek is Beginner to Intermediate and is great for anyone who isn’t into trekking but would like to add the experience to their travel plans.

Hiring a pony is the best and most preferred way to explore Baisaran. The entire trek can be easily completed in a few hours and the pony owners usually charge around Rs. 1500 per person for a day.

Aishmuqam

Remember the song Bhar do Jholi Meri from the movie Bajrangi Bhaijaan? It was shot near Pahalgam at a place called Aishmuqaam. It is the shrine of a Sufi saint Baba Zaina-ud-din Wali, also known as Zaino Shah Sahib.

Aishmuqaam is located about 19 kilometers before Pahalgam and 34 kilometers from Anantnag. You can visit it while going to Pahalgam or coming back. The shrine is located on a hillock and is visible from the road itself.

Pahalgam Golf Course

There is also a golf course in Pahalgam which is a popular destination for tourists. Several golf tournaments are held here and even as a beginner, you can try your hand at the sport for a few hundred bucks an hour. Even if you are not interested in golf, it is still a great place to visit and explore.

Lidder River

Last but not least is the Lidder River.  It is a glacial river that originates from the Kolahoi glacier, flows through the valleys of Pahalgam, and will be your companion for the most part of your trip here.

Its crystal-clear water is home to many different kinds of fish and is also a lifeline for the locals as it gets used for irrigation purposes as well.

lidder river

Many tourist activities like white water rafting, angling, horse riding, and fishing are done in the Lidder River.

Now, these were some of the most popular tourist destinations in Pahalgam. There are a few others that are not so popular but definitely worth visiting. For a complete list, I will recommend taking a look at this post Places to Visit in Pahalgam and Things to Do.

I do not want to add all this information here again because that will just render this one post too long.

Things to Do in Pahalgam

Below is a list of things to do in Pahalgam apart from visiting all of the above-mentioned places.

  • Trekking
  • White Water Rafting
  • Skiing
  • Shopping
  • Camping
  • Angling
  • Fishing in Lidder River
  • Horse Riding
  • Photography

All of these activities are explained in detail in the post Places to Visit in Pahalgam & Things to Do.

trekking rates in pahalgam

Best Time to Visit Pahalgam

The best time to visit Pahalgam is the months of April, May, and September. But it also depends on what kind of trip you want. Let me give a brief overview.

Pahalgam remains open in the winter season and receives quite a bit of snow in January and February. This will be the best time to plan a winter trip. Keep in mind though that places like Chandanwari and Aru Valley may not be accessible in winter.

The months of April and May are perfect if you just want to enjoy pleasant weather and beautiful scenery. This is a great time to plan a family trip.

The months of June, July, and August are best avoided for two reasons. The first is that it gets very crowded here during Amarnath Yatra.

The second is the risk of the monsoon season. Pahalgam receives heavy rainfall each year in July and August. Remember the 2014 incident when Amarnath Yatris were stranded because of the landslides?

For photography, September and October will be the best time. This is when the views here are the best. For my honeymoon, I will recommend March and April.

For more details on this topic, please take a look at When is the Best Time to Visit Pahalgam.

Weather in Pahalgam

Pahalgam has a sub-tropical climate which means that winters here are very cold but summers are pleasantly warm. It snows here heavily from late December to March and that is why even the roads can sometimes get blocked. The temperature in these months drops several degrees below zero.

Areas near Pahalgam like Betaab Valley, Chandanwari, and Aru Valley continue to receive snow until early April. From May to June, it mostly remains pleasant and dry during the day.

Monsoon arrives by late June and it rains heavily in this region throughout July and August, until early September.

It starts to get cold again in late September and by mid-October, it can snow anytime in Pahalgam. The weather remains to be very cold until March next year.

The important thing to note is that Pahalgam is not at a very high altitude. There will be a very significant difference in the temperature here and in places like Betaab and Aru Valley.

Clothes to Pack

This will depend on the month you are planning to visit. For a winter trip, you will have to pack all heavy woolen clothes, a windproof jacket, gloves, caps, thermals, and woolen socks.

If you were visiting in April, May, June, or September, your regular cotton clothes will do just fine. You will however have to wear a light jacket because the weather will get cold in the evening and at night. Early Mornings will also be pretty cold.

For a trip in July and August, try and pack clothes that are easier to dry, like polyester. An umbrella or a waterproof rain jacket will also be very helpful if you are traveling in your self-owned car.

In terms of shoes, for winter, you should carry waterproof boots, if possible. For the rest of the year, your regular sports shoes will be fine. Rubber Sandals (like Crocs) will be greatly beneficial in the monsoon season.

pahalgam

Mobile Network & Data Connectivity

All cellular companies have good coverage in Pahalgam and you will get 4G data as well. No matter which network you are on, your phone will work fine in Pahalgam.

The reception will hold strong in Betaab Valley and Aru Valley as well but you may lose network in Chandanwari sometimes. There is no reception in Baisaran Valley or Tulian Valley though.

All the hotels here have free wifi available. BSNL currently provides internet services in Pahalgam. The last time I was there, I heard that Airtel and Jio were planning to bring Fiber internet to Pahalgam after which it will only get even better.

Shopping in Pahalgam

Pahalgam, to be honest, is just a small town, or a large village. There are a few shops here selling day-to-day items, shawls, dry fruits, and handicrafts but there aren’t many.

For any shopping in Kashmir, Srinagar is the place where you should do it and not anywhere else. You will get a much better selection there and at better prices. In the rest of the places, you will most likely be scammed if you go shopping.

What & Where to Eat

Food will not be a problem in Pahalgam. There are several small restaurants and dhabas serving both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food items. You can also order at your own hotel as well if you do not want to step out.

Do keep in mind that the food in Pahalgam is a little on the expensive side. No matter what or where you eat, the prices will seem a bit steep but that is the case with almost every restaurant here.

There is no specific restaurant that I will recommend. I have eaten at a few and the food at all of them was just average, nothing too great.

If you are a pure vegetarian, go through the main market road before the Lidder bridge and you will come across Dhabas that serve vegetarians only.

For people who are OK with non-vegetarian food, my suggestion will be that you eat at your hotel only rather than trying to find a restaurant outside.

If you were staying in Aru, there are several Dhabas in the small village market. In Aru, you should try eating out rather than at your hotel.

pahalgam

Srinagar to Pahalgam itinerary

An ideal time for visiting Pahalgam is 2-3 days, but the journey can also be completed easily in a single day. If you want to go on a trek that will last a few days in the forest, then the situation will of course change but for a regular tourist, 2 or 3 days is what I will recommend.

Below is an example of the itinerary that I will recommend.

Day 1: Srinagar to Aru Valley

Start early from Srinagar between 7 and 8 AM and you will make it to Pahalgam by 9.30 or 10 am at most. Drive straight to Betaab Valley and then to Chandanwari.

Drive back to Pahalgam, have lunch in the market, and then drive to Aru Valley. Spend the evening in the Aru meadow and stay there for the night.

Day 2: Local Sightseeing in Pahalgam

There are a few different ways this day can be planned. Drive down from Aru Valley to Pahalgam and go for a trek or pony ride to Baisaran Valley.

Going to Baisaran and coming back to Pahalgam will take up a few hours. Spend the evening on the Pahalgam golf course, see the park, and stay for the night in Pahalgam.

Day 3: Pahalgam to Srinagar

On this day, you will drive back to either Srinagar or straight to your next destination. If you were short on time, then skip Baisaran Valley and go back to Srinagar after visiting Lidder Park and the golf course.

Srinagar to Pahalgam Day Trip

If you want to make a day trip to Pahalgam, you must start as early as possible, by 7 am at most. You will get to Pahalgam by 9.30 am. Go straight to Betaab Valley and Chandanwari first. You should be able to get back to Pahalgam at 1 pm.

Have lunch and then go visit Aru Village. This will take another couple of hours and you should be able to be back in Pahalgam by 4 pm. Visit the golf course, and amusement park and drive back to Srinagar. You should be able to reach your hotel by 8 or 9 pm.

It will be a long day but yes, you will be able to cover all the major tourist places. Just make sure that you get up early by 7 am at most.

A day trip to Pahalgam from Srinagar can be done, though it is not recommended. My suggestion would be that you stay there for one night at least.

gunjit narang

Other Facilities

Mentioned below is information on other facilities.

Banks / ATM Services

I have seen branches of SBI, J&K Banks, and Axis Bank in Pahalgam and they all have their ATMs as well. On the way as well, you will notice a couple of ATMs in Anantnag. To be on the safer side though, I will recommend carrying cash from Srinagar itself.

The hotels here accept UPI payments as well but the same cannot be said about the restaurants/dhabas. Some may accept and others may not.

Medical Assistance

There is a government hospital in Pahalgam where can you get some basic medical assistance. There is a small hospital in Anantnag as well. For anything serious though, you will have to rush back to Srinagar.

I also noticed a chemist’s shop in the market area where you can buy some basic medicines.

Petrol Pump / Mechanics

There are a couple of petrol pumps in Pahalgam and you will also notice a few on the way after Anantnag. In terms of Mechanics, you can find someone for minor repairs here but for any major fault, you will have to seek help from Srinagar.

Srinagar to Pahalgam Road Conditions

The entire stretch of the road from Srinagar is in good condition. A major part of it is the NH44, Jammu Srinagar Highway which is super smooth. The rest of the road after Anantnag is also tarred and well-maintained.

The roads leading to Betaab Valley, Aru, and Chandanwari are a mix of good, bad, and average.

Best Vehicle

There is no best vehicle as such for visiting this region. As I mentioned, it is not at a significant height and is mostly in the valley. Irrespective of which car or bike you have, you will easily be able to reach Pahalgam without any problem.

The roads to Betaab Valley, Chandawari, and Aru Valley are quite steep though. To visit here, you will just have to make sure that your car or bike is good enough to climb steep ascents and will not stall.

FAQs

1. How to reach Pahalgam from Jammu?

Jammu to Pahalgam will be a day-long trip. You will start early from Jammy, take NH44, and arrive in Anantnag. From there, rather than continuing to Srinagar, turn right and take the road toward Pahalgam. The travel time will be around 7 to 8 hours covering 253 kilometers.

2. How to reach Pahalgam from Katra

To get to Pahalgam from Katra, you will have to drive, you will have to drive back about 15 kilometers to Sen Brahmana where you will exit on NH44. From there, drive towards Udhampur and Anantnag. From Anantnag, you will then turn right and reach Pahalgam.

3. How to reach Pahalgam from Gulmarg?

There is no direct road between Pahalgam and Gulmarg. To travel between both these places, you will have to first drive back to Srinagar and then take the route towards Pahalgam that I discussed earlier in this article.

4. How to reach Pahalgam Valley?

This is a question I often get asked. Pahalgam Town and Pahalgam Valley are the same places. When you reach Pahalgam town, you are in Pahalgam valley only.

5. Srinagar to Pahalgam Distance

Srinagar to Pahalgam distance by road, irrespective of whether you were traveling by your private car or a bus, is about 90-100 kilometers.

This will also depend on where you were starting from in Srinagar. From Dal Lake, the distance is 95 kilometers whereas, from Srinagar airport, it is about 89 kilometers.

6. Srinagar Airport to Pahalgam Bus Fare

There is no direct bus from Srinagar Airport to Pahalgam. You will first have to reach Dal Gate and look for a bus there for Anantnag. In Anantnag, you will change buses and board another for Pahalgam.

7. Srinagar Airport to Pahalgam Taxi Fare

A taxi from Srinagar Airport to Pahalgam will cost you around Rs. 2000 – 2500 approximately.

8. Srinagar to Pahalgam in January

Yes, you can travel from Srinagar to Pahalgam in January as well. However, you may not be able to reach places like Chandanwari and Aru Valley as these roads get blocked by snow.

If there was a heavy snowfall recently, you may not even be able to get to Betaab Valley.

9. Srinagar to Pahalgam Travel Time

The travel time from Srinagar to Pahalgam is 3 hours by car and bike and 5-6 hours by Bus.

10. Where is Pahalgam Amusement Park?

Pahalgam Amusement Park is located on the road to Aru Valley. It is also known as Lidder Amusement Park.

11. Where is Pahalgam Main Market?

The main market mostly consists of a few shops selling day-to-day groceries and some tourist items like shawls, dry fruits, handicrafts, etc. It is easy to locate. Just follow the same main road that you took to reach Pahalgam and you will get to the main market.

12. How far is Pahalgam from Srinagar?

Pahalgam is at a distance of 95 kilometers from Srinagar.

13. Pahalgam Entry Fee

There is an entry fee of Rs. 50 for Pahalgam. The fee needs to be paid a couple of kilometers before Pahalgam, just as you are about to enter the valley.

14. Pahalgam Open and Close Time

There is no opening or closing time for Pahalgam. It is a town and remains accessible for all 12 hours.

15. Is Pahalgam Safe?

Pahalgam is one of the most visited destinations in Kashmir and a safe place.

Conclusion

I hope the information above on planning a trip to Pahalgam was of help. If you have any questions, you can contact me on Instagram and I will be happy to answer. You can also consider subscribing to my YouTube channel and asking a question there.

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22 comments

Dinesh Aggarwal February 13, 2024 - 7:21 am

Dear Vargis,
Really your write up in Kashmir is encouraging for senior citizens willing to explore nature .
We have program to visit Kashmir on 23 Rd March 24 for a week with my daughter and grand kid. I am a bit apprehensive about possible snowfall in March end too at Pahal gam , Gulmarg and Sonamarg.
If that will be an hindrance for travelling to those places for us? Or should we just enjoy Srinagar only? Though we really wish to see snow surfaces but for apprehensive abt too much cold or road blocks.
As also in case all good can you please advise some star 4 or hotel good family hotel at Srinagar and Pahalgam/ Aru Valley.( May please recommend directly hotels on my mail)

Reply
Prasad S December 17, 2023 - 8:44 am

Hi,
I am planning to visit Kashmir in summer with my family (includes 2 kids 10 yr and 12 yr). My plan is to fly to Delhi from Mumbai then overnight train to Udhmapur.
I am planning to hire a taxi in advance for 5 days which will pick us from Udhampur on 1st day and leave us on 5th day at Udhampur railway station.
My would be itinerary is as follows
Day 1: Reach Udhampur early morning and by pre-hired taxi first visit Verinag and on the same day visit Achabal and stay that night at Achabal
Day 2: Start from Achabal and go to Pahalgam. I understand that my pre-hired taxi cannot enter Pahalgam. So I will hire a taxi at Pahalgam and will visit Betab valley and Chandanwari and then go to Aru valley and will stay in Aru valley
Day 3: On this day i will travel from Aru valley to Pahalgam and then with my pre hired taxi I will visit Chatpal and then Kokernag and then stay there.
Day 4: On this day from Kokernag to Sinthantop and will be back to Kokernag again and overnight at Kokernag
Day 5: from Kokernag to Udhampur and will catch a train to Delhi and fly out to Mumbai

Please let me know if this plan is feasible. Also, let me know any missing in this plan.

My real worry is Pahalgam.
1. Since I am planning to stay at Aru valley, please let me know how to manage taxi at Pahalgam. The taxi which I have hired at Pahalgam will stay with me or will go back to Pahalgam
2. If it goes back to Pahalgam how I will return to Pahalgam on next day
3. Will my pre-hired taxi at Udhampur will charge me even though I will not be using it.

Request your advice.

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Guptaji December 5, 2023 - 12:44 pm

Want to travel to Kashmir in tulip season with 60+ parents for 6-7 days. Would Srinagar-Pahalgam-Gulmarg-Sonmarg & back be very hectic? Any tips?

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Roopa September 28, 2023 - 6:51 am

I’m planning a trip to Srinagar and Pahalgam in November 2nd week and will be there for 6 nights..planning to stay first at Pahalgam for 2nights and remaining nights at Srinagar..requesting your guidance to use the time and enjoy it fully.. thanks in advance

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Vargis.Khan September 28, 2023 - 7:13 am

What would you like to know?

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Sheetal September 3, 2023 - 4:28 am

Lost count of the time I have referred to your blogs for planning trips. Much gratitude for the detailed findings you bring to us.
You may consider my recommendation: please label/caption the images that supplement your blogs. If you already do, please ignore.

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Vargis.Khan September 5, 2023 - 7:22 am

Thank you Sheetal. Feedback accepted. I will do so in the future

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Thomas Abraham July 30, 2023 - 7:03 pm

HI Vargis,
Nice to see your article regarding Kashmir tour, We are planning for one and would like to hear some advise, could you please share your contact no to my email
Thanks
Thomas

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Shayna C Breslin July 31, 2023 - 6:01 pm

This is so helpful as I am going solo!

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Vargis.Khan August 1, 2023 - 7:50 am

Thank you !!!

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Garvit May 20, 2023 - 5:16 pm

This is extremely helpful! You do much for taking the time to write this.

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Vargis.Khan May 21, 2023 - 9:52 am

Thank you !!!

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sharmila April 12, 2023 - 6:57 am

Very informative post. Please suggest riverside resort in Aru valley.

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Vargis.Khan April 12, 2023 - 7:13 am

Riverside resorts are down in Pahalgam, not in Aru Valley

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Riidhi Joshi April 6, 2023 - 9:34 am

Hi,
first of all, thanks for doing what you are doing. I have been reading your articles since we have decided to visit Kashmir and the detailed information you provide are really really helpful. I wonder how can you read my mine and have answered my query i have come for.

we are planning a Kashmir trip with our 3.5 year old daughter in 2nd week of May.
we will be starting our trip from Jammu and end from Srinagar. to be precise, 6th may morning to 13th May evening.
we are planning to visit Pahalgam, gulmarg, sonmarg, Kargil and Srinagar. if time allows we would like to explore places near Kargil or Doodhpathri(if kargil thig becomes hectic)

Need your suggestion on few thigs :
1. How to make the most out of our Jammu to Pahalgam road trip. Suggest places to stop at for some time or visit in less lime and places where we can enjoy authentic Kashmiri food.
2. suggest itinerary considering the weather in May. Our plan so far is as following:
Day 1. jammu to pahalgam by road . relax and O/N stay in pahalgam
Day 2. explore pahalgam and O/N stay in pahalgam
Day 3. leave early in the morning for Gulmarg, gandola ride, explore the place and o/n stay in gulmarg
Day 4. Leave for Sonmarg early morning and explore sonmarg with treking tajiwas glaciar and back to sonmarg
Day 5. leave for kargil via zoji la pas, zero pint, kargil war memorial and night stay at kargil
Day 6. visit suru valley and pensi la back to kargil
Day 7. leave early in the morning for back to srinagar, shikara ride, light and sound show and house boat stay.
Day 8. local sightseeing at srinagar and leave to catch flight by 5 pm
3. suggest things to do on the way to sonmarg- kargil- srinagar other than mentioned in the above plan
4. any other itinerary suggetion.

Thanks in advance 🙂

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Pinks February 22, 2023 - 6:18 am

Very informative and to the point blog. I’m planning to visit pahalgam in 1st week of June with family , planning a stay for 2 days and want a peace absorbing experience away from hustle and bustle , which area should I book hotel in?

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Vargis.Khan February 24, 2023 - 7:39 am

You should stay in Aru Valley

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Brijesh DUBEY February 12, 2023 - 5:23 pm

Hi
Im travelling on 07 Mar ’23 with my family that has 2 Sr citizens. Which place do u recomend i shud stay. I do not want to waste too much travelling to tourist locations.. Im reaching on 08th evening and staying there for 09th night as well.

Your blog is really informative. Appreciate your effort brother !!

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Vargis.Khan February 21, 2023 - 12:31 pm

Thanks Brijsh Bhai. I will recommend staying in Aru Valley. You will enjoy there more.

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Sonam Sharma June 5, 2022 - 5:41 am

Reallyyy amazing and exceptionally well documented itinerary and suggestions. Rare to find such details. Big thank you

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SANDEEP GADGIL March 23, 2022 - 8:56 am

Vargis – I’m sure you do this to help people – but you may not have an idea of HOW HELPFUL YOUR ARTICLES ARE. It feels so reassuring to read these. You cover everthing in just the right level of detail which is immensely helpful when planning trips. Thanks and God bless you bro!

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Vargis.Khan March 27, 2022 - 2:36 am

Thank you Sandeep Bhai for your kind words

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