Pahalgam is a town and a Municipal committee in Anantnag
district in India
's northernmost state of Jammu
. It is a popular tourist destination, and every year, many tourists visit Pahalgam.This World
famous hill station is 45 km. from the District Head Quarter at Anantnag and located on the banks of river Lidder at an altitude of 7200 ft. from sea level. Pahalgam is one among the five tehsils of Anantnag district and tehsil head quarters are located in the main town of Pahalgam.It was once a tourist attraction and a favourite place for shooting of Bollywood films, and is still a health resort.
Besides tourist huts, several hotels in private sector have come up here and these hotels provide modern facilities to their guests. A number of treks in this region also begin from Pahalgam, as the 35 km trail traverses through pinewoods to the spectacular Kolahoi Glacier
. Pahalgam is also associated with the annual Amarnath Yatra. Chandanwari
(2,895 m), 16 km from Pahalgam, is the starting point of the yatra that takes place every year in the month of Sawan.
The road from Pahalgam to Chandanwari is on fairly flat terrain and can be undertaken by car. From Chandanwari onwards the track becomes much steeper, and is accessible on foot or by pony. About 11 km from Chandanwari is the mountain lake of Sheshnag (3,574 m), after which, 13 km away is the last stop, Panchtarni. The Amarnath cave is 6 km away from there. During the month of Sawan, an ice stalagmite forms a natural Shivling in the Amarnath cave.
Pahalgam Development Authority:
For effective management of the erstwhile Pahalgam Project Organization, the Pahalgam Development Authority is headed by a Chief Executive Officer who shall also function as Administrator/Chairman of local Town Area Committee/Notified Area Committee. This is a part of the Tourism Department.
Flora And Fauna:
The area holds a rich cover of vegetation, the dominant forest consisting of conifers which account for over 90%. The principal species are Cedrus deodara, Pinus griffithii, Abies pindrow, Aesculus indica etc. The major shrubs are Indigofera heterantha, Viburnum spp., Sorbaria tomentosa etc. the ground cover is very rich and dicotyledonus herbs dominate: Rumex patientia, Primula spp., anemone spp., etc. There are many species of rare, endangered and protected species. The main species are hangul, musk deer, serow, brown bear, Leopard, rhesus macaque, grey langur, Himalayan mouse hare, etc.
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 border crossings, the Indian army is always patrolling the area and is on constant high alert. As the local population cannot 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. The area houses a good population of pheasants and upland birds apart from other species, both resident and migratory. The common birds are griffon vulture, monal, snow cock, koklas, blue rock pigeon, Kashmir roller, European hoopoe, jungle crow etc.
Kolohoi Glacier, situated up the Lidder Valley, just below Kolhoi Peak is currently a hanging glacier. It is accessible from Pahalgam via Aru
. It is known to have extended for at least 35 km in the past. 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 (61 m) crevices.
Betaab Valley is a very famous tourist spot situated at a distance of 15 kilometers from Pahalgam.The valley got its name from the Sunny Deol-Amrita Singh hit debut film Betaab.