Aharbal is a hill station in the south-western part of Kashmir
Valley in the Indian state of Jammu
and Kashmir, 75 km south of the state capital Srinagar
.Aharbal lies in the Shopian
district of Jammu and Kashmir. It is located on the Veshu River, a tributary of the Jehlum River, in an alpine valley covered in pine and fir trees within the Pir Panjal mountains, 18 km south of the town of Shopian and 28 km west of Kulgam
Aharbal is known for its waterfall, Aharbal Falls, where the Veshu falls noisily 25 metres and 7 metres through a narrow gorge of granite boulders. Aharbal Falls are also referred to as the Niagara Falls of Kashmir, owing to the volume of the water that falls. According to a report,[specify] the water volume would be sufficient to generate 100 MW of hydroelectricity. The terraces leading to the falls are fenced, but care must be taken to avoid slipping.
Aharbal is a base for adventure tourism. The Veshu River is stocked with trout. The fishing permit can be obtained from the Fisheries department stationed at Aharbal. The alpine meadow of Kungwatan lies at the halfway point of the two-day trek to the high-altitude Konsarnag Lake, which is the source of the Veshu. Other activities include horse riding, photography, and skiing during winter. The Aharbal Development Authority, a government agency responsible for development in Aharbal, has built tourist infrastructure including huts and a cafeteria, and other lodging and boarding facilities have also been made available.
Aharbal is easily accessible from Srinagar, only 8 km from the Mughal Road
that connects Srinagar and Poonch
. The 75 km drive takes less than 3 hours by car or bus via Pulwama
and Shopian. An alternate route leads to Aharbal via Kulgam. The nearest railway station is Awantipora
railway station at 26 km in the east.