Friday, July 11, 2014

Kashmir diary - Pahalgam valley of shepherds

Unlike the day to Sonamarg, it was a bright sunny day much to my relief. After yummy breakfast we started off around 8:00 am to Pahalgam which was about 84.2 kms from where we stayed. We were told that we would pass through apple orchard,saffron fields and through hilly terrain filled with tall pines.Major places were Pampore-Avantipura-Sangrama-Kahanabal-Anantnag.
Pampore famous for its world class saffron displayed a barren field as it was not the time of saffron yet, how I wish to witness the field in its lavender spendour.There were shops selling saffron and assorted dry fruits all through the way. We sped past Sangrama, there were shops that made cricket bat and sold them too, I could see tourist stopping by to get the best bargain. There were security check at Anantnag. Yousuf our driver showed us apple orchard that were on both sides of the road, on my insistence we stopped by an apple orchard for a mere reason that I have never come across one.Apples were quite young before it could be harvested.I walked through the orchard and clicked few pictures.I was surprised not to find anyone to watch over.After sometime we resumed our journey.

 The trees were all lush green offering a great treat for eyes in summer. The pines were so very tall and the terrain was real steep I stopped  walked around then started to run through the place like a kid going back to childhood all over again it was so much fun.I was told that Gulmarg too had its beautiful share of this kind of scenary.
There were rafting points and Yousuf told us that the Amarnath yatris actually litter around destroying the beauty of the place like hell, thats not that good to hear. Pahalgam is on a picturesque landscape on the bank of Lidder river , green valley, Himalayas to border.
Don't get disappointed by the initial site of the small town which doesn't spill any secret of the real beauty it behold in its lap.The real beauty has to be explored on the ponies or by road.The price for pony ride are standard that is displayed in the taxi stand , do have a look and have it explained to you by them before you start out. Godiwallah or the pony man can be real irritating at times that might put off the real spirit of travelling but just don't let anything come your way.
We set out on to explore the place.
Betaab valley got its name from a bollywood that was hot here becoming a super hit.It just a beautiful place with its lush green , meadow snow covered mountains bordering all rendering a beautiful site for the eyes.

After having our share of  Kashmiri wasvan ,that had become a routine for us, we did some street shopping for salwar, they were quite cheap and you can bargain more .Only problem with these salwar is that they don't come with dupatta. we started our journey to Srinagar, we sped through groups of Gujjar (nomads).They were carrying their world on the back of donkeys with their dogs close by keeping a vigil of the family it serves.Men walked ahead with children while the women were in charge of their animals and tents

 On our way we stopped to buy dry fruits and made friends with that family.They were quite friendly taught us the basic on how to differentiate original saffron from a lower grade. and showed us assorted types of dry fruits.He even introduced his whole family to us and we got talking like old friends recalling old times.He had three sons all assisting him in business in their leisure time.His wife was teacher in a local school and they fed us with Kashmiri Kehwa , its a Kashmiri tea (they use  different tea leaves) floavoured with cardomom and saffron.Its the best tea I have ever tasted better than Srilankan tea.

It was not just the beauty of the place that we were carrying with us but the memories of beautiful people that we had a chance to meet.I consider myself really blessed to have all these experience.Our next stop was at the ruins of Avantipur

And that's what I wore for the day, you can check it out here.

The godiwalah /ponymen would surround you the moment you set your foot in Pahalgam don't lose your calm or get irritated they are just trying to get their business.Walk around and get the feel of the place and try to spot the board that carries the standard charges to places and ask them clearly about the package they offer.
Get friendly to those people and you'll end up listening to interesting tales about the people and places.
The ponies are well trained so you don't have to worry much but do take care if it were raining as the slopes might get slippery and you might end up slipping from the pony.
There are chances that you might get a chance to see more places with few extra bucks.
Do a search on the places before as there are chances of being fooled by the ponymen at times.


  1. Hi , Thanks for sharing your experience with us . It is beautiful . Pahalgam is such a heavenly place in Kashmir .

  2. Nice pictures. Pahalgam is one of my favourite places in Jammu & Kashmir. Pahalgam is a real treat with its unexplored and unspoiled natural beauty. Check out Hotel Abshar Pahalgam, one of the best hotels in Pahalgam.

  3. Really Impressive information on your BlogSpot of Kashmir packages touch to really natural beauty like snow fall its open getaway Kashmir for every person who want to take advantage of scenery picturesque and design superb blogs.


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