Top Things To Do in Pahalgam

Scenic Pahalgam by the roadside of Aru Valley

Pahalgam is a picturesque hill station in Jammu and Kashmir. A perfect relaxing holiday destination to happily spend two days to even one week. Many beautiful valleys, green meadows, pine forest, the snowy peak of mountains, the Lidder River all have created a breathtaking landscape all around Pahalgam. I had my best three days here. I’m sharing all top things to do in Pahalgam along with my travel experiences to help you to explore this beautiful destination in India.

Pahalgam is 2,200 meters above sea level. This beautiful valley is just 87.6 km away from Srinagar city. It was safe to travel alone, and locals are fun-loving and friendly enough. Within 2 hours by taxi, I’ve reached the main town of Pahalgam. My entire trip to Pahalgam became memorable for the outstanding scenery; it is unbeatable in all way. 

I enjoyed the scenic road trip from Srinagar to Pahalgam. The green tunnel of Poplar trees both sides of the road was charming. Furthermore, to mention, I loved getting stuck in sheep traffic jams in the land of shepherds, Pahalgam.

The green tunnel of Poplar trees in Bijbehara Pahalgam
The green tunnel of Poplar trees
A flock of sheep in the land of shepherds Pahalgam
A flock of sheep in the land of shepherds Pahalgam

There is so much to see on the way to Pahalgam. Many traditional cricket bat factories and the original land of Kesar (saffron) gardens are there on the roadside. I bought saffron and various dry fruits from the roadside shop Abid Kesar Mehal. You can get 100% pure saffron from Pahalgam. I’ve also visited one apple garden at Apple Valley Pure Veg Restaurant.

Kashmiri Kahwa Instant Mix from Abid Kesar Mehal Pahalgam
Kashmiri Kahwa (Saffron Tea) Instant Mix from Abid Kesar Mehal

Pahalgam is also famous as many significant hit Bollywood films location. I have visited several film spots during my stay. I came back from Pahalgam to Srinagar by another road and on the way saw the beautiful Ashmuqam Dargah (Shrine). This Shrine is just 12 miles away from Pahalgam and became famous after the shooting of Bajrangi Bhaijaan movie. 

Three Days in Pahalgam: What To Do

Pahalgam is a small hill town and two days is enough to explore the main top attractions of different valleys. The famous valleys in Pahalgam are Betaab Valley, Lidder Valley, Aru Valley, and Baisaran Valley or Mini Switzerland in Jammu and Kashmir. 

My three days in Pahalgam was on a budget, but it was very relaxing. Daily early morning walk was fun and enjoyed exploring the town and nearby sightseeing attractions on foot. 

Pony/Horse ride is the most popular in Pahalgam for exploring valleys. There are a pony stand and taxi stand in the main tourist point of Pahalgam. You can hire any transport service and Guide to accompany you to visiting Pahalgam sightseeing attractions. However, don’t miss checking out the rates for various tourism services provided by the Government of Jammu & Kashmir Directorate of Tourism.

The First Day

The first day I’ve reached Hotel Crystal Boarding & Lodging by noon and in the afternoon with a rented taxi visit the most popular Betaab Valley, the viewpoint, and the glacier of Chandanwari. 

The Second Day

The second day I entirely kept exploring six beautiful valley spots of Pahalgam. Pony riding is a convenient way to visit all top Pahalgam valleys. The valleys I’ve visited are Kashmir Valley, Baisaran Valley, Dabyan Valley, Kanimarg Valley, and Pahalgam Valley. Behind Kanimarg, Tulyan Lake is there but closed for tourists during the spring season. 

Aru Valley in Pahalgam
Aru Valley

The Third Day

The Third Day was for Aru Valley and later explored all nearby attractions by walking. Poshwan Park, Pahalgam Club, Shri Gauri Shanker Ji Temple, and Central Jamia Mosque Pahalgam all are in a walking distance from Pahalgam tourist taxi stand. You can spend a small entrance fee to visit Pahalgam park and club. 

Central Jamia Mosque Pahalgam
Central Jamia Mosque

You can also enjoy shopping from Pahalgam Main Market. Kashmiri shawl, various clothing to food products all are available at a very reasonable price. 

Top Things To Do in Pahalgam

Admire the Breathtaking Scenery of Mini Switzerland

The long dark meadows with the snowy peak of mountains at Baisaran Valley looks like Switzerland in Europe. For this reason Baisaran locally popular as Mini Switzerland in Kashmir. You just can’t without admiring the breathtaking scenery of this most beautiful valley in Pahalgam. 

Many famous Bollywood movies location is Baisaran Valley. There is also zorbing to roll along the meadows for fun. I couldn’t without taking so many lovely photos of this most beautiful destination in Pahalgam. 

A Lovely Walk To Betaab Valley

The most picturesque Betaab Valley named after the Bollywood super hit romantic movie Betaab which filmed here in 1983. A lovely walk to the park of Betaab Valley you’ll enjoy for the mountain view and the Lidder River. The ground of the valley covered with many tiny daisy flowers and lush vegetation. 

Pahalgam sightseeing - Lidder River at Betaab Valley
Lidder River at Betaab Valley

Some moments spending here is worthy for the scenery and the calmness. After a walk, I had tasty Masala Maggi from the Pine Hill Cool & Hot Spot restaurant. You have to get an entrance ticket to visit Betaab Valley.

Trekking To Chandanwari

Chandanwari is a famous trekking spot for Sri Amarnath Yatra. You’ll see the highest number of tourists during summertime in the months of July and August to visit Amarnath Cave Temple. 

What to do in Pahalgam - The starting point of Amarnath Yatra in Chandanwari
The starting point of Amarnath Yatra

I’ve visited the starting point of Amarnath Yatra in Chandanwari. It is a 32 km trek from the starting point to the cave. Chandanwari 9500 feet glacier point is best to visit during winter for snowfall. The viewpoint of Chandanwari is also excellent. 

Enjoy the River View from the Lidder Valley

The fascinating Lidder River runs through Pahalgam. You’ll love enjoying some calm moments and the river view from the Lidder Valley. Camping is also popular at this spot. Lidder Valley is very near to the taxi stand, by walking possible to visit. I loved the rapid flow of the river, and the watercolor is a mixture of green and blue. 

The Lidder River view from Lidder Valley
The Lidder River view from Lidder Valley

Trout Fishing in the Lidder River

Pahalgam Department of Fisheries supports Trout fishing in the Lidder River. It is one of the fun activities in Pahalgam. On the way to Aru Valley, the beautiful Lidder riverside picnic spot is best for fishing in Pahalgam. Rafting is also possible in the Lidder River, a must-try for adventure lovers.

Pahalgam Lidder riverside picnic spot
Pahalgam Lidder riverside picnic spot

Pony Ride To Beautiful Pahalgam Valleys

Many beautiful valleys are the must-visit place in Pahalgam. It is better to start from the morning and then you can come back by the afternoon after visiting five valleys including waterfalls by riding on a pony. Baisaran Valley is the popular one, but one should not miss visiting the extreme beauty of Kanimarg which lead to Tulyan Lake. It is possible to enjoy a very close view of the mountain from Kanimarg. 

Dabyan Valley Pahalgam
Dabyan Valley

Scenic Drive To Aru Valley

A scenic drive to Aru Valley will give you an enchanting experience. The scenery by the roadside is the best in this way. You’ll get several viewpoints to stop your car and take many photographs. The Lidder River viewpoint from the roadside rest house, Jab Tak Hai Jaan movie spot, Lidder Riverside picnic spot are some of the best places to see on the way to Aru Valley. 

The scenery by the roadside of Aru Valley
The scenery by the roadside of Aru Valley
Jab Tak Hai Jaan Movie Location in Aru Valley
Jab Tak Hai Jaan Movie Location

At the last spot of Aru Valley some local shops, eateries, are there. I bought one poncho from the valley shop. You can try some outdoor activities like zorbing, zip line ride, and pony ride in the Aru Valley.

Morning Walk in the Pahalgam Town

The early morning walk was best to see the golden glow of the sunlight on the snow mountains. The atmosphere of the Pahalgam hill town is too calm in the morning, very fewer peoples besides many ponies passing the road to get ready for riding. I loved walking through the Poplar shaded road. No matter how far you go, the ranges of the mountains will be with you. How beautiful!

Pahalgam hill town in the early morning
Early morning in Pahalgam
Poplar shaded beautiful road of Pahalgam
Poplar shaded beautiful road of Pahalgam

Best Time To Visit Pahalgam

Pahalgam is best to visit during summer or spring for outdoor activities. I loved the pleasant weather of Pahalgam in the month of April. Trekking and camping is fun and fishing; rafting is also popular activities in Pahalgam. Even you can enjoy snowfall and snow skiing during winter (December-February). 

Popular tourist town Pahalgam in Jammu and Kashmir
Popular tourist town Pahalgam
The snowy peak of mountains at Kashmir Valley
The snowy peak of mountains at Kashmir Valley

All in all, March to November are the best months to visit Pahalgam.  The best part is that the temperature is never too hot in Pahalgam. Just if you don’t like the extreme cold then better to avoid visiting Pahalgam in winter months. 

How To Go To Pahalgam

It is more convenient and easy to travel by road from Srinagar to Pahalgam. You can take a public bus or taxi service to reach directly in Pahalgam. It is also possible to visit Pahalgam from Jammu by train. 

Where To Stay in Pahalgam

Pahalgam offers plenty of different standard accommodations from budget to luxury with great hospitality. Many wooden cottages with mountain views are best to pick for a cozy stay. Some of the top hotels and resorts in the town are Hotel Heevan Pahalgam, The Chinar Resort & Spa, Hotel Pine Spring, Hotel The Regency, Hotel Baisaran Pahalgam, Forest Hill Resorts, and Valley View Resorts.

Cute cottages to stay in Pahalgam
Wooden cottages with mountain views

My three nights’ stay at Hotel Crystal Boarding & Lodging was comfortable. It is a budget hotel on Chandanwari Road in Pahalgam. I spent a very little but had all the standard facilities along with complimentary breakfast and dinner. I enjoyed the snowy mountain views even from the balcony and the room window. The hotel staffs were very cooperative and also helped me to arrange day tours. 

Budget Hotel Crystal Boarding & Lodging in Pahalgam
Hotel Crystal
Aloo paratha with Kashmiri kahwa for breakfast
Breakfast at Hotel Crystal Restaurant – Aloo paratha with Kashmiri Kahwa

Kashmiri Cuisine Chicken Kanti

Kashmiri Mutton Biryani for dinner - Hotel Crystal Pahalgam

Hotel Crystal has its on-site Veg & Non-Veg restaurant (Swaad Food Resort) where I had different Kashmiri cuisines. Some of the must-try Kashmiri dishes are Kashmiri Roti/Bread, Aloo Paratha with Pickles, Yogurt, and Kashmiri Kahwa, Mutton Biryani with Raita and Salad, Chicken Kanti, Aloo Pakoda with Milk Tea, Rogan josh with Fried Rice.

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Pahalgam Tour Itinerary For 3 Days

Have you been to Pahalgam in Jammu and Kashmir? Share your top things to do in Pahalgam during your visit. 

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