Pahalgam, Anantnag, Kashmir || A place of stunning beauty and unpleasant human interactions

Before you read this post and get restless to explore Pahalgam, it is highly recommended that you read this post first: Horse riding scam in Pahalgam. Also the taxi ride to Pahalgam is quite interesting so you should also read en-route from Srinagar to Pahalgam. After all it is not all about the destination. The journey too is important.

Before you read this post and get restless to explore Pahalgam, it is highly recommended that you read this post first: Horse riding scam in Pahalgam. Also the taxi ride to Pahalgam is quite interesting so you should also read en-route from Srinagar to Pahalgam. After all it is not all about the destination. The journey too is important. 

Basically the taxi drivers and pony wallahs convince you that they will show you 7-8 points during the pony ride and you can take as long as you want at these locations. However, the truth is nowhere near this.

Basically the taxi drivers and pony wallahs convince you that they will show you 7-8 points during the pony ride and you can take as long as you want at these locations. However, the truth is nowhere near this. 


There is just one point worth seeing and that is the Baisaran valley, which is the last point that your ponywallah will take you to. Here he will graciously allow you to alight and spend a precious few minutes of peace, before he comes back desperately claiming that the owner of the pony is calling him repeatedly.

There is just one point worth seeing and that is the Baisaran valley, which is the last point that your ponywallah will take you to. Here he will graciously allow you to alight and spend a precious few minutes of peace, before he comes back desperately claiming that the owner of the pony is calling him repeatedly.  

 
However, this post is not about that. Let's talk a little about Baisaran Valley. It is a green meadow, high up in the mountains, surrounded by tall cedars and snow-covered mountains. No doubt it is very pretty. It is less than 5 kilometers from Pahalgam city and is reachable on foot if you are up for a little trek.

However, this post is not about that. Let's talk a little about Baisaran Valley. It is a green meadow, high up in the mountains, surrounded by tall cedars and snow-covered mountains. No doubt it is very pretty. It is less than 5 kilometers from Pahalgam city and is reachable on foot if you are up for a little trek. 


The meadow will remind you of Khajjiar. However, this is less commercialized. There are only a few shops selling some simple food and chai and if you are here for long enough you will probably see some shepherds carrying or leading white, fluffy lambs for you to pet. Of course you need to pay for this. But may be worth it because not too many of us get to pet lambs in real life.

The meadow will remind you of Khajjiar. However, this is less commercialized. There are only a few shops selling some simple food and chai and if you are here for long enough you will probably see some shepherds carrying or leading white, fluffy lambs for you to pet. Of course you need to pay for this. But may be worth it because not too many of us get to pet lambs in real life.


Overall it is a good place to lounge about a little in case you want the day to be easy. But for that you should not take the pony, because the pony wallah will not let you rest at all. All this is so blatant that we were able to figure this out within the few hours that we spent at Pahalgam. Actually it put us off so much that all the ethereal beauty around us was overshadowed by this human greed.

Overall it is a good place to lounge about a little in case you want the day to be easy. But for that you should not take the pony, because the pony wallah will not let you rest at all. All this is so blatant that we were able to figure this out within the few hours that we spent at Pahalgam. Actually it put us off so much that all the ethereal beauty around us was overshadowed by this human greed. 


The valley is surrounded by dense cedar, pine, and fir forests. These tall trees and the snow-clad mountains beyond, remind you of how tiny and ephemeral we are in comparison. If you are lucky, you will also be able to capture a sky dotted with cotton clouds. Lie down on your backs for a bit and stare at the sky. We all need such moments in our lives.

The valley is surrounded by dense cedar, pine, and fir forests. These tall trees and the snow-clad mountains beyond, remind you of how tiny and ephemeral we are in comparison. If you are lucky, you will also be able to capture a sky dotted with cotton clouds. Lie down on your backs for a bit and stare at the sky. We all need such moments in our lives. 


Baisaran Valley is also the camping site for those who want to trek onward to Tulian Lake. Baisaran valley is 5 kilometers from Pahalgam city and Tulian lake is 11 kilometers from Baisaran. The trek has some steep stretches and requires decent fitness levels.

Baisaran Valley is also the camping site for those who want to trek onward to Tulian Lake. Baisaran valley is 5 kilometers from Pahalgam city and Tulian lake is 11 kilometers from Baisaran. The trek has some steep stretches and requires decent fitness levels.


Baisaran valley is also known as shepherd's valley because the shepherds of the Bakharwal community settle here from spring to just before winter to herd their cattle. The name Pahalgam also derives from "Puheyl" which means shepherd and "Goam", which means village.

Baisaran valley is also known as shepherd's valley because the shepherds of the Bakharwal community settle here from spring to just before winter to herd their cattle. The name Pahalgam also derives from "Puheyl" which means shepherd and "Goam", which means village.


Pahalgam is in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir and is also the basecamp for Amarnath yatra. Amarnath cave is about 48 kilometers from Pahalgam. Distance-wise it is longer than the Baltal route, but pilgrims often prefer this route, because it is a slightly easier hike and the route is scenic too. Though I think the ponies too take the same route, so not sure how convenient it is actually.

Pahalgam is in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir and is also the basecamp for Amarnath yatra. Amarnath cave is about 48 kilometers from Pahalgam. Distance-wise it is longer than the Baltal route, but pilgrims often prefer this route, because it is a slightly easier hike and the route is scenic too. Though I think the ponies too take the same route, so not sure how convenient it is actually. 


Apart from Baisaran Valley, you can also visit the Betaab valley (named after the movie Betaab, which was shot there), and Kolhoi glacier, which is also known as a hanging glacier and is accessible from Lidder Valley. So there is a lot to see here.

Apart from Baisaran Valley, you can also visit the Betaab valley (named after the movie Betaab, which was shot there), and Kolhoi glacier, which is also known as a hanging glacier and is accessible from Lidder Valley. So there is a lot to see here. 

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