Pahalgam

Pahalgam

Things to do - general
Country India
Area 232
Languages spoken Kashmiri, Urdu, English
Currency INR

Sports and nature

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 (July to August). 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 from there. During the month of Sawan, an ice stalagmite forms a natural Shivling in the Amarnath cave.

Culture and history

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.

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