A very famed place of Tourist interest about 96 km from Srinagar. It is one place where I would recommend at least one night stay because there is so much to see and do.
In our case. with the Bandh going on due to various reasons we were advised to leave for pahalgam as early as possible. We would have loved to be on the house boat till lunch time and enjoy Dal lake and the surroundings but we stuck by Mr Firdous's advice. We thus got up at 0530 hrs and left at 0600 for pahalgam.
|Dal Lake Early Morning|
|Hilly River - Lider|
With traffic being light on the road we reached Pahalgam by 0900. Luckily our hotel, Hotel Mount View, had rooms available though official check in was at 1200. We settled down in the hotel had a cup of tea and then went to a restaurant next to our hotel and a very famous one called Dana Pani. a pure veg establishment run by a Sikh gentleman.
After having good breakfast and gathering information from him we knew that we have to take those Ponies whose keepers agree to follow the main road and not some short cuts (Very important, some of the short cuts are dangerous).
The children (grown up) decided to walk up to Baisaran also known as Mini Switzrland. We took horses for 4 point trip (there is a 3 point trip available but as soon as you say that you will go only by main road, it perforce is 4 point trip) covering Pahalgam Point, Kashmir Valley, Dabian and Baisaran.
|Way to Baisaran|
|Youngistan on the Move|
|Snow clad range|
|It could a bare road too|
|Relax Time for Horses|
|Shephard basking in the sun|
|My mom at the horseback (at 80 years age)|
|This is how shortcuts would be|
This was first time that four of our group including me sat on a pony back. It was not comfortable initially but after some time when we got used to it we started enjoying the ride. The points mentioned above fall sequentially with last one being Baisaran. Now I would put photos also in that sequence.
|Yeh, We did it|
We left at 1030 hrs and came back by about 1400 hrs. Since we had time, after having good lunch at (yet again) Dana Pani we decided to do the car trip to Aru Valley, Betab Valley and Chandanbadi. We could have done it next day morning if our departure was fixed at noon but the condition on the road and at Srinagar being fluid we did not know about our departure which could be at 0600 or may be later. Hence we had no option but to finish a quick trip.
Local taxies can be hired through the hotel where one is staying or directly as the rates are fixed starting with Maruti Ecco at Rs 1600 for this trip and Innova at top end with Rs 2200 for the trip.
The taxis (two of them as we were 10 people) took us to Aru valley. There were the usual Pony men but we were not keen on going to the meadows as most were tired and the children decided to walk up to the meadows (as usual).
|Way to Aru|
From Aru Valley we went to Chandan Wadi, the start point of Amarnath Yatra. There was a glacier nearby which was star attraction of people. As for us, having been to Sonamarg and Gulmarg, this place did not attract us. After a short stay we move off from here.
|Glacier at Chandan Wadi|
|River flowing through Betaab Valley|
Finally we returned to our Hotel (Mount View). After some freshening up and rest we went out for Dinner, where else but to Dana Pani (well there are other options including Nathu's and Cafe Log Inn of Pahalgam Hotel to name a few) as all of us liked this place.
|Hotel Mount View|
Post dinner it was sleep time.