The day we reached Srinagar, we had a simultaneous night stay booked at Pahalgam too. This booking was purely done on the basis of the location of the hotel. Yes, we are talking about Heevan Resort, Pahalgam. People come to visit this as a tourist spot for its beauty and even the Baisaran pony rides also start nearby. We reached at around 9 PM at the hotel, had a really good dinner, and headed for a nap.
The view early in the morning from our window was a sight to behold. A mountain was just next to us covered with snow, and we couldn’t wait to go out and view the entire landscape. After breakfast, we headed out of the hotel. The moment we opened the main door, boy it was cold. Had to immediately wear my hood. The view was mesmerizing. The serene sound of the stream flowing below and the backdrop of the snowcapped mountains took my breath away. The stream flows from the Lidder river which gets its source from the Kolahoi glacier.
The weather looked overcast so we were a bit worried if the valleys would be accessible. Our fears became true when the driver said Aru Valley and Chandanwadi were closed due to bad weather conditions. There was also a forecast of possible rainfall.
Still, we took a chance to take the pony ride to Baisaran. We took the package that would cover the whole of Pahalgam. Again, here bargaining became the prime focus on deciding the final cost. Thankfully, the driver helped us this time to negotiate.
The slow-paced ride was a treat as well as an adventure by itself, as we rode through some treacherous routes which were really muddy and slippery, but the ponies were well-trained and also well-aware of the route. The landscapes we saw were truly justified why it is called the Valley of the Shepherds. We covered a total of five points before reaching Baisaran which is also known as mini-Switzerland.
The name Dabyan comes from the fact that the then-ruling king Maharaja Hari Singh had once hunted two animals with one single arrow at this place. The trail to Dabyan Point is relatively easy, and visitors can enjoy the stunning natural beauty of Pahalgam along the way. As you ascend, you’ll be surrounded by lush green forests of pine and cedar trees, and the sound of the nearby stream will add to the peaceful ambiance.
Once you reach Dabyan Point, you’ll be greeted by a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains, including the famous Kolahoi Peak. Since we were on the pony, we enjoyed the view without getting down here.
Also Read: Kashmir Trip – Srinagar
One can see the entire view of Pahalgam town from this point. The international Golf Course can also be seen at a distance. Pahalgam got its name as it was the first village that one would come across after Srinagar. Currently, there are nine villages where the villagers mainly are shepherds and pony riders who manage the Baisaran trek and treks in the nearby valleys.
Kanni means stones in Kashmiri and Marg means ground. It is said that the Pandavas had collected stones from this place and built a temple below in the village hence this place came to be known as Kanimarg. The meadow offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, including the majestic Kolahoi Mountain, which is the highest peak in the region. Visitors can also spot several species of wildlife, including the Himalayan Black Bear, Leopard, and Musk Deer. The meadow is a starting point for several trekking trails as well.
Kanimarg is also home to several species of wildflowers, including Himalayan Blue Poppies, Primulas, and Daisies. The meadow is especially beautiful during the spring and summer months when the wildflowers are in full bloom. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll through the meadow, or simply sit and admire the stunning natural beauty.
During the olden days, the villagers used to travel on horses to go through this valley and cross the mountains to visit Dal Lake and Shankaracharya temple. It used to take them one full day one side to reach. In 2014, the flood which washed away almost half of the villages started from here.
This had one of the best views Pahalgam had to offer. It was literally like a gateway to heaven.
The valley is famous for its cloud-trapped views in the summer. In order to walk around this meadow, one has to wear a special kind of shoes due to the tall grasses as it can be slippery otherwise. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll through the lush green meadows, enjoy the cool breeze, or simply sit and admire the majestic mountain ranges.
After enjoying the five points, we finally reached Baisaran. The place also known as mini-Switzerland itself was so unique. Such is nature’s magic that amidst high slopes there suddenly comes a big huge patch of flat ground.
The meadow is an ideal spot for nature lovers and photographers, as it offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The beauty of Baisaran is further enhanced by the presence of a small stream that flows through the meadow, adding to its serenity and charm. One can do a lot of activities like zipline and sledding or take some professional photos wearing the traditional Kashmiri attire. The meadow offers ample space for visitors to set up camps, and spend a night under the stars. The area around Baisaran is also popular among trekkers, who can explore the nearby hills and valleys.
Baisaran is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful getaway. The view of the snow-capped mountains makes it an ideal destination to unwind and rejuvenate.
After the enchanting trip to Baisaran, we went to Betaab valley. The valley is named after the blockbuster hit movie Betaab which was the debut film of both sunny Deol and Amrita Singh in the 1980s. The valley is known mainly for its views in summer but the snow caste valley had its own magic.
I would strongly recommend avoiding sledding here. It is really not worth it as one can cover the valley by walking provided you have time. One can see Betaab Ghar very close to the main entrance where the movie was picturized and further ahead one can see a sea of Kashmiri Willow trees which are known to make the world-famous cricket bats.
Apart from its natural beauty, Betaab Valley is also known for its rich culture and history. The valley has a diverse population, with people of different religions, cultures, and traditions living together in harmony. Visitors can explore the nearby villages and interact with the locals, which will give them an insight into the local culture and way of life.
Betaab Valley is a breathtakingly beautiful destination that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, rich culture, and history.
On our way back to Srinagar, we also visited Avantiswami Temple located in Avantipura. The temple was devoted to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. The Avantiswami Temple is dedicated to Vishnu and the Avantishwara Temple is dedicated to Shiva. This was constructed by Raja Awantivarman and due to this Awantipura has got its name.
One can see the remnants of the intricate stone carvings on the pillars. The Avantiswami Temple is one of the few examples of stone temple architecture in Kashmir. The movie Haider starring Shahid Kapoor was also shot here.
Pahalgam is truly a paradise on earth that offers something for everyone. From scenic natural beauty to adventure activities. From scenic natural beauty to adventure activities and spiritual experiences, Pahalgam has it all. The town is a perfect getaway for those seeking a peaceful and relaxing vacation or an adventurous and thrilling experience. So, pack your bags and head to Pahalgam for an experience that you will cherish for a lifetime.