Hill Stations

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Pahalgam

Pahalgam means "The valley of Shepherds". At the confluence of the streams flowing from the river Lidder and Sheshnag lake, Pahalgam was once a humble shepherds village with breathtaking views. Now it is Kashmiri�s premier resort, cool even during the height of summer. Around Pahalgam are many places of interest, and because the resort is set between fairly steep hills, it is worth hiring a pony rather than walking. The most beautiful of these is the huge, undulating meadow of Baisaran, surrounded by thickly wooded forests of pine. Hajan, on the way to Chandanwari is an idyllic spot for a picnic. Chandanwari, 16 Kms. From Pahalgam, is the starting point of the Amarnath Yatra which takes place every year in the month of wawan (July - August). The destination is the Amarnath cave, believed to be abode of lord shiva.


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Sonamarg

Sonamarg means "The Meadow of Gold". The drive to Sonamarg is through yet another spectacular facet of country side in Kashmir, this time the sind valley. Sonamarg has as its backdrop, snowy mountains against a cerulean sky. The Sind meanders along here and abounds with trout and mahseer fishes. Ponies can be hired for the trip up to Thajiwas glacier a major attraction during the summer months. Sonamarg's importance is two fold: it is the starting point of a major trek passing several mountain lakes Vishansar, Kishansar, Gadsar and Gangabal.


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Gulmarg

Gulmarg means "Meadow of flowers". A huge cup shaped meadow, lush and green with slopes where the silence is broken only by the tinkle of cow bells Gulmarg looks like a fantasy set in a film, and not surprisingly has been the venue of several films. From Gulmarg, a pony track leads upwards to Khilanmarg, Kongdori and seven springs, a couple of hours by pony,longer on foot. From here across the Apharwat the peak which looms up from this point is Alpather Lake, a picturesque alpine lake, frozen till late June. Gulmarg also has one of the worlds highest green gold courses, as well as a club house which is a historical building in its own right. For the would be golfer, there are golf sets on hire pros to instruct one in the game and temporary memberships. In winter, Gulmarg acquires a new persona that of the country�s premier skiing resort. Skiing to many who watch it on TV, seems like a very elitist sport, requiring a high level of training and expensive equipment. They are surprised, when they visit Gulmarg for a day expedition to see the snow that others with the same level of physical fitness and training are skiing down slopes.


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Yusmarg

Yusmarg is a small meadow, set in the heart of the mountains in the south west of Srinagar, at a distance of 32 Kms. It can be reached via Nagam and Tsar. The road is motorable. Yusmarg is an ideal picnic spot. Nilnaga medium sized spring with blue water and deep rooted weeds, may be visited. From Yusmarg short treks can be made to Chitta Pathar. Smaller mountains like Twin peaks (point of departure Chashma Shahi) and Mahadiv approximately 4000 M ( point of departure Harwan) can be climbed, including the descent by people in good condition in one day. The valley is surrounded on all sides by a chain of mountains which range from 4000 M to 5000 M, Sunset peak 4745 M, Tata Kutti 4725 M and so on.


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Doodpathri

The name "doodpathri'' means Valley of Milk. It is said that the famous saint of Kashmir Sheikh ul Aalam Sheikh Noor din Noorani has prayed here, and once when he was in search of water in the meadows,to offer prayers, he pricked the ground with his stick to search water, and milk came out, he asked the milk that you can only be used for drinking and not performing ablution.Hearing this milk at once changed its state to water and meadow got its name DOODHPATHRI.The water which is at present flowing through the meadows looks like milk from the distance,and remains very cold throughout the year.The lush green grasses over the vast meadows and silver shining stream running over the large stones further increase its beauty. Doodhpathri is sloping grassy landscapes with a diversity of multicolored flowers up to Chang. The famous Tosamaidan lies in the west of doodpathri. Doodhpathri lies in a bowl shaped valley in the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas, at an altitude of 2,730 m (8,957 ft), above sea level. It is an alpine valley covered with snow clad mountains and the meadows of Pine Fir and Deodar. The natural meadows, which are covered with snow in winter, allow the growth of wild flowers such as daisies, forget-me-nots and butter cups during spring and summer.


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Verinag

Verinag is situated at a distance of approximately 80 kms from Srinagar. Accessed through a link road, it is located at a height of 1,876 m. The Verinag spring can also be approached through the link road, which turns off, from the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway at Lower Munda. It is believed that the Verinag spring in Kashmir is the chief and venerated source of the River Jhelum. There is an octagonal base at the spring, surrounded by a covered passage. The Mughal Emperor Jehangir started the construction work on both the base as well as the arcade. It was during the reign of Emperor Shah Jahan that the work was completed. There are remains of Mughal pavilion and baths down the stream to the east. The Verinag spring, named after Nila Nag, the son of the famous Hindu sage Kashyap Rishi, to whom, goes the credit of establishing the territory of Jammu and Kashmir is one of the principal tourist attractions of a tour to Verinag. The spring, which was originally shaped in a circular form was given a change of shape during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir in 1620, when he gave orders to renovate the spring in the Mughal traditional shape of an octagon. Today, picturesque in its settings and surrounded by tall Pine trees, the Verinag spring is characterized by waters which are calm and sparklingly clear. Besides the spring, a tour to Verinag is made significantly special by the sight of several varieties of colorful flowers, gently swaying to the rhythm of the cool, mountain air. The Mughal Emperor Jehangir built an octagonal stone basin at the spring in 1612 AD. Later his son Shah Jahan laid out a beautiful garden and a pleasure house around it. The carvers for the construction of the spring were brought from Iran. The circumference of the spring is 80 m and is over 15 m deep. Verinag is reputed never to dry up or overflow.