Have you ever considered undertaking the most famous and perilous pilgrimage of Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra? The Holy Cave is where Lord Shiva’s well-known embodiment of Shivlinga manifests every Shravan month (July-August), formed out of snow. Yearly organised, the Yatra is marked by an arduous trek, the trail of which will lead you through the traditional routes of Amarnath Katha. Going through Chandanwari in Pahalgam means taking a longer route than the shorter route in Baltal in Sonamarg. As one of the most revered pilgrimage destinations, devotees set out on a journey to cover these routes to reach Baba Barfani.
Following are the places you can expect to see and even pay a visit to during Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra.
The Valley of Shepherd is famous for the adventures of trekking, camping, river rafting and more. One reaches Chandanwari, the base camp, through Pahalgam, before beginning the journey to cover the Amarnath Yatra. Besides undertaking this religious pilgrimage, you can also explore various top tourist destinations such as Aru Valley, Betaab Valley, Baisaran Valley, etc.
Sonamarg serves another way, a shorter route to reach the Holy Cave of Baba Barfani through Baltal. Home to the famous Kashmir Great Lakes Trek, The Meadow of Gold has in store Seven Alpine Lakes such as Krishansar, Vishansar, Gangabal, Satsar, Gadsar and more which you will get to reach after passing through Nichinai and Gadsar pass. The trek offers a paradisiacal view of the hilltop and recreational activities such as Camping, Angling, etc.
3. Baltal Wildlife Sanctuary
Established in 1990, Thajiwas- Baltal Wildlife Sanctuary is located approx 17 km from Sonamarg. The sanctuary is flanked by River Sindh and the snow-peaked mountains of Sonamarg. As a significant wildlife sanctuary, the prominent species found here are Hangul, Snow Leopard, Asiatic Ibex, Red Fox, Golden Jackal, Asiatic Black Bear, Long Tailed Marmot, etc.
4. Kolahoi Glacier
Visit Mount Kolahoi, where you will find the Glacial stream sourcing the River Lidder and Jhelum of the Valley. As the highest glacier in Kashmir, the journey to Kolahoi Glacier is a rewarding experience. Locals revere this glacial stream and call it the ‘Goddess of Light’. The trek to reach Kolahoi Glacier will begin from the Aru Valley, located 12.6 km from Pahalgam. Cross the Kolahoi Pass Trek, and you can’t stop yourself from marvelling at Nature’s finest creation. The best time to undertake this journey is from March to October.
5. Lidderwat Valley
Lidderwat Valley, at an elevation of 3400 m, lies 25 km from Pahalgam. To reach here, you have to start your trek from Aru Valley. The trekking expedition to Lidderwat Valley will take you to one of the most beautiful camping sites in Kashmir. You can also hire a pony if you have difficulty walking. Along this memorable trek, you will be accompanied by the River Lidder amidst the greenish meadow, ideal for campers.
A travel lover and moody chef, Surbhi loves to read & write and doodle in her free time. For her, being able to write is a blessing, and to keep at it—a work-in-progress. When not working, you can find her swimming her worries away, dancing to the beats, or filling up her bucket list to tick them off.