Pahalgam offers a retreat next to the very pretty and very Himalayan Lidder River. It’s a set of beautiful hillsides forested with tall pine trees. There are gentle walks and pony rides by the river and through the woods to luxuriant meadows and endearing valleys. Once a humble shepherd’s village (pahal shepherd, gam village), high up in the Himalayas at the confluence of two streams on the route to Amarnath, Pahalgam grew to become a popular tourist resort. Through the 70s and 80s, it was visited by hordes of pilgrims, trekkers and honeymooners. You really hadn’t seen India till you’d seen Kashmir, which really meant Gulmarg and Pahalgam. Then, the rise of militancy killed off tourism, and Pahalgam. However, with peace slowly coming back to the Valley, Pahalgam now offers rafting, golf and fishing and has regained its status as one of the most popular destinations in Jammu & Kashmir.