Category Archives: Activities

Breathtaking Baisaran & Lake Tulian (Tulyan) in Pahalgam

Baisaran and Tulian Lake
5 kms from Pahalgam is a lush meadow surrounded by hills and covered with dense vegetation. This region looks very similar to European resorts and is a good campsite.
There even have been Bollywood movies shot in Basisaran, the Kumar Gaurav starrer ‘Love Story’ 1891 ) comes to mind whose song ‘Phulon Ke Shehar me hai ghar apna’ was shot in Baisaran.
Pine forests dot this meadow which presents a picturesque view of the snow-clad mountains.
11 kms up a trek from Baisaran is Tulian or Tulyan lake – the make is mostly snow covered – other than summers – and is at an altitude of 3353m.
In recent years, there is now even a forest road to Baisaran and in summer months you could try and drive up there.

Forest Road to Baisaran
Forest Road to Baisaran
Beware that there are portions on the forest road where you may encounter a stream or two, with small boulders, and even some steep curves – so take your car on your own peril. The forest road ‘officially’ may be out of bounds for tourists – but don’t sweat over it, and just give it a try. Once you get there, you will even see some place for parking.
The drive to Baisaran can be rocky
The drive to Baisaran can be rocky

View of Pahalgam from the forest road to Baisaran
View of Pahalgam from the forest road to Baisaran

But when you are in Pahalgam, why would you even take your car up there? Usually people would make a day trip to Baisaran on pony, or just trek up there. Its one of the easiest and family friendly treks. Once in Baisaran, you can expect to find a stall or two selling snacks and soft drinks. There may even be an Indian army camp near by.
Trek up to Tulian could be another matter. Its challenging – some of the heights are tough, and there is no trek really laid out. Tulian could be covered in one day if you leave Pahalgam at dawn, and trek briskly, or just go on a pony. Or you could plan an overnight trek. Unless you have a very good sense of direction on hills and passes, its advisable to take experienced guide or go with local poly wallahs.
tulian-tulyan-lake-pahalgam-kashmir
This video (courtesy Ajay Verma) shows a breakthtaking visual story of the trek to Tulian Lake. When you trek in Pahalgam area, don’t be surprised to meet a Gujjar or Bakarwal family in the middle of nowhere. And even more, you will be welcome as their guests over a cup of tea (as seen in the video), or can ask them about the area.

Pony and labourer rates for Amarnath Yatra

Following are the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board approved rates:
(All Rates in Rupees for 2010):
I Riding/Pack Pony
– Chandanwari to Holy Cave and back 2782.5
– Baltal to Holy Cave and back 1800

II Dandy
– Chandanwari to Holy Cave and back 10500
– Baltal to Holy Cave and back 6000

III Labourer
Chandanwari to Holy Cave and back 1365
Baltal to Holy Cave and back 1000

IV Labourer with Pithoo
Chandanwari to Holy Cave and back 1470

Helicopter services for the Yatris would be available on each of the two routes viz. Baltal – Panjtarni – Baltal and Pahalgam – Panjtarni- Pahalgam. The one way heli-fare for Baltal- Panjtarni and Pahalgam-Panjtarni has been fixed at Rs. 2425/- and Rs. 3800/-, respectively. Children, between the age of 2-12 years, will be required to pay half the prices.

River Rafting in Pahalgam – 2010 Status Update

For the story on this topic from previous years and the issues involved, see here.
Rafting started in Pahalgam from April 1 onwards. There are 12 companies or agencies providing the service – so the visits should see some healthy competition working in their favor.
For the ride in the meandering waters, the starting point is Yaner, some 5 kilometers before Pahalgam. There is unfortunately no structures set up so far and people have to arrange their own means of getting to Yaner. Which could be a great opportunity for Sumo or taxi operators. Or may be slowly the rafting companies would start providing this service to take back to and fro from the rafting site.
The president of Rafting Owners Association is Muhammad Ibrahim.

Efforts on to promote winter sports, adventure tourism in Pahalgam

News Agency of Kashmir 8/27/2009 5:33:41 PM

Srinagar, Aug 27(NAK): Minister of State for Tourism and Culture, Nasir Aslam Wani replying to question of Altaf Ahmed Wani in Legislative Council said that the Department is putting its best efforts for promotion of winter sports and adventure tourism in Pahalgam. Various activities and festivals are being organized to boost the winter sports and adventure tourism in the area adding that the Department conducted Spring Festival at Pahalgam for promotion of adventure sports in Pahalgam, Para gliding was introduced during the festival besides trekking and rafting.

He said that the Commercial White Water Rafting has been introduced in a big way by involving local un-employed youth to start their ventures. This year permission for such activities has been give to 12 registered agencies to facilitate the Rafting for the enthusiastic tourists. In order to promote the sport of Rafting in Pahalgam, 2nd State Rafting Rally was organized this year by the Department. Six local Rafting teams participated in rally.

Trekking equipment like sleeping bags, tents, ruck sacks etc. are being provided to local youth and tourists on nominal charges to undertake various trekking programmes. Trekking equipment Hire shop is likely to be established at Pahalgam for benefit of trekkers.  Last year , it was proposed to hold some ski courses at Aru/Pahalgam but due to inadequate snow fall these could not be held. However, during the forthcoming winter, it is proposed to conduct winter sports activities such as snow ski and ice skating at Pahalgam.

In addition to this Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering and Winter Sports conducted various courses in adventure sports in summer as Basic and Advance Mountaineering, trekking, Rock climbing and adventure courses for youth.  The Institute a joint mountaineering expedition to Kolhoi with North East Adventure Foundation Gowhati, Assam and Jammu and Kashmir Armed Police. The expedition was flagged off on 4th August 2009 with an aim to study how to control glacier recessing taking care of flora and fauna and to clean the environment around Lidderwat-Satlanjan-Kolhoi area.

An artificial Rock climbing is being planned in the vicinity of Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering and Winter Sports at Nunwun, Pahalgam.  The Institute of Mountaineering and Winter Sports also intends to conduct winter packages in coming winter in Pahalgam subject to sufficient snow fall with the aim to carry out recee of the area for ski lifts in Baisaran and Aru, so that during coming years winter sports like skiing can be promoted in Pahalgam.

Pre-Everest Expedition to conquer Kolahai peak near Pahalgam

The first of the three pre-Everest expeditions will be undertaken ahead of the first Everest expedition from the northeast in 2011. It will be undertaken by the North East Adventure Foundation.

Nesim Akhtar, an experienced mountaineer and member of the Governing Council of the Indian Mountaineering Federation for the past 10 years, will lead the Everest expedition.

Noted mountaineer Colonel Neeraj Rana and senior journalist and experienced mountaineer Pranay Bordoloi will be the deputy leaders.

As part of the first pre-Everest expedition, a 30-member team from the region will attempt to scale the Kolahai peak in Kashmir after undergoing a training session at the Indian Army-run Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering in Pahalgam.

The final team of 15 members for the main expedition to scale Everest would be chosen from the participants at the three pre-Everest summits of which two would be undertaken this year and the third one in 2010.

Of the 25 participants for the three pre-Everest expeditions, 13 are from Assam and 12 are from other northeastern States.The team includes 14 young women from the region.

Local issue – Golf or Grazing? Or just Politics?

Prepare Pahalgam to lure tourist by way of a good Golf Course, or provide the same land so that cattle and horses can use it for grazing? This dilemma is rocking Pahalgam. Is it a really a valid local issue, or really just part of local politics? See the news coverage below, and contribute your opinion.

(Agencies) Srinagar, Jul 12  Hundreds of villagers todayprotested against the state government demanding removal of the fencing around under-construction golf course in Pahalgam tourist resort in south Kashmir.

Nearly 250 villagers assembled at the local bus stand and raised slogans against the government demanding the removal of the fencing as they use the land around the golf course for grazing their animals, official sources said.  Police tried to persuade them to disperse but when they refused, they resorted to lathi-charge and lobbed tear gas shells, the sources said.  Later the local shopkeepers also closed the market against the alleged highhandedness of police in dealing with the protesters, the sources said.    Meanwhile, a government spokesman denied the charges and claimed that the police saved PDP legislator Mohammad Rafi Mir from a furious mob which attacked his hotel in Pahalgam raising slogans against the party.

Locals turn violent over shrinking grazing lands in Pahalgam

From etalaat (Abid Gani Wani):

Pahalgam July 12: Massive protests erupted in the world famous health resort of Pahalgam in the south Kashmir’s Islamabad district on Sunday where the protestors were demanding the return of land where the government has constructed golf course three years back.

The protestors turned violent and broke windscreens of vehicles and staged a sit in near the hospital. The angry residents pelted stones on the caravan of the local MLA Mohammad Rafi Mir and also broke the window panes of Volga hotel owned by the MLA.

Local residents accused that the government has increased their worries by turning grazing land into golf course. Mohammad Amin, one of the residents told this newspaper that there is no space available for their cattle and horses to graze.

“We do not need golf course but a grazing field for our cattle and horses who are dying due to lack of fodder. The golf course will not feed the empty belly of our cattle and horses,” said Amin.

Another resident Gulzar said that most of the locals earn their livelihood by horse riding and put tjhem into the grazing lands to graze during nights.

“Now there is no place in the Pahalgam where we can put our cattle for grassing. We are passing through tough times as we have no alternative other than sell our cattle and horses due to non availability of fodder,” he said.

Six persons including five lady constables were injured when the protestors turned violent. The protestors stop the movement of vehicles and forced the shopkeepers to down their shutters.

Meanwhile police succeeded in protecting PDP MLA, Rafi Mir, when furious mob attacked his hotel and were raising slogans against him and his party.

According to Police, PSO of Mir fired from his official weapon when he realized that violent mob was advancing towards them. The mob ransacked and pelted stones on the hotel of Mir at Pahalgam.

DIG and Deputy Commissioner, Anantnag reached to Pahalgam to bring situation under control and ensure no harm was allowed to be inflicted by the protestors on Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and Mir. Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was later safely rushed back from Pahalgam.

An enquiry into the circumstances which led to firing by PSO on orders of PDP MLA while controlling the mob has been ordered.

Station house officer Pahalgam talking to this news paper said that the situation has been brought under control and traffic has restored.

Pahalgam incident, a concoction to divert attention: PDP

Etalaat News Service

Srinagar, July 12: Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that government is using its men and machinery for diverting attention from the unrest against the six months old government and was resorting to baseless stories against its political rivals.

Describing the government information department’s handout on the incident in Pahalgam as a fragment of imagination, a PDP spokesman said that that the tale about the protest being against Mufti Muhammad Sayeed was concocted only to offset the grim reality of Abdullah household having being stoned for the first time in history today.

The spokesman, in a statement issued here today, said that it was ironic that only yesterday the National Conference led government had accused PDP of engineering the trouble on the streets of Kashmir and today when some women of Pahalgam demonstrated against the government on some land compensation issue the spin doctors of beleaguered government have now tried to present it as an anti-PDP demonstration.

Giving the facts of the incident at Pahalgam, the spokesman said that some people, mostly women, of Pahalgam village were demonstrating against insufficient compensation paid to them for the land which the government had acquired some times back.

Instead of listening to them the police as usual resorted to brute force including firing in air to disperse the protestors. The protest demonstration was held in the market in Pahalgam market where PDP MLA Mr Rafi Mir owns a property, the spokesman said adding, the MLA had contacted IGP and asked him to hold his men back from using force against the protestors but the IGP Kashmir advised him to talk to SSP Anantnag on the issue. The SSP in-turn told the MLA that he would visit the spot which he never did, the statement said.

“Mufti Muhammad Sayeed at that time was more then a kilometer away from the spot with his family and there was no question of the demonstrators having raised slogans against PDP unless NC and police combined wanted them to do so”, he said.

The spokesman said that infect earlier in the day the NC workers had pelted stones on the house of NC patron Dr Farooq Abdullah on the highly guarded Gupkar Road. The incident, he said, is first of its kind in the eighty year old history of National conference and Abdullah household. It is obvious that the government and its political tools, police and information department, should have tried to find a way to divert attention of the people from this important happening.

The Pahalgam incident, he said, apparently came in handy and was twisted to suit the occasion. He suggested the government that instead of resorting to such tactics, it should focus on the mitigating the sufferings of the people

2009 National Rafting Championship at Pahalgam

Srinagar (PTI): The hill resort of Pahalgam in South Kashmir will host National Rafting Championship next month, state Tourism and Cultural Minister Nawang Rigzin Jora said on Sunday.

The championship will be held in the third week of June at Pahalgam, 100 kms from here.

He said the state government was exploring the possibility of tapping Pahalgam’s rich potential in golf and adventure tourism given its treasure of natural landscape best suited for modern tourism-related sports activities.

“Pahalgam will get certain add-on facilities to make tourism year-round activity,” Jora said during a visit to Pahalgam.

He said holding the National Rafting Championship will be a beginning in that direction.

Pahalgam, like Gulmarg, is also ideally suited for heli-skiing, which can attract more tourists, Jora said.

The minister took stock of various ongoing developmental projects in the hill resort and met representative of various tourism-related associations.

He inspected the golf course at Pahalgam, which is being upgraded to an 18-hole course at a cost of Rs. 26 crore and is spread over nearly 142 acres of land.

He said the development of golf course would be completed by the end of current financial year.

The minister said in order to provide facilities that can match the best in the world, a health club, six tourist huts and a cafeteria would be constructed in close proximity of the golf course.

Pahalgam Club, with facilities to host national and international conferences, is being constructed at a cost of Rs 12.50 crore, he said.

The officials of Pahalgam Development Authority said the basic infrastructure in Betaab Valley has been created at a cost of Rs 2.38 crore and work on sewerage project at Pahalgam is afoot. They said Rs. 20 crore is being earmarked on upgradation of tourism infrastructure in the area and Rs. 11.59 crore have already being spent for the purpose.

The minister also inspected the newly-renovated Tourist Reception Centre and Adventure Complexes, completed at a cost of Rs. one crore and directed the authorities to keep available all the facilities to the visitors.

He sought cooperation from the people associated with tourism for maintaining ecological balance and urged for awareness campaigns for banning use of non-biodegradable items like polythene at tourist destinations.

Pahalgam Phone Networks

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), J and K Circle operates its service in Pahalgam, and surrounding areas. During the times of Amarnath Yatra, telecom centres with STD/ISD facilities are operational at Chandanwari, Sheshnag, Panjtarni, holy cave of Amarnath and Baltal.
The BSNL Control Rooms at Pahalgam can be reached at (01936) 3298. The PCOs are Panjtarni, Sheshnag and holy cave of Amarnath shrine work on INMARSAT (satellite based telephone).
Airtel (private mobile operator )Services are also opertational at Pahalgam and Chandanwari.

Dialing India from Abroad

To dial the telephone and fax numbers shown from outside India, dial your international access code (check with your telecoms provider if you do not know what to dial), then 91, then the rest of the number except the 0 shown in brackets.
Area code of Pahalgam is 01936. So if you were dialling from the US, you will dial 011-91-1936-243366 (where 243366 is a local Pahalgam number).
Latest Pahalgam Telephone Directory – 2006

If you would like report a change to a phone number, or addition/deletion of an entry, please feel free to contact us

STD CODE 01936

PAHALGAM

LOCAL CODE 951936

 

FINANCE

Treasury Officer 243245

FIRE SERVICES

Fire Station 24 3222

FISHRIES

Fishries Officer 24 3246

FOREST

Range Officer 24 3350

 

PUBLIC WORKS DEPTT

XEN 243026

AE 243256

REVENUE

Tehsildar 243229

TOURISM

Project Officer 24 3049

tourist Officer 24 3224

Pahalgam Club 243285

HORTICULTURE

Sr Scientist Maiz Research Centre 243302

HOSPITALITY AND PROTOCOL

Guest House 24 3335

LOCAL BODIES

Administrator NAC 24 3263

POLICE

SSP Anantnag At Pahalgam 24 3367

PoliceStation 24 3228

B Singh Pahalgam 24 3264

BabaGhulam Mohd Pahalgam 243360

B Singh Pahalgam 243215

BakshiGhulam Ahmad Laripora 243311

Baba Mohd Afzal Pahalgam 24 3080

Bakshi Parvez Ahmad Loripora 24 3212

Bazaz Bashir Ahmad Pahalgam       24 3286

Bazaz Ghulam Rasool Pahalgam       24 3347

Bazaz Mohd Ashraf Pahalgam       24 3211

Beigh Maqsood Hussain Main Market       24 3063

Bhat Abdul Gani Pahalgam       24 3064

Bhat Abdul Gani Pahalgam Lodge       24 3348

BhatAbdulKhaliq MainChowk       24 3056

Bhat Abdul Majid Ganeshbal       24 3320

Bhat Abdul Rahim Ganishbal       24 3387

BhatAbdul Rashld Pahalgam       24 3279

Bhat Abdul Salam Pahalgam       24 3053

Bhat AJi Mohd Ganshibal       24 3201

BhatAji Mohd Pahalgam       24 3059

Bhat Arte EmporiumjPahalgarn       24 3351

Bhat Bashir Ahmad Laripora       24 3069

Bhat Bilal Ahmad Pahalgam       24 3028

BhatfayazAhmadiPahal|am       24 3271

Bhat Ghulam Hassan Loripora       24 3343

m Mohi Ud Din Loripora       24 3342

n Nabi Ganshibal       24 3216

BhatMohdlqbaJ Pahalpm       24 3217

Bhat Mohd jamaJ Loripora       24 3236

BhatMushteqAhmad Pahalgam       24 3054

Bhat Rafiq Ahmad Pahalpam       24 3060

Bhat RiyazAhmad Main Bazar       24 3088

BhatTariqAhmad Pahalgam       24 3341

BurzaDr MasoodAhmad ChoperHuts       24 3304

Burza Javid Bashir Mountview Hotel       24 3321

Burza MushtaqAhmad Mamal       24 3210

Burza Mushtaq Ahmad Pahalgam       243219

Dagga Readymade Dress Pahalgam       24 3214

DarAbdulMajidjNearLaJKothi       24 3218

Dar Abdul Rashid Pahalgam       24 3241

DarKhazirMohd Pahalgam       24 3082

DeenFarhat Abbas Pahalgam       24 3289

DurfabSngh Main Bazar       24 3346

Ganai Ghulam Nabi Pahalgam       24 3251

Gana Mofid 5hafl Pahai|pm       24 3231

MohdYasin NearRegal Hotel       24 3065

a Purnibal v       1 24 3344

MohdYousuf Pahalgam       24 3272

Goodlude Hotd ahalpm       24 3282

GutttHduMr plttllty ProtQcol Pahalga     m 24 5335

Gu]n Dr ri ra       24 3384

Hajam Mehraj Ud DlniPahalgam       24 3392

Hajam Mohd Ramzan Pahalgam       24 3296

Haji Abdul AziZ New Plaza       243106

Haji Abdul MajidRaina Loripora       24 3255

Hakeem Ghulam Hassan Laripora       24 3072

Hakeem Mohd Ashraf Main Market       24 3078

Heewan Hotel Mamal       243303

Ice Rock Hotel Pahalgam       24 3280

Imtiyaz Bashir Loripora       24 3363

lshratjeelani Pahalgam       24 3337

J&KBank Pahalgam      24 3248

J&KSrtcMgr PahaJgam       24 3269

Jagjeet Sing PahaJgam      24 3242

Jan Asif Laripora      24 3306

joo Nissar AII Pahalram       24 3382

Khalsa HoteJ Pahalpm       24 3227

Khan PikJarAhm d Pahalpm       24 3276

Khan MohdYaqoeb Pahalgam       24 3277

iohdYaqoob PahaJgam       24 3244

lobdYaqoob Pahalgam       24 3233

Khan Mohd Yousuf PahaJgam       24 3275

Khan MuMffar Ahmad Pahalgam       24 3281

Khan NazirAhmad Circuit House       24 3310

Khan Rouf Ul RahmanjPahalgam       24 3361

KhanZahodrAhmad Pahalgarn       24 3278

Khanday Ghulam Hassan Main Bazar       24 3086

Khanday Ghulam Hassan Pahalgam       24 3328

Khanday Mohd Ashraf Pahalgam       24 3291

Kumar Abdul Ahad Laripora       24 3386

Laway Abdul Rahman Pahalgam       24 3284

Lolu Mohd Latief Pahalgam       24 3087

LoneAli Mohd Chandanwari Road       24 3061

Lone Ghulam Hassan Loripora       24 3339 24 3226

Lone Ghulam Mohd Pahalgam       243254

Lone Ghulam Rasool Paha!gam       24 3290

Lone Mohd Hafeez KP Road       24 3058

Lone Mohd Yousuf Pahalgam       243359

Lone Mohd Yousuf Pahalgam       24 3076

Lone Nissar Ahmad Paha!gam       24 3052

LoneShabir Ahmad Purneema Hotel      1 24 3077

Magray Farooq Ahmad Ganshibal       24 3209

Magray Ghulam Qadir PahaJgam v       243357

Magray Ghulam Rasool Ganishbal !       24 3377

Magray MohdJabbanGaneshbal       243107

Malik Ghulam Hassan Laripora       24 3075

Malik Ghulam Mohd Laripora       243240

      24 3091

Malik Mohd Afzal Paha!gam       24 3309

Malik Rahim Alam Laripora       24 3204

Mansion Hotel Pahalgam i       24 3356

Mian Sarvat Nayeem Laripora       24 3307

Mir Abdul RazakjMadlan       24 3345

Mir Abdul Salam Loripora fJ       24 3358

      24 3253

Mir Ghulam Hassan Pahalgam       24 3027

Mir Mohd Rafiq Volga Lodge       24 3292

Mir Mohd Ramzan Pahalgam       24 3050

Mir ShahzadaAkhtar Laripora       24 3370

MirzaNassirAli Aksa Lodge       24 3349

Mount View Hotel Pahalgam       24 3221

Nadaf Mohd Shaft Pahalgam       24 3205

Naik Mohd Jsmail Main Road       24 3203

Naik Mohd Ramzan Grand View Hotel       24 3273

Naik Zubair Ahmad Pahalgam       24 3329

      24 3074

Naqash Mohd lqbal Pahalgam       24 3123

Narchoor Nissar Ahmad Pahalgam       24 3247

Narrtnder Singh Pahalgarrv       243267

       24 3225

      24 3301

      24 3084

      24 3293

      243252

Paharwan Asif Iqbal Pahalgam       24 3366

Pala BasWrAhmad Pahalgam       243230

Pandit Abdul Aziz Aru Road       24 3325

ParraBHalAhmad Pahafgam       243093

Parray Mukhtar Ahmad Pahalgam       24 3266

Parray Nayeem Nissar Pahalgam       24 3066

Paul Abid Hussain Laripora       24 3334

Peer Abdul Khaliq Rather Laripora       24 3073

Peer Manzoor Ahmad Hotel Excelent       24 3313

Plaza Hotel Pahalgam       24 3250

Plaza Hotel Pahalgam       243239

Qadri Sajad Hussain Pahalgam       24 3071

RafiUdDin HotelManison       24 3354

Raina Abdul Aziz Laripora       24 3067

Raina Ali Mohd Laripora S       24 3369

Raina Ghulam Nabi Loripora       24 3262

Raj Mehal Hotel Pahalgam       24 3261

Rather Mushtaq Ahmad Gunsibal       24 3068

      243206

Reshi RiyazAhmad PahaJgam       4 24 3340

      24 3250

Royaf Telecom Pahalgam       243083

Sajad Hussain Hotel Pine View       24 3102

Sasan Budha Singh PahaJgam       24 3234

Shabnam KausanPahalgam       24 3315

Shah Ali Mohd Pahalgam       24 3097

Shah Bashir Ahmad Near Petrol Pump       24 3324

Shahjavid Iqbal Loripora       v 24 3265

      24 3338

      24 3079

Shahji Hafeez Bus Stand       24 3385

Shahji Hafeez Pahalgam       24 3085

Sheikh Abdul Rahman Pahalgam       24 3330

      24 3208

Sheikh Ghulam Mohi Ud Din      

Chandanwari Road       24 3055

Sheikh Ghulam Mohi Ud Din       24 3333     

      24 3365     

Sheikh Manzoor Ahmad Pahalgam       24 3352     

Sheikh MohdlamaJ Pahalgarh       24 3070     

     24 3237 24 3202      

      24 3274     

Sr MgrJ&KTdcPanalgam       24 3306     

State Bank Of India MgrPahalgam       24 3297f     

Syed Iqba! KashanrPahalgam       24 308      

Teli Gul Mohd Pahalgam ? ~      24 3220 1 24 3321     

Tlckoo Mohan Lal Paha!gam       24 3294     

TuryAli Mohd Pahalgam       24 320|§     

Vij Rohit Main Bazar Pahalgam ~ i       24 3366     

Wagay Abdul Rahman Pahalgam       I 24 320H     

Wali Mehraj Ud Din Behts Lodge      24 3241 I     

Wani Abdul Rashid Pahalgam       24 32 H 24 32j||     

Wani Ghulam Mohd Bus Stand       24 321 1 24 333|| r 24 30 24 3M 24 30 !     

Wani Irshad Ahmad Wanijavid All mad Pahalgam      2430 1 24 33711     

Wani Manzoor Ahmad Pahalgam       24 30111     

Wani Manzoor AhmadjPahalgam       24 30 fl     

Wani Mohd Amin Pahalgam       24 305 1 J     

Wood Stock Hotel Pahalgam      24 33ij 24 33iSl 24 32$ I     

7an x Muzaffar AbmadjMamal       24 3l f     

stdpco          

Bhat Mushteq Ahmad Pahatgam      24 331 24 31

BhatTariq Ahmad Shanrisip6ra      24 31 24 3J|

Syed Mobd ismail KashanijPahalgam TuryAli Mohd Pahalgarn      24 3 24 m 24 m 24 3| 24 31 24{a 24 JJg

Wagay Ghufam Qadir Pahalgam 24 jfl CENTRAL GOVT BHARAT SANCHAR NIGAM LTD     

BORDER SECURITY FORCE DIG L J U      24 9i 24ffl

Gomdt 58 Bn       249

Gomdt 11 Bn f       24 ill

tENTRAL RESERVE POLICE FORcfl Comdtl i Bn 248     

DEFENCE METROLOGICAL CENTRE Dir Pahalgarn      2im 24W )A id

STATE GOVT ELECTRICITY XEN Mini Hyde! Project       hMI

 

 

 

 

Here is the telephone directory for Anantnag district which has important Pahalgam numbers as well:

                                     Telephone Directory (STD Code:01932)

         <Dy. Commissioner’s Office> <Tehsildars> <Engineering Sector> <Local Bodies

         <Rural Development> <Social Services> <Accounts & Treasuries>   <Education>

      <Forest> <Medical> <Tourism/Hotels> <Courts/Judiciary> <Information/Journalists>

                 <Fire Services> <Police> <Security Forces> <Army> <MP/MLAs>

DC/DM/DDC Office, Anantnag

S.No    

Name with    Designation.

Office

Residence

1

Sh. Shailendra Kumar, I.A.S

Deputy Commissioner Ang

 222337

Fax-223164

222335

222498

2

Sh. Sheikh Gh. Rasool

Addl. Dy. Commissioner -I

222873

2436128

3

Sh. Lateef Ahmad Deva

Addl. Dy. Commissioner – II  

Chief Executive Officer, PDA

224991 (Ang)

951936-243049

(Pahalgam)

222450 (Ang)

2310734 (Sgr)

4

Asstt. Commissioner (R )

 

 

5

Sh. M. Ismail

Chief Planning Officer

223042

226176

6

Sh. Jan Mubarik Ahmad

Distt. Informatics Officer (NIC)

223539

225378

 

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SDM/Tehsildars

S.No

Name with Designation

Office

Residence

1

Sh. Afroz Ahmad Beigh SDM Kulgam

260388

224359

2

Sh. Gh. Mohd. Bohru
Tehsildar (T), Kulgam

260382

 

3

Sh. Assadullah Wani

Tehsildar (T), Anantnag

223468

 

4

Sh. G.M.Ashti

Tehsildar Dooru

 230223

 

5

Sh. Gh. Hassan Dar

Tehsildar (T), Bijbehara

234381  

 

6

Sh.  Altaf Ahmad Khan,

Tehsildar (T), Pahalgam

925-243229

224423

7

Sh. Mushtaq Ahmad Beigh

Tehsildar (AR), Qazigund

 

 223309

8 Sh. Ab. Rehman,

Tehsildar (AR), Kokernag

   

 9

 Sh. Khurshed Ahmad Dar,
Tehsildar (AR), Sallar

 

 

10 Sh. Ab. Rashid Rather,

Tehsildat (S), Kulgam

260382  

 11

 Sh. B.A.Khan,

Head Quarter Asstt., DC Office Anantnag.

 

 

       
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Engineering Sector

S.No Name with Designation Office Residence

1

Sh. A.R.Bulbul
Supdtg.Engineer (R&B) Ang.

223140

 223140 (R-Ang)

………….(R-Sgr)

2

Mr. Nazim  S.E.  Hydraulic Ang.

224503

2466187 (Srinagar)

3

S.E.Electric Bijbehara

234397

2438444 (Srinagar)

4

XEN Electric Div Anantnag

222228

 

5

Manzoor Ahmad Salroo

XEN, UEED Anantnag

234037

 

6

Ab. Rashid Wani

AEE Dooru Electric Sub. Div.

223039

 

7

Aejaz Noor Ahmad

AE & Tech. Officer with XEN Electric Ang

 

2310306

8

Mohd Khalil Ahanger

AE Achabal Sub-Div (Electric)

237157

 

9

Mushtaq Ahmad Shah

AE Ang. Sub Div. (Electric)

223755

 

10

Wasim Sajad

JE Town,Mattan, Anchidora

 

223551

11

Sh. M.M.Sharief

XEN Electric Bijbehara

234398

2422677

12

Sheikh Mohd. Hussain

XEN R&B Div. Khanabal

222221

223500  

222221

13

XEN Electric, Kulgam

 

 

14

XEN R&B Div. Qazigund

235363

 

15

Sh. Bashir Ahmad Thoker

XEN R&B Div. Vailoo

 

2434940

16

Sh. Bashir Ahmad Bhat

XEN R&B Div.  Kulgam

 

237332

223190

17

Peerzada Affaq Ahmad

AEE R&B Kulgam

 

2402756 (Srinagar)
225408 (PP Ang)

18

Raj Mohd. Khan

AEE R&B Kulgam

 

237078 (Ang)

19  
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Syed Altaf Ahmad

JE R&B Kulgam

 

222162  (Ang)

20

Ab. Rashid Wani

AAO R&B Kulgam

 

260106 (Kulgam)

21

Sh. M.A.Fazli

XEN PHE Qazigund

 

2425756 (Sgr)

22

Sh. G.M.Wani

XEN PHE  Bijbehara

234230

222683

23

Sh.F.A.Shah 
XEN Irrigation Anantnag

223273

 

24

Sh. G.R.Shah

XEN Irrigation Kulgam

234267

2422670

25

Sh. G.R.Sheikh

XEN Flood Control Ang.

 

224121

26

Sh. Manzoor Ahmad Reshi

XEN Mech. Awantipora

 

2467071

27

Sh. Fida Hussain Dar

AEE (South) UEED

2457617

2433191

28

XEN UEED Srinagar

2474844

 

29

SE UEED Srinagar

2479444 /2474844

2431953/2430343

30

Sh. Ishtiyaq Ahmad Malik

AEE R&B Sub-Div., Anantnag

 

2433182  (Sgr)

31

Akhtar Hussain

AEE R&B Sub.Div.,SEER

  243026

222810 (Ang.)

32

Mohd. Iqbal Mir

Bijbehara R&B Sub. Division

 

2428302 (Sgr.)

33

Farooq Ahmad Mantoo

AE R&B Sub Div., Anantnag

 

 

34

Muzaffar Hussain

AE R&B Sub Div., Seer

 

 

35

Shabir Ahmad Vaid

Tech. Officer to SE,Anantnag

 

2437531

36  
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Mohd. Aslam Baba

AE R&B Sub Div., Vailoo

 

 

37

Muzaffar Ahmad Dada

AE R&B Sub Div., Qazigund

 

 

38

Sh. Sheikh. Gh. Rasool

AEE R&B Qazigund (Dooru)

 

2459821 (Sgr)

39

Nazir Ahmad Tak AEE R&B

Sub. Div., Qazigund.

 

2435564

(Sgr)

40

Mohd. Yousf Mir AEE R&B Sub Div Vailo (Achabal)

 

2425037

41 Gh. Nabi Dhobi JE

R&B Div. Anantnag

  222079

41

ELECTRIC MAINTENANANCE (SARNAL)

222228/222820

 

42

WANPOH GRID STATION

222496

 

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TOWN AREA/LOCAL BODIES

S.No

Name with Designation

Office

Residence

01

Administrator Town Area Ang

224991

224991

02

XEN Local Bodies

2455094

 

03

XEN Pahalgam Dev. Authority.

243049

222191

04

XEN Local Bodies Srinagar

2455094

2432453

05

NAC Pahalgam

243263

 

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RURAL DEVELOPMENT

S.No

Name with Designation

Office

Residence

01

Director Rural Development Kashmir

2310471

2311639/2432508

2310471 (Sgr.) 
2464146 (Jammu)

02

Sh. Jaipal Singh

Asstt. Commissioner (Dev) Ang

223593

222942

03

Mohd. Amin Distt Panchayat Officer Anantnag

223593

951933-250270

04

Sh. A.H. Kantroo

Project Officer, DRDA Ang.

224491

951933-250219

05

Farooq Ahmad

XEN Rural Engg. Wing Anantnag

 

 

06

Mohd. Ashraf Dejo,BDO Achabal

241221

 

07

Mohd. Yousf Ganie

BDO Breng Kokernag

 

37112

08

Manzoor Ahmad Sofi

BDO Dachnipora

 

 

09

Gh. Nabi Bhat, BDO DH Pora

 

 

10

BDO Kovripora, Mattan

 

 

11

Bashir Ahmad, BDO Kulgam

 

 

12

Ab. Hamid Wani, BDO Qaimoh

 

224822

13

G.M.Gulzar, BDO Qazigund

 

225800

14

Mohd. Saleem, BDO Shahabad

 

223979

15

Sh. G.Q.Zargar,BDO Shangus

 

 

16

G.M.Gulzar, BDO Devsar

 

 

17

M.Jahangir Khanday, BDO Pahloo

 

 

18  
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BDO Head Quarter

 

 

19

Hakeem Ab. Majeed ,AE Qazigund

 

2451714

20

Reyaz-ul Haq,AEE Kulgam/Qaimoh

 

2462620

21

Nazir Ahmad Parrey,

AE Achabal/Shahabad

 

2475183

22

Showkat Ali Khan, AE Shangus

 

 

23

Farooq Ahmad Ganai, AE Kohripora

 

230347

24

Reyaz Ahmad Dhobi,

AE Dachnipora

 

 

25

Alyas Soharwardi,AE DH Pora

 

 

26

Bashir Ahmad Bhat,AE Breng

 

 

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SOCIAL SERVICES

S.No

Name with Designation

Office

Residence

01

Sh. Masoodul Hassan

Distt. Social Welfare  Officer

 

2400137

02

Gh. Mohd. Masood

Programme Officer ICDS Ang.

223078

 

03

M.Y.Akhoon,

 Deputy Director Employment Ang.

22220

490590

04

Sh. Mohd. Amin Bhat

General Manager D.I.C.Ang.

222504

2432760

05

Hafizullah Parray

Chief Horticulture Officer Ang.

223041

223541

06

Ali Mohd.Mir,

 Joint  Director Sericulture Ang.

222301

490089

07

M.S.Zaboo,

 Chief Agriculture Officer Ang.

223201

951933- 250015

08

Dr. A.M.Reshi

Chief Animal Husb. Officer Anantnag.

223054

951933-
250031

09

Dr. B.A. Hakeem Distt. Sheep Husb. Officer Ang.

222542

2434167

10

Sh. M.H.Chisti

AD Handicrafts Ang.

 

2402091

11

Ab.N.H.Wani

AD Handloom Ang.

223636

  225122

12

G.N.Gazi

AD Fishries Anantnag.

222541

2462179

13

M.S.Khateeb

Dy.  Registrar  Coop. Ang.

222513

222709

14

Assistant Labour Comm. Ang.

222571

15

A.D. Food & Supplies

222951

225237

16

Ab.Aziz. 

Assistant Controller W&M Anantnag.

261137

17

Ab. Rashid Wazir

Area Marketting Officer, Batengoo Ang.

222120

 

18

Director CENSUS Operations,

Srinagar

2479472,2477022

 

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ACCOUNTS/TREASURY AND BANKS

S.No

Name with Designation

Office

Residence

01

Distt. Treasury Officer Ang.

222992

 

02

Distt. Fund Officer Ang.

 

 

03

Treasury Pahalgam

243245

 

04

Tehsil Treasury Officer,Kulgam(AO)

 

 

05

Treasury Officer (AAO)

DH Pora

 

 

06

The. Treasury Officer/AO Bijbehara

 

 

07

Tehsil Treasury Officer/AO Dooru

 

 

08

Treasury Officer/AO Qazigund

 

 

09

Treasury Officer/AAO Shangus

 

 

10

Treasury Officer/AAO Kokernag

 

 

11

Distt. Manager JK Bank Ang.

222440

2438976

12

Lead Bank Officer Anantnag

 

 

13

Manager SBI (Main) Ang

222380

 

14

Manager SBI (ADB) Ang

222213

 

15

Manager PNB Ang.

222407

 

16

Manager PNB Kulgam

260228

 

17

General Manager/ Distt. Manager Cooperative Bank Ang.

222240

223475 (FAX)

 

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EDUCATION

S.No

Name with Designation

Office

Residence

01

Sh. Chirag-Din,

Chief Education Officer, Ang.

223525

  2473605

(Sgr) 

02

Sh. Khurshid Ahmad Reshi

Distt. Educational Planning Officer

223525

222163,225037

02

 Distt. Youth Services & Sports Officer Ang.

223472

234075

03

Principal Govt. Degree

College, (Boys), Anantnag

222308

 

04

Principal Degree College (Women), Anantnag

 

 

05

IGNOU Study Centre, Anantnag

223591

 

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FOREST

S.No

Name with Designation

Office

Residence

01

Mr. Ab. Salam Bhat

DFO Anantnag.

223292

224360

Yaripora

 02

Mir Mushtaq Hussain

DFO  Social Forestry Ang.

224228

224200

03

Sh. Kirmani

DFO Lidder Bijbehara.

234284

2425496

04

Conservator Forests, South Circle, Bijbehara.

234384

 

05

G.H.Bhat. Distt.officer Soil Conservation Ang.

234014

2435612

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MEDICAL

S.No

Name with Designation

Office

Residence

 01

Dr. Mir Mohd. Yousf ,   

CMO Anantnag

222255

222534,235369

02

Dr. Gh. Rasool Padder

Medical Supdt. Anantnag

222170

222889

223993

03

Dr.Masood Ahmad ADMO Anantnag

04

Dy. CMO Anantnag

222255

2432879

05

Distt. Health Officer

222255

224140

06

Distt. Immunization Officer

222255

223623

07

Civil Hospital Pahalgam Ang

243232

 

08

DTO Anantnag

225875

224094

09

 BMO Achabal

241325

 

10

BMO Bijbehara

234063

 

11

Medical Supdt. Dooru

230014

223206

12

BMO Kulgam

260112

260312

13

BMO Mattan

237262

237260

14

BMO Qazigund

235098

2222122

15

BMO Qaimoh

 

224562

16

BMO Shangus

 

 

17

BMO Sallar

 

222679

18

BMO Verinag

230349

224562

19

BMO Yaripoar

 

2432879

20

BMO DH Pora Pora

 

 

21

BMO Larnoo

 

223595

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TOURISM/HOTELS

S.No

Name with Designation

Office

Residence

01

Sh. Rouf Ahmad Shah

JKTDC Manager (Pahalgam Club)

243285, 243308

243308

02

Tourist Officer, Pahalgam

243229

 

03

Hotel Plaza, Khanabal

 

 

04

Hotel Standard, Anantnag

222556

 

05

Hotel Four Bhai

 

 

06

Hotel Maraz

224693

 

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JUDICIARY/COURTS

S.No

Name with Designation

Office

Residence

01

Mrs. Gousia Nisa,  Principal  Distt. & Session Judge Anantnag

222327

222340

02

C. J. M. Anantnag

223058

 

03

Sub Judge Bijbehara

234010

 

04

Sub Judge Kulgam

260240

 

05

Munsif Kulgam

 

223176

06

Sub Judge Vailoo

 

2433547

07

Munsif DH Pora

 

241227

08

Munsif Shangus

 

224526

09

Munsif Dooru

230241

 

10

Munsif Anantnag

 

224202

11

Mobile Magistrate Anantnag

 

224541

12

Munsif Aishmuqam

241223

 

13

Mr. Khateeb,

President Bar Association Ang.

 

 

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INFORMATION, JOURNALISTS AND BSNL

S.No

Name with Designation

Office

Residence

01

Sh. Gulzar Ahmad Dar
Distt. Information Officer Ang.

222326

 

02

Mr. Maqbool Veeri

Journalist (SHAIRBEEN)

 

223896

03

Rao Farman Ali

(On the TRACK)

225172

234468

04

Mr. Qayoom Malik

Journalist (ALSAFA)

 

224671

05

Mr. Bilal Khan

Journalist

 

224579

06

Ab. Salaam Malik

Journalist (GREATER Kashmir)

 

234600

07

S.D.O. Phones

222387

222387

08

Div. Engineer BSNL Anantnag

222985

222444

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FIRE SERVICES

S.No

Name with Designation

Office

Residence

01

Dy. Director  Fire Services Anantnag

222443

 

02

Fire Station Anantnag

222822,222101

 

03

Fire Station Bijbehara

234222,234101

 

04

Fire Station Qazigund

235222

 

05

Fire Station Kulgam

260222

 

06

Fire Station Achabal

241222

 

07

Fire Station Dooru

230222

 

08

Fire Station Pahalgam

243222

 

09

Fire Post Aishmuqam

241222

 

10

Fire Post Shangus

 

 

11

Fire Post Kokernag

 

 

12

Fire Post Yaripora

 

 

13

Fire Post Salar

 

 

14

Fire Post Seer Hamdan

 

 

15

Fire Post D.H.Pora

 

 

16

Fire Station D.K.Marg

 

 

17

Fire Station Kawarigam

 

 

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POLICE/SECURITY FORCES

S.No

Name with Designation

Office

Residence

01

DIG SK Anantnag

222661/301 222136

222467/ 401 222136

02

SSP Anantnag

222836/304

222271 (fax)

222411/ 404
222271

03

C.O. IRP

222298/305

222298/405

04

S.P. Operations Anantnag

223959

222856 /406

05

Dy. CO IRP

307

307

06

DY. SP HQRS.

222869/308

222869/408

07

DY. SP T/C

222432/309

 

08

DY. SP DAR ANG.

310

410

09

DY. SP HQ. Telecom.

2475641/411

311

10

DY. SP CID ANG

222684/312

312

11

DY. SP AUX.

313

413

12

SO TO DIG ANG.

314

13

DY. SP 5TH BN.

315

315

14

DY. SP IRP

316

316

15

DY.SP OPS.

222924/329

317

16

CO IRP 3rd.

222298/305

224869/405

17  
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Police Control Room Anantnag

222870/100

100/300 PNT

18

Police Exchange Anantnag

222432/90/103

 

19

GOS MESS

320

 

20

DRO Anantnag

222432/321

421

21

Dy. SP HGs

 

225200/413

21

MTO Anantnag

322

322

22

MHC DPL ANG.

323

323

23

SIG. CENTRE

324

424

24

MAIN GATE

326

 

25

PA TO SSP Anantnag

304

428

26

JIC Anantnag

222924/329

 

27

CPO Anantnag

331

 

28

PP BUS STAND

332

 

29

INSPR. SOG

329

430

30

SP Kulgam

260253

260202

31

SDPO Kulgam

260303

 

32

SHO Kulgam

260221

 

33

Wireless Kulgam

914260160

 

34

Wireless  Awantipora

926247276

 

35

Wireless Pulwama

926241210

 

36

SHO Anantnag

222866/327

222866/327

37

PP Sherbagh

333

 

38

SHO Achabal

220221

 

39

SDPO Bijbehara

234276

234276

40

SHO Bijbehara

234221/234100

234221

41

SHO Dooru

230221

 

42

P/S Mattan

237221/237100

237221

43

SHO Pahalgam

243228

243228

44

SHO Qazigund

914235221

 

45

PCR Pahalgam

23344

 

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ARMY

S.No

Name with Designation

Office

Residence

 01

BRIG. ARMY

223547/302

223547/302

 02

GOC Victor Force HQ Awantipora

247277

 

 03

Army Exchange Ist. Sector RR

223473

 

 04

Comdr. Ist Sector RR

223547

 

 05

G-2 Ops. Ist. Sector RR

223988/318

318

 06

GO & RR Khundroo

241224

 

 07

CO 36 RR Larkipora

223509,223591

 

 08

CO 3 RR High Ground

223440

 

 09

DC IB Anantnag

224900

 

 10

MI HQ Ist. Sector RR

223522

 

 11

Comdr. 2 Sector RR

238309

 

 12

Army Excg. 2 Sector RR

235308

 

 13

CO 9 RR

235300

 

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BSF/ITBP/CRPF

S.No

Name with Designation

Office

Residence

 01

DIG BSF HQ Anantnag

222019

 

 02

BSF Exchange Khanabal

222019

 

 03

DC Ops. BSF SHQ

222143

 

 04

DIG ITBP Bijbehara

234045

 

 05

ITBP Exchange Bijbehara

234003

 

 06

CO 9th BN ITBP Bijbehara

234001

 

 07

CO 10th BN ITBP Verinag

230204

 

 08

DIG CRPF OPs.  Awantipora

247059

247056

 09

CO 9th BN CRPF

224237,224189

 

 10

CO 11th BN CRPF

223146

 

 11

CO 98 BN CRPF

223342

 

 12

CO IRP III BN

222289

 

 13

CRPF Control Room Kulgam

951931-260207

 

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MP/MLAs/MLCs

S.No

Name with Designation

Office

Residence

01

Sh. Mufti Mohd. Syed,

Hon’ble Chief Minister J&K  

2482099 (Srinagar)

2452228 (Srinagar)

2452224 (FX)

2438580

2431027 (Sgr)

2545888(Jmu)

02

Sh. Ali Mohd Naik

Hon’ble MP Anantnag

560016 (Jammu) 3782639 (Delhi)

03

Sh. Ab. Aziz Zargar, Hon’ble Minister for Agriculture & Cooperative/ MLA Noorabad

2544926 (Jammu)

2571417 (Jammu)

2479005 (Srinagar)

2549690 (Jmu)

04

Sh. Mohd. Yousf Tarigami

MLA Kulgam/State Secretary CPM

2430611  (Srinagar)

2430079   (Jammu)

05

Sh. Ab.Gafar Sofi MLA HS Bugh & MOS Health

2482318 (Srinagar)

2579951 (Jammu)

224207 (Ang)
222514 (Ang)

2584449 (Jmu)

06

Sh. Mohd. Sartaj Madni

MLA Devsar

 

231364

07

Sh. Dr. Mehboob Beigh

MLA Anantnag

225850 (Ang.)
2452336 (Sgr.)

2433610

(Jammu)

08

Sh. Ab. Rehman Veeri

MLA Bijbehara & MOS Works

2479433 (Sgr.)

2549674(Jmu)

223849 (Ang)

2546458 (Jmu)

09

Smt. Mehbooba Mufti

MLA Pahalgam & PDP President

2545888 (Jammu)

2431027 (Srinagar)

10

Sh. Peer Mohd. Hussain

MLA Shangus

2434221 (Srinagar)

2434422 (Jammu)

11

Sh. Gh. Amad Mir MLA Dooru 

& MOS Tourism

2479478 (Sgr.)

2549664 (Jmu)

225007 (Ang)

2476471(Sgr)

2554968(J mu)

12

Sh. Peerzada Mohd. Syed,

MLA Kokernag & Minister for Rural Development

2549681(Jmu)

2455216 (Sgr)

2433329 (Sgr) 

2475647 (Sgr)
2549693 (Jmu)

13

Sh. Ch. Nizam-u-Din MLC

223581

 

14

Sh. Ab. Rashid Dar  MLC & Chairman  Legislative Assembly.

222202 /2542031 (Jammu-Office)

2544750(Jammu-residence)

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The latest copy of this list can be obtained at http://anantnag.nic.in/telephone.htm

After a trek to Kolahai in Pahalgam, a group declares return of normalcy in Kashmir

There would be nothing better than a sign of normalcy returning to Kashmir than normal tourists thronging to remote secluded trekking routes. Its beginning to happen. Makes me remember my trek to Kolahai in 1988  – and the area was declared out of bounds next year, especially since the episode of kidnap of foreign tourists in the Aru area.
Anyhow, this is an interesting update on the status of trekking in Kashmir valley, from Tehelka Magazine, Vol 5, Issue 22, Dated June 07, 2008:
TOUR OPERATOR Tahseen Ahmad Wani is glad he went with what, till recently, was only a marginal, almost unthinkable trend in Jammu and Kashmir. Following an increase in requests for trekking gear over the past few years, he decided to venture into renting out adventure sports gear to tourist groups, and set up shop in Srinagar, followed by a branch in Pahalgam. This year, with the state tourism department planning to throw open all J&K’s trekking routes, Wani is looking forward to seeing his acumen rewarded with an unprecedented surge of foreign and domestic visitors.
Tourism has been making a marked comeback to the state after an insurgency-beleaguered hiatus of over a decade and a half. Closed “unofficially” since the early 1990s, trails to such destinations as Kolahai, Tattakuti and Gangabal have been off-limits for 18 years. Once a staple of the state’s economy, the hospitality industry was among the first and worst casualties of militancy, whose outbreak caused tourist inflows to plummet virtually overnight. Where nearly 5 lakh domestic tourists visited J&K in 1989, their numbers had crashed to less than 7,000 a year later; foreign tourists also stayed away, with visitors decreasing from 67,762 in 1989 to 4,627 in 1990.
Hopes now are riding high, following two straight years of record tourist figures: 4,32,888 in 2006 (4,12,879 of them domestic and 20,009 foreign) rising to 4,41,840 in 2007 (with 4,17,264 Indians and 24,576 foreigners). Exults Wani, “If the tourism department manages to sell our trekking destinations properly, both within as well as outside the country, we’re sure to make a fortune in this business.” That the government is not blind to the advantages of reviving traditional trekking and mountaineering routes is evident from its busy organising of food festivals and conferences both domestically and internationally to hardsell Kashmir as a trekker’s paradise. “We have some of the most famous peaks in the world,” says Sarmad Hafeez, joint director, tourism, “and if we’re going to bring the tourists back, we have to keep experimenting to offer them something new”. Pointing to the trekking goods rental shops the department has set up en route to key peaks, he says the state is now ready to host any mountaineering event, with all facilities available at nominal charges. The state even has plans to develop new areas along the Line of Control at an estimated cost of Rs 3.5 crore; Gurais, Tulel and Bangus are said to be ready for tourists this year itself.
Further contributing to the diminished threat perception over the Valley was a visit in May from the Mountain Access and Conservation Commission of the International Union of Alpine Associations. Returning from a trek to Kolahai in Pahalgam, the six-member group was pleased to declare that the various travel advisories against Kashmir issued all over the world no longer hold good. Another validation of the state’s efforts to restore normalcy came from the Indian Mountaineering Federation (IMF), which held its Golden Jubilee celebrations in Srinagar. Well-known trekkers and mountaineers from across the country attended the function and visited Pahalgam and Gulmarg. Among them was ace mountaineer Rajeev Sharma, an Everest veteran who scaled the peak in 1993, and trekked in Kashmir several times in the 1980s. He says he’s excited by what he saw here this year. “The state has extensive adventure possibilities to offer. There are hundreds of unnamed and unclimbed peaks in the Pir Panjal range,” he told TEHELKA, adding, however, that he has his sights set on the East Karakoram range and Siachen. Both are among the places still under home ministry embargo, and need Army permission to access them, an authorisation often hard to come by.
WHILEUNION Sports Minister MS Gill promised to take the matter up with the home minister, security officials warn of the possibilities of cross-border infiltration and militant attacks, not to speak of tourist abductions. Of the last, Kashmir has had only a single instance, going back to July 1995 when five foreign tourists were kidnapped from Aru in Pahalgam by a little-known militant outfit, Al- Faran. One of those abducted was subsequently found beheaded near Anantnag; the fate of the others is still not known. Though the incident provoked an unofficial ban on the movement of tourists in rural areas and on trekking routes, with visitors required to limit their movements to Srinagar city, this incident was the only one of its kind and saw no repeats.
During the 1980s, J&K was foremost among the country’s trekking destinations. Famous treks like Lidderwat-Kolahai, Kishensar-Gangabal and the walk from Aharbal to Kounsarnag lake were frequented by mountain enthusiasts in hundreds. Apart from such favourite climbs as Haramukh and Kolahai, high-altitude lakes such as Gangabal, Nandakol, Sheshnag and Kounsarnag have also been great attractions for their trout-filled waters.

Wake up call – River Rafting in Pahalgam turns a sour experience

With the authorities squabbling on permits and ecology, etc., the most important aspect of River Rafting in Lidder in Pahalgam – SAFETY has kind of taken a back seat. And it came out glaringly yesterday when a group of tourists could not maintain control of their raft, and while many got injured, one of the rourists actually succumbed to her injuries (see the detailed news item below).
A very expensive lesson learnt? Well, if its even a lesson learnt. Hopefully PDA/Tourism Department would streamline how they select travel agencies and more importantly their personnel. Even more important is designation of certain streches of river from Type 1 to 6 depending upon the difficulty level. Tourists can then cautiously choose where they want to raft, as well as sign on a non-liability paper (which is a norm through out the world).
This incident is a setback, but hopefully it will not reverse the trend and people will continue to enthusiastically enjoy the thrill of rafting in Pahalgam waters. And hats off to the local good samaritans who saved seven of the group in this incident.

Noteworthy is that this is the first casualty since the rafting was introduced in Lidder during the past three years.

Hyderabad tourist drowns while rafting in Kashmir
May 29 Merinews – A woman tourist from Hyderabad lost her life as she, along with her mates, lost control while rafting in a Kashmir river. The seven other injured are being treated at the district hospital, Anantnag.
RECREATION TURNED sour for a bunch of tourists as one of them drowned while rafting in the Lidder River near village Yanner, Pahalgam in Kashmir. The deceased, identified as Sharda, wife of a Nivasan from Hyderabad, lost her life as she could not be rescued. The tourists were from Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.
The tourist were rafting in the river this morning (May 29) when they met with the mishap. Lidder is a swift-flowing river, ideal for rafting.
Battling desperately for their lives, the revellers were severely injured after the boat struck some boulders in the gushing river. Some local people who happened to see them, rescued the trapped tourists and shifted them to a nearby hospital with the assistance of the police.
Out of the group of eight, a woman, identified as Sharda, wife of Nivasan from Hyderabad, however, succumbed to her injuries at the district hospital, Anantnag. The other injured are being treated at the hospital.

River rafting in Pahalgam – status 2008 and the players involved

Sight seeing, pony-rides or do-nothing vacationing aside, what really can Pahalgam offer to visiting tourists? Come to think of it, Pahalgam has its own gold mine in the form of meandering river lidder, and miles and miles of it both from Aru and Chandanwari which offer a great, world class opportunity for river rafting. Thus far, it seems like the officials have failed to realize what they are sitting on. It has been left onto small time entrepreneurs to harness this opportunity. And like the story of rest of India, they are able to pull through, inspite of all the odds. But only till a point. Objections are now being raised from many quarters.
I am optimistic that its only a matter of time when the Pahalgam Development Authority, or Tourism Department or the Fisheries Department will put their act together and lay out a holistic plan which will benefit both the locals and the tousists, and put Pahalgam on the world map of premier river rafting destinations.

At its core, whitewater rafting is simply the act of taking a raft down through turbulent areas of a river. These turbulent areas are known as rapids. Rapids are classified by six categories. Category 1 is a smooth river with no rapids. The categories climb from their too Category 6, which is either impassible or should only be attempted by experts. Most river rafting trips occur on Category 3 and 4 rapids, where the turbulence gives you an exciting ride, but with limited risk. Pahalgam from Chandanwari to Nunwan offers all 6 categories of rapids.

There seem to be three major government agencies involved in the issue. Looks like while Tourism Department would like to encourage the activity, the PDA and Fisheries department hold an opposing view. Or atleast have expressed their cocerns, to make their side of the point. The concerns and issues are genuine, though not insurmountable. Yes, you don’t want to spread garbage, you dont want to effect fauna and fishes, you want to cover the risk via some insurance cover, or at least no-liability paperwork. But at the end of it, this all is doable with proper guidelines and implementation.

Rafting provides a big economic opportunity for locals. One way to handle this is to make co-operatives of local low income people, including ponywallahs, and have them operate the rafting agencies in collaboration with experienced tour operators. This will ensure that tourist’s share of disposable budget doesn’t only go to tour operators from outside. There should only be a handful of agencies allowed, and the bigger thing is that the annual contracts should be openly auctioned off. The generated revenue should be shared amongst PDA, Tourism Department and Fisheries or Forest department to provide for facilities. Forest department can get parking fees for vehicles, Fisheries department can get to sell fishing licences. PDA can get its share to keep the area clean and tourim department can promote the facilities internationally. So on and so on…

From a news coverage in GreaterKashmir dated 5/24/2008, this is how the players/interested parties stack up:

Pahalgam Development Authority
Chief Executive Officer, Pahalgam Development Authority, (PDA), Abdul Rasheed Parray said: “While the pollution caused by the rafting affects the flora and fauna of the region, the garbage damages the shores of the Lidder river as it is not being disposed off properly.”

Fisheries Department
Fisheries Department that has raised objections to the rafting in famous Lidder Nallah here citing “disturbance of fish habitat.”
Joint Director Fisheries, Kashmir, Showkat Ali said, “The rafting boats definitely affect the flora and fauna and disturb the habitat of the fish. The government should wake up to the call and instead select some other rivers for rafting.” According to Ali the rafting agencies are violating the Fisheries Act and are operating the rafting without getting no-objection from the department.

Ponnywallahs and locals
The ponnywallas and the residents here have also objected the rafting. “Pahalgam has its own charm and people don’t visit here for rafting, so tourism department should never have given the permission to the local agencies for rafting,” said Mohu-din a local.

Tourism Department
Director Tourism Farooq Shah, however disagrees that the rafting will create pollution. “If our youth want to earn their livelihood then why this fuss,” Shah said. He said the department’s job was only to register the agencies and the permission is given after due consultation with the PDA.

Rafting Agencies
However, the owners of the rafting firms said the rafting boats don’t create any pollution. “We fail to understand how the rafting boats can affect the fauna and flora of the place and destroy the fish habitat,” they said. They said it speaks volumes about the wisdom of the authorities when they say that the garbage gets dumped into the water. “There is no connection between garbage and the rafting,” they said.

Location
Earlier (2005-2007) the rafting was conducted in Pahalgam itself. But following objections by the CEO, PDA, the spot was changed to Batakote, 2 kilometers away from here. Even as according to the application received by the PDA CEO only six agencies have been given permission by the tourism department for operation of commercial rafting, there are 13 companies presently operating their boats.  Besides, the agencies are operating more boats than permitted.

Ecological impact
Per PDA, though the agencies are strictly responsible for the disposal of the solid waste material and the cleanliness of the area, the tourism department is not taking any action against the violators.
On complaints about improper disposal of waste material, Tourism Department’s Farooq said, “The PDA has been assigned the job of looking after the proper disposal of waste material and it should create facilities to ensure pollution free environment.”

Insurance
Most of the agencies according to the sources in the PDA do not have a necessary insurance cover for the raft guides and clients against risk/accident.
Shah however asked the PDA not to allow any agency to operate boats that doesn’t have proper insurance documents and violate any of the guidelines laid down by the tourism department.

Tarrif
The agencies are also charging more than the tariff fixed by the tourism department.

Trekking routes around Pahalgam to reopen

Pahalgam is the starting point of some of the best that trekking can offer in the Himalayas. Trekking to Kolahai Glacier is a dream come true – and their are potential treks to across the ranges to Sonamarg and even Ladakh for the brave. Besides, there are many day treks originating in Pahalgam for the novices, like hiking to Basisaran or to Chunasar and Mansar lakes, or not to forget to Sheshnag or all the way to Amarnath Cave.

These trekking routes have been for all practical purposes closed to tourists and serious trekkers due to the security situation. Basically no one would venture. Well, all that seems to on verge of a massive change, going by this news item covered by Arif Shafi Vani of GreaterKashmir:

Srinagar, May 13: The breathtaking snow-clad mountains of Kashmir that were closed for the past 18 years for ‘security reasons’ would soon be thronged by foreign mountaineers and trekkers, if all goes well.   
 To attract tourists and promote adventure sports, the government has given green signal to the Tourism department to market the traditional trekking and mountaineering routes, including troops-dominated peaks of Sonamarg and Pahalgam.
 The routes were unofficially closed with the onset of militancy in early 90s. The mountaineers, mostly foreigners, could not freely undertake trekking on routes like Kolahai, Tattakuti and Gangabal due to heavy presence of troops.  
 “The traditional mountaineering and trekking routes of the Valley will be opened for promoting the adventure sports, which is gaining popularity among the tourists. We have to keep on experimenting and offer something new to the tourists to attract them to Kashmir. Some famous peaks have the potential to make the Valley one of the best mountaineering destinations,” joint director Tourism, Sarmad Hafeez told Greater Kashmir.
 Hafeez said a team from International Mountaineering Federation (IMF) recently made on the spot assessment of the Valley’s trekking and mountaineering destinations. Another team, Access and Conservation Commission visited trekking spots in famous tourist resort of Aru in Pahalgam.
 “The team was highly impressed and promised to go for massive promotion of the routes. As a first step, the IMF has decided to celebrate its golden jubilee year in the Valley and 90 mountaineers from various countries are scheduled to participate in the event,” Hafeez said.
 Officials said high-profile mountaineers and trekkers are scheduled to participate in the IMF celebrations, which includes trekking, here from May 15.
 The Tourism department has set up tourist trekking hire shops on various peaks. “We are receiving inquiries from various countries about out preparedness to host their mountaineers. We are geared up to host any mountaineering event. The mountaineers, trekkers or tourists intending to trek the peaks will get all facilities, including the gear and equipments at nominal charges,” Hafeez said.
 Rauf Tramboo, general secretary of the JK Ski and Mountaineering Association, said, “Heavy domination of peaks by troops scares trekkers and mountaineers. We have to seek permission from the Army to undertake trekking. Ironically, in most of the cases the request is rejected on trivial grounds and it discourages the trekkers. Government needs to look at this aspect.”
 Tramboo said the travel advisories from different countries during past decade had also forced the trekkers to remain away from the Valley. “As Jammu and Ladakh were exempted from the advisories, it remained a hub for global trekkers. I hope that the magnificent mountains of the Valley would soon get its share of trekkers,” Tramboo said. 
 Carin Fisher, a consultant on tourism to the state government said the restoration of trekking routes would boost inflow of tourists to the Valley.
 “Kashmir has been projected as a trekking paradise. The initiative of the state Tourism department to restore trekking is timely in view of the similar facilities in neighboring states. But there is dire need to market it,” Fisher said.