Fun?Rides at Pahalgam - 2004


Pahalgam has a nine hole golf course at 2400 meters above the sea level. The course is a an expanse of relatively large plain area in a relatively narrow valley. The locals would refer to this Golf course simply as the 'plateau'.

There is a golf club on one side of the plateau. Light refreshments, as well equipment and golf caddies could be rented out from there. The flat hill gradually rises up to corn fields, finally into a hill. Portions of the plateau have been occupied by the military in the days of insurgency, leaving it out of bound of normal tourists.

A big resort was staring to come up just the years before militancy set in, which has since been in limbo. The plateau really rises just before the confluence of the two rivers from?Aru and Sheshnag. Consequently, a short hike down on the two sides descends into the roads, further on quickly into the rivers.

Mine-golf could also be played at the Pahalgam Club on hourly basis. The equipement could be rented from the club.

In 2003, a few rides have been set up by J and K tourism at the Pahalgam Club to provide an additional facility for Pahalgam Club (see the picture above). Pahalgam attracts more than two lakh tourists during the three-month Amarnath yatra period alone. The resort also attracts local and non-local tourists in great numbers during summer months. Hence there was a need to create dispersal effect for the tourists and also provide some quality engagement to children. For this reason, in 2004, six rides have been installed spread over an area of less than half an acre adjacent to the existing Pahalgam Club. The remaining area of the premises has been landscaped with local flora, which enhances the serene surroundings of Pahalgam. This is a part of the major eco-heritage projects undertaken at Pahalgam with a view to restore its pristine glory.

Pahalgam Club which was gutted in a fire incident in 2005. Work on the Club building would be started soon and it would have multi-faceted facilities to cater to the requirement of the tourists.
Tee time: Crowds throng Kashmir golf courses

Fayaz Bukhari
Friday, April 15, 2005 (Srinagar):

The snow has melted, the sun is shining, and it's the best time to play golf in Kashmir.It's been 15 years since the Pahalgam Golf Course was used, thanks to militancy and security problems. But now things appear to be looking up, with an aggressive tourism policy.
A group of golfers has come to Pahalgam all the way from the UAE, and it's a trip they consider well worth the effort.
Paradise on Earth
"The golf course here is fantastic, and the scenic beauty is amazing. We are very impressed. But at the same time maintenance of the golf course needs some more work," said Sudesh Agarwal, Chairman, Indian Golfers Association, Sharjah.
By organizing golf trips, the government is making efforts to attract elite tourists back to Kashmir. These tourists abandoned the place with the outbreak of militancy.
However, all the guests agree that things were now more peaceful.
"It is a very beautiful place, and the situation is very different from what we saw on TV a few days back. It is definitely a pleasant and safe trip, we have not seen anything t make us feel insecure," said Ali Bagash, a UAE-based golfer.
Fruitful efforts
It's clear that last year's aggressive marketing is paying dividends, as large numbers of foreign and domestic golfers are making their way to Kashmir.
In-fact, the Royal Springs Golf Course is all set to host the MPs golf tournament later this year.
"In August we will have a golfers group coming through JKTDC. They have said that 80 foreign golfers and many from the country will come and play," said Ghalib Mohiddin, Secretary, Royal Spring Golf Course.
The effort will clearly go a long way in bringing back the glorious days of Kashmiri tourism.