Pahalgam shopping complex remains undone

By Daily Excelsior – 29/05/2019
Imagine and conjecture, guess or assess whatever, one would find sixteen long years insufficient for Pahalgam Development Authority (PDA) for building and completing a shopping complex of absolutely normal size and structure in the famous tourist place of Pahalgam in Kashmir and making it fit for occupancy. The pinch of paying and waiting is felt by none other than the shopkeepers, the ultimate beneficiaries, who would have liked to occupy the spacious shops allotted to them much earlier.
The affected shopkeepers lament that while they paid “hefty” sums to the Authority, the PDA was just handing over the incomplete and faulty structures and space to them. The allotment is nowhere and the long wait of the desirous shopkeepers after having deposited the requisite monies of Rs. 20 lakh and Rs. 16 lakh respectively depending on the size of the shop, was yielding no results excepting getting “things” in dilapidated and faulty conditions. Not only this, the quality of the construction is said to be below the average levels as in rains, there are leakages and seepages in these constructed shops. The shopkeepers are, instead, asked to take possession of incomplete, defective and unfinished shop spaces which obviously they cannot as they have to keep their merchandise in good saleable condition and attract the customers. The tangle needs to be settled at an early date and we urge the authorities to have the problem resolved.

Ranbir Kapoor in Pahalgam

Actor Ranbir Kapoor is busy shooting for his film Rockstar at Pahalgam, along with the film’s actress Nargis Fakhri and director Imtiyaz Ali.

Ranbir Kapoor
Nargis Fakhri
Nargis Fakhri

Other cast members include Piyush Mishra and Shammi Kapoor. The shooting began on May 2010 and the film is scheduled to release by mid-2011. The shooting took place at locations across Delhi including, Kotla Mubarakpur, Nizamuddin Auliya Dargah, Greater Kailash, IGI airport and Connaught Place, and three-day schedule at the St. Stephen’s College, followed by one at the Hindu College, director Imtiaz Ali’s alma mater, during the winter break of these colleges.


Fakhri was born in New York Her father was Pakistani and her mother Czechoslovakian.

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.
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.

Winter Snow festival in Pahalgam

As Pahalgam was freezing with the mercury plunging to settle at minus 7.4 degrees Celsius, the two day Pahalgam Snow festival commenced on Jan 30, 2011 marked by organization of various winter sports and a cultural program. These included bhand pather, dhambali besides skiing, snow sledging, horse race. On the occasion officials and the heads of local traders’ bodies hailed the efforts of Tourism department to promote Pahalgam. Besides participants of winter sports, a large number of people and tourists were present on the occasion.


This was the first winter sports festival to be organized in Pahalgam, and per the officials, this would be an on going annual feature. Tourism department is also organizing a Spring festival at Pahalgam.
Government is planning to develop Pahalgam as a world-class winter tourist destination and reportedly also introducing heli-skiing and ice-skating in a big way. Ultimately if tourists and skiers accept Pahalgam as a significant ski and snow sport destination would depend on efforts made by the private tourism operators in introducing pragmatic facilities and visitor plans.

Visit Pahalgam for leisure, trekking, rafting, golf, skiing, hiking, photography and relaxation in picturesque Himalayas