Trekking and Camping

Read here on Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering and Winter Sports, Aru

Pahalgam has lots of recreational activities especially trekking adventures. It offers wonderful treks and mountaineering routes. There are plenty of camping sites of all kinds. There are a number of day-treks and hikes - even walking the virgin pine forest and mingling streams of water almost anywhere is an adventure. One most popular puritanic trekking route is to the breath-taking Kolahoi Glacier which goes via Aru. The route to various points to the Amarnath cave, and beyonf, upto Sonamarg is widely trekked. Camping equipment, guides and ponies are readily available.

A Popular trek from Sonamarg to Pahalgam and trek to Chandanwari and Sheshnag lake can also be undertaken.

Pahalgam is perhaps best known as the take-off point for treks into the surrounding mountains. The resort is well geared to meet the demands of onward going trekkers and camping equipment is readily available, as are ponies and porters. Walking the Lidder valley is scenically most rewarding, through forests of virgin pine, fording crystal-clear mountain streams and through meadows of wild-flowers, higher up the valley.

Popular treks from Pahalgam are to the Kolahoi Glacier via Aru, Satlanjan and Dudsar Lake, and to the high altitude lakes that dot the meadowland and mountain ridges between Pahalgam and Sonamarg

Pahalgam serves as the base camp for many expeditions and excursions such as Kolahari Glacier, Sheeshnag, Sonasar, Harwag and the Amarnath Yatra. Pristine camping grounds under the shadow of tall pines trees are delightful.

Check the latest schedule for Mountaineering and Adventure courses from the Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering and Winter Sports (JIMWS) at Pahalgam for 2006-2007.

Palagam to Amarnath CAVE

This is a holy pilgrimage trek.

Day 1 Pahalgam to Chandamwar 13 km

Day 2 Chandanwari to Sheshuag 12 km

Day 3 Sheshnag to Pamchtasun 11 km

Day 4 Pamihtasm to Amaranth 8 km



This is the trekker’s favorite route and is one of the most extensively traveled one. This trek involves camping en route, as hotels etc. will be not easily available. Tents and other camping equipment should be got along. On the 1st day from Pahalgam, the route goes to Aru, a small village on the banks of the Lidder River.

Day 2 sees you at Lidderwat, a beautiful campsite with breath taking scenery. Here, the Glacier stream meets the stream from Tarsar Lake. There are a couple of rest houses around for those interested.

The 3rd day is to walk up to the lake and back to Lidderwat. The Glacier is situated at 4000 meters and is quite a steep climb.

Day 4 is utilized in walking straight back to Pahalgam, covering the whole distance in a one-day trek. One can extend the trek by a day by going to the Tansar Lake and back from Lidderwat. One can also go to the Kulan valley in Sonemarg, if there are a couple of days to spare.

Day 1 Pahalgam to Aru 12 km

Day 2 Aru to Lidderwat 12 km

Day 3 Lidderwat/Kolahoi GlacierLidderwat 13 km

Day 4 Lidderwat to Pahalgam 24 km

Day 5 Sekiwas to Khemsar 10 km

Day 6 Khemsar to Kulan 10 km


This is a difficult and arduous trek. For the first 2 days the route followed is that of the Amarnath trek. After that, on the 3rd day one has to cross the Gulol Gali pass and climbs to Lonvilad Gali. Then there is a steep ascent from the Chalong Glacier to Pamikar. Finally it leads to the Sun Valley which opens up into Zanskar.

Day 1 & 2 As Amarnath cave trek -

Day 3 Sheshnag to Rangmarg 8 km

Day 4 Rangmarg to Hampet 6 km

Day 5 & 6 Hampet to Lorwilad Gali 22 km

Day 7 Lorwilad Gali to Chalong Glacier 14 km

Day 8 Chalong Glacier to Pannikar 15 km

Indian Army refuses to lift Kashmir trekking ban

By Iftikhar Gilani (Daily Times) May 9, 2005

NEW DELHI: While the Kashmir valley is readying to host some one million tourists this year, the Indian Army has refused to lift a ban on trekking. For centuries Kashmir has been touted as "trekkers’ paradise'. All trekking routes are now controlled by the Indian security forces.
Inquiries show that there is no official ban on trekking and yet tourism authorities in Delhi and Srinagar throw up their hands in despair when foreigners approach for permission to go on the world-famous tracks like those spread between Pahalgam and Sonamarg, and Sonamarg to Kishensar and Vishensar.
According to the Srinagar-based English newspaper "Greater Kashmir," the trekking routes are not open for the last many years.
Travel agents say they get inquiries from tourists who want to go trekking but "security forces camped in the areas don't allow it".
Adventurers who want to proceed are often restricted by the security forces which ask them to get permission from the Srinagar Tourist Police. Police, however, says it has no powers to allow trekking.
"Our job is of tourist assistance, we don't have any such job," said Abdul Hamid, superintendent of police for tourism.
The newspaper quoted a police source as saying that trekking had been stopped because of army deployment in the areas. "They (army) have camps in the area; we can't order them to allow trekking, said a senior police official who asked not to be named.
Sources said some weeks ago the Kashmir government had taken up the issue during a meeting with the army. One of the suggestions was that trekking should be allowed on specific routes, the sources added.

Police personnel have been getting training in Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering and Adventure Sports Pahalgam

Newsline From J and K Government Aug 27, 2005

Srinagar, August 26: Director General of Police Mr. Gopal Sharma today flagged-off mountaineering expedition to scale Stok Kangri, the highest peak in Leh Himalayas. The 20 member mountaineering expedition team of Jammu and Kashmir Police is scheduled to accomplish this mission in September this year.
This is a prelude to successful accomplishing the Mission Everest, which is likely to be scaled by Jammu and Kashmir police in the year 2007-2008. The Jammu and Kashmir police personnel have been getting training in Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering and Adventure Sports Pahalgam for the last two years to accomplish this mission. Speaking on the occasion, the Director General of Police said that encouraged by its superb performance over the years in various sporting activities at the domestic, national and international level, J and K Police has embarked on an ambitious plan to display its prowess in adventure like skiing, water sports, rock climbing and mountaineering. The scaling of this peak, Mr Sharma said is a part of the adventurous activities conceptualized by him to prepare J & K police personnel for mountaineering expeditions. The idea was conceived during recent snow-storm in the state, the DGP added. Mr Sharma said that he is hopeful that by commitment and determination the J & K police will succeed as it symbolizes the sprit of adventure and diversity which, he said, was key for survival.
Mr Sharma said to train the police personnel in adventure sports, is also aimed at enhancing their efficiency to carry out rescue and relief operations in high altitude, avalanche-hit, flood hit areas etc. He said that scaling Mount Everest by its men is a cherished plan and a dream and was high on the agenda of the sporting activities of Jammu and Kashmir Police.
The Director General of Police said, in first phase 100 police personnel were drawn from various battalions of J & K Armed Police and were trained in basics of mountaineering under the aegis of Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering and Adventure Sports Pahalgam in two batches. Forty police personnel, who secured  A grade, underwent the advance course subsequently. Of these, 20 are participating in the first ever mountaineering expedition in the Stok Range of Ladakh, scaling the highest peak Stok Kangri.
Earlier in his well come address, the Additional Director General of police Armed Mr. P.S. Gill, said that J & K police is aiming high and flagging off this expedition was a part of excellence which the J & K police is inspiring for. He said that during the second phase of mountaineering expedition a team will also be sent to scale Nunkun and the third will be dispatch to Darjeeling and Nepal before the final team prepare for scaling mighty Mount Everest. He praised the DGP for relentless efforts to take J & K police to a new height of excellence and said that under his inspiring leadership Jammu and Kashmir police would excel in every field.
The expedition team led by Col. A.S. Shekhawat, Principal Jawhar Institute of Mountaineering and Adventure Sport Phalgam and the other members of the team are M/S Ajay Kumar Dubey, Sajad Hussain, Deep Sing, Inderjeet Singh, Ashok Kumar, Vikram Singh, Nazir Ahmed, Mushtaq Ahmed, Mohammad Amin, Ravinder Kumar, Muzafar Ahmed, Bashir Ahmed, Riyaz Ahmed, Tsewang Narboo, Altaf Ahmed, Zahoor Ahmed, Bilal Ahmed, Mohammad Rafiq, Sajod Hyder and Mohammad Saleem.

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