Welcome to Pahalgam
Not quite spoiling this great natural beauty is Pahalgam, sprawling 4km around the river junction. It's a major resort town offering golf and rafting and is a staging point for the midsummer Amarnathji pilgrimage.
Hotels are likely to urge you to try a donkey hike or full-blown trek. In fact the best hiking often starts 12km away in Aru, a tiny village set in magical upland landscapes amid the foothill peaks. Aru (elevation 2440m) is increasingly used as a starting base by backpackers who blow straight through Pahalgam with just a change of vehicle.