Pahalgam's 200-plus hotels range from the vaguely Scandinavian-styled Himalaya House to old-fashioned colonial cottage-style Alpine Inn.

Prices can fluctuate by 600%, peaking in May and June. September brings great weather and discounts.

Aru

Aru is well set up for backpackers, including the welcoming Friends Guesthouse; new and clean Aru Heights; and funky Rohella Guesthouse, the latter a firm favourite with the juggling Israeli crowd. The well-run Milky Way Hotel has comfortable midrange rooms and a good-value restaurant. All places can offer advice on local treks.