Baltal, Jammu and Kashmir
Baltal is a camping ground for pilgrims, 15 km north of Sonamarg on the Sind River at the base of Zojila pass in Jammu and Kashmir (India). This little valley is only a day's journey away from and provides a shorter high-altitude alternate route to the sacred cave of Amarnath.
Perched at an elevation of 2,743m, the highland pastures, Baltal serves as the base camp for pilgrims on their onward journey to Amarnath Caves, 14 km away. The site is seen with pitched tents meant for the pilgrims to spend the night. Baltal is one hour away from Sonmarg on a taxi or a bus. It can also be reached from Pahalgam, 24 km away, in about 45 minutes. For hikers, it takes around 5 hours to reach Baltal from Pahalgam. 
Renowned for its scenic beauty, Baltal meadows offers tent accommodation for the pilgrims and tourists alike at reasonable prices. Both pony rides or, for those who can afford, helicopter services are available to the holy Amarnath Caves. Helicopter passengers have to disembark at Panjtarni and foot it, or take a pony ride, to the cave, 5 km away. For the hikers, the 14 km distance from Baltal to Amarnath takes about 4 hours on a winding steep trail. Basic teashops are available on route. 
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