View of valley near Pahalgam town
|State||Jammu and Kashmir|
|Elevation||2,740 m (8,990 ft)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Pahalgam is a town and a notified area committee in Anantnag district of the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir. It is a popular tourist destination and hill station. It is located 45 kilometres (28 mi) from Anantnag on the banks of Lidder River at an altitude of 7,200 feet (2,200 m). Pahalgam is the headquarters of one of the five tehsils of Anantnag district. Pahalgam is associated with the annual Amarnath Yatra. Chandanwari, located 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) from Pahalgam is the starting point of the yatra that takes place every year in the months of July-August.
Pahalgam has Sub-Tropical Highland climate with long and cold winter with short and mild summer.
|Climate data for Pahalgam|
|Average high °C (°F)||2.0
|Average low °C (°F)||−4
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||48
As of 2001[update] India census, Pahalgam had a population of 5922. Males constitute 56% of the population and females 44%. The average literacy rate is 35%, lower than the Indian national average of 59.5% with male literacy at 49% and female literacy at 17%. About 14% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Pahalgam is administered by the Pahalgam Development Authority, headed by a Chief Executive Officer who functions as the administrator of local town area committee.
Flora and fauna
The area holds a rich cover of vegetation, the dominant forest consisting of conifers which account for over 90%. The principal species are Cedrus deodara, Pinus griffithii, Abies pindrow, Aesculus indica etc. The major shrubs are Indigofera heterantha, Viburnum spp., Sorbaria tomentosa etc. the ground cover is very rich and dicotyledonus herbs dominate: Rumex patientia, Primula spp., anemone spp., etc.
There are many species of rare, endangered and protected species. The main species are hangul, musk deer, serow, brown bear, Leopard, rhesus macaque, grey langur, Himalayan mouse hare, etc. Wild bears still roam much of the area, and local villagers are on constant alert for their presence. Due to the constant threat of illegal border crossings, the Indian army is always patrolling the area and is on constant high alert. As the local population cannot carry firearms, this has saved the bears from being hunted to extinction. With the abundance of fresh trout in the rivers and local farm animals, they have plenty to eat. Monkeys also populate the area. The area houses a good population of pheasants and upland birds apart from other species, both resident and migratory. The common birds are griffon vulture, monal, snow cock, koklas, blue rock pigeon, Kashmir roller, European hoopoe, jungle crow etc.
Places of Interest
Kolohoi Glacier, situated up the Lidder Valley, just below Kolhoi Peak is currently a hanging glacier. It is accessible from Pahalgam via Aru and is known to have extended for at least 35 kilometres (22 mi). According to the mountaineers from Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering, in 2008, the glacier receded by half since 1985 and it is not safe to study because it is hollow and has 200-foot-deep (61 m) crevices.
On 1 August 2000, at least 32 people including 23 Amarnath pilgrims and two police officers were killed when separatist militants threw hand grenades and attacked a hotel and police camp with small arms.
- "Pahalgam: Valley of paradise". Bangalore Mirror. 24 June 2010. Archived from the original on 1 May 2013.
- "Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Pahalgam". fallingrain.com. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
- "Anantnag Religion Census 2011". Government of India. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
- "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 16 June 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
- N. Ahmed and N. H. Hashimi (1974). "Glacial History of Kolahoi Glacier, Kashmir, India" (PDF). Journal of Glaciology 13 (68). Retrieved 16 April 2012.
- "Amarnath pilgrimage resumes". BBC News. 4 August 2000. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
- "Night of massacres leaves 105 dead in valley". The Tribune. 3 August 2000.
- "Muslim militants kill 21 Hindu pilgrims in Kashmir". The Independent. 2 August 2000. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
- "Prime Minister Vajpayee's statement in Parliament regarding the recent massacre in Jammu & Kashmir". Indian Embassy.org. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
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