Famous Places to Visit in Pulwama
Pulwama is the agriculturally rich district in Jammu Kashmir also known as the ‘Rice Bowl of Kashmir’, the town resides at an elevation of 1,630 metres. Highly acclaimed for its milk and rice production, the title of this region are aplenty like “Anand of Kashmir” or “Dudha-Kul of Kashmir”. Situated 40 km away from the capital city of Srinagar, the place where this district is located has cultural and historical presence going back to the days of yore. In the 16th century, this region was ruled by the Mughals before the Afghans took over in the 19th century. Famous for apple orchards and the cultivation of saffron, Pulwama has scenic beauty hidden in the secretive mountains which hold sparkling waterfalls, dazzling streams and unparalleled valleys in their midst. This place has some of the most amazing places in Kashmir one must visit.
It is the glorious sight of the Veshu river falling 25 metres down a narrow gorge in a valley of dense Pine and Fir trees in the Pir Panjal Mountains that makes Aharbal Falls such an incredible sight. A tributary of the Jhelum River, Veshu River flows in its entirety down this gorge providing a magnificent view. The fall may not be very high, but the sheer amount of water that flows down from it is incredulous. That’s what makes this breathtaking falls the most famous and a gigantic one in the entire Kashmir Valley. Located 75 km from Srinagar, Aharbal hill station is situated close to Pulwama at an elevation of 2,266 metres. Abuzz with adventure activities like Trout fishing, trekking, rafting, etc., Aharbal is one of the best destinations for a rejuvenating holiday.
A cherished picnic spot 3 km from Tral in Pulwama district, Shikargarh is an enchanting region with abundant wildlife. A favourite hunting ground among the royals, Maharaja Hari Singh, the last custodian to rule the state of Jammu & Kashmir, who loved the rich flora and fauna present over here, frequented Shikargarh. Surrounded by dense forests and gazed upon by the snow-clad mountain peaks, the site is located at an altitude of 2,130 metres, at the junction of the mountains of Wasturwan and Kherwon. The vast stretch of lush green slopes enclosed by dense trees of the forests makes this a charming holiday spot.
Located at distant of 3 km from Pulwama, the Payer temple is in the village after which it is named. It is believed that the temple constructed in the 10th century of Payer or Payech have been carved out of a single monolith stone. Its unique architecture still retains the glory of its ancient past. Set deep among the woods, the view of the encompassing mountains is a mind-blowing sight.
A significant historical site, the Avantishwar temple is located in the Jawbrari Village of the Pulwama district. Built by Raja Avanti Varma in the 9th century AD, the temple is dedicated to the Hindu Gods, Vishnu and Shiva. Set by the banks of river Jhelum, the intricacy in the architecture of the temples is astonishingly marvellous. The temple of Avantiswami also resides here, less than a kilometre away from Avantishwar temple. Quite similar in design, both the sites are now under the protection and maintenance of the Archaeological Survey of India. The region also holds ruins of ancient temples constructed by Lalitaditya Muktapida of the Karkota Empire, who was the most powerful ruler of the Kashmir region in that era.
Tarsar and Marsar Lake
One of the most popular treks of the Kashmir Valley is the Tarsar Marsar Trek that takes one to the perfect site where these twin lakes reside. Situated on the place of Aru of the Anantnag district in the Kashmir Valley, these almond-shaped lakes lie separated by a mountain and surrounded by the breathtaking ranges including the Kolahoi mountain massif. The Marsar Lake lies close to the Dachigam National Park, and together with the Tarsar Lake, these are known as the twin sisters. Known since the 16th century, these lakes were mentioned by Yusuf Shah Chak, the ruler of Kashmir at the time, in his beautiful poetry dedicated to his beloved. Flowing in the opposite directions, Tarsar Lake flows into the Lidder River, 15 kilometres from here, at Lidderwat, while the Marsar Lake drains out to the other side of the Aru. The lakes freeze during the winters from December to March and see heavy snowfall around this time. Perched at an elevation of 3,795 metres, the best part about the lakes is their location in Aru, which is the most pristine side of the Kashmir Valley, untouched and unparalleled in beauty.