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Anantnag district

Anantnag is one of the six districts of the Kashmir Valley situated in its south and south western direction. Geographically the district lies between 33o-20' to 34o-15' north latitude and 74o-30' to 75o-35' east longitude, bounded in the north and north-west by Srinagar and Pulwama districts respectively and in the north east by Kargil district. It is also bounded by Doda and Kishtwar tehsil of Doda district in the east and south east and bordered by tehsil Gool Gulab Garh of Udhampur district, Ramban teshsil of Doda district and tehsil Budhal of Rajauri district in the south and south-west. However, its western portion is contigous with Mendhar tehsil. Its entire southern sector and major part of the eastern region is strewn with thick forests and mountains. The height of these mountains in the east, south and west of the district ranges between 2438 meters to 3048 meters and in some areas, the peaks even soar to a height of 4572 meters. On the west the district is bounded by mighty Pir Panchal range mountains, through which passes the world famous Jawahar Tunnel. Situated at a distance of 55 Kms. of the south east of Srinagar, Anantnag is spread over an area of 3984 Sq. Kms. with a population of 11.70 lacs as it stood in 2001. The Anantnag is gateway of the Kashmir Valley and is called the granary of the Kashmir Valley as it is agriculturally very fertile. The district is predominantly rural and situated at an average height of 1700 meters above sea level. The people of the district are mostly engaged in agriculture, principal crops being Rice and Maize. The districts comprises of 5 tehsils and 12 community development blocks. The Anantnag district is not only the rice bowl of the Valley, it is equally rich in landscape. The nature has been generous in gifting the district with places of unparallel beauty. The district can rightly boast of possessing the largest number of health resorts in the whole State. Of them particular mention may be made of Verinag, Kukernag, Achabal, Daksum and world famous health resort of Pahalgam.

Places of Interest and their distance from the distt. Headquarter Anantnag

Place of Interest Distance (Kms.) Route
Mattan 07 Khanabal Pahalgam Road
Pahalgam 43 Khanabal Pahalgam Road
Achabal 08 Anantnag Daksum Road
Kokernag 25 Anantnag Daksum Road
Daksum 40 Anantnag Daksum Road
Verinag 26 Anantnag-Dooru_Veerinag Road
Aherabal 48 Anantnag-Kulgam-Aherabal Road
Guriwattan 50 Anantnag-Kulgam-Aherabal Road
Kungwattan 58 Anantnag-Kulgam-Aherabal Road
Wasaknag 30 Anantnag-Qazigund-Kund Road

Places of Interest

Pahalgam

This world famous hill station is 45 Kms. from the District Head Quarter at Anantnag and located on the banks of river Lidder at an altitude of 7200 ft. from sea level. Pahalgam is one among the five tehsils of Anantnag district and tehsil head quarters are located in the main town of Pahalgam. Pahalgam also serves as base camp for the famous Amarnath Ji Yatra. The Pahalgam Valley presents glamorous look due to its pine forests, snow clad mountains, healthy climate and vast meadows and pastures. Pahalgam skirts Lidder river and torrential flow of water in Lidder river enriches the awesome beauty of the Valley. Besides tourist huts, several hotels in private sector have come up here and these hotels provide modern facilities to their guests.

Pahalgam Development Authority
For effective management of the erstwhile Pahalgam Project Organization, Pahalgam constituted by the Govt. in the year 1978 vide SRO 415 dated July,1978 under Development Act,1970, the Government of Jammu and Kashmir vide its Cabinet decision No.15/2 dated 6.2.2003 issued under Government Order No.23-TSM of 2003 dated 21.02.2003 ordered that Pahalgam Development Authority shall be headed by a Chief Executive Officer who shall also function as Administrator/Chairman of local Town Area Committee/Notified Area Committee. This shall remain part of the Tourism Department.

How to reach

Pahalgam is in Anantnag District and is about 96 Kms from Srinagar. The nearest Airport is in Badgam Distt. This Airport is connected with major cities of India.The nearest Rail Head is at Jammu and from there National Highway NH1A connects the Kashmir valley with India. The road to Pahalgam takes from Khannabal or alternatively from Bijbehara towns from this National Highway. Every sort of transport suiting every budget from Buses to Taxis ply on this Highway. It Takes around 10 to 12 hours to cross this mountainous road which crosses some beautiful spots and the famous Jawahar Tunnel linking Kashmir Valley with rest of India. Bus service is available from Srinagar and Anantnag which leave at fixed time from the Bus stands.Taxis and other sort of transport can be hired from Srinagar at pre-fixed rates. Assistance is available at Tourist Reception Centre Srinagar. On Road to Pahalgam one comes across the beautiful Lidder Valley with important spots of Mattan and Aishmuqam.

Where to stay

Pahalgam has a number of Hotels and lodges of various types which are open only during summer months. JKTDC has a Dak Banglow and number of Huts which are available on hire. The tarrifs depend on the type of accommodation to be hired. Accommodation needs to be booked well in advance from srinagar. Tourists are advised to contact Manager Tourist Reception centre Jammu/Srinagar for booking and Tarrifs. Hotel bookings can be executed from their representatives in Srinagar the list of which can be had from the JKTDC.

What to do

Horse Riding

Ponies can be hired directly or through the Tourist Office. Tariff boards are displayed at all important locations.Golf Pahalgam Club has a 9-hole golf course, which can be used by tourists. Golf sets can be hired from the Tourist Office.

Fishing
The Lidder River has excellent fishing beats for brown trout. The fishing season stretches from April to September. Permits are issued, for a maximum of three days at a time, on a first-come - first-served basis and are charged on a per day per rod basis. Fishing equipment can be hired in Srinagar. Live baits and spinning are not allowed. For permits contact the Directorate of Fisheries, Tourist Reception Centre, Srinagar.

Trekking
The environs of Pahalgam offer exciting trekking opportunities, the best known being: Pahalgam - Chandanwari- Sheshnag- Panchtarni- Amarnath Cave Temple- Sonamarg. Prior arrangements can be had from JKTDC at Srinagar or various tour operators in the valley. Trekking can also be undertaken to Kolahoi Glacier which is very beautiful via Aru village.

Other Facilities

Clubs

Pahalgam Club, managed by JK TDC has a restaurant, conference room, billiards and library. Temporary membership is available with the management.

Shopping
Pahalgam, originally a shepherds' village, is naturally known for products made of wool. Gabbas and Namdas can be purchased from local shops.

Hotels

Tourist Information

The J&K Govt. Tourist Office is located at the head of the main bazaar, where the tourist coaches stop. Tourists are urged to visit the office for all kinds of information and assistance, and for the latest information on trekking, hiking and other recreational activities in Pahalgam. They should make it a point to enquire from the Tourist Office whether one should proceed on a particular trek or not.

Amarnathji cave

Anantnag District is famous for the Amarnathji cave situated at Mount Amarnath whose altitude is about 5,486m above sea level. The world famous shrine of Amarnathji is situated about 48 Kms. from Pahalgam and attracts devotees from all over India. It is located in the upper reaches of District Anantnag at an altitude of about 13,000 ft. from the sea level. Because of this height, the cave is covered with snow for most of the year. Only for a short period in summer, the entrance is accessible. The cave is an ice cave, it contains a certain amount of ice stalagmites. The cave is a holy place for Hindu pilgrims, because of its ice content. The ice pillar present inside the cave is also called ice lingham, the phallic symbol of Lord Shiva. Two smaller ice stalagmite represent Parvati, his wife, and Ganesha, his son. The Hindu pilgrims also believe, that the height of the lingham increases and decreases with the phases of the moon. In the month of Shravan, on the full moon in August, thousands of Hindus go on a pilgrimage up to the cave. At this time the lingam reaches its biggest size. The majority community in the district always welcomes the devotees with wide open arms, while the yatries are on their way to and from the cave. Enroute one come across scenic beauty of Chandanwari, Sheshnag and Panjtarni. The temples of Mattan, Martand, Anantnag and Bijbehara which fall enroute are also worth seeing.

Legendary History

Shiva is a living God. The most Sacred and ancient books of India, the Rig Veda narrates his presence in the hymns. Vedic myths, rituals and even astronomy testifies to his existence from the dawn of time .The Mohindaro and Harapa findings confirm Shiva worship in the ancient India. According to the older scriptures, He has three places of his residence. One is Kailash Parvat another is Lohit Giri under which Brahamputra flows and third is Muzwan Parvat.

The Amarnath Cave

This is The Cave which was chosen by Bhole Shankar for narrating the secrets of immortality and creation of Universe to Maa Parvati ji . The story goes like this. Centuries ago Maa Parvati asked Shiv ji to let her know why and when he started wearing the beads of heads ( Mund Mala). Bhole Shankar replied when ever you are born I add one more head in my beads . Maa Parvati said ," My Lord, my body is destroyed every time and I die again and again, but you are Immortal. Please let me know the secret of this ." Bhole Shankar replied that it is due to Amar Katha ." Maa Parvati insisted that she may be told that secret. For long Shiva ji continued postponing. Finally on consistent demand from Maa Parvati he made up his mind to tell the immortal secret . He started for lonely place where no living being could listen it . He choose Amarnath Cave. In preparation to that he left His Nandi ( The Bull which he used to ride ) at Pahalgam (Bail gaon) . At Chandanwari he released Moon from his hairs (Jataon). At the banks of Lake Sheshnag he released the snakes. He decided to leave his Son Ganesha at Mahagunas Parvat (Mahaganesh Hill ) . At Panjtarni, Shivji left the Five Elements behind (Earth , Water, Air , Fire and Sky) which make living being. He is the Lord of these elements. It is believed that as a symbol of sacrificing the earthly world , Shivaji and Maa Parvati had Tandav Dance. After leaving behind all these, Bhole Shankar enters the Holy Amarnath Cave along with Parvati Maa. Lord Shiva takes his Samadhi on the Deer Skin and concentrate . To ensure that no living being is able to hear the Immortal Tale, He created Rudra named Kalagni and ordered him to spread fire to eliminate every living thing in and around the Holy Cave. After this he started narrating the secret of immortality to Maa Parvati . But as a matter of chance one egg which was lying beneath the Deer skin remained protected. It is believed to be non living and more over it is protected by Shiva -Parvati Asan (Bed). The pair of pigeons which were born out of this egg became immortal having listened the secret of immortality (Amar Katha). Many pilgrims report seeing the pair of pigeons when they trek the arduous route to pay their obeisance before the Ice-Lingam (the phallic symbol of Shiva).

Discovery of Holy Cave

According to an ancient tale, there was once a Muslim shepherd named Buta Malik who was given a sack of coal by a sadhu. Upon reaching home he discovered that the sack, in fact, contained gold. Overjoyed and overcome, Buta Malik rushed back to look for the sadhu and thank him, but on the spot of their meeting discovered a cave, and eventually this became a place of pilgrimage for all believers. To date, a percentage of the donations made by pilgrims are given to the descendants of Malik, and the remaining to the trust which manages the shrine. Yet another legend has it that when Kashap Reshi drained the Kashmir valley of water (it was believed to have been a vast lake), the cave and the lingam were discovered by Bregish Reshi who was travelling the Himalayas. When people heard of the lingam, Amarnathji for them became )Shiva's abode and a centre of pilgrimage. Mention of this sacred cave is made by Pandit Kalhana in Rajtarangini where according to him King Ram Dera is stated to have imprisoned the debauch King Sukh Deva and drowned him into the Lidder river among the mountains of Amarnath and that at about 1000 B.C. King Sandimati (34 B.C. to 17 B.C.) had visited the sacred ice Shivalingam. It only indicates that the sacred cave of Amar Nath Ji was known to people in the early times. The tirath of Amarnath has been mentioned in the old chronicles as Amaresbara and is said that Sultan Zain-ul-Abdin the pious ruler of Kashmir paid a visit to the sacred cave. Whatever the legends and the history of Amarnathji's discovery, it is today a very important centre of pilgrimage and though the route is as difficult to negotiate as it is exciting, every year, thousands of devotees come to pay homage before Shiva in one of his famous Himalayan abodes.

Description of the Cave

The cave is quite large. Its entrance is about forty yards horizontally and in height it is about 75 feet and is sloping 80 feet deep down inside the mountain. In the cave is an ice-lingam of about five feet high and at the top it forms a cone. This obviously symbolizes Lord Shiva and to the left of the lingam is a small ice block which stands for Lord Ganesha and to the left of the latter is a small ice formation representing goddess Parvati. These ice formations are formed during, the summer days and wax and wane along-with the moon. On the full moon day they are complete in form whereas on moonless days they altogether vanish.

How to reach

Situated in a narrow gorge at the farther end of the Lidder Valley, Amarnath Holy Cave stands at 3,888 mtrs. and is 363 kms. from Jammu Via Pahalgam and about 414 kms. from Jammu Via Baltal. Mainly the journrey upto Holy Cave is under taken in two parts and one can reach first part of the journey through:

By Air
The nearest aerodrome is Srinagar. Srinagar is summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir. There are daily flights to Srinagar from Delhi and Jammu. On some week days flights also pickup passengers from Chandigarh and Amritsar

By Train
Jammu is the nearest Railway Station. Jammu is winter Capital of Jammu & Kashmir.

By Road
Jammu and Srinagar are also connected through road. Buses and Taxies are also available for this part of the journey .These can be hired on daily as well as full tour basis.

How to Reach Amarnath Holy Cave :

Though it is tough route still nearly one and a half lac pilgrims visit every year . The number of pilgrims is increasing every year. The journey from Jammu onward is by road and there are two routes. The details are given here

1-Jammu - Pahalgam - Holy Cave. (Traditional Route)
Jammu to Pahalgam (315 km) - The distance between Jammu to Pahalgam can be covered by Taxi /Buses. These are available at Tourist Reception Centre, J & K Govt., Raghunath Bazaar only early in the morning. But one can also come to Srinagar by air and then move to Pahalgam by road.

The various stations reroute to Holy Cave are

Pahalgam (The Base Camp)

It is 96 KM from Srinagar .This distance can be covered by car, bus or taxi. Pahalgam is known all over the world for its beauty. Pahalgam is a picturesque small town surrounded by mountains covered with deodar and conifer trees and is situated on the bank of' the river Liddar. It is said that in the vicinity of Pahalgam is Mahadevgiri mountain and at its base is a big flat stone. A stream runs besides it. Pahalgam serves as a base camp for the Yatra.

Chandanwari

The pilgrims leave for the next stag-Chandanwari. The distance from Pahalgam to Chandanwari is 16km. The route is good .It can be covered by road transport also. Mini buses are also available from Pahalgam to reach Chandanwari. The trail runs along the Lidder River. The route is scenic. Food is available here. Pilgrims camp at Pahalgam or Chandanwari on the first night.

Pissu Ghati

As the Yatra proceed further from Chandanwari one climbs a height to reach Pissu Ghati. It is said that to be first to reach for darshan of Bhole Nath Shivshankar there was a war between Devtas and Rakshas. With the power of Shiv, devtas could kill the rakshas in such large number that the heap of their dead bodies has resulted in this high mountain

Sheshnag

This second day's trek of 12 kms from Chandanwari is through Pissu Ghati and spectacular, primeval countryside, and reachess Sheshnag - a mountain which derives its name from its Seven Peaks, resembling the heads of the mythical snake. The Journey to Sheshnag follows steep inclines on the right bank of a cascading stream and wild scenery untouched by civilisation. The second night's camp at Sheshnag overlooks the deep blue waters of Sheshnag lake, and glaciers beyond it. The Sheshnag Lake is a mile long and a quarter of a mile broad and there is a meadow overlooking the lake. There are legends of love and revenge too associated with Sheshnag, and at the camp these are narrated by campfires. It is said that a powerful Asura (demon) brought about a havoc among the Devas (gods). In distress they prayed to Lord Shiva, but he could not help them as he had granted a boon to the Asura (demon) that he would not be killed by the Lord. He advised them to approach Lord Vishnu. They prayed to Lord Vishnu as a result of which the mighty snake residing in the lake destroyed the Asura (demon) at the command of Lord Vishnu. The stillness of a pine scented Himalayan night increases your inner joy. There is a rest house but during Sawan there are large number of Yatris so it better to arrange for Tent from Chandanwari. The arrangement for carrying load should be made at Pahlgam itself. The water of Sheshnag Lake is very cold. Yatri can take bath and get their fatigue alliviated. The bath in the lake is considered auspicious. Then the pilgrims have to climb the Mahagunus mountain which is about 4276 mtrs. (14000 ft) high. The mountain is covered with beautiful buttercups and here are heard the shrieks of the marmot animals which cannot be seen as they run into the holes as soon as they hear the footsteps of a human being.

Panchtarni

From Sheshnag one has to climb steep height up across Mahagunas Pass at 4276 mtrs.(140000 ft) for 4.6 KM and then descending to the meadow lands of Panchtarni at a height of 3657 mtrs (12000 ft). The last camp enroute to the Holy Cave is made here on third day. The whole scene is one of barren mountains and no trees are found here; is covered with green grass only. The pilgrims reach the plain of Panchtarani which is a mile long and a quarter of mile broad. A stream runs here and four other streams also join it. The tradition goes that Lord Shiva was performing Tandav Nritya, the cosmic dance of destruction. "While dancing his locks got disheveled and from them the five streams came down. These are considered holy and bathing in them is considered as auspicious. Some very rare types of wild flowers of variegated colors and kinds are found. Here one faces cold winds, cause the skin to crack. Hence cold cream.Vaseline are very useful for protection of skin. Some Yatries are also effected by deficiency of oxygen. Some may get the feeling of vomiting, so dry fruit like Allu Bukhara, sour and sweet eatables like lemon are useful to control these symptoms.

The Holy Cave Shri Amarnath

The Holy Cave of Shri Amarnath is only 6 kms from Panchtarni. As there is no place to stay hence the pilgrims start in the early hours of the morning after their stay at Pachtarni. The pilgrims have to carry their eatables for the day. On the way to The Holy Cave one come across the Sangam of Amravati and Panchtarni. Some pilgrims take bath here to become pious. Near the cave is found white soil known as Bhasam. It is the most beloved soil of Shiv ji. The pilgrims apply this Holy soil to their body and then go for Shivlingam Darshan. There are two smaller Shivlings one of Maa Parvati and other of Shri Ganesh. It may be noted that after having early Darshan of the Shivlinga at Holy Cave one can return to Panchtarni well in time the same day. Some pilgrims camp at Panchtarni while others continue their journey and reach back Sheshnag by the same evening.

Outside the cave are seen two pigeons which are present there throughout the year. Entrance to the cave is regulated, and darshan a hasty affair for there are many others waiting outside to pay homage before the awesome Shivalingam. The devotees sing bhajans, chant incantations, and priests perform aarti and puja, invoking the blessing of Shiva, the divine, the pure, the absolute.

It often happens that the weather gets overcast with dark clouds and it rains excessively but in spite of the devotees with strong determination go up the cave and are rewarded with the darshan of the Lord's ice lingam. Those who have true devotion and faith in Lord Shiva never turn their back during the Yatra but go steadfast up to the cave.

2- Jammu-Baltal-Holy Cave Route: (414km)
Jammu - Baltal (400km).


The distance between Jammu and Baltal can be covered by Taxis / Buses available at Tourist Reception Centre, J & K / bus stand or one can come to Srinagar by air and then reach Baltal by road. The road route followed is :
Jammu - Udhampur - Kud - Patnitop - Ramban -Banihal - KaziGund - Anantnag - Srinagar - Sonamarg - Baltal

Baltal to Holy Cave

From Baltal Holy Cave is just 14 Kms. This distance can be covered by foot / Ponies. However, Dandies are also available for handicapped and old aged pilgrims. The width of the Kacha road is bit narrow as compared to the Chandanwari - Holy Cave route, moreover , there are some steep rises & falls on the way , as compared to the Chandanwari route, but pilgrims can return back to base camp Baltal through this route only in one day

Some Useful Tips on Holy Yatra

TheYatra is organised by the Jammu & Kashmir Govt., in the month of Shravan, and commences mainly from Pahalgam on specified dates. In recent years the route from Baltal has also been thrown open for the pilgrims to approach the holy Cave.

Dress :

Pilgrims are advised to carry sufficient wollens such as sweaters, drawers, wollen trousers, monkey cap etc. Other items could include wind cheaters, rain coat, sleeping bag or blankets, umbrella, waterproof boots/shoes, walking stick, torch etc. Ladies are advised not to go on the trek in saris, instead pants or Salwar suits with drawers should be used.

Provisions :

Essential rations are available at fair price rates from the specially established Govt. Depots at Chandanwari, Sheshnag and Panchtami, Numerous wayside tea-shops and small restaurants are set up by private parties. However, pilgrims are advised to carry with them biscuits, toffees, tinned food etc. to cater to their immediate needs. Firewood or gas can be obtained at Chandanwari, Sheshnag (Wawajan), Panchtami and near the Cave.

Medical Assistance :

Medical posts manned by qualified doctors and nursing staff are established enroute to cater to the needs of the pilgrims, free of cost. However, pilgrims are advised to carry along any medicines specifically prescribed for them.

Insurance :

In view of the hazardous nature of the yatra, all yatries are advised to insure themselves, preferably before departure from the home stations. However, arrangements for insurance will also be available at the two base-camps during the yatra period.

Accommodation :

Good tented accommodation with allied facilities are set-up during the Yatra period by the J&K TDC as well as private parties. These are provided on the basis of payment of rates fixed by the State authorities. Facilities for booking of such accommodation will be available at the base camps.

Registration :

Registration of pilgrims are undertaken about a month ahead of the date fixed for commencement of Yatra. The dates are generally notified through press advertisements. No Yatri will be allowed to proceed on the journey without a Registration Car.

Langar Permission :

All applications (with particular mention of sewadars for a particular period) for grant of permission to set up free langar(s) by NGOs should reach the office of the Director Tourism (Kashmir), Srinagar, Tel./Fax. 0194-2479548 on or before Due date. No application shall be entertained/accepted after the cut-off date.

Registration

The following are designated Registration Officers and their addresses:

  1. Assistant Director-Tourism,J&K Govt.,New Delhi
    (For residents of Delhi ,Rajsthan, UP, Uttaranchal and Harayana)


  2. Asstt.Director Tourism , J&K Govt.,Channai
    (For residents of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Pondicherry)


  3. Tourist Officer, J&K Govt., Mumbai
    (For residents of Maharastra,MP, Chattisgarh and Goa)


  4. Tourist Officer, J&K Govt., Kolkata
    (For Residents of West Bengal, Orissa,Bihar, Jharkhand and North Eastern States)


  5. Asstt. Tourist Officer, J&K Govt., Ahmedabad
    (For residents of Gujarat State)


  6. Asstt. Tourist Officer, J&K Govt., Hyderabad
    (For residents of A.P. and Karnataka)


  7. Dy.Direator Tourism, J&K Govt., Jammu
    (For residents of Jammu, Punjab, HP and Chandigarh)

Meet the Yatra Officer:

The Deputy Commissioner (Distt. Magistrate), Anantnag is designated as Yatra Officer for the Holy Yatra. He is responsible for making the necessary arrangemnets for the Yatra and keep the Disaster Managemnet Plan ready in case of any eventuality. Yatra contacted on the below given address:

Yatra Officer,
Sh. Amarnath Ji Yatra,
C/O Dy. Commissioner's Office,
Anantnag (J&K).
PIN: 192101
Tel. Nos.:01932-222337 (O); 222335 (R)
FAX: 01932-223164
E-mail: dcang@jk.nic.in, anantnag@hub.nic.in

Kokernag

Basically, the real name of Kokernag is Bindoo Zalangam, as recorded in the revenue records. It is situated at a distance of about 17 Kms. from district headquarters. Kokernag is a collection of many small springs and their collective appearance resembles to the claws of a Koker (cock). Kokernag is the largest fresh water spring of Kashmir and its water has many curative and digestive properties. The word Kokernag has been derived from the two words namely, Koker and Nag. The word Koker has been taken from a Kashmiri word "Morgee" meaning chicken, while the word nag has been taken from Sanskrit word "Nag" meaning snake. Regarding the name of Kokernag, there are different versions. According to a famous legend it was a saint ( Gushwami) who came from some unknown place to this place along with his bucket. During his rest, some women folk came from the nearby densely forested area's in search of water, they failed in their search. Ultimately they saw the saint in a deep sleep with his bucket in front of him. The women folk went towards him in order kill thirst with his water, but when they opened the lid of the bucket they found snake in it which escaped and crept on the ground. As soon as it crept, its shape changed into a chicken called "Koker" in Kashmir, It dug the soil of the land by paws and water gushed out from these places, wherever it dug. This is the reason due to which we call the place Kokernag today. Saint was seeing all these happenings in his dream. Legend is that if he would have not opened his eyes all area of this place would have become a big lake or flood may have occurred.

It is also famous for its trout streams and the largest fresh water spring in Kashmir, Trout hatchery department which has constructed pools in series where in trout is reared. Different pools have got trout with different weights and ages. Departments sells it to the tourists who find it a delicious dish and enjoy it. Kokernag is eight miles form Achabal and famous for the curative properties of its beautiful springs. The total area of Kokernag is 300 Kanals of which 129 kanals is for the purpose of gardens and the rest is forest area. Kokernag has some historical importance also. Kokernag has been mentioned in Ain Akbari, where in it has been mentioned that the water of Kokernag satisfies both hunger and thirst and it is also a remedy for indigestion. The author of Ain Akbari notices that touch-stone is found in Kokernag.

Nagbal

The entire complex is known popularly as Nagabal and is famous Hindu religious center in Anantnag District. It is situated in the east corner of the town. The holy spring which originates from here and the formation of which is attributed to Vishno or Narayana is said to be a Vedic 'tirath'. The spring rises beautifully from the foot of a small hill-lock and is dedicated to the worship of Ananta or Vishno. It enjoys a commanding position having a big tank which encloses the spring. Lower down another tank dotted with the temple in its center is built. There are long shady chinnars which stand guard round the tank. These tanks are full of sacred fish and the place also serves as shelter and shade to many weary pilgrims who visit it from different places in and out side the State. By the left side of the holy spring, a small temple now partly in dilapidated condition had been constructed in the times of Maharaja Rambir Singh, the second Dogra Ruler of Kashmir. The deity of Ananta Baghwan has been installed in a small temple just at the outlet of the spring. The Naghbal complex has also other temples built in its premises. The oldest among them being Shiv Ji temple in which the deity of lord Shiva has been installed in the reign of Maharaja Partap Singh somewhere in 1885 to 1925 A.D. There is also a sulphur spring in the Naghbal complex, which is visited by persons suffering from skin deceases. A Gurdwara has also been built in the same complex. Down this temple-cum spring complex is another tank with a large number of fish. A small garden popularly known as Sher Bagh surrounds this fish tank. A small mosque has also been built in the Sher Bagh.

Other Places of tourist interest

Among other places there are many other springs like Sulphur Spring of Malaknag. Badshah Bagh (a Mughal garden) is another beautiful garden situated near the historical town of Bijbehara. Bunbagh is another charming garden located in the Anantnag town.

Ahrabal

Ahrabal is about 45 Kms. from district headquarters is another fascinating place. At Ahrabal there is a water fall on Vishou rive, probably the highest waterfall of Valley. The pleasant climate and the natural waterfall are the source of attraction for tourists. The area needs some more attention from tourism point of view in order to attract tourists in large numbers.

Kungwatan/Guriwattan

These two places are respectively 10 Kms. and 2 Kms. away from Ahrabal. Due to lack of infrastructure like roads, accommodation etc. a small fraction of tourists visit these beautiful places. Kounsarnagh, which is considered the source of River Vishou is another location of tourist interest in the District

Verinag

Verinag spring is of great importance and beauty, with deep blue water which issues from the bottom of a high scrap of a mountain spur and here also Emperor Jehangir built a garden and pleasure house. The Verinag spring is about 26 kilometers away from Anantnag and is considered as the original source of river Jehlum. The spring is situated at the bottom of hill covered by pine trees and evergreen plants. The wonderful and charming construction of the spring as well as it's adjacent garden compel the visitors to see it again and again. The construction of the banks of spring as well as it's surroundings is of rare shape. The Mughal Emperor Jehangir constructed it and carvers for the purpose were brought from Iran. The construction date of the spring is 1029 H is duly inscribed on a stone installed at the western gate of entry towards the spring.

Daksum

Located in the dense forests, this scenic spot falls on the Anantnag-Symthan-Kishtwar road. A gushing stream flows through Daksum whcih is rich in trout fish. It is a forest retreat girdled by mountains. The surrounding forests are famous for fauna and flora. This famous tourist sport is in the south east of Anantnag town and is about a distance of 40 kilometers from district headquarter.

Pahalgam District at a glance

Item Unit Reference period Magnitude
Area
a. Area according village papers
b. Net area sown
c. Gross area sown
d. Area sown more than once
e. Net area irrigated
f. Gross area irrigated
Sq.Kms. 2000-01
3984
79528
102458
23986
49560
75686
Population
a. Male
b. Female
lac Souls 2001
6.09
5.61
Total 11.70
Rural & Urban Pop.
a. Urban
b. Rural
lac Souls 2001
1.69
10.01
Total 11.70
Schedule cast Pop. No's 2001 12
Schedule tribe No's 2001 73000
Decennial Pop. % age of growth rate. % 2001 29.04%
Sex Ratio No's 2001 922 Female: 1000 male
Avg. House Hold size No's. 2001 07
Working Force
a) Main Workers
b) Marginal workers
c) Cultivators
d) Agri. Labroures
e) Household industry workers
f) Other workers
g) Decadal population growth rate
i) Population Density

No's

2001




1991-01
2001

257131
135220
167092
39921
33795
151543
32.70%
294
Villages/Blocks
a. Inhabited
b. Un-inhabited
No's 2001
628
19
Total 645
No. of Towns Nos. 2001 9 (8 NAC's, 1 TAC)
Blocks/Tehsils etc
a. Blocks
b. Tehsils
c. Nayabat Circles
d. Patwar Halqas
e. Panchayat Halqas
f. Police Stations
g. Police Posts
Nos. 2002
12 viz< Achabal/Shangus/Breng/Shahabad/ Kulgam/ Qazigund/D.H. Pora /Qaimoh/Dachnipora/ Khoveripora/Pahloo/Devsar
05 Viz Kulgam, Anantnag, Dooru, Bijbehara, Pahalgam
26
146
309
11
12
Education
Literacy rate
a. Male
b. Female


%


2001


55.56
31.50
Total 44.10
Educational Institutions
a. Hr. Sec. Schools
b. High Schools
c. Middle Schools
d. Pry. Schools
e. Colleges
f. DIET
No's 2002-03
26
83
249
887+79(SSA)
2
1
Total 12.27
Teacher Pupil Ratio
a. High/Hr.Sec. Schools
b. Middle Schools
c. Primary Schools
Nos. 2001-02
1:16
1:16
1:41
Average 1.24
Accommodation Status
a. Gutted buildings
  1) Hr.Sec. Schools
  2) High Schools
  3) Middle Schools
  4) Primary Schools
b. Buildings
  1) Govt. owned
  2) Rented
  3) Under construction

Nos.




Nos.

2002-2003




2002-2003


9 (7 complete, 2 u/c)
36 (28 complete, 7 u/c, 1 to be taken)
46 (34 complete, 12 to be taken)
66 (62 complete, 4 to be taken)

610
635
35
Total 1280
Teaching Staff
a. Masters
b. Teachers
c. RTs (para teachers)
d. RTs in SSA schools
Nos. 2002-2003
456
5445
1008 (as on 3/5/03)
158
Total 7067
Roads
a. Block topped
b. Metalled
c. Shingled
d. Fair weather
Kms. 2001-2002
419
581
322
125
Total 1447
Industries
a. Formal registration
b. Emp. generated
No's 2001-2002
3227
8223
Animal Husbandry
a. Cattle
b. Buffaloes
c. No. of vet. units

Lac
No's
2001-2002
3.43
0.10
162
Sheep Husbandry
a. Seep population
b. Goats
c. Mutton Production
d. Wool production
e. Sheep extension centres

Lac.
No's
Lac Kgs
No's
2001-2002
3.71
0.50
18.90
6.30
80
No. of Vet. Units No's 161
P.H.E
a. No. of village covered
b. No. of tube wells
c. No. of dug wells
d. No. of Public Stand Posts
e. No. of private pipe connections
No's 2001-02
626
43
156
1620
12688
Health
a. Distt. Hospital
b. Sub-Distt. Hospital
c. P.H.C's
d. Family Welfare/ Sub Centres
e. Allopathic Dispensaries
f. Ayurvadic/union Dispensaries
g. Medical Aid Centers
h. Other institutions
No's 2001-02 1
5
35
198
24
40
39
25
Total 367
Hospital Beds available in District
Patient Doctor Ratio
Population Doctor Ratio
Nos. 2001 560
4499
5619
Agriculture (Crop)
 a. Wheat
 b. Paddy
 c. Maize
High Yielding Variety
 a) Wheat
 b) Paddy
 c) Maize
 d) Vegetables
 e) Oil Seeds
 f) Fodder
 g) Others
Hects. 2001-02
07
37577
25686

-
36800
23500
2700
24450
2750
690
Irrigation
(Area irrigated by source)
a. Canals
b. Springs
c. Wells &Tube well
d. Others
Hects. 2001-02 44089
1301
23
4202
Total 49615
Banking (No. of branches)
a. J&K Bank
b. State Bank of India
c. Punjab National Bank
d. Anantnag Central Co-operative
e. Urban Co-operative Bank
e. Elaquai Dehati Bank
f. Land Dev. Bank
g. Canara Bank
Nos. 2002
27
06
07
16
2
26
6
1
Total 91
Post & Telegraph
a. Head Post Office
b. Sub-Post Office
c. Branch Post Office
d. Telegraph Office
e. No. of telephone connections
Nos 2001-2002 1
25
215
4
5782