Tourist Places in Anantnag

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, Kokernag, Achabal, Daksum and world famous health resort of Pahalgam. Before the advent of militancy in the state, during the summer months these places used to be filled to the brim by tourists coming from all parts of the country and a large number of foreign tourists also used to visit these places. Now the Government is pursuing hard through sustained efforts in putting the tourist industry back on the rails and efforts are on for face-lifting the physical appearance of these places. The damaged tourist infrastructure like Huts, Dak Bungalows and Rest Houses are being re-constructed and it is hoped that the past glory of the places of tourist interest get restored and tourist industry will again flourish in the district.
 

  Places of Tourist interest & their Distance/Route From the District Headquarter, Anantnag  
  
S.No Place of Tourist Interest Distance (Kms.) Route
01 Mattan 07 Khanabal Pahalgam Road
02 Pahalgam 43 Khanabal Pahalgam Road
03 Achabal 08 Anantnag Daksum Road
04 Kokernag 25 Anantnag Daksum Road
05 Daksum 40 Anantnag Daksum Road
06 Verinag 26 Anantnag Dooru Veerinag Road
07 Wasaknag 30 Anantnag Qazigund Kund Road
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  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. Once a great tourist puller and favourite place for shooting of Bollywood films is perhaps the best health resort in the country. 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. A number of treks in this region also begin from Pahalgam, as the 35 km trail traverses through pinewoods to the spectacular Kolahoi Glacier.
The Village of nomad is un-spoilt by the ravages of progress. This place is an angler's delight and even an amateur can catch a rainbow trout from the rushing streams. The large brown bear is a natural inhabitant of the thick Pine and Cedar forests. Pahalgam has a golf course at 2400 meters above the sea level. Camping equipment, ponies and skiing equipment is readily available. Kolahoi is a popular destination via Aru a charming meadow.  
Around Pahalgam are many places of interest, and because the resort is set between fairly steep hills, it is worth hiring a pony rather than walking. Pony fares are posted at prominent locations.
The most beautiful of these is the huge, undulating meadow of Baisaran, surrounded by thickly wooded forests of pine. Hajan, on the way to Chandanwari, is an idyllic spot for a picnic. Filmgoers will recognize it instantly as it has been the location of several movie scenes.
Pahalgam has within it no fewer than eight tiny villages, one of which is Mamal. There is a Shiva temple here, generally considered to be Kashmir's oldest existing temple, dating to the 5th century.
Pahalgam is also associated with the annual Amarnath Yatra. Chandanwari (2,895 m), 16 kms from Pahalgam, is the starting point of the yatra that takes place every year in the month of Sawan (July to August). The road from Pahalgam to Chandanwari is on fairly flat terrain and can be undertaken by car. From Chandanwari onwards the track becomes much steeper, and is accessible on foot or by pony. About 11 kms from Chandanwari is the mountain lake of Sheshnag (3,574 m), after which, 13 kms away is the last stop, Panchtarni. The Amarnath cave is 6 kms away from there. During the month of Sawan, an ice stalagmite forms a natural Shivling in the Amarnath cave, which waxes and wanes with the moon. Visit Shri AmarnathJi Shrine Board's Website for detailed information on the Amaranath Yatra.


 Achabal  

Perhaps the most beautiful of springs is Achabal, which gushes out of the Sosanwar hill, and was once enlisted by the emperor Jehangir in the service of beauty and pleasure. It is said that the Breng river which disappears at Dewalgam in the fissures of the limestone is the real source of the Achabal spring.
Achabal is an important tourist place about 8 kilometres away from Anantnag. The place is fmous and attractivedue to an ancient spring surrounded by a garden terraced and developed by the Mughals. The place has got some historical background also. The upper portion of the garden is called 'Bag-e-Begum Abad' developed by Malika Noor Jehan Begum in 1620 AD and renowned as Sahib Abad in which there was a Hamam (treasure of water) getting heat from a logical lamp (Tosng).
Cascades and fountains erected by Mughal Emperors enhance the beauty of the spot. A mosque standing in the garden believed to have been
constructed by Mughal Prince Dara Shikwah. Achabal was once the pleasure retreat of Empress Noor Jehan. A trout hatchery is also located nearby.


 Kokernag  

Basically, the real name of Kokernag is Bindoo Zalangam, as recordedin 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 its is also a remedy for indigestion. The author of Ain Akbari notices that touch-stone is found in Kokernag.

 

 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 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

 

 

 
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