This is very often refered to as the Switzerland of India. Pahalgam at 2’150 meters is a bustling fresh air vacation spot in the foothills of the Himalaya. Brisc air lets you get out your sweater and the Indians to wrap up in all their woolens, down jackets, gloves and caps as they come up from the hot lowlands. Cosy alpine styled hotels, great food, pony rides, fishing, hiking, etc. are there to enjoy.
Agriculture is Kashmir’s main contribution to the Indian economy besides tourism. 70% of all apples consumed in India come from the orchards we pass. Herds of sheep and goats provide wool, milk and meat. There is even a cheesfactory run by the sheperds wifes that has been started by a dutchman that got stranded here.
Reshma is the widow of a sheperd who has to bring up her children by herself. Beeing enterpreneurial she started to offer guided tours through the forest and visiting the nomads hamlet which is the home of her relatives.
We start our mountain treck from Aru at 2’450 m at the end of the road. Passing through stands of high pine trees we slowly climb up into a narrow valley with lush mountain meadows where the sheperds spend the summer with their livestock. On the way we cross muletrains that bring the wool and camp equipment down to the market and the families winter pastures.
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