Among the most popular tourist attractions in Kulgam, the sheer magnificence of Aharbal, located on the River Veshav, is a sight to behold and befitting of its sobriquet – ‘Niagara falls of Kashmir ‘The rumble of fierce white water gushing through, amplified by the tranquil environs, are like beats of nature that merge into a pool of calm, azure blue water, after the 25 metre fall. This one promises to mesmerize not just nature lovers but avid photographers too and with fishing spots and trekking options closeby, it has something for everyone.
Nestled in the lap of Pir Panjal peaks on three sides, this snow fed lake in Kulgam, the source of River Veshav, is situated at about 4000 ft above sea level. Aharbal to Kousarnag, via Kungwattan and Mahinag is a major trek route, spanning 3 days. Once at the lake, trekkers are met with the breathtaking views of striking hues of blue against the rugged terrain. Its tranquil, crystal clear water and the serene summits above make for the perfect nature spot to reinvigorate the senses.
A short distance from the Manzgam (6 Km Approx.). Interspersed with luxuriant forest trees with towering mountains in sight, this vast expanse of emerald green is an untouched slice of nature’s bounty. The open, lush landscape of this montane meadow, bifurcated into hear (small) and bon (big) Chiranbal, offers a spectacular panoramic view. Campers and nature lovers can soak in nature’s goodness while the Zajinar River, on the banks of which Chiranbal is situated, offers fishing and swimming for enthusiasts.
Tucked away in DH Pora , surrounded by Pine forests and snow capped mountains is a hidden green gem called Badi Bahek. The untouched alpine pasture spread over acres of verdant green, dotted by a few nomad mud huts, is nature in its pristine glory. Its pure, picturesque beauty is a feast for the eyes. In the midst of the Behek lies Peer-Nag where a mere dip into it offers spiritual solace for the believers. An ideal camping site and picnic spot. It also has much to offer for those interested in an adrenaline pumping trek.
VASAK NAG KUND:
Situated at Kund, Tehsil Devsar in Kulgam Vasak Nag is a cold water spring of special significance. The Waltengo Nar villagers believe it is the outcome of a pact between the Sufi Saint Syed Noor Shah Baghdadi (RA) and a Hindu seer that the spring flows merely for 6 months before disappearing back into the earth mysteriously. It is welcomed with much fanfare around the 15th of April when it emerges and bid farewell when it disappears around the 15th of September, each year. Whether a geographical wonder or of spiritual origin the spring makes for an must visit for any traveler looking to explore off beat places.
A piece of tragic history lies buried under Kulgam’s snow covered Houen Heng (Dog’s Horn) peak (4200 ft above sea level). On 7th February 1966 a Fokker F 27 IA aircraft veered 12 miles off its course, crashing straight into the mountain, claiming all 37 lives on board. People recount a civil society campaign to recover the corpses from their snowy graves, led by a local businessman who lost his son in the crash. Time stands still here as the debries, well preserved to this day, beckon visitors to hear their tale.
ZIYARAT SHARIEF SHEIKH UL AALAM (RA) CHIMMER:
Sheikh-Ul-Alam (RA) was born and brought up in Qaimoh. He had spent most of his life in Qaimoh. At the age of 30, he left for his home & retired to caves for meditation. The cave is located in a small village Guffabal of Tehsil Qaimoh and is about 15 feet deep. The place is visited by pilgrims to the present day.
Sheikh ul Aalam (RA) may well be considered the patron saint of Kulgam. Immortalized by his verses that reflect the syncretic Sufi-Reshi tradition of Kashmir, he holds a venerated place among the saints who have shaped the culture and ethos of the land.
Chimmer in Kulgam, where he spent several years, has an Astan (Shrine) devoted to him that reverberates with peace and piety. Though modest in its exterior, it pays homage to his life philosophy and the tranquility one feels here is unmatched.
SYED SIMNANIA (RA) ZIYARAT SHARIEF KULGAM:
Previously called Shampora, Kulgam as it is called today, owes it name to the celebrated Iranian Saint Syed Simanania (RA) who choose to settle here, while travelling through Kashmir.
Having left an indelible mark on the people through his life and teachings, no visit to Kulgam can be complete without a visit to his Astaan (Shrine), believed to have been erected at the very spot he first set his eyes on.
During Urs, which is held with much aplomb, the deodar shrine and its open courtyard is decorated, festivities line the streets as the faithful flock to his shrine in large numbers.
Here the soulful Sufi tradition of Kashmir is at its best and simply not one to be missed.
PANCHANPATHRI D K MARG KULGAM:
Situated close to Sheikh ul Aalam (RA) Astaan (Shrine) at Chimmer is Panchanpathri ( pathri meaning valley).With its open lush ground lined by alpine trees and a cool stream flowing through it, it serves as an idyllic picnic spot for those looking for leisure travel and offers a perfect skiing opportunity during winters. It has also gained popularity as a cricket ground among the locals and it is likely may chance upon a game in action.
There are some unexplored areas/places waiting to be unraveled and discovered. Kulgam has tons of secrets buried deep in some bizarre places, most of which will leave you awestruck and with an unquenchable thirst for exploring more. Below listed are some undetected places in Kulgam that are worth a visit if your inner detective is already stirring up!
Kadlabal, Zagimarg, Hakwas, Khudpathri, Kongwattan (All meadows)
Sundartop, Mangnard, Trajan (Mounts)
Brahmasar, Chirsar, Indrasar (Lakes)
Ziyarat Sharief at Qaimoh/Kund/Sopat