Known as Angler's Paradise, Fishing in the River Lidder for fresh trout fish is a popular activity in Pahalgam. Tourists should get a licence first from the Directorate of Fisheries in Srinagar, which is valid either for 1 or for 3 days. It is better if you apply online at www.jkfisheries.in because you won't get it in Pahalgam. If you try your hand just for fun, don't forget to ask the experts, how to release the fish you catch.
Lidder River has excellent brown Trouts and mahaseer and that too in abundance. The months of April to September are the best to catch fishes and the huge crowd that gathers and the noise tells you how interesting and competitive the sport becomes.
Rules for Angling
· You cannot fish without a license / permit procurable from the Directorate of Fisheries, present at Srinagar.
· The license is valid for one day only. The bag limit is for 6 fish only.
· The license / permit should be kept along during fishing and produced to the departmental officials on demand.
· No sub-letting, sharing or transfer of fish permit allowed. All natural baits, dead or alive, are fully prohibited. Only artificial-fly-fishing is allowed. Only one rod per angler is allowed, which means if you have one licence, only one person should be seen with the rod. Family members can stay together, but only one person can fish.
· The department can provide the services of experienced Gillis (Shikaries) on request. Other terms and conditions can be given on spot by the officer / officials of the department.
· Anglers lodges of the state fisheries department can be allotted subject to the availability. The request for the same should be made at least three days earlier to the Directorate of Fisheries.
Licence / Permits
The Fishing licence / permit is available from the Directorate of Fisheries, 77-B, Gogjibagh, Jawahar Nagar, Srinagar. The angling fee, charged on a daily basis @ Rs. 2000/- per day from foreigners and Rs. 1000/- per day from locals.
How to Reach Pahalgam
Pahalgam unfortunately does not have any airport and depends on the closest one in Srinagar, which is 90 km away. This Sheikh-Ul-Alam Airport has excellent connectivity with Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Jammu and provides quick service to the tourists.
Cabs and taxis can be hired from the airport to reach Pahalgam. If you are a couple, you can also use a shared taxi and pay only a fraction of the fare needed for a full taxi. It is best to negotiate with only one cab else noisy scenes result if you turn to another vendor.
Udhampur is a nearest railway station at 220 km, then the next nearest is Katra, 270 km and the farthest is Jammu, 285 km away, that connect Pahalgam to the major cities of India. After reaching any of the stations, a private vehicle is required to reach Pahalgam. The travelers have the option of either hiring a private cab or taxi to reach their destination.
Local taxis and cabs are available at Jammu & Udhampur stations for various destinations in the valley. Katra is new on the circuit and not many options exist for travelling further. It is better to get down at Udhampur.
If travelling in a group you can also hire mini buses. We advise to negotiate beforehand and never turn to other operator midway, as noisy scenes are reported. Couples and small families can try hiring a shared taxi and you can save much money travelling.
From Srinagar, Pahalgam is 98 kilometers away. State Road Transport buses, luxury buses and taxis ply to and fro. Buses take around 2.5-3 hours whereas cabs need half the time. The best part being you can halt the cab at any point for clicking pictures.
If you can wait for a few minutes, even rigid cab owners give in to charging per person. This benefits all individual passengers and couples because booking a full cab means paying manifold.
Driving Own Vehicle
If you are travelling on own vehicle we recommend you to change your tyres with those that can handle roads in this region. It can make a huge difference in costing and budget travelers should consider another mode of travel.
Best Time to Visit Pahalgam
The best time for families start from March end onwards. However, it all depends on what temperatures you can withstand and what you are looking for! Every season & every climate has its own merits.
Kashmir has reserved something very unique for every season. For example, Skiing and every snow related activity needs the winter season.
Pahalgam welcomes tourists with open arms throughout the year. The tourists prefer to visit in three distinct seasons: Summers, monsoon and winters. Each has its own merits which tourists like and flock in big numbers.
The summer season in Pahalgam between April and June sees the maximum footfall from general as well as from those participating in the annual Amarnath Yatra. During this season, the weather is pleasant and maybe even a bit warm and favourable for day sightseeing. When planning to stay out please carry a light jacket, just in case the weather sees drastic change. You definitely need light woolens at night because the nights are sometimes chilly. Temperature generally ranges between 11 and 25 degrees.
Winter in Pahalgam is all about fresh, flaky snow and heavy woolens. The temperature usually hovers near sub-zero levels. The season starts in November and continues till February. Sightseeing is minimum as the landscape is white and some more white. However, those interested in skiing and skating (in the rink nearby or on frozen rivers), this is the ideal season as when it snows, it pours and pours. December and January it usually snows heavily.
If you love playing in snow, this is the time for throwing snowballs and making the snowman. Teenagers love the ease by which they roll down hills. They also love the experience when their feet get buried in snow. The chilly winds often play spoilsport making the winter a spine chilling experience.
The rainfall from July to September is scanty but the weather can be extremely humid though it rarely stays for long. The rain seldom spoils your outdoor activities. Couples love the mystic environs as the hovering clouds try filling the valley with their vapours. The skies are generally clear and are great for stargazing.
This is also the offseason period and my tourists prefer visiting Pahalgam now. The tourism industry rains freebies in a bid to welcome the meager tourists.
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