The cyclone uproots many small trees, but the Chinar keeps standing tall and strong, as glorious as ever. Covid has hit the hospitality industry globally. Small hotels and restaurants across the world have been forced to shut down. But a grand old Chinar of Pahalgam is standing steady, holding itself high and waiting for the cyclone to pass. This is the Pahalgam Hotel, a 110-year-old property on the banks of the delightful Lidder river in Kashmir.
If you are planning a break after the current Covid stress is over, you can put Pahalgam Hotel on your bucket list. For visiting for a few hours or staying overnight, this certified heritage property of Kashmir may be the right choice.
Imagine rooms and suites overlooking the gushing Lidder river. Imagine sitting on a well-manicured lawn on the banks of the river, sipping kehwa or tea. The world-famous Kashmiri cuisine Wazwan is a must-have for all who visit Kashmir, and you get delicious Wazwan here. The hotel also serves Batwaza, the traditional Kashmiri vegetarian cuisine. “The motive of our hotel is to represent Kashmiri traditional culture globally,” says Muzaffar Nazir, Manager Pahalgam Hotel. A visit to the restaurant of Pahalgam Hotel reveals that tourists of many nationalities have given positive feedback to the hotel.
Though Covid has crippled the blooming markets of Pahalgam, Hotel Pahalgam still gets visitors daily, attracted to its amazing location and ambience. The hotel boasts of luxurious rooms, central heating system, library, restaurants, swimming pools and the most delightful river-side lawns.
What struck me first was the traditional and stately attire of the men working here. Their attire is the black Khan dress and the short Sadri (waistcoat). Pahalgam Hotel brings to you the tangible heritage of Kashmir in the décor, the various artefacts in the hotel and also the attire worn by the staff.
I pride myself on our rich Kashmiri culture. So I was truly charmed to see the hotel staff attired in the traditional Kashmiri attire.
The hotel management informed me that in order to celebrate the rich Kashmiri culture, it is mandatory for the serving staff of the hotel to wear traditional clothing.
Before militancy hit the Valley, a large number of Bollywood hits were shot in Pahalgam. The Pahalgam Hotel was using as a location in many movies.
Lidder amusement park is situated close to the hotel. Pahalgam Hotel is just 100 kilometers from Srinagar airport.
The hotel is spread over about two acres, and has about 110 employees. It is a certified heritage property of Kashmir.
Pahalgam Hotel does not have any franchise or chain. In the 1980s, it was the first hotel in the mountains to have a pub and a disco.
The handmade Kashmiri wood carving on the furniture has the perfect mix of sophistication and comfort, and celebrates the essence of Kashmiri tradition. The manual heating system made of copper is a charming reminder of old times. We can see a traditional touch everywhere in the hotel, be it the lighting or the choice of furniture.