7 kilometres from Pahalgam, is the Betaab Valley at an elevation of 8300 feet above sea level – of dense pine and deodar forests interspersed with large clearances of lush green meadows.
Betaab Valley was originally called the Hajan Valley. Post its filming of the Bollywood 1983 blockbuster – ‘Betaab’, Hajan was renamed Betaab. Since this discovery the Betaab Valley has become a film-maker’s favourite locale for romantic films.
Betaab Valley is the mouth of Sheshnag River which originates from the Sheshnag Lake which gets its water from the melting glaciers – little further up from it. The Valley is towards northeast of Pahalgam and falls between Pahalgam and Chandanwadi and is enroute Amarnath Yatra. The Valley is surrounded by snow-tipped mountains which appear skirted with tall conifers that occupy a majority of the mountain-scape when viewed from the valley. The sound of the rushing river and that of the gushing cool breeze laden with moisture on these vast open grasslands, and wooden arc bridges across River Sheshnag makes your stay here truly enjoyable and memorable. A perfect spot for a picnic!
Betaab Valley is also an Angler’s delight with numerous trout-fishing avenues. Fishing permit is required to go fishing in Betaab Valley. Whether you want to trot, canter or gallop, Betaab Valley is the right place for horse riding. You can hire horses here by the hour and you must try it. How many places around your home can you actually get to ride a horse in? This is your only chance to give life to your fantasy. The boys who hire out their horses also can teach you riding. Or simply ask those boys to fox-trot around and watch this magnificent animal showoff its balance and gait.
So picturesque is this Valley that it offers myriad mini locales for photography and a bunch of photographers are always jaunting around clicking away photos of visitors.
A natural inhabitant of the Pine and Cedar Forests of Pahalgam is the Brown Bear. With regular sightings in and around Pahalgam, the Brown Bear maintains a prominent presence in this region. Also visible are Monkeys who populate this area and are looking for food at the camp sites.
Betaab Valley is also a favourite campsite of travellers from America and Europe as it is also serves as a base for trekking and further exploration of the mountains.