February is the month of love and there are places where love fills the air. From the mighty mountains to ravishing rivers - everything makes you fall in love with nature and blesses one’s soul. One such place which made me fall in love with it is Aharbal, a small town with the most wonderful waterfall in Kashmir.
Most of the people visiting Kashmir prefer going to destinations like Sonamarg, Gulmarg, and Pahalgam but Kashmir’s beauty is beyond these conventional places. Aharbal is one such destination that needs to be on everyone’s itinerary visiting Kashmir.
Aharbal waterfall, also known as the ‘Niagara Falls of Kashmir’, is one of the most magnificent waterfalls in India. The fierce rumble of white water gushing through the alpine valley merges into a pool of calm azure blue water after the 25-meter fall. Not for the height but the volume of water crashing down makes up for the magnificence of the waterfall, christening it the ‘Niagara Falls of Kashmir’. This waterfall, that is formed on the Veshu River, is a tributary of Jhelum and is located in the Noorabad area of Distt Kulgam in Jammu and Kashmir.
How to reach?
Aharbal is one of the most easily accessible waterfalls in Kashmir. It is 70 km from Srinagar and can be reached in two and a half hours via Shopian road. There is also an alternate route that takes you through Kulgam.
The nearest railway station is Anantnag Railway Station and the nearest airport is Srinagar Airport.
Aharbal during winters:
Despite being soothing in summer, the waterfall is beyond beautiful in winter. The white cover over the gushing blue water presents a perfect colour combination for a visually breathtaking experience.
Does it turn into a frozen waterfall during winter?
This is a natural question that arises considering the temperature drop in Kashmir, but the answer to that question would be a “No”. Even during the peak of winters, with snow on either side, there is still water flowing in the river which only enhances the beauty of Aharbal Waterfall.
Is it accessible during winter?
Yes, it is. The road till Shopian remains open throughout the year. The last stretch of 15 km from Shopian to the waterfall may get blocked during the heavy snowfall but mostly it remains open.
Where to stay?
Unfortunately, apart from the JK Tourism Resort, there are not many options for staying in Aharbal, and a day trip is usually advisable since you can return back to Srinagar in the evening with ease and comfort.
The waterfall along with the alpine valley is quite peaceful and scenic which makes it ideal for expeditions, trekking, photography, and fishing (for fishing, you need to take prior permission from the Aharbal Fishery Department). And if you are not in the mood to do any of these things, you can just sit and gaze at the mighty waterfall and the blue water flowing through the huge rocks and simply relish the calming experience.
If you want to make the most of this day trip, you can add Mughal Road/ Peer ki Gali with it which is close to Aharbal. If you start early from Srinagar, you can easily cover both these places and make your Kashmir experience worthwhile.
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