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History & Overview of Aru Valley
Aru Valley is one of the many tourist spots in the beautiful state of Jammu & Kashmir. Located in the Anantnag district of the state, Aru serves as the spot from where trekking expeditions to Kolhoi Glacier and Tarsar Lake originate. This scenic and serene village of Aru is known for its abundant natural beauty. It is located on the banks of the Aru River which adds to the charm of this place. Aru River is a small division of the main river of Lidder which is found at 11km from here. Most of the trekking routes to places like Katrinag Valley, Lakes of Vishansar and Kishansar and Lidderwat too start from here. This is an important place that cannot be missed by tourists who come to Pahalgam, one of the top tourist destinations in Jammu & Kashmir.
The most striking feature about Aru is the dominating presence of lush and green meadows here. Lakes, mountains, trekking camps, adventure activities, steep valleys, chill climate – Aru has everything in it to make it to one of the most preferred tourist destinations in the country.
Aru is located in Anantnag district of Jammu & Kashmir, which is the state towards the extreme north of the country. The height of this scenic spot is about 2414m or 7920 feet above sea level. Aru is located at 34.52 degrees towards the North and 75.15 degrees towards the East.
How to reach and local transport
Air – Srinagar airport, at a distance of 95km from Pahalgam, which is the nearest town, one needs to get down at for reaching Aru Valley.
Rail – Jammu railway station, at a distance of 255km from Pahalgam, is the nearest to Aru.
Road – Though there are lots of buses that go to Pahalgam from many parts of North India, it is quite a time-consuming experience. Therefore, there many tourists prefer taxis and shared-taxis in which they get to reach Aru faster by changing taxis at different important junctions.
Local transport – Shared taxis, pony rides and trekking are the local modes of transport available for commuting within the Aru village.
Tourist Attractions and things to do
Overa-Aru Biosphere Reserve, a wildlife sanctuary that houses some of the almost extinct species of animals is a huge tourist attraction near Aru. Kolhoi Glacier (biggest in Kashmir), Tarsar Lake, Lidder River, Mount Kolhoi (tallest peak in Kashmir), lush meadows, lakes, trekking camps and the remarkable view of the mighty Himalayas are some of the attractions that Aru contains. Tourists who come here can indulge in trekking, pony rides, hiking, skiing, heli-skiing, boating and fishing activities.
Places to eat and local cuisine
There are no big restaurants in Aru. The nearest town of Pahalgam has some dhabas like Nathu Rasoi, Dana Pani and Punjabi Rasoi which offer neat and tasty food for the tourists. Authentic North Indian food like soft Rotis, vegetable sabzi and desserts like Kulfi are must-try dishes here.
Places to stay
There are two decent budget accommodations available in Aru Valley. They are Milky Way Guest House and Rohella Guest House. Both of these places have a homely ambience, offer excellent services to their guests and are reasonably priced.
STD, PIN and Emergency Contact numbers
The STD and PIN codes of Aru Valley are 01936 and 192126 respectively. Police, Fire and Ambulance services are available throughout at the numbers 100, 101 and 102 respectively.
Banks, Hospitals and Tourist Office
Banks – There are no banks in Aru Valley.
1 - Al – Shifa Hospital and Diagnostic Centre
Cheni Chowk, Anantnag district, Jammu & Kashmir, Ph: 01932 22602
2 - John Bishop Memorial Hospital
Sarnul, Anantnag district, Jammu& Kashmir, Ph: 01932 222888
The tourism reception centre at Pahalgam can be contacted at 01936 243224. The regional office is at:
Tourism Reception Centre, Vir Marg, Jammu Tawi
Ph: 0191 2579554