Department of Tourism, Jammu and Kashmir

Baltal, on the shores of the Sindh River, is located around 15 km away from the north of Sonamarg. This small valley serves as a camping ground for the Amarnath pilgrims. It rests at the foot of Zoji-La Pass on the banks of the river Sindh. Moreover, for the convenience of the pilgrims, base camps are set up in is this ground and this little valley is only a day's journey away from and provides a shorter high-altitude alternate route to the sacred cave of Amarnath.
  
Through a meandering trek of 14 km from Baltal, one can reach the Holy Cave and during the Amarnath pilgrimage, tents are also set up here. One can hire taxi or take a bus from Sonmarg for Baltal and it will take approximately 1 hour.
 
Tourists can directly reach Baltal from Pahalgam as well which is just 24 km away and takes approximately 45 mins on bis. For those tourists wanting to indulge in trekking to Baltal from Pahalgam will take around 5 hours. 
 
Baltal is known for its scenic views. The tents available here are affordable and tourists need to either trek to hire ponies to reach the cave. Tourists can also take helicopter services from Baltal that will drop the yatris till Panjtarni which is 5 km from the cave in just 7 minutes. The journey further to the cave needs to be covered on foot or ponies. From Baltal to the holy cave and back, ponies will cost around Rs 1,700. 
 
The 14 km long steep trek will take almost 4 hours for the tourists to reach the cave. Large number of free langars are also available in Baltal for the pilgrims and many small tea shops will also be available enroute.
 
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About Jammu & Kashmir Tourism

The Department of Tourism, J&K is the main developmental, promotional and regulatory arm of the J&K Government. Its main role comprises of overall planning and execution of schemes for the development, up-gradation and improvement of the tourism infrastructure in different parts of the State.
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