Surrounded by fields of saffron plantations and characterized by an air that is laden with the heady smell of spices, the tiny village of Pampore is one of the lesser known but most exotic tourist destinations of Jammu and Kashmir. Just around half an hour's ride away from the state's capital Srinagar, a tour to Pampore is perfect for a weekend getaway from Srinagar.
The lives of the people of the picturesque village of Pampore revolve around the cultivation of saffron, which can be said to be arguably the "most expensive spice on earth". Predominantly followers of Islam, a number of prayers are offered to the Almighty during the season of saffron harvest in Pampore. Most prominent among the shrines in Jammu and Kashmir is the joint tomb of Khwaja Masood Wali, and Hazrat Sheikh Shariffudin.
A tour to Pampore can also reveal the strong secular fabric which surrounds most parts of this quaint village. Located in the center of the town is a sacred pond known locally as the Lal Ded.
One of the principle tourist attractions while on a tour to Pampore the pond is dedicated to Laleshwari, a saint who was married to a family residing in Pampore. Visited and worshipped by both Hindus as well as Muslims, the Lal Ded is one of the most poignant symbols of secularism in the Kashmir valley.
How to reach Pampore
The easiest way of reaching Pampore is by air. The nearest airport is at the Badgam District around 16 kms away from the village of Pampore.
The nearest railhead to Pampore is at Jammu from where it takes an approximate time of around half an hour to reach Pampore.
Pampore is well-connected to a number of other regions of Jammu and Kashmir. There are a number of well maintained roads which lead to Pampore.