Gulmarg - The Skiing School And Honeymoon:- A noteworthy hill station from the Baramula district in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir is Gulmarg. Located in the Pirpanjal range in the western the Himalayas, Gulmarg is known as the valley of flowers and the name states the exquisiteness of this place.
Every individual will be in love with the multi - hued valley and the aromatic fragrances oozing from those delicate flowers.
This along with forages adorned with pine trees and snow flaked landscape make it a perfect backdrop for lovers.
Gulmarg is surrounded by snow covered mountains, lush green meadows, deep ravines, evergreen forested hills and valleys and is situated at an altitude of 2730 m above sea level.
So if you are a newly wedded couple then Gulmarg proffers an ideal environment to build some cherishing memories.
Gulmarg has also been a popular destination for shooting of various Bollywood films as it is known for its scenic beauty. Among one of the top honeymoon locations, Gulmarg boasts of being a beautiful town without the crowd like Manali and Shimla. As Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering is located here, Gulmarg has also been developed as an adventure hub. A lot of courses on trekking, mountaineering, skiing, etc. are offered by IISM at great prices here. However, if you are planning to do a course, it is advisable to book your course well in advance.
Various other private tour operators are there in Gulmarg as well which provide similar courses and facilities for skiing, snowboarding and trekking. The cable car here is also one of the prime attractions here and is the 2nd highest cable car in the world.
Best Time To Visit Gulmarg
If you are a nature enthusiast who loves the heat, the months April, May and June are the best months for a visit. However, If skiing is what you are looking forward to, December to mid March are recommended.
- Summer (April-June) The temperature in summers is very pleasant ranging from 13 to 26 degrees Celsius. During this time, the valley is covered in the flowers looking stunning in vibrant colors.
- Monsoon (July-September) Monsoon is considered as the off-season to visit Gulmarg as the rain showers affect the tourism.
- Winter (October-March) Tourists visit Gulmarg in the winter season to ski on the snow-covered slopes of Gulmarg and to enjoy the Gondola ride. The temperature in winters falls as low as -4 degrees and do not rise above 11-12 degrees Celsius.
Upcoming Events in Gulmarg
Sporting Activity: Golfing -Throughout the year
The highest golf course in the world, head over here if in Gulmarg for a completely unique experience. A stern and unyielding course which can sometimes get frustrating, however the beauty all around you makes each and every moment worth it. Visit during June-September to see the flowers in full bloom and the mountains completely lush with vegetation.
How To Reach
Making srinagar the base, Gulmarg can be accessed easily via a taxi.
- By Air - The nearest airport to Gulmarg is Srinagar airport, which lies 85 km away from Gulmarg. It is well-connected with all the major airports of the country. From the airport, you are required to hire a cab to reach Gulmarg.
Nearest Airport: Srinagar International Airport (SXR) - 35 kms from Gulmarg
- By Road - With the major cities of Jammu and Kashmir from few cities of Himachal Pradesh Gulmarg is well-connected. Direct buses are available from Delhi to Gulmarg.
- By Train - The nearest railway station to Gulmarg is Jammu railway station, which is situated 290 km away from Gulmarg. You can catch a bus from Jammu to Srinagar else you can hire a cab directly to Gulmarg.
- Commuting Within Gulmarg
Being a small hill town, Gulmarg is traveled on foot by most of the tourists. One can also book a taxi which can cost you from anywhere in between Rs 900 to Rs 1500 for a trip around the town.
Top Places To Visit In Gulmarg
1) Kongdori - Gulmarg Gondola
Gulmarg Gondola, one of the main attractions of Gulmarg is the second highest cable car in the world. The most extravagant views of Gulmarg and Khilanmarg combined can be seen through the Gondola ride.
The cable car rides are definitely the epitome of capturing the beauty and splendor of this place.
The 1st phase of the Gondola takes tourists to the height of 8530 ft to Kongdori Station and the second stage of the Gondola goes up to the height of 12293 ft. Tourists can enjoy horse riding and can go riding to the magnificent “Strawberry Valley”, Leopards Valley and ride up to “Kongdori” to see the frozen lake of “Al- Pathar”.
- Open Time: All days of the week; 10:30 am - 6:30 p.m.
2) Skiing In Gulmarg
Gulmarg is a very beautiful location placed in Jammu and Kashmir where one may go along with family and friends and enjoy the beautiful view along with other adventure sports. The lift system is quite simple in Gulmarg.
During snowstorm, beautifully characterized open spaces in the forest terrain can be skied below Gulmarg which may lead you to the local shrines. Apart from all the mesmerizing view, you may try skiing, use the Gulmarg gondola once, skin a few km along, hike the rest and take a cab for the remaining.
Gulmarg is gaining popularity and number of skiers are also increasing day by day. Having the mountain to oneself is a thing of the past, hence being alert and pro-active is adviced.
About Skiing in Gulmarg
Base Town : Tangmarg
Cost : Starts at Rs. 14,000
Highest Altitude : 13000ft
Lowest Altitude : 9000ft
Nearest Airport : Srinagar
Nearest Railhead : Jammu
Nearest road city : Srinagar
Number of Days Required : 3-4 days atleast. More recommended.
Region : Pir Panjal range of the Himalayas
Terrain : Snow covered slopes
- Medical fitness
Undergoing certain medical tests is suggested. Altitude sickness should be checked for before you embark upon this trip.
- General tips
Good footwear is a must if you plan to go skiing. Find operators that are registered and provide decent equipment and safety harnesses for your ski trip.
- Safety Tips
Carry medicines for cold and flu. Make sure you carry plenty of warm clothes. Jackets that insulate are suggested. Take your instructor’s tips very seriously and pain relievers for casulaties!
- About The Place
Gulmarg is normally blessed with unbelievable amounts of snow. It ranks in the realms of Utah and Niseko in the snowfall stakes. The average annual snowfall is not well documented, but it is thought to be about 14 metres, while in the year 2004 it came around 20 metres. The year 2010 began very slow but gained speed in February.
Temperatures at Gulmarg are not super cold. It is generally milder than the toe-numbing frigidity of interior Canada and the USA. When the sun shines in Gulmarg you may notice how warm it is. Europeans would love to soak up the rays at the gondola mid-station, but unfortunately, there are no comfortable lounge chairs available for them.
- Gulmarg Avalanche
Avalanche poses a great threat to those traveling in Gulmarg which goes to its extremes at times. An entire set of tools and their usage is standard attire required here. The main bowl under Gondola is the location under surveillance. One of the biggest challenges in Gulmarg is avoiding an avalanche triggered by many foreign tourists landing here.
Khilanmarg is a little paradise carpeted with flowers of varied colors in spring which changes into a skier’s dream destination in the winters. The place is only 6km from the Gulmarg bus station.
The peaks are in clear view from the skiing slopes and they provides a beautiful background to the amusement. Also, the famed Nanga Parbat which is 7100m high is close to it and helps create a perfect scenic photograph.
4) Maharani Temple
Situated in the middle of Gulmarg, the Maharani temple is an example of religions intertwined with a Muslim priest performing rituals in the temple.
Maharani Temple was built by Mohini Bai Sisodhi, wife of Maharaja Hari Singh in 1915. This temple belongs to the Dogra Kings of Jammu and Kashmir.
- Open Time: All day of the week-6:00 a.m-8:00 p.m.
5) Alpather Lake
At the foot of Apharwat peak, it is a one day trek from Gulmarg (13km). The lake stays frozen during winters with striking scenic views. Ducks are seen walking instead of swimming and large chunks of ice float in the lake.
During summers, the lake is surrounded with beautiful flowers and trees. One of the most surreal lakes, it is a haven for the likes of photographers, philosophers, poets or people looking for solitude. So, while planning a holiday in Khilanmarg, make sure you include this attraction in your itinerary.
6) Ningli Nallah
Situated 10 km from Gulmarg, Ningle Nallah is not just another mountain stream. This place is flanked with snow-capped mountains and lush green pastures from all four sides.
The water formed by the melting of ice in Apharwat Peak and Alpather Lake is the main source of Ningle Nallah. After passing through mountains and valleys, this stream unites with River Jhelum. This place is highly recommended for family outings especially if one has their kids along.
7) Ziarat Of Baba Reshi
This shrine built in the 13th century is on the slopes below Gulmarg. The Ziarat or the tomb is of a well-known Muslim saint, Baba Payam-Uddin who died here in 1480.
He was a courtier to the Kashmir King Zain-ul-Abidin before taking the path of renouncing the worldly ties. With thousands of devotees visiting this shrine every year, regardless of the religion they follow, this shrine buzzes with activities and prayers.
It is the famous stop-over enroute to Gulmarg. It connects Gulmarg by a 13km metal road and an exciting 5km trekking route. During winters, warm clothes, long boots and water proofs are available on hire.
9) St. Mary Church
This Victorian architectural wonder of the Saint Mary’s Church is located near the Golf Course in Gulmarg. This might well be your messiah to experiencing the ancient architectural wonders that our country is the most renowned for.
More like a tiny countryside chapel in appearance, this church is made of grey stone walls. The church looks the most scintillating during the winter season especially when it is surrounded by snow.
- Open Time: All days of the week 10:00 a.m - 5:00 p.m.
10) Golf Course
Famed as the highest 18 hole golf course in the world, this golf course is also the longest in India. Situated at an altitude of 8700 feet above sea level, this place was used to play golf by Britishers since 1911 and the golf course was inaugurated formally in 2011.
The golf course is very beautiful and consists of a meadow with various varieties of beautiful and rare species of flowers. The flowers are in full bloom during the months of June to September.
Visitors are allowed to take their cars inside for a ride and enjoy a ride in one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world.
- Open Time: All days of the week-8:30 a.m-10:00 p.m.