Gulmarg is a town nestled in the Pir Panjal range of the Western Himalayas at an altitude of 8,690 feet above sea level. Literally translated as ‘Meadow of Flowers’ it is encased by glimmering snow peaked alps, verdant green pastures, colorful meadows, deep valleys and pine covered slopes.
A picturesque beauty, it is known for its ski resort which was established in 1927, the Gulmarg Gondola – Asia’s second longest cable car ride and the highest golf course in the world at an elevated altitude of 2,650 meters. Gulmarg is an absolute delight for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Called the ‘heartland of winter sports’, it offers a plethora of activities such as skiing, snowboarding, horse riding, heli-skiing, snow scooter, tobogganing, etc. and sightseeing options. The best season to visit Gulmarg is from October to June as it is the perfect destination especially during winters when the snow capped landscape transforms into the premier destination for winter sports in India.
Jammu and Kashmir, 193403
A family holiday in the scenic valley of Kashmir.
Flight: The nearest airport is Srinagar Airport, Dehradun. A cab can be hired from there directly to Gulmarg.
Train: The closest station is Jammu station. You can either hire a taxi or take a bus to Gulmarg
Road: Several private and state buses run to Gulmarg. Private car and taxi can also be hired to reach the place.
Gulmarg is a popular world class ski resort destination and attracts a lot of skiers from neighbouring nations. Established in 1927 by the British, they used to host two annual ski events at Christmas and Easter respectively. Skiing and other snow activities are carried out on the slopes of Apharwat mountains which is at the height of 14,000 feet. The Gulmarg Gondola connects Gulmarg with Apharwath Mountain from where one can ski down the trail crossing the gondola valley and poma terrain. The ski terrain adorned with Pine trees and snow covered slopes offers a mesmerizing view and challenging trails transpiring into an exhilarating experience for skiers. The Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering is also located here which offers courses on trekking, mountaineering, skiing, etc.
One of the major attractions, the Gulmarg Gondola is the second highest cable car ride in the world. It came into existence in May 1998 with phase I ferrying visitors to Kongdoori at a height of 8,500 feet. The second phase became operational in May 2005 from Gulmarg to Apharwath peaks at a height of 13,500 feet. The third phase, an addition in the form of chairlift was made in 2011. The Gondola offers a spectacular view of Gulmarg, Khilanmarg, the Himalayan ranges, Pir Panjal range, Nanda Devi and the LOC.
6km away from Gulmarg, Khilanmarg is a riveting natural meadow which offers a splendid unparalleled panoramic view of the Himalayan range including the Nanga Parbat. A favourite destination of tourists, during spring it is a spectacular landscape engulfed with vibrant blossoming flowers and in winters, it’s one of the ski runs popular with skiing enthusiasts.
Situated at an elevated height of 4,200 meters above sea level, it is a charismatic snow crest mountain peak with a breathtaking birds eye view of the entire valley. Covered with snow, it is a hot spot for skiing and has slopes and trails suitable for beginners and experts. During summers as the snow melts, the landscape transforms to lush verdant grasslands making it suitable for horse rides. The Alpathar lake at the base of the Aphwarat peaks is a magnificent lake that gets frozen during winters and becomes a thriving lake surrounded by greenery during summers. It is a nature’s paradise and a must visit attraction.
Gulmarg is also a home to several religious shrines. Visit the Maharani temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiv and Parvati and was built by the Maharaja Hari Sisodia for his wife Maharani Mohini Bai Sisodia who in 1915 and belongs to the Dogra Kings. A buzzing shrine, the ziarat or tomb of Baba Reshi is a 13th century shrine of Muslim saint Baba Payam-Uddin. Witness the grandeur of the St Mary’s church that was built in 120 by the British. Made of grey bricks and green roof with ornate wooden walls, it is considered a ‘Victorian architectural wonder’ and it gleams brilliantly when surrounded by snow.