Surrounded by beautiful mountain peaks of Himalayas, Gulmarg is a small but picturesque town situated on a high mountain 53 kilometers Southwest of Srinagar. Truly one of the beautiful places in the world, Gulmarg literally means a field of flowers. Unlike most of the tourist destinations in Kashmir, where you stay at one place and hire a horse or a vehicle to visit the actual place of interest, Gulmarg itself is where you want to be. Just a peek out the window of your hotel room greets you with lovely views of pastures and flowerbeds blanketing the low mounds spread all over the town. This beautiful region is circled by a forest of pine trees, beyond which rise the great, snow-clad mountains. During day, the game of sun and shadows that goes upon these pastures with clouds flying low over the town is extremely eye pleasing. And so is the view of horses grazing upon them.
From Srinagar, you first arrive at Tangmarg. It is a place at the bottom of the mountain atop which Gulmarg is settled. Here, you pass through a checkpoint where you have to register your name and the number of your vehicle. There is also a facility here run by J&K Government where you can hire licensed guides and gear for cold such as gumboots, jackets and gloves. Although it is recommended that you hire a guide from this point, there are several good options atop from where you can hire the gear as required. Further, a 30 minute drive up the mountain, spanning 13 kilometers to be precise, brings you to Gulmarg. The very first view of Gulmarg, that of high mountains in west, the famous temple of Shiva on a green mound in the centre, a cozy-looking settlement of hotel buildings in east and wooden cottages spread around the edge of the town is mesmerizing.
Of several attractions at Gulmarg, the major ones are the Golf Course, the highest in the world as claimed by the locals, a beautiful place called Khilanmarg, to which you have to ride a horse for 30 to 40 minutes and the cable car called Gondola, which takes you atop a high mountain within minutes. Apart from this what you can really enjoy in Gulmarg is a leisurely walk over the picturesque road that weaves through the green slopes. But this is all for summers. If you decide to come to Gulmarg during winters, you will be surprised by a high number of foreign visitors who come here from all over the world, when Gulmarg becomes an international skiing hub.
Gondola, the cable car at Gulmarg is the highest in the world. It serves both ways, as a tourist attraction and as a high utility means of transport. The cable car runs in two phases. The journey in the first phase flies you from Gulmarg to Kongdori Valley, at the height of 2600 meters (nearly 8530 feet). It is a scenic place on the shoulder of Kongdori Mountain offering beautiful top angle views of Gulmarg. There are several cafes and restaurants here where you can enjoy a delightful meal on a heart pleasing location. The pony owners, or pony-walas as they are called locally, offer you a ride to a nearby location that offers great views of the valley and the mountains.
The next phase of the cable car journey is even more thrilling. It takes you from the Kongdori Valley to the upper region of Kongdori Mountain, at the height of 4200 meters (nearly 13780 feet). The cable car is capable of conveying more than 600 people per hour. You have to buy a ticket, a return ticket if you don’t wish to trek down, from the window at the base station.
The cable car was mostly designed to serve as a lift to skiers, who come here during the winters when Gulmarg becomes a skiing paradise. Undoubtedly the best location for skiing in India, Gulmarg attracts skiers from around the globe as it is one of the rare places offering powder snow that skiers greatly enjoy. The best season for enjoying skiing at Gulmarg is from December to March, although the earlier half of April also sees a good number of satisfied skiers.
Gulmarg has featured in several Bollywood movies, including some of the famous ones. During summers, the days are mostly sunny and the atmosphere, in these lovely surroundings, is something you would want to carry back home. Personal vehicles are not allowed in the heart of the town where all the sites are situated. This is mainly for the benefit of the local pony-walas who feed upon the income received from the tourists who wish to take a round of the town counting nearly 8 kilometers. Some local vehicle owners offer the same trip in their cars and SUVs.
The Shiva temple in the town, centrally located and visible from almost every angle is visited by several tourists every day. It came to fame after the famous Hindi song ‘Jai Jai Shiv Shankar’ was shot around it. There is also a famous Dargah of Baba Reshi located on the way from Tangmarg to Gulmarg. Drung Valley, situated further up the way from Baba Reshi Dargah is also an interesting place. It is highlighted by Drung River that melts down the surrounding mountains and flows through a picturesque territory. Fishing is one of the popular activities here.
Gulmarg has more than 40 hotels. It is highly advised that you book your room well in advance, whether you come during summer or winter. If you are here to enjoy skiing, you will certainly choose to stay, but during summers you can plan a daylong visit starting from Srinagar and returning back before nightfall. However, it is a strong recommendation that you spend at least one full day here at leisure and stay by night. Very few people around the world are blessed with hometowns so beautiful. The rest of us should at least spend a day or two at a heavenly place like Gulmarg while we can and savor the taste forever.
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Situated 53 kilometers to the Southwest of Srinagar, Gulmarg is a picturesque town. Gulmarg literally means ‘field of flowers’ and is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Tangmarg is the first stop on the way to Gulmarg where you need to register your name and the number of your vehicle. Here you can hire a licensed guide and winter gear like gumboots, gloves and jackets. A thirty minutes drive from this point gets you to Gulmarg. The main attractions of Gulmarg are the Golf Course, Khilanmarg and Gondola- the cable car that takes you atop the mountains within minutes. Gulmarg is a paradise for skiers and has featured in many Bollywood movies. Personal vehicles are not allowed in the heart of the town. gulmarg has more than 40 hotels. But it is recommended that an advance booking must be made. Gulmarg is a treat to the tourists who love natural beauty.
||A (What is this?)
|5 Star Hotels:
||Intercontinental the Grand Palace, Senetor Pine-N-Peak
||Grand Mumtaz Cottage, Hill Top, Heevan Retreat
||Srinagar Badgam distt 56 km
||Jammu 305 km
|Nearest Major City(s):
|How to reach:
||Gulmarg has a good road connection. It is linked to Srinagar and is connected by road to prominent cities in northern India. It is just two hours by bus from Srinagar.
|Major Tourist Attraction:
||Alpathar Lake, Khilanmarg and Gondala
||Famous for Golf , Flowers, cable car, skiing.
||Rogan Josh, Ricebased Food.
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