Fast Facts :
Location : Situated in Baramula district in Jammu and Kashmir and 52 km away from Srinagar.
Prime Attraction : Gondola
Also popular for : Trekking, Skiing, Horse Riding, Sledging and Golfing
Language Spoken : Kashmiri, Pahari, Dogri, Gojiri, Balti, Ladakhi, Pashto and Shina.
Gulmarg is located in the Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir. At an amazing altitude of 2730 meters above sea level the hill resort has a gently sloping topography. Gulmarg is 57 km southwest from the capital city of Srinagar and is close to the Indo-Pakistan border.
Gulmarg a prime location in the state of Jammu & Kashmir is about 52 Kms. from Srinagar, the capital of Jammu & Kashmir. At an altitude of 2,653 m., Gulmarg is exquisitely situated in a pine surrounded basin of the Pir Panjal range. Gulmarg or the `Meadow of Flowers' is a lovely blooming sight where an opulence of flora displays various colours with the changing seasons.
Gulmarg's astounding beauty, prime location and closeness to Srinagar naturally make it one of the prime hill stations in the country. Originally called 'Gaurimarg' by shepherds, its present name was given in the 16th century by Sultan Yusuf Shah, who was impressed by the sight of its green slopes embellished with wild flowers. Today, Gulmarg is not only a mountain resort of exemplary beauty - it also has the highest green golf course in the world, at an altitude of 2,650 m, and is the country's major ski resort in the winter.
Things to do in Gulmarg
Gulmarg is a nice place for adventure sports like skiing. However, you can hire all the necessary instruments including woolen socks, jackets, snow boots, sticks, goggles, etc. You can take the services of skiing instructors from there if you need so. November to February is the best time for skiing. The slopes over there vary from 8,700 ft to 10,500 ft. Gulmarg is the only heli-skiing resort in Asia. Golf is also practiced over there as a leisure activity and Gulmarg has the world's highest golf course. Besides, you can also go for trekking in the hill station.
Places To Visit
The flower carpeted valley is just a 6-km walk away from Gulmarg. It is the official site for ski runs in this hill station. IT also has a rich natural beauty overlooking the Kashmir Valley.
Far from Khilanmarg, 13-km away from Gulmarg at the foothills of the twin mountains 4,511 meter heighted Apharwat peaks, this lake is remains covered with ice till mid-June and also in later season of the year the view of floating ice on the surface attracts tourists.
The Ningli Nallah
This beautiful mountain stream situated just 8-km from the hilly Gulmarg. IT runs down the valley and falls in the Jhelum River close to Sopur. A grass covered valley becomes a favorite picnic place.
Along the Tangmarg road, or along the Outer Circular Walk, the beautiful mountain stream joins the Bahan River to form a famous gathering spot . The stream is very famous to be a good for trout fishing; it is only five km below the valley of Gulmarg but is near to Tangmarg.
Shrine Of Baba Reshi / Ziarat Of Baba Reshi
This Muslim religious hub is along the slopes down to Gulmarg and it can be accessed from either Gulmarg or Tangmarg. The Ziarat, the tomb, is a place where a famous Muslim saint was buried after his death in 1480.
Weather And Best Time To Visit
In all seasons Gulmarg remains a perfect tourist destination . It has refreshing and nice summer (March-May) when temperature remains between 13°C - 29°C. Winter season is from November to February and is not very cold and remains pleasant as temperature ranges between only2°C to 9°C. Extreme snow fall is one of themarked characteristic of this place. Rainfall during monsoons are generally moderate.
Snowboarding along with long-run Skiing are famous winter sports.
Best season for visiting is usually between March and October. Winter visit are good if one want to participate in sporting activities.
Language And Culture
Gulmarg creates an impression of a mystical place. Two different culture persists on each side of an invisible line that divides two countries and the place which has witnessed a 150 years long battle for the land as their identity . Ironically, the world’s most beautiful place can be the cause of so much of bloodshed. But the people have remained true to their identity preserving their cultural heritage and surviving by their handicraft skills and Tourism responsible for keeping the economy afloat.
Kashmiri and also the national language of India, Hindi is spoken.
JKTDC has a building at Gulmarg which is a historical one and a landmark of its own. The Hutments sparsely built on the lush green meadows within the pine vegetation, offers a breathtaking view of entire Gulmarg. They have recently started 4 bedroom Royal Huts just across Gulmarg Golf Course.
Festivals And Activities
An important festival is the snow festival enjoyed with a lot of enthusiasm. It is celebrated annually in the beginning of January to February in Gulmarg.
With a lot of pomp and splendor Christmas festival and ski competition are organized every year.
Skiing And Heliskiing
One of the continents’ popular Heli-skiing resort is located at Gulmarg district of Kashmir. As soon as December arrives the lush green slopes get covered with white snow, and gives shape to finest slopes ideal for levels of ski runs.
Gulmarg also has Cable Car ride facility, popularly called the Gondola Lift/Ride situated1 km west to Gulmarg’s bus stand. The State Cable Car Corporations is responsible for maintaining Gulmarg Cable Car ride.
The ride consists of two parts– 1.Gulmarg to Kongdori and2. Kongdori to Apherwat. The Gondola during the journey passes overlarge stretches of pine forests. The ride starts from an altitude of about 2690 m above the sea level and finally reach up to 3090 m till the ride ends at Kongdoor.
Gulmarg is one of the famous trekking base present in the mountains of Himalaya. There are a lot of trekking trails that provides medium to difficult adventurous trekking starts from the hilly regions of Gulmarg. Many resorts offers supports and also guides for guidance during the expeditions.
Gulmarg Golf Club, was found in 1911. This large golf club has18 holes and also 72 par golf course which makes golf an interesting sport for the rich and the affluent.
Gulmar Sahara Hotel
Near Gulmarg Bus Stand, Gulmarg - 901954 Jammu and Kashmir
Hotel Zahgeer Continental
1st Point, Gulmarg (Kashmir) Gulmarg - 190001, Jammu and Kashmir
Entry Point, Gulmarg, Jammu & Kashmir - 193403
Hotel Highland Park
Gulmarg, Gulmarg - 193403, Jammu and Kashmir
Pine Palace Heritage Resort
Near the Gondola, Gulmarg - 901043, Jammu and Kashmir
Gulmarg being a very small town does not need any means of transportation. As most of the part of the town remain blanketed by snow for almost whole of the year, vehicles can’t be on this slippery path. The closest airport is Srinagar and travelers can hire a taxi only from the road. Their charge is around Rs 950 only for the whole trip. Taxis are also available for advance booking. Normally charges are Rs 1,250 as the airport charges Rs 300 for parking.
Taxis can be availed from the are airport. Taxis can be booked from TRC taxis stand (Phone No-91 0194 245 2527). Advance booking by the help of TRC stand is one of the best options.Srinagar, the nearest railway station, and ticketscan be booked in advance.
The two important means to transverse across the city are 1. by Foot and 2. By sledge
The sledges can be availed even during off season and they are a very fun filled way to travel around Gulmarg.
But walking is the most convenient way as all places are accessible by foot only as the road remains permanently covered with snow.
Khilanmarg near Gulmarg is also the favorite spot for skiing in winters and a good picnic spot for all seasons. One can enjoy the scenes of the Kashmir valley and the peaks of the Himalayan range from this place. It’s a two hour ride by pony, as it is quite far on foot.
Srinagar (1,730m) which isthecapital of Jammu and Kashmir , the largest city of the state is popular for its water canals houseboat ride and lavish Mughal gardens. Here one can spend some hours just by sightseeing along the river Jhelum and looking at the quaint city.
Gulmarg, in Jammu and Kashmir is an ultimate adventure destination in the obscure Himalayas and a limited variety when it comes to options related to shopping. Though numerous stores in the town sells carpets, clothes etc. but the costs are comparatively more than that of Srinagar.
Gulmarg is one of the best places for garment purchasing, Khan cloth House sells a wide variety of regional dresses with a fusion of west like Kashmiri Faran, pashminas and other clothing. Ladakh Art Palace is a hub for jewellery , antiques and handicrafts. Linen products and carpets can be found at Faiz Shawls situated by the Ladakh Art Palace.