Gulmarg – Heaven on Earth
Gulmarg literally means “Meadow of flowers”. Gulmarg is located 60 KMs away from Srinagar which is an hour and half journey by car. Gulmarg has attracted millions of tourists throughout its existence with the scenic beauty of the Himalayan Mountains in the back drop. One of the main attractions in Gulmarg is the Gulmarg Gondola, the Highest Cable Car in the world. 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”. Gulmarg in winter is a magnificent experience, fully covered in a white blanket of Snow which turns it into a skiers paradise. The natural slopes here are untouched and prove to be a challenge to ace skiers! Besides the scenic side to Gulmarg, winter time in Gulmarg is a season of festivities with celebrations of “White Christmas” and New Year parties.
Gulmarg has been a resort for the kings like Yousuf Shah Chak and Jahangir who used to visit frequently. The old name of Gulmarg was “Gaurimarg”, the name of Lord Shiva’s wife. Yousuf Shah Chak changed its name to Gulmarg, meaning the place of roses. During the early part of the 20th century the famous Central Asian explorer Sir Marc Aurel Stein (1862–1943), made his home here in a tent between his expeditions. It was a favourite summer holiday destination for the British stationed in India.
Well, if you still think Gulmarg is a paradise for the thrill lovers, you will definitely be wrong as this gorgeous hill station is also the home to one of the highest golf courses in the world.
Best Time to Visit
Gulmarg experiences three different seasons in a year: Summer, Winter and Monsoon. Summer usually begins in March and continues till May. The hill station experiences a minimum of 13 degrees and a maximum of 29 degrees during this span of time. With the entire valley in its most gracious form, it attracts a large number of tourists during this period.
Monsoon usually starts by the end of July and continues till late August. The region do not experiences heavy rainfall and can also be visited during this season. On the other hand, winters in Gulmarg begins by November and continues till early March. The advent of the winters bring in an essence of wanderlust and also makes Gulmarg a paradise for all sorts of winter sports.
Places to Visit in Gulmarg
01 Apharwat Peak:
Mostly known with the skiers, the Aphawat Peak is one of the most attractive points in Gulmarg. Located within a close proximity to the scenic Alpathar Lake, this peak is around 13km from the hill station and can be easily reached. While during the winters, the peak remains cossetted with an enchanting blanket of snow, summers bring in a different grandeur. During this part of the year, the peak showcases the many different shades of the nature and wears one of its best looks!
02 Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve:
Located at a distance of 48km from Jammu and Kashmir’s capital city Srinagar, Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve is the one destination, the nature lovers cannot miss at any cost! Home to some of the exotic and endangered species of flora and fauna, this reserve is more known to be the abode of the Musk Deer and a wide range of avifauna. Among the other exotic species, the reserve has a significant population of Leopard, Black Deer, Red Fox and several others. For the bird watchers, they can delight on species like Blue Rock Pigeon, Griffon Vulture, Snow Cock, Jungle Crow and others.
03 Gulmarg Golf Course:
More than a golf course, it is a dream destination for the golfers. Whether a golfer or not, a visit to this remarkable site is a must in the Gulmarg itinerary. Measuring around 7,505 yards and perched at a height 2,650m, the golf course is tucked away amidst lush and evergreen thickets; this also makes it one of the most gorgeous courses in the world.
04 Ningle Nallah:
A dazzling piece of beauty amidst the snow clad hills and mountains of Gulmarg, Ningle Nallah is located around 10km from the hill station. With the melting snow from the Apharwat Peak as its source, this enchanting stream finally meets the Jhelum River. Lush and deciduous pine forests, colourful patches of grasslands around the stream and the fascinating hills jotting the stream makes it a must visit place in Gulmarg.
05 Other Places to Visit in Gulmarg Includes:
Kanchenjunga Museum, Nagin Valley, Khilanmarg, Avantiswami Temple, St. Mary’s Church, Alpather Lake, Lienmarg, Ferozepur Nallah, Imambara Goom
Things to do in Gulmarg
Cable Car Ride or the Gulmarg Gondola
Skiing at Khilanmarg
Attend Snow Festival
Other Nearby Tourist Attractions