Gulmarg, ‘a meadow of flowers’ is a small yet refreshingly enchanting city of immense natural beauty. Surrounded by pine forests and beautifully ensconced within the majestic Pir Panjal range at a height of around 2600 meters, it is a natural gem of the Himalayan region and the snow-capped mountains only add to the magnificence of the view of this idyllic hill station.
The city is located near the Indo-Pak border; a picturesque 57 km away from the city of Srinagar in the Bara mullah district of the northern-most state of Jammu and Kashmir in India. It offers a kaleidoscope of colors through the year; from the greens of the spring and the summers, the golden dazzle of autumn to the pristine white of the snow during the winters. En-route as the climb ascends after Tangmarg; the first glimpse of the spectacular view of the entire region is best enjoyed at the View Point.
Gulmarg is fast gathering an enviable reputation as the skiing destination in India and coupled with its allure during the rest of the year the magnetism of the place for tourists is unparalleled. Excellent man made facilities have helped Gulmarg develop into a world class tourist delight; it boasts of the only heli-skiing facility in Asia, the world’s highest cable car ride, the Gulmarg Gondola and also the world’s highest 18 hole golf course. Hiking, trekking and a relaxed walk along the circular path offer a great view of the Nanga Parbat and Srinagar. Home to some exotic flora and fauna, Gulmarg continues to enthrall nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike.
Gulmarg is generally regarded as all round destination. You can travel to Gulmarg is winter months to enjoy winter sports activities or you can visit the city in summer season to escape the heat of Indian summer.
Ideally if you want to ski in Gulmarg then winter is considered as the best time to visit. The months between November to March are the best.
St Mary's Church - It is hard to expect a church in this part of India. But Gulmarg has one of the oldest churches in India which dates back to the British Raj. Located in the heart of Gulmarg, St Mary's Church is the first attraction you will come across. It can be easily accessed since there are plenty of hotels located nearby.
Baba Reshi Shrine - The oldest shrine in Gulmarg that was constructed in 1480. Baba Reshi Shrine is dedicated to Saint Reshi who was a prominent muslim scholar in his time. During the 15th century, Baba Reshi Shrine was a major religious site in Kashmir.
Alpathar Lake - Imagine a triangular shapped lake stared down by snow capped Afarwat peaks with beautiful gardens surrounding it and you will come across the most popular picnic spot in Gulmarg. The Alpathar Lake is a popular tourist attraction that can only be reached by a trek. It remains frozen through the winter till June.
Gondola Ride - There is no point of traveling to Gulmarg if you didn't took the Gondola ride. The most eye catching attraction of Gulmarg is a cable car that starts from the height of 2690 m and reaches 3090 m when it reaches Kongdoor. Through the ride you will come across heavenly beauty of Kashmir valley. During the clear day, one can see Line of Control (LOC) and illegal occupied Kashmir by Pakistan through the ride. The highlight of the cable car ride would be Khilanmarg, which is covered with flowers.
Skiing - Skiing is the most popular activity in Gulmarg. The best part is that there are slopes suitable for beginners to advance skiers. This is why Gulmarg is rated as best ski resort in India. The slopes here starts from 200 meters to 3 km range. The Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering in Gulmarg gives skiing training to beginners with its various courses.
Trekking - Himalayan region is known for its trekking routes and Gulmarg is no different. The mountain terrain offers trekking opportunities to adventure tourists. The resorts in Gulmarg arranges trekking tour for the travelers. The notable trekking routes in Gulmarg are Alapther - Gulmarg, Gulmarg-Khilanmarg etc. The time between April to August is best for trekking in Gulmarg.
In last few years, Gulmarg has gained fame as popular ski resort in India. This has lead to major tourism related infrastructure in the city. Today there are all kinds of hotels in Gulmarg starting from budget range to expensive luxury hotels. Here is the complete list of hotels in Gulmarg.
By Air - Airport facility is not available in Gulmarg. The best option for air travelers would be Srinagar which is 57 km away. From Srinagar airport you can hire taxi or take bus to reach Gulmarg. There are regular flights between Srinagar and major Indian cities like Delhi and Mumbai.
By Train - The nearest railway station is in Jammu city. It is located 180 km away. Jammu has train service offered from Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad. The distance between Jammu and Gulmarg is 347 km therefore it would take at least 8 to 10 hours to reach Gulmarg from Jammu.