"The Skiing School and Honeymoon"
Situated at an altitude of 2730 m above sea level, Gulmarg is surrounded by snow covered mountains, lush green meadows, deep ravines, evergreen forested hills and valleys.
Known for its scenic beauty, Gulmarg has also been a popular destination for shooting of various Bollywood films. Among one of the top honeymoon locations, Gulmarg boasts of being a beautiful town without the crowd like Manali and Shimla. Gulmarg has also been developed as an adventure hub as Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering is located here. A lot of courses on trekking, mountaineering, skiing, etc. are offered by IISM at great prices here. However, if you are planning to do a course, it is advisable to book your course well in advance. There are a lot of other private tour operators in Gulmarg as well which provide similar courses and facilities for skiing, snowboarding and trekking. The cable car here is also one of the prime attractions here and is the 2nd highest cable car in the world.
In Baramula district, 56 km southwest from the capital city of Srinagar.
A magical town set between the sky-high mountains in Jammu and Kashmir, Gulmarg is a favourite amongst avid travellers. The hill station lies around 55 kilometres from the famous Srinagar and is often visited for the adventurous opportunities that await visitors and the scenic views of the surroundings from the town. If you are a nature enthusiast who loves the heat, the months April, May and June are the best months for a visit. However, If skiing is what you are looking forward to, December to mid March are recommended. Gulmarg is also known as the “meadow of flowers” due to the fields of blooming flowers that cover the lands of the city and make it a splash of different hues.
Despite lots of trouble that they face due to natural and political turmoil, people from Gulmarg are hospitable and genuine. Gulmarg is home to ethnic nomadic tribal groups like Gujjar and Bakarwal. They love to lead a simple and facile lifestyle. The traditional attire of the people of Gulmarg, with intricate designs and embroidery, reflects the rich culture, the landscape type and the climate of the region. Tourism is the major contributor to the economy of this stupendously scenic place. The main occupation of the nomadic tribes is cattle breeding.
Besides its astounding beauty, Gulmarg is a place of cultural extravaganza. The most popular cultural frenzy in Gulmarg is its Winter Festival. It comprises of various performances like traditional dances, songs, photography, athletics, band performances and adventure activities. Gulmarg is also known for the delicious spread of Kashmiri cuisine. If you are in Gulmarg, do not miss to taste a scrumptious portion of various gastronomical delicacies. Bag some beautiful traditional handicrafts, and their westernised versions as well, from the local markets in Gulmarg. Pick a rare souvenir and enrich your collection of authentic chattels.
Urdu is the official language of Gulmarg. However, the languages spoken by the majority of the people are Kashmiri and Dogri. English is widely spoken in the tourist areas and Hindi is spoken as a second language.
Gulmarg was called ‘Gaurimarg’ by the local shepherds, in honour of the fair and beautiful goddess Parvati. However, it was renamed as Gulmarg by Sultan Yusuf Shah of Chak Dynasty, who frequented the place with his dearest queen Habba Khatoon in the sixteenth century. 21 varieties of wild flowers were collected by the Mughal emperor Jahangir for his own garden in Gulmarg. Later, during the time of the colonial rule, Gulmarg became the summer retreat of the British officials to escape the heat of summers in North India. Post-independence, Gulmarg became a proud part of the Indian princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. Since then, many developments in the fields of tourism and sports have been initiated by the Indian Government here. Presently, Gulmarg is referred as one of the most beautiful parts of India.
Gulmarg is wonderland for adventure sports lovers. The northern Pir Panjal Range is considered a perfect location for trekking. During your trip to Gulmarg, you have the privilege to visit the highest golf course in the world. The golf club was started by the British in 1904. Apart from this, it is also counted among the best skiing resorts in India.
Khilanmarg is a wonderful valley that provides a panoramic view of the majestic Himalayas. The air is aromatic because of countless colourful flowers. You will feel refreshed in the atmosphere of Khilanmarg valley.
Near the Apharwat peaks, flows the Alpather Lake. This alpine lake remains frozen till mid-June. Alpather Lake makes an exciting day's excursion for horse riding fans.
Several tourists visit the shrine of Baba Reshi to pay a holy tribute. This Muslim shrine, built over the slopes below Gulmarg, witnesses thousands of devotees every year.
The nearest airport to Gulmarg is the Srinagar Airport, located at a distance of just 56 Km from the city. One can avail the service of a prepaid cab or a shared taxi outside, to reach Gulmarg easily. The airport is well-connected to the major cities of India like Delhi, Amritsar and Mumbai via regular flights. The major airlines operating there are GoAir, Go Business, IndiGo, Air India and Jet Airways.
Gulmarg is well-connected with the regular bus service as well. It is connected with the frequent buses from the neighbouring towns of Kashmir like Sonamarg, Srinagar, Pahalgam and others. The regular, deluxe and luxury buses, operated by both private companies and the state government, are available.
Located at a distance of 290 Km from Gulmarg, Jammu is the nearest Railway Station. It is well-connected to most of the railheads of major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Trivandrum and many others.