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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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Quick Reference

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.

 

Destination Grade: A (What is this?)
Rating: 9/10
Population: 664
5 Star Hotels: Intercontinental the Grand Palace, Senetor Pine-N-Peak
Luxury Hotels: Grand Mumtaz Cottage, Hill Top, Heevan Retreat
Airport: Srinagar Badgam distt 56 km
Railway station: Jammu 305 km
Nearest Major City(s): Srinagar
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
Speciality(Famous for): Famous for Golf , Flowers, cable car, skiing.
Food speciality: Rogan Josh, Ricebased Food.
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Rating:
54.0
48 votes
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Total Reviews : 13
 
 
Reviews by users : (13)
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Refreshing Gulmarg - by Shirin Dated : 2012-01-19
I was completely awed by the beauty of Gulmarg and its adventurous side (skiing). Though I couldnt make the most of the opportunity of getting to ski, I had lots of fun just feeling the snow. However, I hated the food served at Gulmarg, I tried different food joints, but nothing worked for me. Rest of the facilities were good. I enjoyed my ride in the cable car and I also saw the golf course. Indeed, it was amazing to see the course situated at such a high altitude. It is built elegantly. If you are visiting Gulmarg by car, you need to register your vehicle at Tangmarg. Since it is too chilly here, jackets and other warm clothes can be hired. Gulmarg is a must visit destination if you are planning a visit to J&K. Book everything in advance for a comfortable stay.
Simply - the BEST - by Audil Dated : 2012-01-18
I loved Gulmarg. We were there with my friends last year and already booked for this year also. We usually go there to do Skiing. We met a local guiding company there. They provided best services. I recommend every one to choose gulmargalpineguides.com as your guidig company. They are simply best.

The City of Blossoms - by Reshma  Dated : 2012-01-14
I love Gulmarg because I have been visiting it almost every summer. It is my vacation resort, I go to my uncle's place and enjoy. I skii like a pro now because its been two years that I have learned to skii. I love to skii when in Gulmarg. The famous ropeway takes me to the place from where I can start my skiing. It is always a pleasant experience to stay in Gulmarg. No doubt tourists want to come here.
Gulmarg - by  Preeti Shah Dated : 2011-11-03
Just like most of the beautiful tourist destinations in Jammu and Kashmir, Gulmarg is a fantastic place. No wonder so many Bollywood movies were shot here. The natural beauty of this place is just very charming and you cannot resist taking photographs of the rice fields, snowing clad mountains and the cloudy sky.

There is a gondola lift at Gulmarg which facilitates transport to the Afarwat Mountains which have an altitude of 3950 meters. Basically those who are interested in skiing should take this ropeway and go to Afarwat Mountains and ski down the hills. It is an amazing experience. I was too scared to ski but my husband tried it.

Other leisurely activities like walking through the lanes of the picturesque village, horse riding and sightseeing. My overall experience of visiting Gulmarg was awesome; I had a good time seeing the beauty of the place. Our two day stay there was very refreshing and simply exhilarating.
Gulmarg- An Amazing Tourist Destination - by  Manish Dated : 2011-11-02
I think those who love adventure sports, precisely winter sports must make it a point to visit Gulmarg. It is an amazing respite from the heat and pollution of metropolitan cities and it makes you feel alive. I went there with a group of my colleagues and we were completely besotted with Gulmarg’s beauty and charm.

Another little advice for those who are planning a vacation full of fun, one must try skiing for sure. The winter season must be on top priority, but to get everything in time, all the bookings must be done months ago. The traffic of adventurers increases during winters because tourists from all over the world come to Gulmarg to ski.

Hiring skis, snow boards, boots and instructors is not a hard thing. It is best to go to Gulmarg between November and February as it is the best season. The ski runs are highest in Gulmarg as the slopes range from 8700 feet to around 11000 feet. It is not to ski even for amateurs because the instructors advice on every little aspect.

I hope everyone who visits Gulmarg gets back home with amazing and thrilling memories.
Gulmarg - by  Rajesh  Dated : 2011-10-31
One word that is apt to describe Gulmarg is ‘stunning’. When I left Srinagar for Gulmarg, I was already enchanted by the beauty I saw around me. It was a road trip. I had planned to stay for 3 days at Gulmarg and it was an amazing experience.

For anyone who wants to go anywhere in North India, I will advise to make all the reservations beforehand. Tourists from all over the world flock the state, so it gets really crowded. The snow covered mountains surround Gulmarg and it is like they are just a hand away. The view is spectacular anytime of the day and the feel of the place is just very serene and beautiful. I think that is why people feel rejuvenated on their ways back home and I was so satisfied being at Gulmarg that I just didn’t feel like going back home. I was too scared to try and ski so I did not bother to enroll for it, however many of my fellow tourists had fun skiing in the ice covered hills of Gulmarg. To go to Jammu and Kashmir and not visit Gulmarg will be something really stupid to do.
My Gulmarg Tour - by  Dhiraj Dated : 2011-10-29
Gulmarg is one of those destinations which should be surely visited when going to Jammu and Kashmir. It is hardly 50 kilometers away from Srinagar and is extremely beautiful. The snow covered roads from Srinagar lead to this place. On the way is Tangmarg, where you can stop and have some snacks and tea. There is also a View point on the way from Tangmarg to Gulmarg where you can click amazing pictures of the breath taking landscape.

Gulmarg is also known for the green golf course situated at an altitude of 2650 meters. Also, Gulmarg is the seventh best skiing destination in Asia. One must make it a point to try a winter sport at Gulmarg. It is advisable that you stay at Gulmarg for at least a day or two to really enjoy the feel of the place. It is also wise to make all your bookings in time so that you don’t have to face accommodation problems. The night sky in Gulmarg is simply amazing. It is like seeing the stars coming down to earth.

Skiing is by far the most popular activity at Gulmarg. There are guides who help you learn how to ski, it is an amazing experience for beginners. I think it is worth a try for anyone who is interested in a little adventure while holidaying. Clubbing your visit to Srinagar and sparing at least 2 days for Gulmarg is a good deal.
Gulmarg trip - by  Aadarsh Tapdiya Dated : 2011-10-26
A destination known for its pristine, legendary beauty, Gulmarg is one of the most visited tourist destinations in India. The name Gulmarg was given to this place by Sultan Yusuf Khan in the 16th century, it literally means ‘a meadow of flowers’. Like any other tourist destinations of Jammu and Kashmir, Gulmarg is not only a mountain resort with exquisite beauty, it is also the place that houses the highest green golf course in the world. The golf course is situated at an altitude of 2650 meters.

Since Gulmarg is situated 53 kilometers away from Srinagar, most of the tourists visit it as a getaway. But it is advisable to halt at Gulmarg for a day or two to savor its beauty. Actually, when you travel to Gulmarg from Srinagar, you are already enchanted by the roads that are bordered with poplar trees and the rice fields that spread across the terrain. On the way, you come across this small village called Tangmarg. It is a beautiful place and Gulmarg is just thirty minutes away from it. The road that takes you to Gulmarg then starts to appear fir covered. It is a thrilling sight. There is a View Point on this way, where you can stop and just appreciate the beauty of nature.

Many tourists go to Gulmarg just to enjoy adventure sports. I had a very good time mountain biking. I had to pre book everything, but it was fun. I saw a lot of foreigners come there only for skiing. Gulmarg is one of the best winter sports tourist destinations. One must visit it once in a lifetime.

GULMARG - by Mehul Mehta Dated : 2011-10-24
Gulmarg literally means a meadow of flowers. It is one of the most beautiful places in Jammu and Kashmir which is famous for both natural beauty and skiing. It is also home to the highest green golf court in the world that lies at an altitude of 2650 meters. Most of the tourists visit Gulmarg after a brief stop at Srinagar which is around 53 kilometers to the north. The picturesque villages, rice fields and the roads bordered by poplar trees make Gulmarg a favorite tourist destination when in Jammu and Kashmir.

Snow capped mountains surround Gulmarg and every time you look out of the window of your hotel room you feel ecstatic about being in Gulmarg. It is like a fantasy set up in your surroundings, full of life. Due to its simplicity and beauty, many films have been shot in exotic locales at Gulmarg. Flowers like Buttercups, Daisies, and Bluebells dot the meadows and you want to just capture everything in your camera.
On your way to Gulmarg from Srinagar, you come across a small village Tangmarg. This is also a great tourist destination and Gulmarg is merely thirty minutes away from here. Tangmarg is a main tourist destination when it comes to skiing down from Gulmarg. The amazing powder snows of Gulmarg makes skiers from all around the world make it a point to visit it. It is known as the ‘Heartland of the winter sports in India’. Heavy snowfall during the winter make trekking, mountaineering, mountain biking, water skiing, fishing and horse riding are other activities conducted here. For adventure fanatics this place is worth a visit.

The Line of Control lies very close to Gulmarg and you can see right past Pakistan when the sky is clear. The Gulmarg Gondola is one of the highest cable cars in the world and it facilitates the transport of skiers from the Gulmarg to Kongdoori Mountain which is at a height of 12,959 feet.

There are also some places of religious importance around Gulmarg. The most popular amongst them is the mosque of Baba Reshi. It is situated on the way to Gulmarg from Tangmarg. The presence of the Indian army is not very strong in the town but they are vigilant around the hills where skiing is done. I had a really pleasant time at Gulmarg. A well planned tour can be a perfect way to rejuvenate for your routine lives.
Paradise on Earth - Gulmarg - by Raunak Singh  Dated : 2011-05-02
We went to Gulmarg in a group of 14 friends from college gathering together many years after college. We started from Delhi in two hired cars and reached Srinagar within two days, taking a halt at Jammu. We were going to stay at Srinagar and head straight to Ladakh but upon a lot of recommendation we decided to spare a day for Gulmarg. In the end we stayed there for a complete two days and two nights.

Gulmarg has a lot of good hotels to choose from. The one that we stayed at was not bad, except for the food part of it. The regular chef was on leave and what his assistant cooked wasn't very good. Thankfully there are other hotels around which welcome you to their restaurant section. But for some of us who needed it, finding a hotel that served non-veg food was just as tough in Gulmarg as it is in the rest of Jammu and Kashmir.

Apart from the trouble for food, there was nothing at all in Gulmarg that we did not enjoy. The ride to the mountain in the cable car was great. So was the fun we had at the hilltop. We also tried skiing. Even if none of us was good at it, it was fun fooling around in snow. What I most loved at Gulmarg though is the scenery. The views are beautiful from every angle. It is just a city designed by god himself. You are never satisfied by your stay in Gulmarg and always want a little more. Especially if you are in a good company.

I strongly recommend that whoever goes there stays by night. Also, you may have to do a lot of horse-riding if you want to roam around, so be prepared for that. There are many sites here, but visiting all of them is not necessary. What you should really do is stay at one place that you like and relax with your friends and enjoy food and hot beverages.
Wonderful Gulamrg - by Karan Sapru Dated : 2011-03-18
Gulmarg is a nice tourist place and one should visit it during his lifetime. Gulmarg is a snow palace situated in Kashmir. As you know, Kashmir is called heaven on earth, and once you are in Gulmarg, there is so much natural beauty around that you don’t know what all can you look at one time and absorb it.

You can reach Gulmarg by road, railway or by air. The train comes up to Jammu. There are many private taxis available in Gulmarg.

The kashmiris are friendly and nice people, but it is a terror struck state, so one has to be careful.

The meaning of Gulmarg is ‘the meadow of flowers’. Gulmarg is called so because during summer, there are many wildflowers which bloom here are form a beautiful and colourful carpet in the city, when they fall from the trees.

It is easy to move around Gulmarg because it is a small town. The houses here are mainly resorts, because people don’t live in Gulmarg. It is a tourist spot. The wooden houses, small streets and less inhabitation, makes one feel like, he is not in India.

The last king of Kashmir was living in a palace. He was a dogra. His wife used to visit the Shiva temple, which was 2 kilometres away from the palace. She sincerely used to worship lord Shiva in this temple. In fact, the queen used to live in this temple for months and worship lord Shiva. Now, the Shiva temple is open from 6 am to 9 pm.
Beautiful Gulmarg - by Neha Walli  Dated : 2011-03-18
I had gone alone to Gulmarg. I had decided that I want to go on a trip alone and experience what it is like. The experience was very good.

While in Gulmarg, I saw a snow leopard in the evening, some distance away from my jeep.
The shopping in Gulmarg is not all that great.

My visit to the Gandola at Apparwat was very good. I have to warn you about one thing. There are many snow activities in Gulmarg and before going for any of these activities; I suggest that you should ask the JKTDC people about the rates of these snow activities. You will find the JKTDC people at the entrance of Gulmarg. I suggest this because many people quote higher charges than the normal charges for these snow activities. Therefore, you should be careful.

The best way to reach Gulmarg, is to go to Srinagar. There is a taxi stand at Srinagar from where you can hire a taxi. The rates of the taxis are displayed there. You can hire a taxi and while doing so, make sure you know the number if the taxi because this is a necessary precaution anywhere. Also, check whether the taxi has a spare wheel.

When in Gulmarg, you can just walk around the city and enjoy the natural beauty of the place. Gulmarg is a wonderful town and it can be visited during the summers as well as winters. This town mainly caters to tourists and there are no people living there.
Gulmarg, an Unexplored City - by Manish Bindroo  Dated : 2011-03-18
Gulmarg is a beautiful city and if you are visiting Kashmir, you must to stop at Gulmarg. The city has a lot of natural beauty. There are a few good private hotels in Gulmarg, but these are a bit heavy on the pocket. Some of the hotels in Gulmarg have a kitchen, where you can actually cook your own food.

The gondola at Gulmarg is a major tourist attraction. You must have your own vehicle, while in Gulmarg because all the places of interest are far apart from each other.

Gulmarg is a small place, but in spite of that, it has many religious attractions. One such attraction is the St. Mary’s church. This church is 110 years old and it was built during the British rule in India. St. Mary’s church was renovated in 2003 and the first Christmas mass was held there in a span of 14 years.

Another place of religious importance in Gulmarg is the Shiva temple. This temple was originally the place of worship for the dogra kings of Jammu and Kashmir. The Shiva temple is also called the Maharani temple. It is situated on a small hill, at the centre of Gulmarg.

The Shiva temple is also called the Mohineshwar shivalaya. It was built in 1915 by Maharani Mohinibai Sisodhia. Maharani Sisodhia was the wife of Maharaja Hari Singh, who was the last ruler of Kashmir. Mohinibai Sisodhia was the daughter of Maharaja Mohandev, who was the ruler of Dharampur.