Gulmarg literally means meadow of flowers. It is a majestic hill station in the district of Baramula. The hill station, at an altitude of 2730 m, was earlier known as Gaurimarg, where Gauri stands for Goddess Parvati the wife of Lord Shiva. The name Gulmarg was given to this place by the King Yousuf Shah Chak.
Nestled with stunning peaks in the Himalayan ranges, Gulmarg is a spectacular picnic spot attracted by all kinds of tourists and its 2nd best picnic sport for local people in kashmir with its lush green backdrop, beautiful landscapes, flowering gardens, serene lakes and pleasant climate during the summers and falls.
This imposing hill station was a pleasure resort for kings and royal family members and a summer retreat for the British officers during the British rule in India. Sir Marc Aural Stein, the renowned central Asian explorer made this place as his halting location between the expeditions during early 20th century. History claims that Mughal emperor Jehangir was a frequent visitor to this pleasant environment.
Gulmarg is an eye catching place with picturesque surroundings, beautiful gardens with mind blogging flowers and fragrance. This is one of the best ski resorts in India and Asia's seventh best ski destination as it gets heavy snowfall, especially during winter which makes it the best time to book Kashmir tour packages.
Some of the highest ski slopes in India lies in the sloppy Himalayan regions in Gulmarg. Gulmarg is spotted as one of the potential location for 2010 Winter Commonwealth games and also has 18 hole and 72 par golf course
Gulmarg has been the shooting location many Bollywood films like Bobby, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Highway, Phantom, Haider, etc. A scene in Bobby was shot in a hut in Gulmarg that later come to be known as 'Bobby Hut'.
Alpathar LakeAlpathar lake Calm, beautiful and a favorite picnic spot for tourists visiting Gulmarg, Alpather Lake is located on the valley down the twin Afarwat peaks at an altitude about 4,511 m. This serene lake in a triangular shape is placed in the backdrop of scenic hilly snow capped terrains. The lakeside gardens add the beauty to the surroundings.
This attractive lake remains frozen until June and during the summer streams of clear water bubbling through the lake with floating ice pieces. The lake can be reached by an adventurous trek through the snowy mountains. This is a perfect location for trekking enthusiasts..
Baba Reshi ShrineShrine (Ziarat) of Baba Reshi, dedicated to Muslim scholar and saint Baba Reshi, is a sacred mosque in the valley of Gulmarg. This tomb was built in 1480. Baba Reshi was an important courtier during the period of King of Kashmir Zain-ul-Abidin and is considered as a holy shrine.
The five century old shrine was constructed with the architectural styles of Persian and Mughals. The shrine is located in a vast expanse of greenish lawns and it can accommodate many thousands at a time.
This sacred tomb is a highly revered religious attraction and thousands of devotees visit this shrine every year. Tourists can access by local means of transportation such as sledges and field chutes.
St Mary's ChurchA monument of the British Rule in India, St Mary's Church is a religiously important church in Gulmarg. The construction of the church dates back to 150 years and was done by famous British architectures in the construction style of British churches. This holy church is rare sight of a Christian church in Gulmarg and is reachable through trekking.
The church is located in the heart of the town and is surrounded by many old fashioned huts as well as an old hotel suitable for staying to view snow falling on the surroundings. The alpine trees around the church add a soft breeze to the cool environment. Gulmarg Golf Club is a nearby attraction to visit.
Gondola Ride /Cable car
The wonderful attraction in Gulmarg is the Cable Car ride, which is also known as Gondola Lift/Ride (1 km west of Gulmarg’s bus stand). Jammu and Kashmir State Cable Car Corporations manage the Gulmarg Cable Car ride.
The ride is divided into two sections – Gulmarg to Kongdori and Kongdori to Apherwat. The Gondola passes over the pine forests, starting from a height of 2690 m above sea level and rise up to 3090 m while reaching Kongdoor.Gulmarg is credited with the longest and highest cable car project in Asia (Running from Kongdoor to Apharwat at an altitude of 13400 ft,) The trial runs, load test and other necessary electro mechanical tests were conducted by M/S Pomagalski of France in March, 2005 successfully. The project was dedicated to the nation by the Hon’ble Chief Minister, J&K on 28-05-2005. The experience in this cable car is breathtaking and really memorable.
Horse riding is an adventure option to do while visiting Gulmarg. Besides, it is a means of transport for tourists visiting Gulmarg. Ponies can be hired directly or through the Tourist Office and on all the important locations of Gulmarg tariffs are displayed.
Trekkingulmarg is a very popular trekking base in the Himalayan regions. Many trekking trails offering medium to hard adventurous trekking originates from the hilly terrains of Gulmarg. There are many resorts offering all supports for trekking expeditions and also there are many skilled guides.
Gulmarg-Khilanmarg, Gulmarg-Apharwat and Gulmarg-Alapther trekking trails are very popular among the trekking enthusiasts. The trekking through the breathtaking undulated snow covered sloppy Himalayan ranges is really an adventurous experience to extol.
Majestic views of Namga Parbat, enchanting snow covered valleys and dense forests make the trekking in Gulmarg a wonderful experience for any traveler. Ideal time for trekking is from April to November.
SkiingSkiing and snowboarding are two main activities which can be carried out in Gulmarg and it has become the most popular spot for skiing in India. Winter comes here with all its majesty and snow falling makes the landscape covered with thick glossy smooth snow.
The slopes in Gulmarg are all natural, for the beginners it is best suited to choose the gentle slopes of ski runs that ranges from 200 m to 3 km. Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering located here also offers 10 day & 21 day short ski courses for newbies as well as advanced skiers.
Gulmarg has many ski resorts with all kinds of facilities for skiing. Tourist can get the help of skiing guides from the resorts or government shops. They offer all supports for an enthralling and exciting skiing vacation in Gulmarg. The best time for skiing is during January to March. Skiing races are also organized here during the festivals like Christmas and Easter.
Golf is the best attractive sport in Gulmarg. Gulmarg Golf Club, established in 1911, was a summer resort for the British and they started playing Golf in the vast expanse of majestic greenish grounds of the Club. This has been credited as the highest green golf course all over the country.
This majestic golf club offers an 18 hole and 72 par golf course facility for its privileged visitors. The attractive feature of this golf course is that they offer temporary membership, even for a day, for golf enthusiasts. Tourists can reach there on foot. The Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation maintains and manages this superb Golf course.
Gulmarg is a perfect tourist destination for all seasons but the best time to visit is from March to October.
(November to February) is cold with temperature ranging between -4°C to 11°C. Severe snowfall is a feature of this place. The winter season is good for enjoying skiing and enjoying honeymoon in Gulmarg . Snowfall is a common occurrence.
(March-May) is a refreshing period with a temperature band of 13°C and 29°C. This season is ideal for enjoying various adventure sports and sightseeing. Snow can be enjoyed on high altitudes.
Monsoon (July to August) receive very moderate rainfall and is not enough to cause any disruption to the tourists.