As you climb up from the Srinagar Valey towards Gulmarg, the snow lies thicker and thicker on the ground and Gulmarg is laid out before you- lined up with trees, backed by an exciting scenery of mountain peaks set against the sharp summer day-star.
Gulmarg lies in a cup-shaped valley in the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas, at a height of 8,694 ft, 56 km from Srinagar. This place offers open spaces, mountain-fresh air, nature trails, skiing in winters and rides on the gondola cable car.
How to reach here?
Rail- The nearest railway station is Jammu Tawi. After deboarding hire a cab to Srinagar. Distance from Jammu is approximately 350 km.
Air – The nearest airport is located in Srinagar about 57 km from Gulmarg. Daily flights connect Srinagar with the other major cities in India.
Road – Gulmarg is well connected by road with Srinagar, Pahalgam, Sonamarg and various other tourist destinations in Jammu and Kashmir.
Things to see and do in Gulmarg
The main tourist zone is a high-altitude meadow with forests and peaks around. The Apharwat peak is to the southwest and the Alpathar Lake is below the hill-top. The famous Gondola takes you the up towards Apharwat via Kongdori. Skiing, golfing, snowman-building, trekking or snowboarding are some of the activities one can indulge in while in Gulmarg. This hill station located within the Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve and also the natural habitat of the musk deer, red fox, black and brown bear. This place is also a birdwatchers paradise.
Skiing and Snowboarding
The main reason for Gulmarg’s global fame, it’s skiing and snowboarding. Regarded as one of the best ski destinations in Asia. Gulmarg’s gentle slopes are perfect for beginners; for the experts, there is the option of skiing down from higher points accessible by Gondola Cable Car. One can hire ski gears at affordable rates from the shops.
Ride on the Gondola Cable Car
The ski slopes might not be all that crowded but what does attract a frenetic rush is the cable car from Gulmarg to Kongdori and Apharwat. The entire ride comprises two stages – Gulmarg to Kongdoori and Kongdoori to Apharwat Peak. The first phase of the ride takes around 9 minutes while the second takes about 12 minutes. Adventure enthusiasts can also enjoy chair car rides that are offered from Kongdoori to Marry Shoulder, which is one of the famous skiing destinations here.
Khilanmarg resides at a distance of 4 km from the Gulmarg bus stop. Travellers can easily reach this place by walking across the meadows of the valley. Surrounded by peaks on all sides, the valley is scattered with wildflowers in the spring season. Sightseers can enjoy the picturesque views of the Nanga Parbat, the Himalayas, and the twin peaks of Nun and Kun. Several picturesque sightseer spots are located in proximity to Khilanmarg.
Apharwat the highest summit in Gulmarg and also a very attractive trekking destination but full of high security. The trekking point is almost 4921 ft up steep slopes, one can reach the lake on foot or by a pony. To trek, one has to obtain permission from the Army Checkpost in Apharwat.
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