“Heartland of winter sports in India,” Gulmarg nestled in the cup-shaped valley of Pir Panjal range in the Western Himalayas is the mecca for adventure seekers. This gorgeous little hill station attracts tourists from the world over, thanks to it’s snow clad wintery attractions. Known best as a skiing spot in India, Gulmarg is also famous for its iconic St Mary’s church, which is all but drenched in a snowy goodness when winter strikes this sleepy town! It wouldn’t be wrong to say that over the years, Gulmarg has grown in its magnificence.
This picturesque location is a major tourist attraction with must visit places like St. Mary’s Church, skiing destinations, Maharani Temple and a lot more! Here is how we spent the best days in the arms of snow at Gulmarg, enjoying the panoramic views and soaking ourselves in the magical beauty.
We stayed at the Kolahoi Greens in Gulmarg. Away from the maddening crowds, this standalone resort was definitely the best in Gulmarg! It is a traditionally built hotel, with a centralised heating system that keeps you warm even in -15 degree.
The staff was hospitable and their services simply excellent. They ensured that we were comfortable at every point of our stay in Gulmarg in winter. The chef catered to all the requirements with a big smile on his face and they served us Kahwah – their traditional Kashmiri chai at any time of the day. Overall, it was a perfect resort that served good food, had spacious and comfortable rooms, excellent facilities, and super-courteous staff!
How to reach Gulmarg from Srinagar
It is better to leave Srinagar as early as possible in the morning to avoid rush hours. It is a journey of about 50kms which can be covered by either car or a bus, or big groups can even hire separate tempo travellers as per their convenience.
Hiring a taxi or a bus both can be convenient but the fares may vary with taxi charges being a little more than the latter. En route Gulmarg one can definitely enjoy finest scenery that is a treat to the eyes and satiating for the hearts.
Major attractions in Gulmarg
The ropeway projected amidst the majestic mountain ranges offers an amalgamation of fear and excitement. The magnificent vistas of Gulmarg are hard to find anywhere – the sweeping valley views are a delight for anyone. Riding above at thousands of feet and looking at the pristine beauty that is Kashmir, oh! what an experience.
This ride will take you to Gulmarg Phase 1 (Khilanmarg) and Phase 2 (Apharwat) where you can indulge in various winter activities. The hanging car ride takes 9 minutes to reach Phase 1 and then 12 minutes to reach Phase 2. Trust us, you will feel like you are on the top of the world. The pristine white view of the ski area will leave you awestruck. Gulp on some sweet corns and hot maggi before you get ready for skiing.
If you are planning your trip somewhere between December and April, then it is the ideal time to rejoice the skiing sport in this winter wonderland!
A wintry day in Gulmarg is like none other. If you choose to spend longer than a day here, definitely consider a skiing package that will help you master the art of skiing- albeit like an amateur- in as little as three days!
Gulmarg is a place which has the ultimate ingredients for eye-popping views and super adventurous skiing on the big mountains. Words fall short to explain the experience we had while skiing in the heavy snowfall and the unusual escapade we had!
Ice skating. Snow biking. Skiing. Sledging. As mentioned earlier, Gulmarg is the place for sports enthusiasts! Ski biking is another adventure one can enjoy in the thick blanket of snow.
It makes you nonetheless jubilant about biking in the white powder with a lot zeal and enthusiasm. Instead of coming down by Gondolo ride, we rather choose to ski our ways back on a bike.
Maharani Temple in Gulmarg is the one that is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. All the temples in India have a thing about them, they depict the cultural significance but also the supreme devotion of people who worship them with complete faith. As the name suggests, this temple did have a queen like touch with brilliant infrastructure. One should go here and experience the extravagance.
Gulmarg Golf course
If you love Golf, then Gulmarg has lush green lawns for the sports fanatics to enjoy this too. We could not actually savour the taste of golfing in Kashmir because of the intense snowfall, yet one can visit this place in summers to enjoy the sport in the invigorating surroundings.
Apart from all the snow sports you can possibly think of, Gulmarg houses one of the most stunning lakes in the state- Alpather Lake, a frozen delight, but a scene of breathtaking delight nevertheless. Ever changing hues of this frozen lake can leave any tourist spell-bounded by the intrinsic beauty Kashmir has to offer! It oozes out romance, captures the heart of the spectator with its spotless beauty.
We would recommend every tourist to put this beautiful lake in their list of places to visit in Gulmarg Kashmir. Post June, the lake becomes a spot for picnickers and tourists to visit, but it remains widely used by surrounding villages at all other times of the year.
While visiting in summer is the best option for those who wish to take hiking and sightseeing tours by foot in nearby areas, you could visit Gulmarg in the winter to visit other places of interest like the Baba Reshi Shrine, built for the Sufi saint Baba Payam Ud Din Reshi.
Gulmarg was, is and will be known for its spectacular beauty. It is a perfect place for all, be it a family trip to spend it with your near and dear ones, or a honeymoon for the couples in love, or friends ready to go gaga in the land of adventure.
Snow falling on the gloved hands, chilly winds on the faces never felt so good!
With refreshing ambience, numerous adventure sports, and snow blanketed mountains, Gulmarg makes for a perfect hotspot for tourists seeking a peek into the paradise somewhere close to their homelands – truly a jewel in the paradise of earth ‘Kashmir.’
Wanderers Hub Tips
- Make sure you make bookings for the gondola ride well in advance.
- Wear warm clothes and Snow shoes all the time in Gulmarg during winters.
- Bargain well before renting out the ski equipment.
- Carry your sunglasses..
- You can take boots and ski equipment on rent from Tangmarg itself. It’s definitely cheaper over there.
- During heavy snowfall, only local taxis with chained tyres are allowed to ply on the road from Tangmarg to Gulmarg. Don’t insist to take your own cars as the path is really risky.