After Pahalgam, the next beautiful tourist destination is Gulmarg. Gulmarg is known as the valley of flowers or the meadow of flowers. Situated in Baramulla District, at an altitude of 2,730 meters, the valley is known for its snow laden peaks. I had a day in Gulmarg, which is also known as the main valley of Kashmir. Gulmarg is 51 km away from Srinagar. The peaks above the meadow are covered with dense forests of tall conifers and gigantic fir and pine trees which seem to be reaching the sky.
What can you find in Gulmarg?
Gulmarg is famous for its fields of rice, clusters of walnut, pear and mulberry, and orchards of apples and forests that lead to the snow slopes. The equally popular destination in winter is coated with a blanket of thick, soft snow where you can get the best ski experience. The beginner’s slope makes learning easy, with perfect snow conditions and gentle gradient. Gulmarg is a perfect destination for adventure lovers. Skiing, curling and ski bobbing are some of the activities offered. The cable car journey up to the snow-covered valley is a memorable one.
Our day in Gulmarg started with the Gondola ride…
Gulmarg has a lot of destinations to visit. We started off with the most popular Gondola Ride. Gulmarg’s most visited and most famous snow ride. The gondola ride in Gulmarg is one of the highest cable cars in the world. It is divided into two stages. If weather permits you can reach up to the second stage which is around 13,000 ft. The gondola ride is the must-do activity in Gulmarg. The view of picturesque snow valleys is just scenic. Once you reached the top of the valley, you will be mesmerized by the snowcapped beauty around you. Guys, make sure not to miss Gandola while in Kashmir!
Skiing in Gulmarg
Just as Gandola is a not miss activity in Gulmarg, skiing is another such activity you can’t miss when in Gulmarg. Snow sports enthusiasts and adventure lovers come to Gulmarg in winter. You can hire a ski instructor here and take ski learning sessions. There are also 2-month and 3-month ski learning sessions available.
There’s more to do in the snow!
Sledging is also one such activity you can’t miss! Walking on snowcapped roads is difficult, hence you can rent a sledge for your ride. You can also enjoy the perfect merry Christmas moment with dogs pulling the sledge. There is a long walking/sledging trail track that will cover an entire area. Some sledges are also driven by Gulmarg’s locals. You get to enjoy all these adventure activities at Gulmarg at the place of Gondola Ride.
Walking amongst the mountains
After enjoying the best scenic Gondola Ride, it was the time to go out on a nice circular walk. This walk has to be done before having your lunch otherwise you’ll take 4 hours instead of 2 for the walk (LOL). We started walking and there was the road encircling Gulmarg and providing the scenic views of massifs of Nanga Parbat, Harmukh, the rugged slopes of Ferozpur, Sunset Peak and Apharwat Ridge. The walk is memorable and will make you fall in love!
Maggi-love and Khilanmarg!
After this 2 hour walk, our hungry stomachs were yelling for food. We stopped at a Maggi store to feed our stomachs. After the 10 minutes of wait, we had the hot, delicious and watery Maggi in our hands. That is called Serenity! (LOL) After this, it was time to visit our next tourist spot. A 40-minute journey through valleys of wildflowers from Gulmarg is the beautiful destination of Khilanmarg offering the breathtaking views of majestic peaks with their reflections in serene lakes.
The Alpather lake here has the best waters. The floating ice in the triangular lake, with the shadow of Apharwat Mountain in the best blue waters, is a visual delight.
Lush meadows and golf courses
Gulmarg is also known for its beautiful and large lush green golf courses. Gulmarg’s international lush green golf course is at the highest altitude in the world. The equipment hired here for visitors may be on an hourly basis. Gulmarg is also considered to be an important trekking base camp. Leinmarg is the grassy meadow that offers excellent camping sites. Though I missed camping at this place due to a shortage of time, you guys shouldn’t miss living at least once in this heaven.
End of the day in Gulmarg
That was the end of the day in Gulmarg and we had to rush to our hotels all tired but our guide insisted us to see the last tourist spot which the saint shrine of Baba Reshi. Surrounded by the courtyard of carved deodar, the shrine is linked to Gulmarg by a motorable road. You get a glimpse of old architecture here.
We ended our sightseeing at around 8 pm and returned to the hotels at 10 pm. That was the most tiring, exhaustive but equally refreshing and memorable day of my Kashmir trip. Gulmarg, you were beautiful, would love to visit once again!