Gulmarg: The valley of Gulmarg, a large meadow about 3-sq-kms in area, stands at 2,730 metres, 56-km south west of Srinagar.. The name means ‘Meadow Of Flowers’ and in the spring it’s just that, a rolling meadow dotted with countless colourful Bluebells, Daisies, Forget Me Not’s and Buttercups. The valley itself is about 3-km long and up to a km wide. Gulmarg has been a resort for the Kings like Yousuf Shah Chak and Jahangir who used to visit frequently. The old name of Gulmarg was “Gaurimarg”, the name of Lord Shiva’s wife. Yousuf Shah Chak changed its name to Gulmarg, meaning the place of roses.
Gulmarg’s legendary beauty, prime location and proximity to Srinagar naturally make it one of the premier hill resorts in the country, in addition to Pahalgam and to some extend Sonamarg in Kashmir. While Gulmarg is an all-weather resort with refreshing summer meadows and pastoral scenes to keep the camera busy, the main reason to come here, at least in winter, is the off-piste, deep-powder, long-run skiing and snowboarding. The journey to Gulmarg is half the enchantment of reaching there– roads bordered by rigid avenues of poplar give over to flat expanses of rice fields interspersed with picturesque villages.
How to Get There
Air: Gulmarg is in Baramula District and is 56-kms from Srinagar. Sonamar is 81-km from Srinagar. The nearest Airport is located in Badgam District, which is well connected to all the major cities of India.
Rail: The nearest station is at Jammu.
Road: There’s a variety of transporation available to Gulmarg from Srinagar where there’s a bus stand at Batmallo and also available are private transport operators. Bus services to Sonamarg are available from Srinagar and Anantnag.
Best Time to Visit: The hill resort of Gulmarg is a gorgeous place to be at throughout the year. There are winter months from November to February that are ideal for skiing. The adventurers are known to throng the hill resort as soon as the snow falls. As it is the summer months from May to September offer pleasant weather to the tourists. The sun scorched souls from the plains flock to the hill resort as a summer retreat.
Things to do:
Gulamrg and Sonamarg are not just two hill resort destinations of Kashmir, they also make the ultimate adventure zone of the Kashmir valley.
Trekking: Gulmarg makes an excellent base for trekking in the northern Pir Panjal Range. Nanga Parbat can be seen to the north from several view points, including Khilanmarg, west and over 1,500 feet up the forested hillside from Gulmarg. From a distance, the Pir Panjal appears somewhat rounded, but when you are actually walking up its slopes you will find that its smoother peaks rise above evergreen clad slopes that seem quite equal in steepness to those of the main Himalayas.
Golf Courses: Situated at an altitude of 2,650 m, Gulamarg has got the highest green golf course in the world. The layout of the course is quite striking and the layout is similar to a the average well designed golf course with land slopes and inclines along the complete area which has a par of 72. The golf club was started by the British who used Gulmarg as a holiday resort, and opened it for golf lovers in the year 1904. At present the Jammu & Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation manages the club.
Skiing Adventure: Skiing Gulamarg is also counted among the best skiing resorts in India, but you require years of experience as well as training to ski down the slopes over here.Gulmarg. It’s also a good ski spot for starters.. All ski enthusiasts, not matter their expertise, will find all tje required gear and equipment as well as professional ski instructors in Gulmarg – from the beginner to the most adept. And you will also discover the longest ski run in Gulmarg is provide by the Gondola Cable Car where skiers can swoosh down the slopes from the height of 2, 213m.
For the traveler who enjoys outdoor activity, this area is definitely a perfect place to either learn a new skill or improve on the skills you have already.