Updated: May 31
Gulmarg, known as Gulmarag in Kashmiri, is a town and hill station, in the Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is located at a distance of 31 km from Baramulla and 49 km from Srinagar.
Gulmarg is the crowning glory of Jammu & Kashmir and is located 2,650 meters above sea level. Known as the “Meadow of Flowers”, it boasts of the world’s highest golf-courses, popular skiing places, gorgeous views, a triangular frozen lake, and a famous Gondola ride. On top of that the beautiful place is also the shooting location of several scenes from famous Bollywood movies like 'Bobby'(1973), 'Yeh Jaawani Hai Deewani'(2013) and 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan'(2012).
5 Places to Visit in the Magical Town of Gulmarg:
1. Gulmarg Gondala
Asia's largest and highest and world’s second-largest and second highest cable car project, Gulmarg Gondola is the top attraction in Gulmarg.
In fact, a Gulmarg tour without a ride on the popular cable car is considered incomplete. This must-do activity in Gulmarg is perfect for family vacationers, as well as adventurers seeking to get to the top the mountain for the best skiing experience (in winter). The scenic views of mountains and valley during the cable car ride are also unforgettable and unmatched. The gondola can ferry 6 people at a time. It is advised to book the tickets online in advance to avoid the huge crowds and try to reach as early as possible to enjoy an uninterrupted and beautiful trip. There are three phases in the ride.
2. Apharwat Peak and Alpather Lake
The lofty Apharwat Peak in Gulmarg is the longest ski slope in Asia and the major tourist
attraction. With an altitude of 4390 m, Apharwat is the most eye-catching peaks in Gulmarg and the second phase of Gulmarg Gondola (cable car) connects it with Kongdori Valley. It takes 12 minutes by ropeway to reach this majestic peak which not only offers great skiing, sleighing, and snowboarding opportunity to adventure lovers but also excellent views to savour. The famous Ningle Nallah
also originates from this popular place in Gulmarg and is a delight to see.
If skiing, snowboarding or heli-skiing is on your mind, the best time to visit Apharwat will be winter season. In case, you just want to enjoy the Gulmarg Gondola ride to Apharwat, the ideal time would be between March and October.
Alpather Lake in Gulmarg is a picturesque small lake which is also known as the Frozen Lake, which owes to its nature of being frozen from November until mid-June, it is a well-kept secret of Kashmir. This charming, high altitude lake is situated at the foot of the twin Apharwat Peaks at a height of 4,390 meters and the trek to this lake starts from the popular hill station, Gulmarg. When we look at the weather condition and looking at the covering of ice and snow on the Alpather Lake and its surroundings, winters are mostly suited for skating and other snow activities.
Seems lime most beautiful places in Gulmarg are connected by the
Gondola Ride. Here is another scenic location which is a stop during the first phase of the Gulmarg Gondola. Kongdoori is a bowl-shaped area between Gulmarg and the summit on the Apharwat mountain range in J&K, India. It offers some stunning options for skiers and boarders alike.
The “heartland of winter sports in India”, as quoted by CNN, is a gathering ground for all things extreme sports and outdoors related. In the winter, the diverse and extreme terrain combines with torrential snowfall to create a snow destination that is among the best in the world.
Drang is a beautiful place, which is still fresh and protected from human interference. Pine forests, a waterfall and the stream with many log bridges make the place really beautiful.
Many nearby places are also interesting. Across the hill is a place where you will find some monuments believed to be the ruins of the Pandava temples. Through the woodlands are some beautiful fields with pine trees lining them and old mud houses dotted here and there. A visit to the small village nearby is also interesting. Drang is perfect for spending a full day and enjoying a picnic during your trip to Gulmarg. The famous Drang waterfall next to Gulmarg also sometimes completely freezes due to minus temperatures, giving rise to magical movie moments.
5. Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve
And finally we have the Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve, spread over an
area of 180 sq km, Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve is home to many common and rare species of fauna, flora and avifauna. Located at an altitude varying between 2400 and 4,300 meters above sea level, this reserve is among those regions where biodiversity is in its richest form.
Here, you can catch sight of the
endangered Musk Deer - the main attraction of the park. Also seen in this park are Hangul, Leopard, Brown Bear, Black Bear and Red Fox. A paradise for ornithologists, this area has a huge population of indigenous and migratory birds. Worth mentioning among them are Griffon Vulture, Blue Rock Pigeon Monal, Snow Cock, European Hoopoe, Koklas, Kashmir Roller and Jungle Crow. The best time to visit this place is from September to March (for mammal viewing) and March to May (for birdwatching).