One of India’s most artistic and photographic state, Jammu & Kashmir, lies on the peaks of Himalayan Ranges with varying culture ad topography. Jammu was the fortress of Hindu Dogra kings and is a place which is lively with popular temples and deserted forest retreats. Srinagar, Kashmir’s capital also offers some memorable holidays on the lakes with their houseboats and shikaras. Gulmarg, which means ‘meadow of flowers’, is located 60 kms away from Srinagar which requires one and a half hour journey by car. Gulmarg has exerted strong influence on millions of tourists, right from the day it existed with its panoramic beauty of the Himalayas as the backdrop.
Gulmarg has been a residing place for various kings like Yousuf Shah Chak and Jahangir who visited this mesmerising destination very often. Gaurimarg was the old name of Gulmarg, which is a name of Lord Shiva’s wife, Parvati. It was Yousuf Chak who changed the name to Gulmarg.
Impressive reasons to visit Gulmarg
In case you’re wondering about the reasons to visit Gulmarg, here are few you may want to consider.
- Gulmarg is a summer holiday destination and a ski resort located 60 kms southwest of Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir.
- The Cable Car, more popular locally as the Gulmarg Gondola is a big hit among visitors. Tourists can experience moderate to heavy snow in this place all around the year, except for the month of September.
- Gulmarg is a prime ski destination during winter and during summer it can definitely be called one of the best Himalayan views that you may see throughout India.
- It is a popular place for trekking.
- Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve is an ideal place for watching myriad variety of birds.
- Gulmarg is also home to one of the highest altitude golf courses in the entire world, which remains open during summers.
Things to know about Gulmarg :
- Skiers from all over the world come to Gulmarg, especially during the months of January and March as they look for a cheap skiing holiday.
- In the entire Gulmarg area, you won’t find a single liquor shop as consumption of liquor is considered as a social taboo here.
- You can’t bring vehicles from outside to Gulmarg apart from the pick-up and drop facilities from hotels. Guests are internally seen either moving around on horsebacks on walking.
Information on Accessing Gulmarg
- Gulmarg is an Ex-Srinagar Getaway
- The 2 nearest railway stations are Katra (320kms) and Udhampur (280 kms)
- Srinagar (50kms) is the nearest airport
Enjoying the Gondola ride to Khilanmarg
Gulmarg Gondola is the second-highest operating cable car since the termination of the Merida cable car in Venezuela in 2008. Visiting Gulmarg and not experiencing a gondola ride makes the trip incomplete and once you ride on it, it takes you through the picturesque beauty of the Gulmarg valley. Gulmarg boasts of Asia’s longest and highest cable car project. The stage 1 ride costs Rs. 300/- and the second one costs Rs. 500/- per ride to and fro.
Religious attractions of Gulmarg – When you have pious intentions
Though Gulmarg is a pretty small town, yet there are few religious places as well. The 110 year old St. Mary’s Church was built in the time of British colonial rule and it was then renovated in 2003.
The Shiva Temple was considered as the royal temple of Dogra Kings of Jammu and Kashmir. This temple is also known as Maharani Temple and is perched on a small hillock right at the centre of Gulmarg. The unique feature about this temple is that it is visible from different corners of Gulmarg.
Kashmir tourism has indeed come a long way, by loving and taking care of their tourists and fulfilling all their whims and fantasies. Tourists are scattered everywhere soaking up every single thing that Kashmir has to offer, from the pony treks to the silent rides to the shikaras rides on the Dal Lake. If you’ve been wondering about your next tour destination, don’t think twice before choosing Gulmarg.