Gulmarg, rightly quoted as the “Meadow of Flowers”, is a breathtaking sight that leaves you in awe of its scenic beauty. Snow is an integral part of Gulmarg’s beauty and ones who have a trip of Kashmir in mind should definitely include Gulmarg in Kashmir sightseeing wish list. Gulmarg tourism remains high during two seasons – Winters and Summers. While the summers are great to view the floral diversity and fresh greens of this valley, winters on the other come with their own attractions. During the winters, Gulmarg becomes a snowboarding and skiing haven. Many globetrotters swear that Gulmarg skiing gives the Swiss Alps experience in India!
If you are a first timer to Kashmir, then you might not know about the real gems of Gulmarg. Well, you need not worry, at RailYatri we have an ideal tour package that would take you to the Gulmarg tourism hotspots. Check it out.
Places to visit in Gulmarg
The first thing to do after you reach Gulmarg is take a ride in this unique Gondola. Gulmarg Gondola is the world’s highest and longest cable car. The ride that starts from Baramulla in Kashmir gives splendid views of the beautiful Gulmarg and Khilanmarg. First phase of the Gondola ride reaches you to Kongdori, which sits at an altitude of over 10,000 feet. While in Kongdori, do visit the Seven Springs. These are seven natural outlets of water perched amidst scenic settings.
- Timings: 10 AM – 4 PM
- Gulmarg Gondola charges: INR 740 per person (for adults and children over 3 years of age)
- Tip: Though the Gondola rides can be booked online, but the boarding passes are valid for three hours from the time of booking.
Khilanmarg is the most visited place in Gulmarg and why shouldn’t it be! A visit to this place during the spring season would quickly reveal why Gulmarg is known as the “Meadow of Flowers”. During this season the valley is filled with various hues of aromatic flowers. If flowers are a source of attraction during the summers and spring, then ice becomes a source of inspiration for travelers during the winters. Best Gulmarg skiing options are available on this valley. Apart from this, many adventure seekers decide to trek all the way up from Gulmarg to Khilanmarg across a scenic route. While at Khilanmarg, you can view beauty all around. On one hand you can view the Jhelum, Dal and Wular lakes and on the other you have mesmerizing views of the Nanga Parbat, Nun and Kun peaks.
- Tip: Though there are no specific timings for Khilanmarg, but we would advise you to visit between 9 AM – 3 PM.
Situated 13 KM away from Gulmarg city, this is one of the prettiest lakes you will come across in India. Alpather Lake lies on the foot of the Apharwat peak. The route towards the lake is an ideal trekking trail, however you can reach Alpather Lake by hiring sledges during the winters or ponies during summers. Set against the backdrop of snow clad mountains, this lake wears two beautiful looks during two seasons. During the winters, the lake remains frozen when it appears glistening and white, while during the summer season the lake is bordered by beautiful flowering and tall plants.
- Tip: If you are visiting the Lake during winters do care to carry a pair of goggles as the striking white hues around the lake can strain your eyes.
Ningle Nallah and Ferozepur Nallah
If you love fishing then these two streams are the perfect tourist places for you. Ningle Nullah is a mountain stream that flows through the lush green valleys, and has snow clad mountains in its backdrop. In short the surroundings of Ningle Nullah seem to have come straight out of those crayon drawings! The grassy pastures of Ningle Nullah are a perfect setting for camping or enjoying a small picnic.
On the other hand, Ferozepur Nullah is nestled within the flowering valleys of Chinamarg and Nurpur Pass. The shores of this stream are graced by lush meadows, pine trees and of course the ice capped mountains. Trout fishing is a popular attraction at Ferozepur Nullah.
Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve
Known for its varied flora, fauna, and avifauna, the Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve is a hit among wildlife enthusiasts. With rich biodiversity, this reserve has a scenic covering of the tall conifers and the green herbs. This is an excellent destination for some wildlife photography. Animals such as Leopard, Red Fox, Kashmir Deer, Brown and Black Bear can be easily sighted at the Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve. There are plenty of opportunities for the Ornithologists as well. The reserve becomes an ideal dwelling place for migratory birds such as Griffon Vulture, Blue Rock Pigeon Monal, Snow Cock, Kashmir Roller, etc.
- Timings: 10 AM – 4 PM
Strawberry Valley has been Bollywood’s favorite shooting location. Important scenes from many yesteryear classics were shot at this tranquil and beautiful valley. Come the summers, the valley blossoms with the Strawberry. If you are really lucky, you get to taste the garden fresh, sweet and ripe Strawberries. Apart from its Strawberries, the valley is well known for its lush green beauty while is only interrupted by the views of those white cliffs. You can visit the Strawberry Valley in Gulmarg by choosing a Nature Walk group or may take a pony ride.
Gulmarg Golf Course
Not many of you would think that visiting a golf course is a good idea when there is so much to do and see in Gulmarg. But you are wrong, Gulmarg Golf Course is the largest and highest 18-hole golf course in India. Situated on the lower ranges of Gulmarg, this is one of the most scenic playing fields you will ever come across. The Golf course was inaugurated in 2011 by Omar Abdullah and ever since it has become a well-known golfing destination in India.
- Timings: 08:30 AM – 10 PM
- Entry fees: INR 800 for Indians and INR 1200 for foreigners
Hope we have been able to help you plan a trip to Gulmarg. So, when are you visiting this heavenly beauty?