Gulmarg: Perfect Snow Heaven
#Mountains #Nature #Snow #Adventure #Romantic
We visited Gulmarg in year 2013 during winter, It is still one of my favorite and a place that is too close to my heart, thinking of winter and I usually dream of this heavenly place called Gulmarg, located in Baramula district in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.The town is situated in the Pirpanjal range in the western Himalayas. Gulmarg is a popular hill station, a known skiing destination among world.
It is originally named Gaurimarg (“the fair one”) by shepherds in honor of the Hindu goddess Parvati, later the place was renamed Gulmarg (“meadow of flowers”) by Muslim king (Sultan Yusuf shah).
It seems like a play of contradiction. While the terrain is generally calm and serene in Gulmarg in north Kashmir, knee deep powder covering a vast off-piste terrain extend the perfect spot for a high adrenaline activity like skiing. With breathtaking views of the Himalayan mountain range, picturesque surroundings and untouched lakes, all this adds to the allure of the place.
Due to its geographic location, Gulmarg get some of the heaviest snowfalls in the Himalayas. Gulmarg is the “heartland of winter sports in India” and was rated as Asia’s seventh best ski destination.It remains a mecca for a passionate skier and snowboarder, it cannot get any better. Gulmarg’ ski terrain includes alpine bowls. Chutes, cornices and glade skiing amongst ancient pines. The slopes along the Mount Apharwat offer some of the best terrain for powder ski.
Gulmarg’s gondola, which is the highest in the world 3979 meters, is split into two phases. The upper phase offer access to perhaps the finest lift-accessed powder slopes in the world.The two-stage rope-way ferries about 600 people per hour to and from Gulmarg to a shoulder of nearby Mt. Apharwat Summit (4,200 m). The first stage transfers from Gulmarg at 2,600 m to Kongdoori at 3,080 m. The second stage which has 36 cabins and 18 towers, takes passengers to a height of 3,950 m on the Apharwat Peak (4,200 m). Its Picturesque and the view from top is just jaw dropping amazing !
While it is not far from Srinagar, but the winding tricky roads, especially during winters means that it will take three hours to get to the ski slopes. Taxis are available easily, private as well as shared ones.
The difference between Gulmarg and the other ski resorts in India is mainly the area of skiing and smooth slopes.
Ideally, November to February is considered the best time to indulge in skiing activities. There are a few rental shops at Gulmarg that offer complete ski kits for hire, starting from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 3,500.
For a one time 30 minutes trip, a visitor might have a shell out anything between Rs. 500 to Rs. 1,500. However is a must do and it’s worth the experience.
Other popular sports here is Hot Balloon, Horse riding, Ice Hockey, Gandola Ride etc.
It’s a popular honeymoon destination as well and serene beauty, calmness and powder snow is loved by the couple and tourists. Gulmarg is also a popular Bollywood shooting location and many famous movies like Bobby, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Yeh Jaawani hai Deewani, Highway, Haider and many more has been filmed here.
So what are you waiting for, Pack your Bags, Warm clothes, Keep Camera Handy and Ready to explore this lovely and heavenly tourist destination – GULMARG.
we are writing a blog about this heavenly place in year 2017 and presenting to you all, one of the reason is that we believe Gulmarg deserves more exposure among tourists, globally. Some people might have queries about the security about this place and let us tell you that the peoples here (guide, local peoples, hotel staffs, taxi drivers, security personal) are very supportive and humble, and the place is itself very safe. Every year many tourists hit this place and I am sure everyone of them want to comeback here again to experience the heavenly place.
Note: One can experience Gulmarg in winter, as we did and the those who like summer can experience flowers, greenness.
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If you are planning a Trip to Gulmarg (Jammu and Kashmir, India), Check out the below information’s:
HOW TO REACH – Gulmarg:
By Air: The easiest way to Gulmarg from Delhi is by Air, the nearest airport to Gulmarg is in Srinagar which is 56 kms away. It is well connected to major cities in India by regular flights from Delhi and Mumbai. Just outside the airport, one can hire a cab which will cost you approximate Rs. 1500 one-way to Gulmarg. Shared options are also available.
By Rail: The nearest railway station is Jammu, distance is 290 kms. Jammu railway station is well connected to the most of the major Indian cities.
By Road: You can plan a road trip or take direct buses to Gulmarg, Gulmarg is well-connected with regular bus services from Srinagar, Sonmarg and other neighbouring towns in Kashmir. You can choose from regular, deluxe and luxury buses operated by both government and private companies.
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