Gulmarg is a hill station in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The town had witnessed militancy in the 1990s, but after a ceasefire between India and Pakistan in 2003, the town is now peaceful.
British discovered the hill resort of Gulmarg in 1927 during their colonial rule in India. Originally called ‘Gaurimarg’ by shepherds, its present name was given in the 16th century by Sultan Yusuf Shah, who was inspired by the sight of its grassy slopes emblazoned with wild flowers. Gulmarg was a favourite haunt of Emperor Jehangir who once collected 21 different varieties of flowers from here. Today Gulmarg is not merely a mountain resort of exceptional beauty- it also has the highest green golf course in the world, and is the country’s premier ski resort in the winter.
Location – Gulmarg are Located in the Baramulla district, 57 kms southwest from the capital city of Srinagar, it is perched at an altitude of 2730 meters above sea level.
WHERE TO STAY
There are several hotels and huts that cater to the needs of the tourists. There are hotels that suit the varying budgets of the tourists to Gulmarg. All the basic facilities are available to make your stay in Gulmarg comfortable. You may check out for accommodation options run by the Jammu and Kashmir Tourist Development Corporation or the private parties. It is advisable to go in advance reservations in the peak seasons. Delicious and hygienic food is easily available in the restaurants and the eateries of Gulmarg. In the non-vegetarian food there is the traditional dish of Rogan Josh that must taste.
HOW TO REACH
BY AIR – The airport at Srinagar at 57 km is nearest to Gulmarg. The airport caters to the air transport to the adventure destination. Regular flights connect Srinagar with the other major cities in India..
BY RAIL – The railway station in Jammu is the nearest to Gulmarg that caters to the rail transport to the adventure destination.
BY ROAD – The road to Gulmarg is very beautiful and is lined with poplar trees all through. All sorts of transport are available to Gulmarg from Srinagar bus stand at Batmallo and from private transport operators.
WHEN TO GO
The best time to visit Gulmarg is during summers between November to February.
WHAT TO SEE
Khilanmarg – A 40-minute journey through valleys of wild flowers from Gulmarg to Khilanmarg offers a breathtaking view of the majestic peaks with their reflections in Wular and other lakes.
Baba-Reshi – It is a charming shrine a few kilometres from Gulmarg. Drung is a developing resort where the downhill road [3.5 km] from Tangmarg reaches the Ferozepore stream. On the hill across the river there are the ruins of an ancient temple and a meadow slightly higher up the hill.
Alpather Lake – Streaks of floating ice in this triangular lake, nestled in a hollow under the shadow ofApharw-at mountain are a visual delight. A well-graded pony track joins Apharwat Ridge with Gulmarg.
Ferozpore Nallah – It is about 5 km from Gulmarg and is reputed for good trout fishing. From here one can continue to Tosamaidan, a 3 day, 50 km walk to one of Kashmir’s most beautiful meadows. It can be reached from the Tangmarg road, or from the outer circular walk.
Ningle Nallah – This beautiful mountain stream flows from the melting snow and on Apharwat peak to Alpather Lake. It is about 10 kms from Gulmarg.The stream continues down into the valley below and joins the Jhelum River near Sopur. This long, grassy valley is a popular picnic spot and the walking path carries on, crossing the Ningli (also spelt as Ningle) Nallah by a bridge and continues on to the Khilenmarg, another grassy meadow and a good spot for camping.
Trekking In Gulmarg – Gulmarg is an excellent base for trekking in the northern Pir Panjal Range. Nanga Parbat can be viewed to the north
from several view points, including Khilanmarg, west and over 1,500 feet up the woody hillside from Gulmarg. Golf In Gulmarg – Gulamarg has got the highest green golf course in the world. The layout of the courseis quiet striking and the layout is similar to a normalgolf course with land slopes and inclines along the complete area of the course, which has a par of 72.
Skiing In Gulmarg – 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.