The name means 'Meadow Of Flowers' and in the spring
it's just that, a rolling meadow dotted with countless
colourful Bluebells, Daisies, Forget Me Not's and
Buttercups. Thirty two miles from Srinagar situated
amidst the snow capped mountains of pirpanjal at 8,500
feet, Gulmarg has a excellent motor road, as we as 18
hole golf course, the highest in the world . The Place
has charming walks, pleasant pony rides though the
picturesque Scenery of the surrounding woods. It
commands a Panoramic view of the valley and snow peaks
of Nanga parbath, 26652 feet. Gulmarg also offers a
winter play ground with some of the finest ski_slopes
and hali Skiing. Gulmarg looks like a fantasy set in a
film and not surprisingly have been the venue of
several films. The valley of Gulmarg, a large meadow
about 3-sq-kms in area, stands at 2,730 metres, 56-km
south west of Srinagar .
Sightseeing in Gulmarg
Take a Hike!
All around are snow-capped mountains, and on a clear day
one can see all the way to Nanga Parbat is one direction
and Srinagar is another. It's a popular day trip from
Srinagar to Gulmarg, although many people extend their
stay or use it as a base for trekking. The road from
Srinagar rises gently towards the lower slopes of the
range, passing through rice and maize fields.
From Tangmarg, at the foot of the range, there are
two paths to Gulmarg - a steep footpath or a winding
sealed road. There is also a pony track from Gulmarg that
leads upwards to Khilanmarg, Kongdori and seven springs.
This smaller valley is about a 6-km walk from the Gulmarg
bus stop and car park. The meadow, carpeted with flowers
in the spring, is the site for Gulmarg's winter ski runs
and offers a fine view of the surrounding peaks and over
the Kashmir Valley. It's a 600-metre ascent from Gulmarg
to Khilanmarg and during the early spring, as the snow
melts, it can be a very muddy hour's climb up the hill.
The effort is rewarded, if it's clear, with a sweeping
view of the great Himalayas from Nanga Parbat to the twin
7,100-metre peaks of Nun and Kun to the southeast.
Beyond Khilanmarg, 13-km from Gulmarg at the foot of the
twin 4, 511 metre Apharwat peaks, this lake is frozen
until mid-June and even later in the year one can see
lumps of ice floating in its cold waters. The walk from
Gulmarg follows a well-graded Pony track over the 3, 810
metre Apharwat ridge, separating it from Khilanmarg, and
then up the valley to the lake at 3,843 metres. The more
adventurous trekkers can climb straight up the
boulder-strewn slope of the ridge and descend the other
side to the path. For horse riding aficionados, Alpather
Lake makes an exciting day's excursion, starting early
morning and returning late evening.
The Ningli Nallah:
Flowing from the melting snow and ice on Apharwat and the
Alpather Lake, this pretty mountain stream is 8-km 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. In
early summer one will probably share the campsites with
Gujars moving their herds up to the high meadows.
In winter, Gulmarg acquires a new persona - that of the
country's premier skiing resorts. Skiing, to many who
watch it on TV, seems like a very elitist sport, requiring
a high level of training and expensive equipment. They are
surprised, when they visit Gulmarg for a day's expedition
to "see the snow", that others with the same level of
physical fitness and training are skiing down slopes.
Gulmarg is the ultimate beginner's skiing resort. One
doesn't requite a heavy woolen wardrobe - slacks or a
Salwar Kameez will do fine. In Gulmarg one will also be
able to drift to one of the many Ski shops and hire skis,
sticks and goggles. Just find yourself a ski instructor
and set off down a slope. Neither does one need to exert
oneself climbing up slopes. The gentlest slope of 200m is
linked with a ski lift, which helps one to go up. When one
graduates to intermediate level - which will happen after
the first few days of practice, there are other slopes,
longer and steeper, which are connected by chair lift. The
longest ski run in Gulmarg is provided by the Gondola
cable car, which allows a ski run of 2,213m.
HOW TO GET THERE
Air: Gulmarg is in Baramula District and is 56-kms
from Srinagar District . The nearest Airport from here is
situated in Badgam District, which is well connected with
all the major cities of the country.
Rail: The nearest railhead is at Jammu.
Road: The journey from Srinagar to Gulmarg takes
approximately 2 hours in bus and may take short time by
chartered conveyance. 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