Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Gulmarg Hill Station | Gulmarg Tourism | Tourist Places Gulmarg

Gulmarg Hill Station | Gulmarg Tourism | Tourist Places Gulmarg

Gulmarg is a town, a hill station and a notified area committee in Baramula district in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Gulmarg's legendary beauty, prime location and proximity to Srinagar naturally make it one of the premier hill resorts in the country. 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, at an altitude of 2,650 m, and is the country's premier ski resort in the winter.

The journey to Gulmarg is half the enchantment of reaching there-- roads bordered by rigid avenues of poplar give over to flat expanses of rice fields interspersed with picturesque villages. Depending on the season, nature's colours could be the translucent green of spring, summer’s rich emerald, or autumn’s golden hues, when scarlet chillies festoon windows of village homes. After Tangmarg, the climb to Gulmarg begins through fir-covered hillsides. At one point, known simply as View Point, travelers generally stop their vehicles for a few minutes and look out a spectacle of snow-covered mountains, almost within touching distance.

Fast Fact Sheet of Gulmarg Hill Station:

Main Attraction:

Alpather Lake, Golf Courses & Skiing


34.05°N 74.38°E
56-km South West Of Srinagar, Kashmir Region, Jammu and Kashmir




Summer: Light woollens Winter: Heavy woollens


Kashmiri and Hindi



Best Time to Visit Gulmarg Hill Station:

In Summer - May To September
In Winter - November To February

STD Code:


Weather of Gulmarg Jammu Kashmir:

The temperature in June-August summer is 25 deg to 35 deg C. It plummets to 7 deg C in spring (March-May) and autumn (Oct - Nov).
In winter (Dec-Feb) temperature drops to minus 10 deg C.

Geography of Gulmarg Jammu Kashmir Tourism:

Gulmarg is located 52 km from Srinagar. It is located at 34.05°N 74.38°E. It has an average elevation of 2,690 m (8,825 ft).

What to do in Gulmarg:

Horse Riding / Hiking
Cable car riding to Khilanmarg
Golf playing
Snow Skiing during winter months (End Dec -Middle March)

How to Reach at Gulmarg Jammu and Kashmir Tourism:

By 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.

By Rail:

The nearest railhead is at Jammu Tawi, which is around 300 km away.

By 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.

Weather forecast of Gulmarg Jammu and Kashmir:

Gulmarg Tourism:

Gulmarg is easily accessible from Srinagar or Srinagar Airport (SXR), the capital of Kashmir, in under 2 hours by Tata Sumo or bus. Just 1 hour on the way is the town of Tangmarg, a key tourist attraction and also a main destination for skiers riding down from Gulmarg during the winter months. From Tangmarg, the Gulmarg plateau is just 30 minutes travel. Gulmarg has around 40 hotels ranging from extremely budget accommodation in private huts to hotels that are of a similar standard to a western Bed & Breakfast. When hotels say 5 star expect similar standards to the aforementioned bed and breakfast or motel. The peak season starts with the snowfall in December and lasts until March (April if it is a good season). The charges for one night stay during peak season in a hotel range typically between Rs.1500 to Rs6500+, however there is also accommodation available for Rs500 which is only for the hardcore. The pre-season and post-season rates may have a discount but this is not standard. However, organising all of this can be pretty trying, so the cheapest and most convenient option is to go through a local tour company such as K-line Himalayan Adventure Sports or Gulmarg Powder Guides, which have connections and networks leading to the best prices and facilities available. They organise everything from transport to accommodation and, for all winter sports enthusiasts, an essential backcountry guide to lead you in navigating the unique but extreme terrain.

According to CNN, Gulmarg is the "heartland of winter sports in India." Gulmarg was being mooted as a possible host for the 2010 Commonwealth Winter Games. As such, Gulmarg has been rated by CNN International as Asia's seventh best ski destination. This resort is famous because of its "Gulmarg Gondola," one of the highest cable car in the world, reaching 3,979 metres. The two-stage ropeway ferries about 600 people per hour to and from the gondola main station in Gulmarg to a shoulder of nearby Mt. Apharwat Summit (4,200 m (13,780 ft)). The ropeway project is a joint venture of the Jammu and Kashmir government and French firm Pomagalski. The first stage transfers from the Gulmarg resort at 2,600 m (8,530 ft) to Kongdoori Station in the bowl-shaped Kongdori valley. The second stage of the ropeway, which has 36 cabins and 18 towers, takes skiers to a height of 3,950 m (12,959 ft) on Kongdoori Mountain, a shoulder of nearby Mt. Afarwat Peak (4,200 m (13,780 ft)). The second stage was completed in a record time of about two years at a cost of Rs11 crore and opened on May 28, 2005. The French company had also built the first phase of the gondola project, connecting Gulmarg to Kongdoori, in 1998. The JKSCCC also proposes to construct chair lifts to connect Kongdoori with Mary’s Shoulder for beginners and intermediate freeriders.

The “heartland of winter sports in India”, as quoted by CNN, is a gathering ground for all things extreme sports and outdoors related. In the winter, the diverse and extreme terrain combines with torrential snowfall to create a snow destination that is among the best in the world. As the destination itself is still undeveloped, skiers and riders never have to suffer the long queues that are so prevalent in other international snow destinations – it is not uncommon to get up to 10 runs in a day from the top of the gondola and to be carving fresh lines in untracked snow for the best part of a day.

The summer is just as busy. With temperatures ranging from 25-30°C, Gulmarg attracts outdoor sports fanatics with its world class trekking, mountain biking, horse riding, water skiing, and fishing.

There are a few places of religious importance near the resort within a 5 to 20 km radius like Baba Reshi, Haji Murad at Kreeri and Tangmarg.

Gulmarg is among the most famous tourist destinations in India, however, there is need for some stricted regulation to save the environment of the area from over tourism.

Major Attraction in Gulmarg Hill Station:

Skiing & Heliskiing:

Asia's one of the most famous Heli-skiing resort is at Gulmarg, Kashmir. Come December, and the verdant green slopes of Gulmarg are blanketed with snow, forming some of the finest natural slopes for ski runs of all levels.

Golf Courses:

Gulmarg also has one of the world's highest green golf courses, as well as a clubhouse, which is a historical building in its own right. For the would-be golfer, there are golf sets on hire, pros to instruct one in the game, and temporary memberships. Naturally, these facilities are available to players as well, except that serious golfers usually carry their sets along.

Gondola Lift:

For a fun filled ride of a most unusual kind, Gulmarg's newly constructed Gondola lift from high above Gulmarg, through pine clad slopes, is exhilarating.

Alpather Lake:

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.

Walk in Gulmarg:

A circular road, 11-km in length, runs right round Gulmarg through pleasant pine forests with excellent views over the Kashmir valley. Nanga Parbat is clearly visible 137-km to the north, Haramukh 60-km to the east while to the south one can see the Ferozpore and Sunset Peaks and the Apharwat Ridge. Nanga Parbat, the 'lord of the mountains', is the fourth highest peak on earth at 8,500 metres.

Adventure Sports Skiing in Gulmarg Hill Station:

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.

Demographics of Gulmarg Hill Station:

At the 2001 India census, Gulmarg had a population of 664, though many people are required to leave by nightfall. Only tourists and those working in the tourism industry may stay overnight. Males constitute 99% of the population and females 1%. Gulmarg has an average literacy rate of 96%, higher than the Indian national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 97%, and female literacy is 22%. In Gulmarg, 0% of the population is under 6 years of age.

History of Gulmarg:

Gulmarg has been a resort for the kings like Yousuf Shah Chak and Jahangir who used to visit frequently. The old name of Gulmarg was "Gaurimarg", the name of Lord Shiva's wife. Yousuf Shah Chak changed its name to Gulmarg, meaning the place of roses. During the early part of the 20th century the famous Central Asian explorer Sir Marc Aurel Stein (1862–1943), made his home here in a tent between his expeditions. It was a favourite summer holiday destination for the British stationed in India.

The surrounding areas were politically restive during a period of relative peace and quiet. The town is nestled within the imposing Himalayan peaks, and lies within miles of the Line of Control. It receives heavy snowfall during the winter season and is a popular ski resort.

With the abatement of militancy in the area, Gulmarg has quickly become one of the state's most visited destinations. The slopes of the Afarwat Hills of the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalaya Chain boast one of the longest and highest ski slopes in Asia. The total distance covered by ski lifts is five kilometres and the resort peaks at an altitude of 3,950 m (12,959 ft), accessed by an aerial gondola (telecabine). The skiing project was inaugurated by the Chief Minister on 25 December 2004. The entire hill is guarded by the army at all times. The army, which is seen everywhere in the cities of Kashmir, is not in the town or the actual hilltop. Frisking is only done midway on the access road at 3 places: Tangmarg, near an army camp on the road from Tangmarg, and 5 km before entering Gulmarg. Gulmarg does not have any permanent residents. All living in Gulmarg are hotel employees and guests.

Gulmarg Map:

Gulmarg Photos:

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