20 Places to Visit in Gulmarg in 2022 | Gulmarg Tourism 2022 | Gulmarg 2022 |
| Places to visit in Gulmarg | Best time to visit in Gulmarg | Things to do in Gulmarg | Skiing in Gulmarg | Gulmarg History
Gulmarg is the most famous skiing destination in India, located in the Pir Panjal Range of the Western Himalayas. The famous news channel CNN has considered Gulmarg as the most suitable place for winter sports in India in a survey and has also recorded this place as the seventh-best skiing destination in Asia.
Every year hundreds of thousands of tourists visit Gulmarg to enjoy activities like skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing and heli-skiing. Gulmarg city, located in the Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir, has an elevation of just 2650 meters (8694 ft) above sea level.
The highest point for skiing in Gulmarg is Aphrawat Peak, which has an altitude of 4390 m (14403 ft) above sea level. Apart from being a famous skiing destination, Gulmarg has also been given the status of a wildlife sanctuary which is known as Gulmarg Wildlife Sanctuary.
And because of its natural richness, Gulmarg is also known as “The Meadow of Flowers”. And the main reason for this is the natural grasslands found in Gulmarg, which are covered with many feet of snow during the winter season. Many species of wildflowers are seen here in the spring and summer season, flowers like buttercups, daisies and forget-me-nots can be seen prominently.
The grasslands found here are surrounded by small lakes and dense forests of green pine and deodar. By the way, Gulmarg was known as Gauri Marg before the 15th century, which in common language means the path of Goddess Gauri.
In the 15th century, Yusuf Shah of the Chak dynasty changed the name of this place to Gulmarg. Residents in the Kashmiri language prefer to call this place by the name of Gulmarg.
The Muslim ruler Yusuf Shah Chak (from 1579 to 1586) visited the place several times during his reign over Kashmir along with his wife Rani Habba Khatoon. And during his travels, he changed the name of this place to Gulmarg (Field of Flowers). Apart from this, the Mughal ruler Jahangir had planted many types of flowering plants found in Gulmarg in his garden.
During the colonial period in the 19th century, many British officials used to come to Gulmarg to relax during the summer season and enjoy sports like hunting and golf. Golf used to be the favourite sport of the British, so they established three golf courses here, out of which one golf course was for women. Currently only one of those three golf courses remains.
The golf course in Gulmarg is the highest in the world with an elevation of 2650 meters (8699 ft) above sea level. Apart from golf, British officials used to come to Gulmarg to ski during the winter season, so they established a ski club here in 1927 and started organizing annual ski games during festivals like Christmas and Easter.
After India became independent, Gulmarg became a part of the independent princely state of Jammu and Kashmir at that time. After India became independent, Pakistan planned to capture many parts of India, one of which was Jammu and Kashmir. And under this plan, the Pakistani regular army attacks Gulmarg and Haji Pir Darr and names this attack Operation Gulmarg.
The Pakistani army, along with the Pathan tribal invaders, had illegally occupied Gulmarg and its surrounding area at the time of this attack. After this, Raja Hari Singh of Jammu and Kashmir gave his consent to merge the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir with India on 26 October 1947.
With the merger of Jammu and Kashmir into India, the 1st Sikh Regiment of the Indian Army attacked and pushed back the Pakistani army and recaptured several cities including Gulmarg in Jammu and Kashmir. In 1948, the Indian Army established a High Altitude Warfare School in Gulmarg which later became a school specializing in ice-crafts and winter warfare.
After the intervention of the United Nations on 1 January 1949, the war ends and a ceasefire line (CFL) is drawn. Later, according to the Shimla Agreement of 1972, the ceasefire line (CFL) is renamed the Line of Control (LOC). Presently the Line of Control (LOC) is located very close to Gulmarg.
After India’s independence, Indian planners feel the need for a proper place to develop winter sports in the country. On the suggestion of the planners, the Department of Tourism, Government of India in 1960 convened Rudolph Matt to select the appropriate venue for the Winter Games. After studying different places in India for some time Rudolf Matt selected Gulmarg as the most suitable place for winter sports in India.
This is followed by the establishment of the Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering in Gulmarg in 1968 to train trainers in ski and snow sports. About 30 million rupees are invested to establish Gulmarg as a world-class ski destination in the next 10 years. Due to this investment and the efforts made by the local administration, Gulmarg soon becomes an important centre for skiers in Asian countries.
In the years between 1980 and 1990, heli-skiing was introduced in Gulmarg, for which the assistance of Swiss skier Sylvain Saudan of Himalaya Heli-Ski Club of France was taken. But in 1990 the terrorist incidents in Jammu and Kashmir increase very much due to which tourism in Gulmarg gets affected completely. It takes about 10 years for the Government of India to restore tourism in Gulmarg.
Work started on the cable car project between Gulmarg and Apharwat Peak in the year 1988. But due to the increased terrorist incidents here in 1990, this ambitious project gets stalled in the middle. After this, the first phase of this project started again in 1998. In the first phase of the cable car project, cable car operation is started from Gulmarg to Kongdori.
The second phase of the cable car project was completed in the year 2005. And after this, this ropeway located in Gulmarg becomes the highest and longest ropeway in Asia. 2011 The Phase III of the Cable Car Project is completed in which the Gulmarg chairlift also starts operating.
National Winter Games were organized in Gulmarg in the years 1998, 2004 and 2008. In the year 2014, the Government of Jammu and Kashmir prepared the outline of Master Plan 2032 to promote tourism in Gulmarg. Under this master plan, a solid waste treatment plant will be developed on about 20 acres of land in Gulmarg.
Alpather Lake Gulmarg
Alpather Lake is one of the most famous tourist places of Gulmarg, situated at the foothills of Apharwat mountain near Gulmarg. Alpather Lake, located at a distance of about 13 km from Gulmarg, has an altitude of only 4511 meters (14800 ft) above sea level.
Being situated at the highest altitude, the Alpather Lake is covered with snow from November to June. After June, the ice starts melting in this lake, which provides a very pleasant experience to see. Alpather Lake gets a triangular shape due to its location in the foothills of Nun and Kun, two twin mountains of Aphrawat Parvat, which helps in making this lake even more beautiful.
You can reach this lake from Gulmarg to Khilanmarg which is a track of about 13 km. If you cannot do this long trek, then you can reach Gondola Phase II running from Gulmarg to Apharwat Parvat and then you can also reach Alpather Lake by walking 1.5 km from here. Apart from this, if you cannot walk even 1.5 km, then you can also reach this lake by hiring a pony from Gondola Phase II.
Khilanmarg is a very beautiful small valley situated at a walk of 06 km from Gulmarg which is famous for the variety of flower species and vast meadows during the spring season. And in the winter season, for the exciting sport like skiing, it has a different identity all over the world.
You can see a large number of tourists enjoying skis in Khilanmarg, especially during the winter season when it snows enough to ski here. From Gulmarg’s bus station or car parking, you can reach Khilanmarg very easily by trekking just 06 km.
During the trek from Gulmarg to Khilanmarg, you have to climb a steep climb of about 600 meters (1969 ft) which can be a bit tiring task for you. But after reaching here, you forget all your tiredness because from here you get a beautiful view of the two main peaks of the Apharwat mountain, Nun and Kun, whose height is about 7135 meters (23409 feet) above sea level.
Apart from this, you also get an unforgettable view of the Nanga Parbat of the Himalayas, whose height is 8126 meters (26660 feet) above sea level. Due to all these reasons, whenever you plan to visit Gulmarg, then you must do the trek to Khilanmarg Valley.
Skiing in Gulmarg
Gulmarg, a small town in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, has a different identity for exciting sports like skiing all over the world. And this is the reason why Gulmarg sees a maximum number of tourists in the winter season. Not only Indian tourists but tourists from different countries of the world come to Gulmarg for skiing.
In a survey by CNN, Gulmarg has been recorded as the most suitable place for winter sports. This beautiful place is also famous as the seventh-best skiing destination in Asia. Domestic and foreign tourists visiting Gulmarg not only enjoy skiing but also get a chance to enjoy activities like snowboarding, tobogganing and heli-skiing here.
Kongdori Gondola Gulmarg
Kongdori in Gulmarg is no less than a paradise for skiers and snowboarders. Kongdori is a bowl-shaped area situated between Gulmarg and Apharwat Mountains. Apart from skiing, Kongdori is the world’s second-highest cable car and Asia’s highest cable car project, also known as Gondola. Simply put, Gondola is a stop of the cable car ride or you can say a station.
The first phase of the Gondola cable in Gulmarg was started on 1 May 1998, followed by the second phase of the cable car in May 2005, a few years later. The first station of Kongdori Gondola Cable Car is at an altitude of 2600 meters (8530 ft) above sea level. And the height of the second station of this cable car is 4115 meters (13,500 ft) above sea level.
After reaching the second station of the Gondola cable car, you can easily reach the peak of Apharwat mountain for skiing or any other winter sport. From Apharwat Peak, you can get spectacular views of the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas and Nanda Devi Peak. By Gondola Cable Car it may take you 10-11 minutes to reach the first station and it may take you 12-15 minutes to reach the second station.
During the Mughal period, Tangmarg was known as the gateway to Gulmarg. This place has vast grasslands and pear trees are also found in large numbers. In the local language, the Marg is called meadow and pear is called the Tang. For this reason, due to the vast grasslands and pear trees found here, this place has come to be called Tangmarg.
Tangmarg is a very beautiful place situated on the slopes of Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas, situated at a distance of just 13 km from Gulmarg. There is also a 5 km trek to reach Tangmarg from Gulmarg. During this short trek, you pass through snow-capped mountains, dense forests, rolling hills and beautiful waterfalls.
During the winter season, you get to see a lot of snow here, so whenever you come here at this time of the year, definitely bring suitable items to protect against snow and cold. Drung, Ningle Nala, Badarkoot, Jhandpal, Babarshi and Gogaldara are some of the places to visit near Tangmarg and make time for your visit to Gulmarg.
Apart from this, this place is also very famous for handicraft artefacts, so you can buy and take something from here as a memory of Gulmarg.
St. Mary’s Church Gulmarg
About 100 years old St. Mary’s Church, located near Gulmarg, is considered a very beautiful example of Victorian architecture. St. Mary’s Church is situated right in the middle of the golf course grounds in Gulmarg, that is why you can reach this church only by taking a short trek.
In the winter season, this church is surrounded by many feet of snow from all sides and in the summer season, you can see the green meadows here. Seeing this church in both these seasons gives a different kind of feeling. Apart from the lush green meadows, you can see huge alpine trees on one side of this church and the high mountains of the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas.
You will find some hotels and homestays around the church where you can easily stay. On the other hand, when we talk about the history related to the construction of this temple, we come to know that St. Mary’s Church was built in the year 1902 during British rule.
After this, in the year 2003, the work of reconstruction of St. Mary’s Church was done. Presently this church is open for tourists from 07:00 am to 05:00 pm. St. Mary’s Church Mary’s Church does not charge any fee for the entry of tourists.
Ningle Nallah Gulmarg
Ningle Nallah, located 10 km from Gulmarg, is a very beautiful mountain stream, which is formed by melting the snow of Alpather lake and Apharwat mountain. This small mountain stream named Ningle Nallah joins the Jhelum River through winding valleys, forests and mountains.
This stream of water is equally famous for adventure lovers and tourists coming with their families. Residents and some family tourists love to picnic and spend time at this place. If you are an experienced tourist then you can also enjoy camping here. The local people use the flowing water of Ningle Nalla for household works and drinking water.
Therefore, whenever you go near this beautiful mountain stream, do not make it dirty.
Maharani Temple Gulmarg
Maharani Mandir is one of the major tourist places in Gulmarg. Located in the middle of the grasslands of Gulmarg, the Maharani Temple is built on a small hillock. And it is believed that the Maharani Temple can be easily seen from any corner of Gulmarg.
The Maharani Mandir was built in the year 1915 by Mohini Bai, wife of Maharaja Hari Singh, the then ruler of Jammu and Kashmir. The Maharani Temple built by Mohini Bai Sisodia, daughter of Maharaja Mohandev of Dharampur, is also known as Mohineshwar Pagoda.
The Maharani Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, but due to its construction by the Queen of Jammu and Kashmir, residents and tourists prefer to call it by the name of “Rani Mandir” and “Maharani Mandir”. It is said that when Maharaja Harisingh used to rest at the Dogra residence, Maharani Mohini Bai used to spend more time in this temple worshipping Lord Shiva.
In the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, Shivling and Deity of Mother Parvati have been established. Since Kashmiri Pandits left the Valley to protect themselves and their families in the 90s, there has been no priest to look after the Maharani temple. At present, Mohammed Sheikh, a Kashmiri Muslim, looks after the Maharani temple and performs regular pujas.
In the year 1998, the work of renovation of Maharani temple was done. Presently the management of Maharani Mandir is done by the Jammu and Kashmir Charitable Trust headed by Dr Karan Singh, son of Maharaja Hari Singh. Maharani Mandir is open for devotees and tourists from 06:00 am to 09:00 pm.
Snow Festival Gulmarg
The world-famous two days Snow Festival of Gulmarg was organized for the first time in the year 2003. The main reason behind organizing the Snow Festival in Gulmarg by the Ministry of Tourism was to promote winter sports and tourism in India. At present, tourists and sportsmen from all over the world come to Gulmarg to participate in the Snow Festival held every year.
Snow sporting activities like skiing, snowboarding, snow-sledging and ice skating are organized in the Gulmarg Snow Festival, in which hundreds of players from all over the country and abroad come here to participate.
During this two-day festival, cultural performances are given by local Kashmiri folk artists and apart from this exhibitions are also organized to show the culture and traditions of Kashmir. You can also get a chance to taste the local food of Kashmir during this festival.
Kanchenjunga Museum Gulmarg
The first summit of the Indian Army is organized in Gulmarg in the year 1997 and the Kangchenjunga Museum comes into existence at that time. The place had developed into a prestigious war school before it became a museum. Presently, this museum has exhibits of state-of-the-art weapons and weapons used by the Indian Army and apart from this, equipment and accessories used for mountaineering have also been displayed in this museum.
Several other expeditions such as the first successful expedition to the summit of Mount Everest by the Indian Army are also prominently displayed in this museum. The Kanchenjunga Museum located in Gulmarg is known as a symbol of respect for the Indian Army. By visiting this museum, we get a chance to get a closer look at the harsh life of an Indian Army jawan.
Ferozepur Nallah Gulmarg
Firozpur Nala, located at a distance of 5 km from Gulmarg, is a very beautiful mountain waterfall whose origin is considered to be the Ferozepur peak. Apart from being a beautiful tourist spot, this place is also considered the main source of drinking water for the residents.
Surrounded by the beautiful snowy mountains of Pir Panjal range of the Himalayas and huge deodar trees, this waterfall is considered to be one of the best and most beautiful places to spend a good time in Gulmarg. This waterfall is also very sacred for the residents, it is believed that this waterfall is blessed by the spirits of the mountains.
Later on, this waterfall joins the Bahan river flowing in Gulmarg. Apart from all this, Ferozepur Nala is also considered to be the starting point of the most beautiful Tos Maidan trek in Jammu and Kashmir. To Maidan Trek is a total 50 km long trek that takes approx 03 days to complete.
Imambara Goom Anantnag Gulmarg
Imambara Goom, located near Ahmedpora in Anantnag city of Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir state, is the centre of sacred and special religious faith for the people of the Muslim community here. You will have to travel 106 km from Gulmarg to Anantnag to reach Imambara Goom.
Golf Course Gulmarg
Apart from winter sports, Gulmarg is also very famous for being the world’s most beautiful and high altitude golf course. The world’s highest and the longest golf course in India, located in Gulmarg, was built in the year 1911 by the British for their entertainment.
The 18-hole golf course in Gulmarg has an elevation of 2650 m (8699 ft) above sea level. Initially,,, three golf courses were built in Gulmarg, out of which one golf course was also made for women. But over time there is only one golf course left in Gulmarg.
Biosphere Reserves Gulmarg
The Biosphere Reserve of Gulmarg is especially famous for the musk deer and the snow leopard. Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve, located at a distance of about 48 km from Srinagar, is no less than a paradise for wildlife lovers and wildlife photographers.
Apart from many rare species of wildlife, the reserve also offers a chance to see birds and rare species of flora up close. The Biosphere Reserve of Gulmarg is a very beautiful and dense forest area spread over 180 square kilometres. Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve, situated at an altitude of 2400 m to 4300 m above sea level, is mainly famous for wildlife like musk deer, hangul, brown bear, snow leopard, panther, black bear, serow and red fox.
In this reserve, you can also find species of birds like the vulture, snow cock, monal, griffon, Kashmir roller, blue rock pigeon, European hoop and jungle crow. The reserve is open for tourists daily from 10:00 am to 04:00 pm. There are also campsites to stay near the reserve, where you can spend a good night time.
If you want to see mammalian wildlife in the park, then September to March would be the best time for you to visit the Biosphere Reserve. Apart from this, if you are a bird lover, then the month of March to May is considered to be the most suitable for visiting Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve. And at this time of the year, you can also find flowers of different colours in the reserve which will make your Gulmarg visit unforgettable.
Apharwat Peak Gulmarg
Aphrawat Peak, located just 13 km from Gulmarg, is one of the highest skiing points in the world. Aphrawat Peak has an altitude of 4390 m (14403 ft) above sea level. It is believed that the snow that falls on the Aphravat Peak is crystal clear and soft.
It receives several feet of snow every year, due to which this place is considered to be the most ideal place for skiing in the world. And because of the heavy snowfall that occurs every year, you get to see snow here throughout the year. You have to take a cable car ride to reach Aphrawat Peak.
The cable car here is called Gondala. With the help of a cable car service running from Gulmarg to Aphrawat Peak, you can reach the peak of Aphrawat mountain in two steps. In the first phase of the cable car, you reach from Gulmarg to Kongdori and in the second phase, you reach from Kongdori to Aphrawat Peak.
You can book tickets for the cable car service running from Gulmarg to Aphrawat Peak both online and offline. During the winter season, many times very strong snowstorms keep coming here, so at this time of the year, you should be a little careful.
Strawberry Valley Gulmarg
Strawberry Valley located in Gulmarg is considered a very beautiful place according to tourism. But most of the tourists visiting Gulmarg know very little about this place. But due to the internet, this beautiful place is slowly making a place for tourism in Gulmarg.
By the way, you should visit Strawberry Valley in the summer season because at this time of the year strawberries are fully ripened, due to which the beauty of this place increases four times. There are also large meadows in this valley, which give a different beauty to this place.
You can also buy fresh strawberries for yourself in Strawberry Valley and apart from this, it is believed that many Bollywood movies have also been shot at this place.
Seven Springs Gulmarg
Seven Springs is a naturally beautiful place located a short distance from Kongdori in Gulmarg. The Seven Springs located near Kongdori are seven distinct streams of water flowing in the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas. From Seven Springs you can get unforgetta