Gulmarg – Majestic Hill At Altitude Of 2730 M
Gulmarg, at an altitude of 2730 m is a majestic hill station in the district of Baramula of Jammu and Kashmir. Nestled with stunning peaks in the Himalayan ranges, Gulmarg is a spectacular picnic spot attracted by all kinds of tourists. It has lush green backdrop, beautiful landscapes, flowering gardens, serene lakes and pleasant climate during the summers and falls. This is one of the best ski resorts in India as it gets heavy snowfall, especially during winters. Some of the highest ski slopes in India lies in the sloppy Himalayan regions.
I woke up early at 7″00 AM, which is way quicker than my normal standards. Checked out from the hotel and I wanted to visit Gulmarg & Pahalgam and then head to Jammu.
Gulmarg is a two-hour drive from Srinagar and the road crosses several shanty towns and small villages along the way. An hour or so into the drive, we’re crossing a town with small shops on either side. I reached Tangmarg, the only area with an ATM. As I was getting closer to Gulmar, a panoramic view greeted me. Snow-capped peaks and lumbering hills loom over bowed pasture grounds and terraced fields. Whitewashed housetops of Tangmarg are visible below. It’s quite a sight.
Post reaching Gulmarg I rested for a while and then headed out to witness the amazing beauty that Gulmarg had to offer. I started following the way inside the jungle on the West to get some solitude as I saw many people on the main road on East side. After 10 minutes of walk, I heard the noise of gushing water and went towards the noise. A beautiful stream was flowing with a sweet noise. Rafting is a common sport here.
After some time, I spotted few tourists coming on the ponies. They were returning from a snow point which was about 90 minutes from the location where I was standing.
After spending few hours at Gulmarg, I decided to leave for Jammu and got back into my cab.
Overall, it was a memorable experience visiting Gulmarg.
Based on my visit I have laid down few tips and information for tourists:
- Gondola ride costs around 1000 Rs (400 Rs for first phase and 600 Rs for the second phase). Online booking is also available. Make sure that you reach early otherwise you will get frustrated standing in the long queues.
- You can skip the whole Gondola ride if you are not staying overnight in Gulmarg. In this case, you are almost certain to reach late and get longer queues and frustrating waiting period.
- Please check the weather and hire fur-coats only if it is cold. Local vendors always frighten you and almost force you to hire fur-coats and gum-boots. Gum-boots are good in case you want to do some hiking in the mountain.
- Avoid using sledge services on the second phase of Gondola ride. They are unnecessarily expensive and cheating in the broad day light.
- Bargain to avoid getting cheated.
- Plan your trip so that you get at least 2 days in Gulmarg. A single day trip just to take the Gondola ride is not worth.
- If possible, avoid peak season of May.
Next phase of my trip was more ecstatic, please keep on reading my post for further trip updates.