Gulmarg Hindi translation: “Meadow of Flowers” is a hill station and a notified area committee in district Baramula of Jammu and Kashmir. It is located at an average.height of 2690 meters. Gulmarg is known for having one of the worlds highest Gondola (cable car).
Journey to gulmarg takes 2.5-3 hours. Getting around Gulmarg is done mostly by foot. There is only one road which loops around the whole whole hill station.
The main attraction here is the Gondola. Finished in 2004, it runs up to 3995 meters. Daily passes are available for the skiers and the nature lovers. The hills visible from the top are said to be a part of LOC and Pakistan administered Kashmir.
Major Tourist Attractions of Gulmarg are Alpather Lake, Baba Reshi Shrine, Gondola Cable Car to Kongdor, Gold Golf , Khilanmarg, St Marys church, horse riding, skiing and sledging.
Temperatures in Gulmarg remain well below zero for major part of the year. It is necessary for the tourists to wear heavy woolen clothing, gloves, boots and overcoats to prevent frostbite.
Gulmarg has long been famous for golfing. The 18-hole Gulmarg Golf Club has been in existence since the British raj. Golf is popular in the summer season. Membership is given on a daily basis on the payment of a daily fee.
Other interesting activities during the summers are horse riding and trekking. Some of the most famous treks are- trek to khilanmarg (4km), and on the same route apherwat trek (7 km). From Aprerwat there is an uphill trek to Alpather lake which is frozen for most part of the year (about 13 km from Gulmarg by foot). Khilanmarg is a small valley about 6 km away from Gulmarg. Its breath taking beauty in summers when the valley is laden with a carpet of flowers cannot be missed.
In winters Gulmarg’s slopes turn into an ideal ski resort. You need not necessarily be a ski lover to come here in winters. Many tourists come just to enjoy the snow and take a ride on the snow sledges.Snow scooters also available. A few slopes even have a ski lift to cater to the needs of the ski lovers. Most of the ski activities are concentrated in these slopes. Services of Instructors can be availed of on payment, from the ski equipment shops run by the State Government’s tourism department. Skiing in Gulmarg is cheaper than any other country.
Ziarat of Baba Reshi : Shrine of saint Baba payam-Din is situated near Alpather Lake, about 13 kilometers from Gulmarg. Baba Reshi is a well-known Muslim saint and was a courtier of the Kashmir King Zain-ul-Abidin. This shrine was built in his memory in the year 1480. The baba is known to have spent his days here, in prayer and meditation after renunciation. The cover of the grave is an exquisite piece of craftsmanship. Thousands of devotees visit the shrine through the year.
Gulmarg is known for its beauty both in the summer season and in the winter season. During the month of May local strawberries are available at reasonable prices anywhere and everywhere in Gulmarg. However it is important to bargain with the traders to get the best possible price.