Things to Do in Gulmarg – A Complete Travel Guide

Gulmarg

Table of Contents

  1. About Gulmarg
  2. Things to do in Gulmarg
  3. How to Plan a trip to Gulmarg
  4. Places to stay in Gulmarg

About Gulmarg

Gulmarg in Kashmir is a beautiful mountain resort and the most popular skiing destination in India. Also locally called Gulmarag in Kashmir, it is a part of the Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir. The town is located about 50KM from Srinagar and 31KM from Baramulla town. The name of the town translates to “meadow of flowers“. Until the 1500s, the place was called Gauri Marh, or “the path of the goddess Gauri”, before Yousuf Shah of the ruling Chak dynasty changed it to Gulmarg, which stayed on until today. 

The cup-shaped valley sits in the Pir Panjal Range of the Western Himalayas and rises to an altitude of 8694 FT above sea level. The high location keeps the region mostly snow-clad, making it a prominent ski destination and hub of other winter sports in India.

Gulmarg lies in a cup-shaped valley in the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas, at an altitude of 2,650 m (8,694 ft), 56 km from Srinagar. The highest point rises to 13999 FT, at Apharwat Peak. The lofty mountains, snow-capped peaks, deep ravines, and forested valleys, makes it the ultimate mountain destination for an incredible vacation. 

What is Gulmarg famous for?

Gulmarg snow
Snow in Gulmarg

There isn’t one but many reasons that make this mountain resort famous. But most importantly, it is the floral vegetation that makes it a picturesque sight. The meadows that remain covered with snow all through winter, turn into a colourful canvas every spring. As the snow melts, the entire valley sees abundant blooms of wildflowers, daisies, buttercups, forget-me-nots, and many other exotic floral species, some of which are only found in this region. Surrounded by pine forests and sparkling glacial lakes, these meadows paint the most breathtaking picture than anyone has ever seen. It is this contrasting beauty with snow-covered land in winter and a bright, cheery valley in the summer, that makes it an ultimate treat for all senses.

Things to Do in Gulmarg

Gulmarg is rated as Asia’s 7th best ski destination and is often considered to be the hub of winter sports in India. Sports like skiing, tobogganing, snowboarding and heli-skiing, are often conducted on the slopes of Mount Aparwath. 

  • Try skiing and other snow sports. You can stay at a Gulmarg ski resort and learn to ski. There are baby slopes for beginners guided by expert instructors. For pro skiers, you can head to the slopes of Aparwath Peak, known for its smooth and steep gradients. You can also try snowboarding and sledging or engage in other activities conducted by the resort.
  • Experience the legendary Gulmarg Gondola. This special cable car project is the highest in Asia and the second highest in the world. The ride goes in two phases. The first one goes from Gulmarg to Kongdoori at a height of 8530 FT and the second phase goes from Kongdoori to Aparwath at 12293 FT. The ropeway ride offers unparalleled views of the Nanga Parbat and the snow-capped peaks of the upper Himalayas.
  • Trek to Ningle Nallah. About 8KM from Gulmarg town, this picturesque nature spot is a popular site for picnics and day treks. The stream originates in Allaptri Naag and passes through scenic villages. You can trek from Gulmarg and camp by the stream.
  • Try your hands at fishing at Ferozepur Nallah. This glacial stream is popular for trout fishing in the summers and the surrounding areas become a skiing hotspot in winters.

Places to visit in Gulmarg

With abundant natural wonders of the Himalayas, there are a host of places to see here. These are some of the best tourist places and attractions. 

With abundant natural wonders of the Himalayas, there are a host of places to see here. These are some of the best tourist places and attractions. 

1. Gulmarg Golf Course

Gulmarg Golf Course
  • How to Reach – The golf course is only 3.5KM from the main town. The only way to reach there is to book a cab or rent a car.
  • Timings– 8.30AM-10PM
  • Entry Fee– INR 800
  • Time Required– 3-4 hours

2. St. Mary’s Church

St. Mary’s Church
Image Credits: kashmirhills.com
  • How to Reach – The church is located at 3.4KM from the main town. You can book a cab or rent a car to reach.
  • Timings– 10AM-5PM
  • Entry Fee– Free
  • Time Required– 1 hour

3. Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve

Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve
Image Credit: Incredible India
  • How to Reach – The natural reserve surrounds the outer edges of the town. You can book a cab for the day or rent a car to travel and explore, and return the same day.
  • Timings– 10AM-4PM
  • Entry Fee– INR 500
  • Time Required– 4-5 hours

4. Children’s Park 

Children’s Park
  • How to Reach – The park is only 2.8KM from the main town. You can trek to the park or book a cab to reach. 
  • Timings– 9 AM-6 PM
  • Entry Fee– INR 20
  • Time Required- 1-2 hours

5. Strawberry Valley

Strawberry Valley
  • How to Reach – The valley area is located at 3.4KM from Gulmarg town. You can book a cab, trek, or rent a car to reach. 
  • Timings– Sunrise to Sunset
  • Entry Fee– Free
  • Time Required– 1-2 hours

6. Kanchenjunga Museum

Kanchenjunga Museum
Image Credits: tourtravelworld.com
  • Timings– 9AM – 5PM (summer), 10AM – 4PM(Winter)
  • Entry Fee– NA
  • Time Required– 1-2hours

Places to visit near Gulmarg

Gulmarg tourism is more than the popular sightseeing places. With tour packages, you can also visit these interesting destinations nearby.

1. Imambara Goom

Imambara Goom
Image credits: Holidify
  • How to Reach – The religious site is located at 18KM from Gulmarg. The only way you can reach is to book a cab or rent a car from Gulmarg.
  • Timings– 7AM-8PM
  • Entry Fee– Free
  • Time Required– 3-4 hours

2. Alpather Lake

Alpather Lake
  • How to Reach – The lake area sits at 13KM from Gulmarg town. You can trek to the lake or rent a car or a bike for the day to travel and return. 
  • Timings– Sunrise to Sunset
  • Entry Fee– NA
  • Time Required– a whole day

3. Aru Valley Pahalgam

Aru Valley Pahalgam
  • How to Reach – The distance from Gulmarg to Pahalgam is 140KM and the best way to reach is to book a cab or rent a car from Gulmarg for two days and explore the destination.
  • Timings– 24 hours
  • Entry Fee– INR 25 for the wildlife sanctuary
  • Time Required– 1-2 days

Places to eat in Gulmarg

Experience local flavours at these best restaurants –

  • Bakshi Restaurant
  • Punjabi Rasoi Dhaba
  • New Big Bite Restaurant
  • White Mountain Café
  • Eleven Miles The Café and Grill
  • Cloves Restaurant
  • Restaurant Hill Point

How to Plan a Trip to Gulmarg

How to reach Gulmarg

By Train

The nearest station to Gulmarg is in Jammu, about 290 KM away. You can take a bus from Jammu to reach Srinagar and from there take a cab to Gulmarg. Or, you can directly rent a car from Jammu to travel to Gulmarg. There are frequent trains to Jammu from other parts of the state and other major towns and cities across India. 

By Road

Gulmarg is well-connected to the rest of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh via Srinagar-Tangmarg Road, NH1, and Gulmarg-Srinagar Road. From Tangmarg the road goes uphill for 12KM to reach Gulmarg. There are also state-run and private buses from Srinagar, Jammu, Baramulla, Pahalgam, Badgam, as well as from Delhi, Chandigarh, Shimla, Manali, Dharamshala etc. to Gulmarg. The best way to travel is by road is to book a cab or rent a car from any of these places and drive to Gulmarg.

By Flight

There is no flight service in Gulmarg. The nearest airport is in Srinagar at Srinagar International Airport (SXR), about 58KM away. From the airport, you can book an airport taxi or rent a car to reach the town. There are plenty of regular flights available to Srinagar from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and other major cities and towns in India.

Video Credits: Garima’s Good Life

Best time to visit Gulmarg

Gulmarg weather is mostly cold all year round. But the temperatures are the lowest in the winter months. However, this is also the time, when the region is blanketed in thick layers of snow, making winter the best time for winter sports. Gulmarg snowfall time often varies from mid-December to mid-February. If you want to enjoy the snow and try snow sports, then you can visit Gulmarg in December. You can also travel before winter to experience better temperatures in October. Gulmarg in January is the peak of snow and cold weather. On the other hand, the spring and summer months see vibrant valleys with flowers and fresh growth. So, you can also visit between April and June. You can visit the town in May for pleasant weather and spring beauty. 

Places to stay in Gulmarg

From budgets resorts to luxury 5-star hotels, you’ll find all kinds of accommodation in this mountain retreat. Check out some of these best hotels. 

  • Highland Park Gulmarg
  • Hotel Alpine Ridge Gulmarg
  • Kolahoi Green Heights Gulmarg
  • The Kyber Himalayan Resort and Spa
  • The Vintage Gulmarg
  • Pine View Resort
  • Shaw Inn
  • Gulmarg Ski Hill Resort
  • Rosewood Hut

Experience the beauty of Gulmarg by booking a car rental to take you to all these places with a local driver. Install Savaari cab booking app for offers and discounts on outstation rentals.  

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Gulmarg: The Meadow of Flowers | A Complete Travel Guide
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Gulmarg: The Meadow of Flowers | A Complete Travel Guide
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Gulmarg in Kashmir is a beautiful mountain resort and the most popular skiing destination in India. Also locally called Gulmarag in Kashmir, it is a part of the Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir.
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