If someone were to create one, Gulmarg would be one of the most visited hill stations in our country. Gulmarg is one of the few places I don’t think gets affected by fear when visiting Kashmir. This tiny hamlet is so beautiful that people travel from all parts of the country to see it. Gulmarg is rightly called the “Meadow of Flowers”, and it is indeed a beautiful place to walk in. It offers stunning landscapes and a variety of adventure activities. Gulmarg is more than just a place of scenic beauty. It also portrays the secular image of the country, away from the political and religious aspects.
Where is Gulmarg located?
Gulmarg, a hill station in India’s state of Jammu & Kashmir, is a short introduction. At 2,650m (8,690 feet) above sea level, the town is located in the PirPanjal range in the western Himalayas. Sultan Yusuf Shah Chak, who lived in Gulmarg with HabbaKhatoon during the 16th century, gave the town “meadow-of-flowers”. Jahangir, the Mughal Emperor, loved Gulmarg and collected 21 wildflowers from this place.
Gulmarg was a refuge for British civil servants during the English rule. It was similar to Shimla or Mussoorie. Three golf courses were built in Gulmarg, one for women and one for men. Golf was a favourite pastime. The highest golf course globally, located at 2,650m (8,690ft), is one of the three remaining golf courses.
The first question springs to my mind, and I will start this article with it. Why visit Gulmarg? What is it you’ll find here that you won’t find anywhere else? It is just another hill station, like many others in the country. Gulmarg offers something for everyone in every season. The lush green meadows make it feel more like a picnic spot making it the best destination to include in your Srinagar Trip. This is a great place to take your kids and family. Gulmarg Gondola, the cable car ride, is second in the world. It is quite an experience. Adventurers can look forward to hiking to Apharwat peak or Alpather Lake.
The entire area is covered in snow during winter. It’s a visual feast. This is the ideal place to go if you are looking for snow or seeing a live snowfall. It is also a well-known ski resort in India. It is easy to get to Gulmarg from Srinagar by road. It is not a long drive. There are many hotels in the area, so your phone will always be connected. Nearly all hotels have Internet access.
If you’re more religious than the rest, then you’ll be interested in the shrines of Baba Reshi and Maharani Temple as well as St. Mary’s Church of Gulmarg. If you have more time, you can visit many other places within a day’s driving distance. Gulmarg is the perfect spot for both a family vacation and a road trip with friends.
Is Gulmarg safe?
Next, I’ll address the elephant in my room: the big question about whether it is safe for you to visit Gulmarg. It is safe to see Gulmarg. It is still populated by tourists from all parts of India throughout the year. It is one of few places in Kashmir that isn’t affected by common phobias about visiting this area of India.
How do I reach Gulmarg?
To get to Gulmarg, you first need to reach Srinagar. If you are travelling by your vehicle, you can drive to Srinagar by either the Jammu-Srinagar highway or the Mughal route through Shopian. You can go to Gulmarg via Tangmarg after you have reached Srinagar. It takes approximately 2 hours and covers a distance of 60 km.
Srinagar has excellent connections to the rest of India by Air, Train, and Bus. You can reach the city from any part of the country, regardless of where you are located.
How do I reach Gulmarg From Srinagar?
The route to Gulmarg for a car or bike would look like the following.
Srinagar-Magam-Tangmarg-Gulmarg = 60 Km
It is primarily straight driving from Srinagar to Tangmarg on a flat road. There is minimal ascent. It will be almost like driving in a hill town. After Tangmarg, the steep incline begins. From there, you will climb up a winding road to Gulmarg. The best part about the journey is the smooth, in-good condition road.
You can choose to visit Gulmarg if you arrive at Srinagar via train or flight.
Taxi from Srinagar to Gulmarg
Renting a private taxi is the best and easiest way to make your trip. Taxi fare from Srinagar-Gulmarg will vary depending on which cab you choose. 2000 to Rs. 2000 to Rs. 2500, including fuel and driver. You have two options: either book a taxi directly at the airport, or you can arrange for the driver to pick you up from the station or airport. Faisal in Srinagar can help you book ahead if you call 9596410670. Faisal is a great guy who will get you a taxi at the most affordable price.
Shared Taxi from Srinagar to Gulmarg
If you are travelling with a small group and can split the cost between 5-6 people, I recommend a private taxi. You can also consider a shared taxi if you are travelling alone. This is a Sumo in Kashmir. It is not easy to find, however.
You can find a shared taxi at the Tourist Taxi stand near Nehru Park or the main Srinagar Bus stop. If you cannot find a direct cab to Srinagar, then try Magam or Tangmarg. You can board a taxi to Gulmarg from either one of these locations.
The fare per head for a shared taxi from Srinagar to Tangmarg is approximately Rs. 100 per person. It would cost Rs. 50 to go from Tangmarg and Gulmarg. 50 to Rs. 70 per person.
How to get from Srinagar to Gulmarg by bus
There are two options for travelling by bus. In summer, a JKSRTC daily sightseeing bus is available at the Tourist Reception Center in the morning. I would advise you to not rely upon this service. Better options would be the regular buses used by locals. This bus is only available from Tangmarg. It is not possible to take a bus from Srinagar to Gulmarg. This is a little surprising given the importance of Gulmarg as a tourist destination.
You will then need to take a bus from Srinagar towards Tangmarg. Wait for a Sumo cab to take you to Tangmarg. There are mini-private buses that run between Tangmarg, Gulmarg, and the Sumo cabs.
The total cost of the Srinagar-Gulmarg bus fare would be Rs. 200 per person, including the bus fare from Srinagar to Gulmarg and shared cab costs from Tangmarg.
How to get to Gulmarg during Winter
All of this was about getting to Gulmarg during the summer season. It is an entirely different story in winter. Gulmarg is wholly covered by snow, as well as the road leading to it. The final stretch of Tangmarg to Gulmarg is then impossible for regular cars to climb. Only 4×4 vehicles are allowed to travel this route, and they must use snow chains.
I would advise you not to bring your vehicle in winter. Then you can just take a taxi from Srinagar, Tangmarg, and another 4×4 cab to Tangmarg, Gulmarg. It will be challenging to find a place to park your car or motorcycle if you bring it with you.
For Rs. 700, a 4×4 cab with Tangmarg snow chains costs around Rs. 700 to Rs. 800
The nearest airport to Gulmarg
Srinagar Airport, which is located approximately 60 kilometres from Gulmarg, is the closest. The airport is about 60 km from Gulmarg. It can be reached in between 2 and 3 hours. Several airlines regularly fly to Srinagar: Air India, Jet Airways and Spice Jet.
Gulmarg is the nearest railway station.
The nearest railway station to Gulmarg is Srinagar railway Station. It is, however, not fully functional and connected. It will be at least 18 months or two years before full connectivity is achieved. You can currently travel by train from Delhi to Udhampur. You will need to take a bus or taxi to Ramban from Udhampur. You will board another train from Ramban towards Srinagar once you have reached Ramban. It is possible to take a bus, shared taxi or bus directly from Udhampur towards Srinagar.
Weather in Gulmarg
Gulmarg’s elevation of 2,690m makes it either mild or cold. Even though summer is brief, it’s still an excellent place to spend the night. Gulmarg’s summers are generally enjoyable, though it can sometimes reach 37 degrees Celsius at noon. It is a great place to retreat from the heat of the plains, with an average temperature between 13 and 29.
In July, the monsoon brings lush green to Gulmarg’s valleys and meadows. The average rainfall here is moderate, and it doesn’t rain very often.
The temperature drops dramatically, and cold starts to settle in around mid-September. It can snow anywhere, but the snow usually sticks to the ground between mid-January and mid-December. The entire town is covered in snow for most of January and February. It then turns into one of the most popular ski resorts in the country. The average temperature during these months is between -5 and 10 degrees Celsius.
Gulmarg’s Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Gulmarg depends on what you are searching for. Every person has a different reason for visiting Gulmarg. Many people visit here to find snow or to get their first snowfall. Others come here for the tremendous relief from the summer heat. An adventurer will want to indulge in snow sports, while a photographer will look forward to taking great photos.
Gulmarg will not disappoint, no matter what your reason. February is the best month to visit if you are looking for snow. The spring season begins in late March. April and May are great months to bring your family. It can get quite crowded during this period. If you’re interested in photography, February, August, and September are the best. If you are looking for green valleys worldwide, July, August, and early September will work.
August is the perfect month for those who want some privacy and are looking to escape the crowds. The best time to avoid August is between April and June.
Clothes for Gulmarg
This, too, like the best time to visit, will vary. The time of year you visit Gulmarg will also affect the clothes you need to pack. You will need to bring heavy woollens, gloves and woollen socks. A muffler, thermals, and a windproof, thick jacket are essential for January and February. A light woollen coat and a thick coat are sufficient for March visitors.
You should bring plenty of cotton, a light jacket and plenty of clothes from April to August. You will need to pack some light woollens and a thick coat for September and October. YourGulmarg clothing for November and December will look the same as January and February. It will include thermals, heavy woollens, and a windproof warm coat.
Gulmarg: Places to See
Gulmarg is a tourist destination in and of itself. The small, picturesque town is hidden in lush green meadows and is worth a visit. Gulmarg’s main tourist attraction is its natural beauty and tranquillity. Some places could be considered the cherry on top, and these spots can be described as tourist destinations in Gulmarg. These places will be listed below. This article will only list the names of these locations. These places are described in detail. Because it would have been too heavy and prolonged otherwise, I kept it separate.
What can you see in Gulmarg?
Gulmarg’s prime attraction is its natural beauty and tranquillity. It would be best to visit this place to see the lush green meadows and tranquillity with only occasional whining horses. These are just a few of the many tourist attractions that Gulmarg has to offer.
- Gulmarg Gondola
- Alpather Lake
- Apharwat Peak
- Maharani Temple
- Golf Course at Gulmarg
- Mary’s Church
- Maharaja Palace
- Children’s Park
- Strawberry Valley
- Baba Reshi
- Ningle Nallah & Ferozepur Nallah
What to do in Gulmarg
Gulmarg offers three main activities. Gondola rides are the most popular attraction in Gulmarg. Trekking is the second. The shortest trek to Alpatherlake is from Gondola Phase 2 Station. You can also trek to the lake from Gulmarg if you’re looking for adventure and physical fitness. If you have the time, many other routes can be taken from Gulmarg.
However, if you are here in winter, you should go skiing in Gulmarg. There are options for both experts and beginners.
Gulmarg: Where to Stay
Gulmarg is a significant tourist attraction in our country. This town transforms into a central ski area in winter. Families flock to this town in spring and during summer vacation in schools for the famous gondola ride. The greenery and tourist attractions continue to attract tourists after the monsoon. The place is a tourist magnet all year. Hotels are plentiful here. You will find more hotels than houses here. One hotel I know of is Hotel Affarwat. The service was excellent, and I stayed there for a few days. Pine View Resort is another hotel that I have heard about as a friend.
Gulmarg is not a place to stay in a cheap hotel. In general, you will not find a hotel that charges less than Rs. 2000 – Rs. For a room in the off-season, 2500 These prices can go up even more during peak tourist season. Hotel Pine View is the only budget hotel that you can find. It costs Rs. It costs Rs. One thousand two hundred per day and is located in Tangmarg, approximately 14 km from Gulmarg.
You can choose to book ahead or not. You don’t need to book in advance if you are not travelling during the off-season. You can simply arrive at the location, choose a hotel that suits your needs and then negotiate a deal on the spot. However, I recommend booking your stay during peak tourist season (January and February), April to June, and October.
Bank / ATM Gulmarg
Baramulla Cooperative Bank and J&K Bank have branches in Gulmarg. They also provide ATM services. Gulmarg, a popular tourist destination, has banks and ATMs that are open.
Gulmarg has a small hospital, and you can buy medicine from the local pharmacy. For anything more serious, the patient will need to be taken back to Srinagar.
Mobile Network in Gulmarg
Prepaid phones are not compatible with any state in J&K, even Gulmarg. Your phone will work fine as long as it has a postpaid connection. You will also have good data connectivity. However, a prepaid connection will make your phone as reliable as a paperweight.
What to buy in Gulmarg
Gulmarg is a place where you can buy Kashmiri handicrafts, ornamental linens, brassware, silverware and Pashmina Shawls. However, Srinagar is the best place to buy all these items. Gulmarg does not have a lot of shopping outlets, so your options for items are limited. Also, you will be able to negotiate. You will find that almost everything in Gulmarg costs a lot, so you may end up paying quite a bit more.
Gulmarg: What to Eat
You should not only eat Kashmiri food at Gulmarg, but everywhere you go in Kashmir. Here are some of the foods you should try.
Non Vegetarian Dishes
- Mutton Roghan Josh
- Gushtaba is soft meatballs in natural yoghurt and white curry.
- Rishta (Soft MeatBalls in delicious Gravy, Red Curry)
- Tabakmaaz is deep-fried lamb ribs
- Kanti (small pieces of meat with lots of onions)
- Seekh-Tuji: Marinated and freshly barbecued meats served with chutney
- Grilled Mutton called Tilli, Tech
- Marzunga Korma
- Veg Dum Aloo
- TamatarZaman – Paneer
- NundurYakhin (Lotus Stem cooked in Yogurt).
- Haak (Kashmiri Saag)
- Remember that the Kashmiri do not eat a lot of Chapati / Roti. The most common dish here is rice, so the gravy isn’t thick.
Gulmarg: Where to Eat
You can find many restaurants in Gulmarg to review. You can find shops everywhere if you walk up to the leading marketplace. Although you can order from your hotel, I prefer going to the market and eating there.
Gulmarg is a costly place in general. You won’t find a hotel in Gulmarg for less than Rs. It will be challenging to find a hotel for less than Rs. 2000 per day.
Even the food is expensive, for Rs. You will be paying Rs—20 for a single small Tawa-roti in an excellent restaurant. You will find everything you need, including rice, non-veg, and vegetables, in this area.
Guides and pony owners plague Gulmarg. It is impossible to walk 100m here without being offered a pony ride or to guide you.
Guides offer absolutely nothing. You can’t visit Gulmarg without a guide. You will only be charged for the time you spend walking with them. If you hire one, it will only cost you to walk with them and nothing else.
Pony owners can be a nuisance. Horse dung is everywhere in the meadows, so be careful where you step.
These ponies and their guides are such a nuisance that a police complaint was filed against them.
Gulmarg can be found at 2,650m elevation (8,694ft).
Gulmarg can do some minor repairs and punctures, but you’ll need to tow your vehicle to Tangmarg and on to Srinagar for more serious repairs.
Gulmarg does not have a petrol station, but you can find several along the 60-kilometre drive from Srinagar towards Gulmarg. Tangmarg is the closest. You can easily make the whole trip with a tankful of Srinagar fuel.
It is easy to drive the entire length of the road from Srinagar towards Gulmarg. The road is two-lane, but traffic flows efficiently. It is in good condition from Srinagar to Tangmarg. However, from Tangmarg to Gulmarg, it is in excellent condition.