Gulmarg in winter looks like a cherished dream. The enchanting scenery of Gulmarg is enough to make your jaw drop in awe. The hot cup of Kahwa is what you need to get mesmerized by the endless views of snow-capped mountains and the valley. The mere resemblance with Finnish Lapland is uncanny, especially when it comes to the snow-covered landscape.
As far as winter destinations in India are concerned, Gulmarg tops the chart. Whether it’s the serenity, winter sports, the world’s highest Gondola ride, nature walks, or just a snow destination, Gulmarg offers immersive travel experiences to the tourists. Gulmarg in winter looks like a piece of heaven.
While negotiating my way through the snow-covered roads, my eyes refused to blink at the sights all around me. The distant valley with dotted houses was buried in a sheet of snow.
As I was driving on one of the most captivating roads from Srinagar to Gulmarg, the landscape had started to change drastically from Tangmarg. The vast white valley looked nothing less than a painting.
With every turn that I took on those snowy roads, my eyes were filled with joy just by looking at the view. As I was approaching Gulmarg, the snow-clad mountain ranges started to appear. The “Phiran” clad locals at the bus stop and young men with skateboards were returning from bunny slopes. The signboard was right in front of me which said, “Welcome to Gulmarg”.
HOW TO REACH
There are direct flights to Srinagar from Delhi (an hour’s duration) and Mumbai (2 hours and 45 minutes). It takes about a ninety-minute transfer from Srinagar airport by car to Gulmarg, through breathtaking meadows and forested slopes.
WHERE TO STAY IN GULMARG
There are numerous hotels and resorts in Gulmarg ranging from budget to luxury. Gulmarg is a winter destination; it sees different kinds of travelers from family, couples, solo travelers, skiers, and winter sports enthusiasts.
If you are a luxury traveler, the Khyber Himalayan Resort and Spa is the best upscale luxury property in Gulmarg. With an unbeatable location and world-class hospitality, the award-winning resort is an experience to add to your bucket list.
GULMARG: THE BEST SKIING DESTINATION IN INDIA
Gulmarg is reputed to have the best powder for skiing in India. In other words, the ‘powder’ which is basically soft and fluffy snow, considered the finest in the world is what you find in Gulmarg during winter.
Skiers across the world fly to experience skiing in Gulmarg. Therefore, Gulmarg is considered a haven for skiers.
The density of snow, uber luxury accommodation, high quality of snow, infrastructure, and availability of ski equipment along with the high slopes, makes it the best skiing destination in India.
The accessibility and excellent road condition from Srinagar to Gulmarg is one of the major reasons that contribute towards having a huge number of skiers across the country visiting Gulmarg every year.
The best part of Gulmarg is that anyone can do skiing here. Whether you are a veteran or an amateur, there is enormous scope to indulge in winter sports like skiing in Gulmarg. The well-trained skiing instructors, adequate evacuate experts, and ski patrol team make sure that you have the best time trying your hands in skiing.
Moreover, Gulmarg houses the Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering in the valley where anyone can enroll and get skiing training under experts.
Gulmarg has five Poma ski-lifts on the lower slopes that are international level. Apart from that, one can also do Heli-Skiing in Gulmarg. The skiers can take the Gondola ride which is one of the highest cable cars in the world, to reach 3,980m.
GULMARG: THE WINTER WONDERLAND OF INDIA
Every year Gulmarg sees a sea of tourists flocking across the country and abroad to spend their winter vacation here. Gulmarg is considered as the winter wonderland of India for the right reasons. From the month of December to March, Gulmarg is showered with fresh snow.
The valley is blanketed in white snow that makes it nothing less than a fairytale destination. It doesn’t matter in which direction your eyes travel; you will be treated with the most enchanting views beyond the horizon.
Whether you want to curl up in the blanket while enjoying the snowfall outside, taking a lazy nature walk, trying winter sports, or just lazing around the fireplace, Gulmarg in winter gives you the perfect excuse to plan your winter holidays in the winter wonderland of India. It offers numerous things to indulge in for tourists.
Whether you are a luxury traveler, a sports enthusiast, or just a regular tourist, there are plenty of things to do and explore in Gulmarg. In other words, it offers something for everyone.
GULMARG: THE ROMANTIC DESTINATION
Gulmarg in Kashmir is one of the most captivating destinations in India. It encapsulates the real beauty of winter in the most inestimable way. This paradise on earth compels you to have immersive experiences in the valley.
So, if you are a snow lover and want to spend your vacation in a winter wonderland, nothing can beat Gulmarg in winter in India.
The cozy cocoons, lonely walk amidst nature, trekking together, relishing traditional Kashmiri food, or swinging in the air between cables while taking the Gondola ride or indulging in winter sports together, there is everything to make your honeymoon memorable in Gulmarg.
Even if you wish to just sit back and relax, you are treated with the whole canvas of snow-covered scenery. So, all you need to do is to pull the curtain to see nature’s delight.
WHAT NOT TO MISS IN GULMARG IN WINTER
The winter wonderland of India offers umpteen options for travelers. Also, you get amazing Kashmir Tour Packages during the winter season. There are numerous things to do in Gulmarg in winter. However, a list of to-do things is mentioned below, which should not be missed in Gulmarg during your trip. Find out below…
RIDE THE HIGHEST GONDOLA IN GULMARG
The gondola ride in Gulmarg is one of the topmost attractions in the valley. One should not miss the gondola ride in the valley which is the second-longest and the second-highest cable car in the world. It is a must-do thing in Gulmarg, irrespective of the season.
There is phase 1 and phase 2. It starts at 10.30 am and closes at 6.30 pm. It ferries more than 1500 people at a height of 3100 m. The skiers use the Gondola ride to reach the top of the Apharwat Mountain for skiing down the slopes.
The gondola ride allows you to get mesmerized by the magnificent view of snow-clad mountains, white forest, and the spectacular landscapes around. Hanging between wire while riding in the highest cable car thousands of meters above the ground is not just a tick off activity in Gulmarg, but an experience to add to your bucket list.
WINTER ACTIVITIES AND SPORTS
Gulmarg allows tourists to indulge in various winter activities and sports. From skiing, skateboarding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, ice skating, sledding, etc., one can enjoy varied winter sports in Gulmarg.
You don’t need to be an expert to try your hands in skiing. There are bunny slopes where you can experience skiing with a trained instructor.
In a snow paradise-like Gulmarg, trying various outdoor activities can be quite thrilling during your trip. So, don’t shy away to try some of the winter sports in Gulmarg on your next winter vacation.
One of the must visit places in Gulmarg is the Maharani temple. Located on a hillock, this temple is an important site as it is said to be the royal temple of the Dogra dynasty. The Maharani temple has a striking appearance, which can be viewed all across the town.
The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The temple is also known as the Rani temple. The Maharani temple was constructed by the wife of the former ruler of Kashmir, Maharaja Hari Singh.
OLDEST ST MARY’S CHURCH
St Mary’s church is one of the top attractions of Gulmarg. More than 100 years old, St Mary’s church is located near the golf course in Gulmarg. With Victorian architectural wonder, the church has grey stone walls, beautifully decorated inside and the green roof makes it look like a countryside chapel. They even have frescos inside. The only way to reach the church is to trek.
Due to each scenic surroundings, St Mary’s church looks absolutely breathtaking. Especially in winter, the snow-laden landscape, and the white snow sheet on the meadow makes it look quite enchanting. The recorded history suggested that the church was constructed in 1902, during British rule and it was later renovated in 2013.
WALK AROUND GULMARG
When in Gulmarg, don’t miss the lovely walk around the valley. It looks heavenly when snow showers the valley, making it a fairytale destination. Wear your snow boots, cover yourself with heavy woolens and a colorful cap.
All you need to do is to take a lonely walk around the valley. The captivating town makes you fall in love with Gulmarg. It charms you so much that you don’t feel like leaving this paradise.
VISIT BABA RESHI
Another must-visit place around Gulmarg is Baba Reshi. Located near the Rambodh Village in the Baramulla district, the Sufi shrine is revered highly by the Muslim community. The religious site looks absolutely stunning in winter. The snow-covered landscape makes it look quite picturesque.
SHOP LOCAL SOUVENIRS
When in Gulmarg, you can also shop for local souvenirs to gift to your family and friends. Don’t forget to buy Phiran, Kashmiri Pashmina shawls, wooden boxes, and spices. I love wearing Phiran in Kashmir.
Don’t miss having the great gastronomic experience in Kashmir. Relishing Wazwan is one of the must-have things in Gulmarg. The Wazwan is a multi-course traditional meal in Kashmiri cuisine. It consists of more than 36 authentic traditional dishes. The Wazwan is served on a beaten copper dish called Tarami which is covered under a copper lid called Sarposh.
Waz stands for chef and Wan means a shop selling delicacies. Traditionally, a Vasta Waaza (single skilled chef) looks after the planning, preparation, and serving of Wazwan with several Waz (Chef) under his guidance.
It is usually served at weddings and formal banquets. It is an integral part of Kashmiri culture. Most of the dishes are meat-based with a few vegetarian options.
I was served Tabakmaaz, Seekh Kebab, Rogan Josh, Gustaba, Rista, Tamatar Chaman or Ruwangan Chhaman, Haaq, Onion Chutney or Gande Chetin, and Radish Chutney or Muji Chetin.
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