Rightly called the ‘Meadow of Flowers’ and the ‘Heartland of winter sports’, Gulmarg Kashmir is the dream destination of nature lovers and adventure seekers. Surrounded by shimmering snow-capped mountains, lush green pastures, vibrant meadows, and slopes covered in pine trees, Gulmarg makes for one of the top-sought hill stations of the world. Want to visit Gulmarg but not sure what to add to your Must Do? We are here to help! Let us now explore all the exciting and adventurous things you can do during your visit to Gulmarg;
1. VISIT ALPATHER LAKE
Situated between the twin peaks of Apharwat is a high-altitude lake known as Alpather Lake. One of the main tourist destinations in Gulmarg. The lake is always entirely frozen from November to June and so it’s commonly referred to as the Frozen Lake. The lake is surrounded by steep mountains and lovely wildflowers and trees throughout the summer. When you eventually get to the summit of the highest hill nearby, on the shores of a breathtakingly gorgeous lake, you know the trip is going to be a memorable one.
2. APHARWAT PEAK
One of the most beautiful locations in Gulmarg because of its popularity among the ski-loving populace. The summit is located close to Alpather Lake and thus offers a stunning view both in the summer and the winter. The peak offers a fantastic setting for the Gulmarg adventure sports like skiing. If skiing is not your cup of tea, you can never go wrong with a sleigh ride that can take you to the very point of Apharwat Peak. How cool is that! Not just that! With snow-covered mountains and pearly white meadows all around, this place is ideal for a honeymoon as well.
3. GULMARG BIOSPHERE RESERVE
Located 48km from Srinagar is the Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve which is a protected area renowned for holding a variety of uncommon and exotic species such as musk deer and snow leopards. What is stunning to see is the large population of birds during the months of migration. You can capture photographs of animals in all of their moods and moments. Overall the reserve offers plenty of chances to see biodiversity in its most magnificent form.
4. SKIING IN GULMARG
Undoubtedly one of the most electrifying adventure sports to indulge in. Skiing always tops the list of Gulmarg adventure sports. Standing amidst the snow-capped peaks encircled by a verdant evergreen forest, you can feel the surge of adrenaline as you swiftly glide over the velvety white carpet. Even if you are not a skier, you can get better at this sport with the help of seasoned instructors while renting ski equipment from the ski rental shops located in Gulmarg. Chop-chop! The snow won’t wait for long! The best time to ski in Gulmarg starts from January 1st to March 31st.
5. VISIT MAHARANI TEMPLE
Built-in the traditional Hindu architectural style and dedicated to Hindu God Shiva, Maharani temple draws followers of Shiva and Parvati from all over India. Rani Temple was built by Mohini Bai Sisodia, who was Maharaja Hari Singh’s wife. What makes it novel is that the temple can be seen from every part of Gulmarg. Peculiar! Not just that! The temple has a brilliant red roof that makes it look outstanding against the lush green fields of Gulmarg. It also observes a huge rush of devotees during Maha Shivratri.
6. GULMARG GONDOLA CABLE CAR RIDE
Your visit to Gulmarg is going to be incomplete without this blissful ride that ascends and descends mountains in minutes. The conventional flat-bottomed rowing boat offers you the most gorgeous view of Gulmarg’s pearly mountains and slopes. With Gulmarg Gondola ropeway online booking, you can purchase tickets for the ride without having to deal with the lack of available slots. Gulmarg cable car ride prices for the year 2022-23 are INR 740 for Phase I and INR 940 for Phase II. Trust us! The ride is worth spending!
7. DRUNG WATERFALL
Falling in Tangmarg tehsil of Gulmarg, Drung is an artistic masterpiece and the best Gulmarg waterfall one can find in this town. Surrounded by splendid mountains, this gushing waterfall entirely freezes over and turns into an ice waterfall due to bitterly cold winters. The falling frozen water forms enormous icicles that drastically transform and intensifies the gorgeousness of the place. Therefore, a very well-liked tourist destination worth adding to your list.
8. GO FOR A REFRESHING TREK
Gulmarg offers exhilarating and one-of-a-kind experiences for serious adventure seekers. With countless options to choose from, Gulmarg is the dream place for trek lovers. From Apharwat station, a difficult 3km hike will lead you to the magnificent mountain encompassing Alpather Lake. And it will take you roughly two hours to reach Khilanmarg valley, located at a distance of 5.5km from Gulmarg. Along with the captivating picture of Nanga Parbat, it offers you a lovely perspective of the Nun and Kun Peaks in the Southwest.
9. VISIT SAINT MARY’S CHURCH
Close to the Golf Club in Gulmarg is situated the famous Saint Mary’s Church which is a magnificent example of Victorian architecture. This 110-year-old masterpiece stands tall to this day and is one of the top sights of Gulmarg. The tall green tiled roof over its grey stone walls and stained glass windows give it a conventional and dazzling look amidst the meadows of Gulmarg. The serene church is one of the top attractions of Gulmarg town and a great choice for architecture freaks.
10. GO GOLFING
Not just ski lovers, Gulmarg is here to entertain golf enthusiasts too. An impressive collection of Alpine mountains surrounds the 18-hole golf course of Gulmarg. Set in a lovely meadow blooming with different varieties of flowers, this golf course is also regarded as one of the top golfing vacation spots in the world. Located at a height of almost 9000ft, the golfing experience undoubtedly becomes thrilling. You can enjoy a very distinctive and enjoyable golfing experience in summer when the whole course is in its full green glory.
11. VISIT TANGMARG
A well-known rest station along the route to Gulmarg. The place offers an exciting hike of 5km to Gulmarg, making it an apt spot to start your enthralling trek journey. Its lush green woods and clear springs are its standout characteristics. Not to forget, it’s the same place where the magnificent ice waterfall, Drung is located. Commonly referred to as the ‘gateway to Gulmarg’, you can also pause here for some soul-drenching tea and delectable treats before moving on to beautiful Gulmarg.
12. WALK THROUGH THE STRAWBERRY VALLEY
The beautiful, elegant, and undiscovered, or maybe call it a secret gem, this gorgeous strawberry valley is going to offer you a peaceful experience during your brief stay. You can witness verdant meadows dotted with scarlet strawberries that are just beginning to bloom. The valley is a captivating experience because of its immaculate elegance, brilliant blue skies above, and lush green meadows all along making it a perfect spot for brief picnics with loved ones.
13. PONY RIDE
You can never go wrong with a pony ride especially when the nature around you is stunningly serene. Pony rides to Khilanmarg are an adventure in and of itself offering some of the most breathtaking views of the Himalayan ranges. You can also ride through beautiful jumgles and villages. You can even book your pony ride in advance. How amazing is that! And there are trained guides who are there to assist you in this ride, whether you are young or old.
14. VISIT NINGLI NALLAH
Located at a distance of 10km from Gulmarg is the Ningli Nallah which is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and velvety green pastures on all sides. Its primary source of water is the melting ice of Apharwat Peak and Alpather Lake. The stream after meandering across mountains merges with the River Jhelum. You can visit this place for both picnics and camping in the nearby meadow.
15. STOP AT KHILANMARG
One of the most pleasant places to be in. Located at a distance of 6km from Gulmarg, this place is a perfect site for skiing. The place is about 2000ft high from Gulmarg making it apt for horse riding and trekking lovers. Khilanmarg offers you the most scintillating view of the surrounding peaks like Nanga Parbat and Nun Kun. The entire valley is covered with beautiful blossoms in summer adding a vibrant aura to its overall beauty.
They say ‘Beautiful destinations have twisted paths’. The nearest airport to the beautiful destination of Gulmarg is the Srinagar Airport and you can also reach Jammu Tawi Railway Station and then start your road journey towards Gulmarg which is 290km away. However, we hope that there’s a Gulmarg Airport and a Gulmarg train station at your service, in the near future. Until then, plan your Kashmir trip, and do not forget to keep Gulmarg on top of your bucket list. We wish you good health and a safe journey!
Mujtaba Hussain is a poet, writer and analyst. He loves to research different things. Travelling is his passion, and he is in quest of learning something about everything.