With Gulmarg and surrounding areas like Pahalgam and Sonamarg receiving their first snowfall of the season; this is a great time to visit Kashmir. The ageless beauty of Gulmarg radiates through in every season, but January to March it is especially delightful. If you’re one for adventure sports, this is nothing short of paradise for you. The snow is just perfect for you to indulge in activities like skiing, snowboarding and a walk through the vast stretches of flower-clad meadows and along the alpine mountains replete with snow. Also Read - Mashq Talks: Kashmir Gets Its Own 'Ted Talks' With First-Of-Its-Kind Podcast For Young Talents
It is also known as the ‘Heartland of Winter sports’, and not without reason. Gulmarg is truly where all the excitement takes place in Kashmir. The first ski resort was established here in 1927 and ever since Gulmarg is the first name that pops up in the mind when people talk about skiing. The town takes great pride in owning Asia’s largest and world’s second largest cable car project called Gulmarg Gondola. The gondola connects Gulmarg with Aparwath mountain, providing a fascinating panoramic view of the valley. Once you reach up there, you can ski down on a gorgeous long snow-trail. Shark Fin is another brilliant place for skiing in the town. Gulmarg also boasts of being home to the highest Golf Course in India. Established in the year 1911 by the British, Gulmarg Golf Club is spread across acres of splendid green grounds. You can get a temporary membership for a day to play golf here. Set against a beautiful backdrop, it’s an attraction no traveller should miss.
Khilanmarg – a field covered with blooming and colourful flowers is another spectacular destination situated in the vicinity of Gulmarg offering an unmatched view of the Himalayan range. A frozen lake situated 13km beyond Khilanmarg also attracts attention as a popular spot; as does the virgin terrains of Nagin Valley and the sacred shrine of Baba Reshi. The undying spectacle called Gulmarg gives millions of reasons to travellers across the globe to throng here.
Last but not the least, 13km from Gulmarg, lies the dazzling and a serene Alpather Lake. Triangular in shape, the lake is surrounded by picturesque snow-capped hills. Additionally, there are splendid gardens besides the lake. From the winter months up till June, the lake remains completely frozen and post that some floating ice pieces can be seen in the crystal clear water. The place is also popular among trekkers. You could also perhaps enjoy horse riding to the magnificent Leopards Valley and Strawberry Valley when in Gulmarg.
The nearest airport to Gulmarg is in Srinagar which is 56km away. Jeeps and taxi cabs are available from the airport. Srinagar is well connected to Delhi with daily regular flights.