Gulmarg Travel Guide
places to visit
places to visit
Gulmarg can be accessed from Srinagar (the capital of Kashmir) in about
1 hour by car or bus, though army checkpoints may increase the travel
time to three hours, depending on the security situation. The buses will
reach Tangmarg in about 45 minutes. From Tangmarg, for the 20 km hill
road, jeeps can be hired for reaching Gulmarg hilltop in about 20
minutes. Searches and identity checks will take place about 5km before
Gulmarg. There is a strict time limit in travelling between Tangmarg and
Gulmarg. The last jeep down from Gulmarg is available at sunset.
Gulmarg has around 40 hotels of all grades. The peak season starts with
the snow fall in December and lasts until April. The charges for one
night stay in off season range between Rs500 - Rs4000+. The off-season
rates usually have a discount of about 60%.
Gulmarg boasts Asia's highest and longest cable car project, the Gulmarg
Gondola. The two-stage ropeway ferries about 600 people per hour to and
from Kongdoori Mountain, a shoulder of nearby Afarwat Peak (4,200 m
(13,780 ft)). The ropeway project is a joint venture of the Jammu and
Kashmir government and French firm Pomagalski. The first stage transfers
from the Gulmarg resort at 2,600 m (8,530 ft) to Kongdoori Station in
the bowl-shaped Kongdori valley. The second stage of the ropeway, which
has 36 cabins and 18 towers, takes skiers to a height of 3,747 m (12,293
ft) on Kongdoori Mountain, a shoulder of nearby Afarwat Peak (4,200 m
(13,780 ft)). The second stage was completed in a record time of about
two years at a cost of Rs 11 crore and opened on May 28, 2005. The
French company had also built the first phase of the gondola project,
connecting Gulmarg to Kongdoori, in 1998.
Skiing is normally offered from mid-December to mid-May. The JKSCCC also
proposes to construct chair lifts which will connect Kongdoori with
Merry Shoulder peak for beginners and intermediate skiers. Gulmarg is
being mooted as a possible host for the 2010 Commonwealth Winter Games.
There are a few places of religious importance near the resort within a
5 to 20 km radius like Baba Reshi, Haji Murad at Kreeri etc.
Gulmarg has been a resort for the kings like Yousuf Shah Chak and
Jahangir who used to visit frequently. The old name of Gulmarg was
"Gaurimarg", the name of Lord Shiva's wife. Yousuf Shah Chak changed its
name to Gulmarg, meaning the place of roses. During the early part of
the 20th century the famous Central Asian explorer Sir Marc Aurel Stein
(1862 – 1943), made his home here in a tent between his expeditions. It
was a favourite summer holiday destination for the British stationed in
The surrounding areas were politically restive during the 1990s uprising
in Kashmir, but since a ceasefire between India and Pakistan in 2003,
the town has enjoyed a period of relative peace and quiet. The town is
nestled within the imposing Himalayan peaks, and lies within miles of
the Line of Control. It receives heavy snowfall during the winter season
and is a popular ski resort..
With the abatement of militancy in the area, Gulmarg has quickly become
one of the state's most visited destinations. The slopes of the Afarwat
Hills of the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalaya Chain boast one of the
longest and highest ski slopes in Asia. The total distance covered by
ski lifts is five kilometres and the resort peaks at an altitude of
3,747 m (12,293 ft), accessed by an aerial gondola (telecabine). The
skiing project was inaugurated by the Chief Minister on 25 December,
2004. The entire hill is guarded by the army at all times. The army,
which is seen everywhere in the cities of Kashmir, is not in the town or
the actual hilltop. Frisking is only done midway on the access road at 3
places: Tangmarg, near an army camp on the road from Tangmarg, and 5 km
before entering Gulmarg. Gulmarg does not have any permanent residents.
All living in Gulmarg are hotel employees and guests. Everyone else is
required to leave the village by sunset, due to a curfew imposed by the
army in 1990.