Sunday, December 26, 2010

Gulmarg Hill Station

The beauty of Gulmarg is legendary. Situated very close to Srinagar, Gulmarg is thronged by tourists all round the year. Currently, Gulmarg is increasingly gaining popularity as a premier skiing destination. The refreshing meadows, the lush greenery, the picture perfect small quaint villages nestled amidst the mountain folds — everything about this place is beautiful. Apart from adventure activities, Gulmarg is also very often the chosen destination for film shootings.

[caption id="attachment_932" align="alignright" width="336" caption="Displays the newly built Gulmarg Gondala (cable car). The car takes to a exclusive ski spot."]Gulmarg[/caption]

Gulmarg was popularly known as Gaurimarg in the olden days. It was the favorite haunt of Emperor Jahangir. The grassy slopes interspersed with different varieties of flowers make the place exceptionally charming to the tourists. This place came to be known for its beauty during the British Raj in around 1927.

How to reach

By road
Gulmarg is approximately 2-hour drive from Srinagar. Srinagar on the other hand is well connected to all major Indian cities via well-maintained roads. Buses apart from hired taxis are easily available and the journey from Srinagar to Gulmarg is beautiful and thoroughly enjoyable.

By rail
The railway station of Jammu is situated closest to this hill city of Gulmarg and connects it to all other major cities of India.

By air
The closest airport at Srinagar is 57 km away from Gulmarg.

Places to see
Khilanmarg, 6 kms away, is famous for winter sports or skiing. It also offers an exquisite view of the Kashmir valley and the exotic Himalayas. Alpather Lake is a favorite destination among tourists. This famous and beautiful Alpine Lake is around 13 kms away from the city. Gulmarg has an impeccable golf course, which is distinguished for being the highest in the world. Long leisurely walks through the thick pine forests are mesmerizing. Gulmarg Biosphere Reserves is well known for the rare musk deer. Ferozpur Nallah is just 5 kms away and famous for trout fishing. The Ningli Nallah rises out of melted snow and is a refreshing mountain stream. Srinangar is around 56 kms away from Gulmarg and worth visiting.

Famous spots you must not miss
Golf Course and the Club House and Alpather Lake, apart from Khilanmarg and Shrine of Baba Reshi are some interesting places for tourists. The heavy snowfall makes Gulmarg an ideal place for heliskiing and also trekking. The Goldola Lift, Asia’s highest cable car venture is a new addition and offers a unique experience.

Fruit juices and other fruit extracts coupled with handcrafted shawls and winter wear are mostly sold.

Places to stay
Hotel Hilltop, Heevan Retreat, Residency Hotel, Hotel Senator Pine-n-Peak, The Lalit Grand Palace Srinagar are some hotels in and around Gulmarg offering high-class accommodation.

Best time to visit
Gulmarg sees tourists all though the year. Adventure sports lovers prefer the winter months of November till February for skiing activities. The summer months of May to September see a lot of people from all over the country in a bid to escape the heat and retreat temporarily in the cool embalmed weather of Gulmarg.

A perfect retreat for honeymoon couples, Gulmarg has very pleasant weather in the summer months with plenty of sunshine but has chilly and snowy winters, which is also a primary attraction for adventure sports lovers.

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