Home > General, Hill Stations, Jammu & Kashmir, Travelogue > GULMARG ~ The Ultimate Paradise

GULMARG ~ The Ultimate Paradise

It is said that the Eskioms have a hundred synonyms for the word snow. Standing on the snow slopes of Gulmarg I wondered if the Kashmiris have more.

Day Break at Gulmarg

Day Break at Gulmarg

It was early winter and the snow was yet to come in Srinagar, and the leaf less Chinar trees welcomed me in the valley. After spending a couple of days in barren landscape and under an overcast sky I decided to head for Gulmarg.

Rani Temple, Gulmarg

Rani Temple, Gulmarg

As my jeep gained altitude patches of snow started appearing. Soon the patches grew bigger and bigger and by the time I reached Gulmarg (2653 m) it was snow, snow & more snow. It was first time in Kashmir I felt that I was in paradise.

After checking in one of the numerous hotels, and a quick brunch, I was out to explore the place. But was soon surrounded by the sledge wallas. The sledges are nothing but indigenous version of the Calcutta hand pulled rickshaw, where you are pulled along the snow in a wheel less wooden carriage (rather a piece of log) by a fellow human being. It was nothing adventurous and I decided to give the sledge ride a skip but the in the process denied a poor man of his income.

J&K Tourism Office, Gulmarg

J&K Tourism Office, Gulmarg

I was soon out of the clutches of the sledge wallas and was out to explore the place. My first stop was the Rani Temple. Built in 1915 by Mohini Bai Sisodhia, wife of the last king of Kashmir Hari Singh, the Rani Temple is strategically located on a small hillock and is visible from every part of Gulmarg. I followed the snow covered slippery steps to the temple only to find it locked, but the view was incredible.

Bidding farewell to the Temple I headed for the J&K Tourism office. Located about 500 meters away, the British cottage styled building was totally covered with snow. But the office was open and the young tourist officer provided me not only with tourist brochures but also chalked out an itinerary for my one and half days stay in Gulmarg.

Golf Club, Gulmarg

Golf Club, Gulmarg

Next to the tourism office is the Gulmarg Golf Club. The century old Gulmarg Golf Club is situated in a similar cottage. Bypassing the club house I headed through the snow covered golf course towards the St. Mary’s Church, located on a hillock overlooking the golf course.

Built in 1902 the church contains some stain glass work. After a brief stop at the church, I made my way through the snow covered meadows, where the enthusiastic tourist tried out their newly learnt skiing skills. Considering me unfit for skiing, I decided to give it a skip, and wondered aimlessly to a hill top, said to provide great mountain views.

Gulmarg during snowfall

Gulmarg during snowfall

It was late afternoon and by the time I reached the view point the clouds have reigned supreme and it was all set to snow. I took a shortcut and made it to the warmth of my hotel room just before the snowfall began. The snow continued all evening and late into the night.

Next morning I was greeted with the most spectacular sight. The snow had stopped and the skies have cleared. Without losing time I was out with my camera to shoot the snowscape.

After a breakfast I headed for Gulmarg’s prime attraction the Gondola Cable Car. As my four seater cable car started to move I was rewarded with a spectacular view of the Gulmarg valley crowned with the eternal snow peaks of the Himalayas & Karakoram. The ride was short and I was soon in Kongdori (3045m), where there was more snow.

Icicle, Gulmarg

Icicle, Gulmarg

Giving the ski training a skip I walked past the frozen seven springs, known for seven natural outlets of water, and headed for Khilanmarg. Located 4 km away Khilanmarg is known for its breath taking views of snow peaks extending all the away to Pakistan. But within a kilometer the snow reached well above my knee forcing me back. I headed back to Kongdori, from where I took a cable car back to Gulmarg.

Now it was time for home. As I retraced my steps back to Srignar, I was reminded of a line from J&K Tourism Brochure “They say a visit to Kashmir can divide your life into two halves – before & after Kashmir.”

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  1. Pradeep Rama
    November 6, 2011 at 12:22 AM

    Nice blog and nice comments with pictures. We have been to this place in August, 2011 and it was the same except for the ‘snow’ factor. Now after we read your blog, we get to know what we have missed. So, we are planning to pay a visit again in March, 2012. Hope the snow stays till then.

    • November 6, 2011 at 8:23 AM

      Thanks Pradeep for going through my Blog. Kashmir has a different beauty in every season.

      “Kashmir is famous for its four distinctive seasons, each with its own peculiar character and charm. Spring sees a million blossoms turning the ground into a riot of colours. In summer the entire valley turns into a mosaic of varying shades of green. In autumn the green turns into gold and finally to rustic red. In winter the landscape turns bare only to be covered with the white mantle of the first snowfall.”

      Early March you will definitely get the snow, all the best.

      Do visit my website http://www.rangan-datta.info

  2. September 2, 2015 at 10:57 PM

    Couldn’t help but read this first. My first love is mountain. The pics and the words are so alive.

    • October 25, 2015 at 2:29 PM

      Thanks Mohua, the mountains are always beautiful. Keep travellig and blogging…

  3. October 25, 2015 at 2:15 PM

    So beautiful. Gulmarg is truly unforgettable.

    • October 25, 2015 at 2:24 PM

      Yes Swetlana, Gulmurg is truly paradise, especially during winter.

  4. September 25, 2017 at 4:33 PM

    J&K is a heaven of earth. I love this place here you see purity of nature. Thanks for this blog

    • October 28, 2017 at 10:06 AM

      NO wonder Jammu & Kashmir is heaven on earth. I have been there only during winter but have planss to see it during other seasons also.

  1. June 5, 2017 at 1:24 PM

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