Gulmarg in the PirPanjal Himalayan range of Jammu and Kashmir is a destination that has two totally different faces of it. In the summers, the hill station gets renowned as a meadow of flowers, while in the winters, this same region turns into a perfect skiing destination.
Owing to such behavior of it in the cold season, Gulmarg is also known as the heartland of winter sports in India. The hill station is situated at a height of 2,690 m and has ample lofty peaks, panoramic landscapes and ample alpine meadows.
Where to Go?
During the time of winters, the hill station gets flooded by a number of ski resorts and agencies. You can opt for the government based as well as private ones, depending upon your budget.
Gulmarg receives high amount of snowfall in India. Therefore, there is no fixed spot for skiing. Start from any high peak and ski down through the coniferous forests. The gondola cable car rides act as a wonderful option to reach to the top of the slopes.Beginners can enroll themselves in short term ski courses provided by the agencies.
How to reach
Being situated close to the capital of Jammu & Kashmir, Srinagar; commuting options to the hill station are very convenient. These are mentioned as below:
By Air: Srinagar being the nearest major point to Gulmarg serves the best option to travel to the hill station. Srinagar airport is very well connected to all the major cities off India. From the airport, one can easily get a taxi or cab to make it to Gulmarg from the airport.
By Rail: Jammu railway station is the closest to Gulmarg. It is very well connected to all the major cities of the state of J&K and India. After reaching Jammu railhead, Gulmarg is 290 km away which you can cover by hired taxis or cabs. Jammu Rajdhani, Himgiri express and Swarak express are some of the popular trains that transit people to Jammu.
By Road: Driving to the hill station on your own from Srinagar to Gulmarg is also a good option. However, the route is bound to take much time as it goes uphill to the high altitudes.
When to visit Gulmarg for skiing
To enjoy skiing at its best in Gulmarg, one must visit the hill station in the main winter months. Winters at this high altitude Himalayan region starts in the last week of October with temperature dropping eventually. By December, the hill station starts receiving heavy snowfall and the trend continues till mid-February. This is the time when the hill station gets flocked by hundreds of adventurists, mainly skiing lovers. During these months, the snow completely covers the hill station, leaving many milky white slopes for the tourists.