Gulmarg – the Meadow of Flowers truly lives up to its name. While in summers the valley is flocked with day-trippers from Srinagar and tourists from across the world, the winter season sees ski and snowboard enthusiasts rushing to Gulmarg – India’s premier ski resort. But the numerous places to visit in Gulmarg are open throughout the year for those who wish to capture the beauty with their cameras or merely their eyes. Before we go ahead listing the top places to see in Gulmarg, here are some essentials that you might find useful while booking a trip to Gulmarg and other valleys of Kashmir.
Best Time To Visit Gulmarg
Gulmarg, like the rest of Kashmir, is a year-round destination. Barring the month of September, tourists can take the Gondola ride and enjoy snow all through the year. However, the months from mid-December to February are suitable for snow activities such as skiing and snowboarding. The weather is pleasant. Light woolens are all that you need during March – September. During October – February, the temperature drops to as low as –4° and it is essential to carry thick woolens.
12 Places To Visit In Gulmarg For The Nature Lovers
Now that you have all the essential information, let us move ahead and explore the best places to visit in and around Gulmarg.
1. Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve
Home to numerous species of flora, fauna, & avifauna, the Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve is among the most popular tourist places to visit in Gulmarg for wildlife lovers. Biodiversity blooms here in its richest form. The conifers and green herbs give the entire sanctuary a scenic appearance. This offers ample opportunities to capture the animals in scenic settings.
The endangered Musk Deer is the main attraction of the reserve. Other species of animals include Hangul, Leopard, Brown Bear, Black Bear, and Red Fox. The biosphere reserve is also a paradise for ornithologists. The area has a large population of indigenous and migratory birds including, inter alia, Griffon Vulture, Blue Rock Pigeon Monal, Snow Cock, Kashmir Roller, and Jungle Crow.
Location:Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve, Gulmarg, Jammu And Kashmir
Timings: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
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2. Strawberry Field
A favorite destination of the yesteryear Bollywood movies, the idyllic Strawberry Field is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Gulmarg. Travelers can walk to this pristine part of Gulmarg or take a pony ride. During summers, the fresh strawberries are ripe to be plucked and savored.
Quick Fact: Many scenes of the Shashi Kapoor – Amitabh Bachchan starrer Namak Halal were shot in and around the Strawberry Field.
3. Apharwat Peak
At an altitude of approx. 4,200 meters above sea level, the Apharwat Peak is one of the most beautiful places to visit in and around Gulmarg. It lies in the second phase of the Gondola cable car ride from Gulmarg and reaching the peak is dependent on the weather conditions.
The beautiful summit remains covered with snow for most of the year and the snow-clad slopes are among the best ones for snowboarding and skiing in India. Another noteworthy point is that the Line of Control (LOC) is only a few kilometers from this peak.
Suggested Read: Here’s What Makes Kashmir A True Heaven On Earth
4. Alpather Lake
Located about 13 km from Gulmarg, the Alpather Lake is among the enchanting places to visit in and around Gulmarg. The stunning water body is situated at the foot of the twin Apharwat Peaks and is surrounded by rocky mountains and the verdant meadows.
The breathtaking topography and perfect setting for photography has made this destination a favorite among the nature lovers as well as photography enthusiasts. And what makes this tourist attraction all the more interesting is the pony ride from Gulmarg through the well-laid snowy trails.
Location: Gulmarg 193403, Jammu And Kashmir
Suggested Read: Let The Skiing Begin: Skiing In Manali Vs. Skiing In Gulmarg
5. Ningle Nallah And Ferozepur Nallah
The duo of Ningle Nallah and Ferozepur Nallah are two mountain streams flowing through the lush green valleys. The grassy pastures on the sides of the streams put these attractions among the best places to visit in Gulmarg for camping and picnic. Of those, Ferozepur Nallah is also a famous tourist attraction in Gulmarg for trout fishing. Both the places are best options for nature lovers as they offer spellbinding views of the landscape and opportunities of living close to nature.
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6. Seven Springs
Known for its seven natural outlets of water, the Seven Springs offer a majestic view of both Srinagar and Gulmarg valleys from the top. The famous Gondola cable car ride takes you from Gulmarg to the Seven Springs in Kongdori. This is one of the best ways to enjoy natural views and adventure in Gulmarg.
Suggested Read: 10 Things To Do During Snowfall In Gulmarg
7. Gulmarg Golf Course
One among the largest and highest 18-hole golf courses in India, the Gulmarg Golf Course is situated on the lower ranges of Gulmarg. Though golfing began in this region as early as the early 1920s, the present-day structure designed by Ranjit Nanda – a well-known golf course designer – was inaugurated only in 2011 by Omar Abdullah, the then Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. Gulmarg has slowly emerged as one of the most popular places to visit in Gulmarg and a popular golfing destination in India.
Location: Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir 193403
Timings: 08:30 am – 10:00 pm
Entry Fee: INR 800 for Indians | INR 1200 for Foreigners
8. Children’s Park
Children’s Park is a spot in Gulmarg made for the entertainment of kids. The several rides and activities would keep them occupied while you enjoy the beauty of this place. The rides include Toy trains, buggy rides, car rides and swings and slides. You can also hire a pony and roam the place to enjoy its neverending serenity and charm.
Location: Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir 193403
Timings: 9am – 6pm
Khilanmarg is a small and enchanting valley offering breathtaking views of the snow-capped mountains. The lush meadows, alpine forests and flowers bedded valleys will cast a spell on you. The 600-metre slope from Khilanmarg to Gulmarg becomes the site for winter skiing scenes in Gulmarg. The site of Himalayan peaks and the amazing chill in the air will make you fall in love with Khilanmarg instantly.
Location: Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir 193403
Timings: 24 hours open
Religious Places To Visit In Gulmarg
Here are some of the most popular religious places to visit in Gulmarg on your next vacation to this gorgeous hill-city:
10. Shrine of Baba Reshi
Built in 1480, the Shrine of Baba Reshi is one of the religious places to visit in and around Gulmarg. It is accessible by a motorable road from the main Gulmarg Valley. The old Kashmiri architecture of the shrine – latticework on windows, carved deodar pillars, and excellent craftsmanship – of the shrine makes it an absolute wonder. The shrine is dedicated to Baba Reshi, a Muslim scholar & saint who spent his days meditating and praying in the valley.
Location: Baramula District, Gulmarg 193403, India
11. Maharani Temple
Maharani Temple is known to be built in 1915 by Mohini Bai Sisodia, the wife of Maharaja Hari Singh – the last Dogra king of Jammu and Kashmir. The temple houses shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. It is here that the Rajesh Khanna – Mumtaz starrer Aap ki Kasam was shot.
12. St. Mary’s Church
St. Mary’s Church is one of the star attractions of Gulmarg sightseeing tours. Set in the beautiful backdrop of verdant meadows, tall alpine trees, and high snow-clad mountains, the church built in the early 20th century boats of its Victorian-style architecture. Giving the appearance of a tiny countryside chapel, the church has gray stone walls and a steep green roof with wooden trimmings.
The rustic views of the wild landscape, the vast stretches of forests, the ancient church, and the hotels & huts serve as perfect backdrops for amazing photographs. For the same reason, the attraction has become a point of interest for not just the religious travelers, but also the photography enthusiasts.
Timings: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
How To Reach Gulmarg
By Air: The nearest airport to Gulmarg is the Srinagar Airport in Srinagar which is located at a distance of 56 km.
By Rail: The nearest railhead to Gulmarg is the Jammu Tawi Railway Station which is located 290 km from Gulmarg.
Further Read: 10 Unbelievably Beautiful Places To Visit In Kashmir
With our ready list of places to visit in and around Gulmarg, you now know what are the places to cover when you visit Gulmarg. So, don’t think any further. Just book a trip to Kashmir and explore the valley of Gulmarg and other nearby places.
Frequently Asked Questions About Places To Visit In Gulmarg
A. November to February is the best time to visit Gulmarg.
A. Yes, Kashmir is a safe place to visit in 2019. The security levels have increased and the government is paying strict attention to the safety of the tourists in Kashmir.
A. The month of January is within the winter months in Gulmarg. Here are some of the things that one can do in Gulmarg in January:
1. Experience skiing
2. Visit Alphar Lake
3. Enjoy a gondola ride
4. Enjoy hot Kahwa and wazwan
A. The weather in Gulmarg is usually cold and winters are extreme. So, make sure you carry enough woolens.
1. Wear extra layers to prevent catching cold
2. Caps, gloves, socks for extra protection against cold air
3. Comfortable boots or shoes as you would be doing a lot of hiking and walking
A. No, there is no snow in Gulmarg in June because it is a month of summer and the temperatures are higher than freezing. The average temperature during summers range from 13 degrees Celsius to 29 degrees Celsius. There may be a less amount of snow at the higher altitudes of Gulmarg.
A. Gulmarg is very famous for its skiing scenes in India. This town is located on the Pir Panjal Range, which is a part of the western Himalayas.
A. The cost of Gondola ride in Gulmarg for per adult and child (3 to 10 year) is:
(Phase 1) Gulmarg to Kungdoor – INR 750 – INR 800
(Phase 2) Kungdoor to Aparwath – INR 950 – INR 1000
Children below 3 years – No entry fee
Chair Lift – INR 250 – INR 300