Gulmarg: Heaven on Earth
One of the most beautiful cities in India, Gulmarg is situated in the Baramulla district in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The nearest commercial hub is Srinagar which is about 50 kms away from it. It is located at a height of 2650 meters in the extreme western region of the Himalayas. This is the reason Gulmarg experiences heavy snowfall during winters.
When covered with snow, Gulmarg becomes one of the finest ski resorts in the country. You will see many hotels and resorts and less of houses. The snow fall here makes the landscape of the entire city picturesque. Tourists come here for relaxing as well as to experience some adventure. With skiing, you also have the option of sledging, snowboarding and taking a ride in the cable cars.
Gulmarg has the highest Gondola (cable car rope way) in all of Asia. This Gondola takes you to the peak of the Apharwat Range which is situated at a height of 14000 feet. It provides you with a splendid view of the Himalayas from the meadows of Kongdori which is at a height of 10000 feet. The city also has one of world’s highest green golf course. It was built by the Britishers in the 20th century.
After the Gondola you must visit the Gulmarg Biosphere reserve. It is spread across an area of 180 sq km. the reserve has a wide range of flora fauna and avi fauna, making it the perfect spot for wildlife lovers. It is located in an area where biodiversity is at its richest. You can witness the endangered Musk deer here which is one of the main attractions. You can also spot the Hangul, Brown Bear, Hangul, Ref Fox and many more. There is also a vast variety of native and migratory birds. The best time to visit the reserve is from September to March.
The Alpather Lake is one of the most gorgeous spots in Gulmarg. It is situated at the foot of the Apharwat Peeks. You have to either do a difficult trek or take the cable car to visit this mind-blowing attraction. You can also travel on a horseback through a well graded track.This lake is frozen almost the entire year. The only time one can see water here is after June. The view here is so mesmerizing that words fail to describe it.
No trip is compete without a religious stop. In Gulmarg, St. Mary’s Church is a Victorian architectural style church. It is approximately 100 years old and appears to be like a tiny countryside chapel.The lush green meadows, with lofty high trees with beautiful mountains covered with thick snow surround the church making it the star attraction in Gulmarg.
If you plan to visit Gulmarg during summers, then you must stop at the Strawberry Valley, and taste some delicious and fresh strawberries. Walking here is a pleasure as you can just eat as many strawberries as you want. You can also get some packed for home and savor them there.
So if you are looking for some adventure mixed with breathtaking natural beauty, then Gulmarg is the destination you must visit.