If travellers have long associated Kashmir with untouched beauty, pristine landscapes and a sense of awe, they have rightly done so.
But, there is an element of Kashmir that is unexplored and unparalleled.
Gulmarg, a district of Baramulla, is one of the best kept secrets among adventure lovers. A perfect snow adventure activities destination, Gulmarg offers adrenaline rushes and highs without all the crowd of other popular ski destinations like Auli (Uttarakhand) and Manali (Himachal Pradesh).
Besides ski, snow-boarding, adventure snow racing and so much more Gulmarg has a unique cultural history which makes it a must-visit destination for those who like to travel the off-beat way.
Gulmarg means a ‘meadow of flowers and was so named after Sultan Yusuf Shah of Chak dynasty visited the place frequently with his wife Habba Khatoon in the 16th Century.
Before that Gulmarg was called the Gauri Marg (the path of Goddess Gauri). As the current name suggests, Gulmarg is home to a wide variety of flowers, some exotic enough to not to be found anywhere else.
During the British colonial rule in India, Gulmarg became a perfect summer adventure retreat for many British officers. In fact, an exclusive women-only golf course was established there along with many ski arenas at the time.
And, there is a golf-course that still survives and boasts of being situated at the highest altitude in the world.
Gulmarg has often attracted professional skiers from across the globe and is almost associated to be the perfect capital of winter sports in India. The wintry landscape also hosted the National Winter Games three times, the last being in 2008.
Due to its political climate, the efforts to make Gulmarg a world-class ski destination have been affected and yet this small hill station manages to bring adventure lovers throughout the year, together in various ways and for different reasons.
But that’s not all about Gulmarg. The specialty of a destination like Gulmarg is exactly that it caters to the diverse tastes of the travelling diasporas. For those seeking nature as observers and admirers, the Gulmarg Gondola ride is the perfect way to start your trip there.
The Gondola is to be taken also because it is Asia’s longest car cable project besides being the world’s highest. There is a biosphere reserve, perfect trekking terrain, mountain streams, strawberry fields, flowery meadows, religious shrines and perfect quaintly towns and landscape views.
In the summers and autumn, Gulmarg can be seen blooming in all colours thanks to the natural flower vegetation there that makes the place so exclusive.
A long weekend or an extended week holiday is perfect to make a visit to Gulmarg. Here is a list of packages that may suit your travel plans the next time you wish to visit the secret gem of Kashmir.
Suggested Tour Packages