Gulmarg ”Meadow of Flowers” Originally called ‘Gaurimarg’ by shepherds, its present name was given in the 16th century by Sultan Yusuf Shah, who was inspired by the sight of its grassy slopes emblazoned with wild flowers. Today Gulmarg is not merely a mountain resort of exceptional beauty- it also has the highest green golf course in the world, at an altitude of 2650 m, and is the country’s premier ski resort in the winter. Gulmarg is the “heartland of winter sports in India. Depending on the season, nature’s colours could be the translucent green of spring, summer’s rich emerald, or autumn’s golden hues, when scarlet chillies festoon windows of village homes. After Tangmarg, the climb to Gulmarg begins through fir-covered hillsides. At one point, known simply as View Point, travellers generally stop their vehicles for a few minutes and look out a spectacle of snow-covered mountains, almost within touching distance.
Gondola (Cable Car). Gulmarg is famous because of its “Gulmarg Gondola,” one of the highest cable car in the world, reaching 3,979 metres. The two-stage ropeway ferries about 600 people per hour to and from the gondola main station in Gulmarg to a shoulder of nearby Mt. Apharwat Summit (4,200 m (13,780 ft)). The ropeway project is a joint venture of the Jammu and Kashmir government and French firm Pomagalski. The first stage transfers from the Gulmarg resort at 2,600 m (8,530 ft) to Kongdoori Station in the bowl-shaped Kongdori valley. The second stage of the ropeway, which has 36 cabins and 18 towers, takes skiers to a height of 3,950 m (12,959 ft) on Kongdoori Mountain, a shoulder of nearby Mt. Afarwat Peak (4,200 m (13,780 ft)). At Kongdoori & Affarwat snow remains till mid June where sledging , Skiing & snow Boarding is great fun for the visitors.
Sking : Due to Gulmarg’s steep terrain, the region is popular amongst advanced and extreme skiers from around the world and has been visited by a number of ski profssionals and featured in a number of ski films. During the 2012/13 winter season the Australian skier known as ‘Wolf Pack’ was widely regarded as the best and fastest skier on the mountain.World famous skier Sylvan Sudan intoduced Heli sking in Gulamrg in 1987 making it Asia first Heli sking Reosrt. Gulmarg attracts outdoor sports fanatics with its world class golfing, trekking, mountain biking, horse riding, ice skiing, and fishing.
Places to visit:
Saint Marry Church: Gulmarg has an old Saint Marry Church atop a meadow built in 1902 one can easliy walk upto the church or take the road via golf club.
Rani Temple: It is located smack dab in the middle of the Gulmarg. This Shiva temple is one of the last few remnants of the Dogra dynasty, who ruled the erstwhile princely state of Jammu & Kashmir. When you visit the temple, the humble and kindly priest performing the aarti and distributing prasad among devotees is Ghulam Mohammad Sheikh, who has been performing the priestly duties for the past 22 years. He is a living testament for both the communities.
Alpather Lake (Frozen Lake): 13 kms Its at the foot of the Apharwat peak reaching a height of 4511 meters. 3843 mtrs, 13km, a one-day trek from Gulmarg via Khilanmarg and 1.5km walk from Gondola Phase II top of Apharwat. The lake is frozen in winters and stays as it is till the middle of June. Lumps of ice are seen floating on the cold waters and the most striking thing is that the ducks are seen walking on the lake instead of swimming. The lake area makes a good horse riding afficionadoes starting early in the morning and returning by the evening.
Baba Rishi: Its 8 km from Gulmarg, is the famous shrine noted Muslim SaintHazrat Payam Uddin alias The place is no less than the supreme paradise because the shrine of Hazrat Payam Uddin stands here. The shrine and tomb are built in the pagoda style and placed amid wondrous scenic beauty. It has the Jama Majid on one side and a market on the other. One reaches the shrine through a flight of stairs. The langar (public, free eating place) adjoins the tomb. It has a tradition people from different area from the valley performs to fisrt hair cut of their new born child.
Drung : 3. 5 Its 3.5 km from Tangmarg. The stream side destination is ideal for a lunch by the Ferozepur Nallah Stream ideal for a day trip.