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Gulmarg

The popular skiing destination is the state of Jammu and Kashmir is the Gulmarg which is located in Baramula district and a notified area committee. It is situated in the Pirpanjal Range in western Himalayas. It lies in the cup shaped valley at an alltitude of 8,694 ft, 56 km from Srinagar. Gulmarg was rated as the Asia's best ski destination and is the

"heartland of winter sports in India"

Winter sports like skiing, Tobogganing, Snow Boarding and heli-skiing take place on the slopes of Mount Apharwat reachable by a Gondola lift. These winter sports are carried out at a height of 13,999 ft. An annual three-day Gulmarg Winter Festival is held in March. On the many points of  Apharwat peak and Khilanmarg  offer a panoramic view of Namga Parbat and Harmukh mountains.

History

The original name of Gulmarg is the Gaurimarg ("the fair one") named by shepherds in honor of the Hindu goddess Parvati. The place was remnamed to Gulmarg by Sultan yusuf Shah of Chak Dynasty who frequented the place with his queen Habba khatoon in the 16th century. the Mughal emperor Jahangir collected 21 different varieties of flowers for his garden in gulmarg. British civil servants started using gulmarg in the 19th centuary as a retreat to escape summers in North Indian plains.  Hunting and golfing were their favorite pastime and three golf courses were established in Gulmarg including one exclusively for women. One of the three golf courses established survives to the present day and at an altitude of 8,690 ft is the world's highest golf course.

After the end of London Colonical rule, the gulmarg becomes the part of independent princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. Pkistan planned an invansion of state  called operation gulmarg. Gulmarg fell to the invading army, but the Indian army led by the 1 Sikh Regement, which had been airlifted to Srinagar only after the Dogra ruler of the state Maharaja Hari Singh had signed an Instrument of Accession with India on 26 October 1947, successfully defended the outskirts of Srinagar. On 1 January 1949, the war ended under UN supervision and a Ceasefire line (CFL), which was rechristened the Line of Control (LOC) by the Shimla Agreement of 1972, came into being close to Gulmarg.

In post India independence, Indian planners sought to develop a destination for Winter sport of India. In 1960 The Department of Tourism of the Government of India invited Rudy Matt for suitable location for such purpose. In Gulmarg the Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering was established in 1968 to train the ski instructors.

With the abatement of terrorism in the area in 1990s, the rise of militancy in Jammu Kashmir affected tourism in Gulmarg. Work on the cable car project between Gulmarg and Apharwat Peak, which was commissioned in 1988 by Government of Jammu & Kashmir, the tourism started to recover.

Thing to do in Gulmarg

  • Trekking
  • Skiing
  • Golfing
  • Gondola rides in Gulmarg
  • Religious visit
  • Trout Fishing

Climate

Summer (March-May) : Temperature ranges from 6 to 25 deg Cel.
Monsoon (July- August) :Temperature ranges from 17 to 30 deg Cel.
Autumn (September-October) : Temperature ranges from 12 to 23 deg Cel.
Winter (November-February) :  Temperature ranges from -4 to 17 deg Cel.

How to Reach

By Air - The nearest airport is Srinagar Airport.

By Rail - Nearest station is Jammu Tawi Railway Station.

By Road - NH 1A connects Gulmarg with Srinagar.