Mughal emperor Jahangir on his visit to Kashmir could not help but quote the famous couplet “Gar firdaus bar-rue zamin ast, hami asto, hamin asto, hamin ast.” Translated, it means if there is paradise on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here. People who thought this were to be a bit of an exaggeration quickly changed their minds when they took a trip to Kashmir and its picturesque town of Gulmarg.
With the Pir Panjal range within your fingertips and the highest gondola service in the world, Gulmarg with its purity and serenity, captivates the hearts and souls of everyone who takes a trip there to unwind and reconnect with themselves or with their loved ones.
Best Time To Visit Gulmarg
The beauty of Gulmarg is such that you should visit this heavenly town at least once in your lifetime and when you are planning to visit, you will obviously be keen to know when the best time to visit gulmarg is. While any season is splendid in this quiet place, your tolerance level will mostly determine your trip planning. There are three main seasons that play a major role in India – summer, monsoon and winter.
The summers in Gulmarg are mild and pleasant, perfect for the somewhat experienced trekkers and nature lovers and gulmarg in May is when you get to witness the best blooms of exotic flowers. Winter in Gulmarg is quiet as the freezing temperature dissuades many tourists but the avid trekker will be spotted traversing mountain ranges with his/her usual determination. You can take a cab or board the bus from the Srinagar airport to reach Gulmarg.
8 Things To Do In Gulmarg
If you have settled for summer, which is the best time to visit gulmarg, then you still need to pack some woolens as the temperature tends to be between 13 to 17 degrees Celsius.
There are several things that you can indulge in when you are in Gulmarg but make sure your itinerary includes these 8 places to visit and activities to make the best out of the trip.
1. Experience the beauty of Khilanmarg
Khilanmarg is 6 km away from Gulmarg and a short trek will take you to a view of your lifetime. The green valleys and the panoramic view of the snow clad mighty Himalayas will make you fall in love with nature’s color palette. Take a stroll amongst the fragrant blooms which you can capture only in your memory.
2. A date with wildlife
Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve is a paradise for the nature enthusiasts. With an exotic range of flora and fauna, this reserve is a safe haven for many rare species like the musk deer, red fox and many migratory birds who makes this their winter home.
3. An architectural delight
St. Mary Church is a 100 year old structure situated at the meadow of Gulmarg. The Victorian style architecture is something that is worth taking note of as it highlights the best features of the era gone by. Not to mention the peace you feel when you are within the sanctuary. A small trek will take you to the church and you do not have to be a believer to pay homage to something that is beautiful.
4. Amazing Gondola Rides
Gondola ride is must for without it the trip to Gulmarg will remain incomplete. This is the world’s second highest cable car with the journey being segmented into two tiers. The first part takes you from Gulmarg to Kongdori. From there the second phase takes you to Aparwath Peak which is at an elevation of 3747m. The aerial view of the valley is breathtaking and will leave you speechless.
5. Witness Alpathar Lake in all its splendour
Alpathar Lake is a day’s trek away from Gulmarg. Summer sees the lake clear and rippling with ducks waddling and flowers surrounding the bank of the lake. This is best visited while you are trekking at Khilanmarg. The beauty of the place will surely bring out the writer in you. Silent and surrounded with nature sounds, this place is a treat to all your senses – like a relaxing day where you connect with yourself.
6. Try out a spot of golfing
Golfing is something you should give a try, especially when the golf course in Gulmarg is touted to be the second highest course in the world. Whether you are good at it or not, golfing is a sport you should try with an open mind and a happy heart.
7. Go on an adventurous picnic
Ningli Nallah is a well-known picnic spot and if you want to enjoy a good moment with your loved ones then this is the place to be. It is also a great camping spot and the adventure seeker will love the 8 km trek to reach the Nallah. Once you have reached there, make sure you are not out of breath as the view will surely leave you breathless.
8. Indulge your love for skiing
Skiing is something that you should try your hands at when you are in Gulmarg and there is no better place than Aparwath Peak to taste this sport. Covered in snow throughout the year, tis peak is ideal for all sort of skiers. But make sure you have loads of fun even if you fall multiple times and have your friends take weird pictures of you!
I do plan to visit once again in winter to witness snowfall in Gulmarg and take in the Gulmarg Snow Festival. This festival takes place very December and promotes winter sports like sledging and skiing.
While the valley receives a negligible amount of rainfall, the temperature is just right for some cool camping in the wilderness or taking pictures of shining lakes, gushing waterfalls and fuller blooms with the onset of autumn. The local cuisine is splendid, especially the Rogan josh and vindaloo. However, they are both better suited for colder climates as the spices are meant to keep you warm. Each season has their own flavor if you’re thinking of the gulmarg best time to visit. So take your pick, pack your bags and embark on a journey that will make you appreciate yourself and nature more.
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