8 Activities to Experience in Gulmarg for an Unforgettable Kashmir Vacation in 2023

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Are you seeking a thrilling and awe-inspiring experience to cross off your bucket list? Look no further than the mesmerizing destination known as the “Heaven on Earth” – Kashmir. Renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty, Kashmir offers a plethora of opportunities for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. From snow-capped peaks to serene river streams, from picturesque lakes to endless meadows and flower valleys, and from enchanting pine forests to so much more, Kashmir truly has it all. Among the many captivating destinations in Kashmir, Gulmarg stands out as a remarkable hotspot for adventure and exploration. Let’s dive into the eight best activities to engage in while in Gulmarg.

Things to Do in Gulmarg

1. Skiing – Apharwat Peak:

Unleash your inner adventurer by indulging in the thrilling sport of skiing. Standing amidst the majestic snowy peaks and lush green coniferous forests, you’ll experience an exhilarating rush as you glide down the snow-covered valley. Apharwat Peak offers the perfect setting for this exciting activity, and ski equipment can be conveniently rented from the Government ski rental shops located here. Expert trainers are also available to help you learn and enjoy this adrenaline-pumping sport.

Best Time to Visit: January and February are the ideal months to visit Gulmarg for skiing, as these months offer abundant snowfall.

How to Reach: You can either drive or hire a private camp to reach the base of Apharwat Peak.

2. Gondola Ride – Kongdori Gulmarg Gondola:

Prepare to be enchanted by one of the most captivating activities in Gulmarg – the Gondola ride. The Kongdori Gulmarg gondola is the second highest cable-car line in the world, consisting of three phases. Phase 1 takes you from Gulmarg to Kongdori, Phase 2 transports you from Kongdori to Apharwat, and Phase 3 is the Chair Lift phase from Kongdori to Mary Shoulder. The Gondola rides offer breathtaking views of both Gulmarg and Khilanmarg. Phase 1 lifts you to the Kongdori Station, situated at an altitude of approximately 8500 feet, while Phase 2 elevates you to an awe-inspiring height of nearly 12300 feet. Immerse yourself in the spellbinding vistas of LOC, Nand Devi, and Pir Panjal Ranges.

Apharwat Peak

3. Trekking – Alpather Lake:

Embark on a mesmerizing trekking expedition to the beautiful Alpather Lake. Surrounded by pristine natural beauty, this serene lake offers a picturesque setting for nature enthusiasts and adventure lovers. Prepare to be captivated by the panoramic views and serene ambiance as you traverse the scenic trail leading to this hidden gem.

4. Golfing – Gulmarg Golf Course:

For those who prefer a more leisurely activity, a round of golf at the renowned Gulmarg Golf Course is a must. Nestled amidst the captivating natural landscapes, this golf course provides a unique and unforgettable experience for golfing enthusiasts. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of the surroundings while enjoying a game in this picturesque setting.

5. Bird Watching – Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve:

Nature lovers will be fascinated by the abundant avian species that call the Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve their home. Engage in a serene and enchanting bird-watching experience as you explore the diverse ecosystem of this pristine reserve. Capture breathtaking photographs of the magnificent feathered inhabitants and create lasting memories.

Kongdori Gulmarg Gondola

6. Photography – Ningle Nallah:

Unleash your creativity and capture the awe-inspiring beauty of Gulmarg at Ningle Nallah. Immerse yourself in the enchanting landscape and let your lens capture the essence of this picturesque destination. Whether you are an amateur or a professional photographer, Ningle Nallah will undoubtedly provide ample opportunities to capture breathtaking shots.

7. Pony Ride – Khilanmarg:

Embark on a delightful pony ride through the picturesque landscapes of Khilanmarg. Traverse the scenic trails while enjoying the serenity of the surroundings. This enjoyable activity is perfect for families and individuals seeking a more leisurely exploration of the captivating natural beauty of Gulmarg.

8. Temple Visit – Ancient Temples Of Gulmarg:

Delve into the rich cultural history of Gulmarg by visiting its ancient temples. Experience the spiritual ambiance as you explore these architectural marvels and witness the intricate craftsmanship. Immerse yourself in the cultural heritage of Gulmarg and gain a deeper understanding of its past.

Gulmarg in Kashmir is a true paradise for adventure seekers and nature lovers alike. With its breathtaking natural beauty and diverse range of activities, it offers an unparalleled experience for those who dare to explore its wonders. Plan your visit to Gulmarg and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Optimal Timing to Explore: Ideal period would be from March until June. Cost of Gulmarg Gondola Tickets: For adult visitors, Phase 1 tickets are priced at INR 740, Phase 2 tickets at INR 950, and Chairlift tickets at INR 270.

Alpather Lake

How to Get There: The Kongdori region is conveniently situated a mere 20-minute distance from Gulmarg. Transportation options include hiring a taxi or embarking on a self-guided walking journey.

Interesting Read: Discover an extensive list of intriguing activities in Kashmir by following this link!

3. Trekking – Alpather Lake

Embarking on a captivating trekking expedition is unquestionably one of the finest ways to experience the wonders of Gulmarg. The irresistible allure of the completely frozen Alpather Lake is sure to captivate your senses. Nestled at the base of the twin Apharwat Peak, the lake boasts an impressive elevation of approximately 4400 meters. It is worth noting that this extraordinary lake remains frozen even throughout the months of May and June. The sight of enormous ice chunks gleaming upon its surface adds a magical touch. Surrounded by rugged mountains and meadows, this serene location offers an ideal spot for relaxation following strenuous trekking or exhilarating skiing sessions.

Gulmarg Golf Course

Optimal Timing to Visit: Enjoy the enchantment of this destination from November until mid-June (winter) or from June until September. Transportation Options: From Gulmarg, you can reach this lake either by road or opt for a splendid trekking route. However, the most recommended approach is through the Gondola. Alternatively, a relaxing pony ride is also available.

4. Golfing – Gulmarg Golf Course

Suppose you find yourself in Gulmarg during the summertime. In that case, immersing yourself in a delightful round of golf at the world’s second-highest Golf Course is an absolute must. Situated at a staggering altitude of 2650 meters above sea level, the Gulmarg Golf Course covers an expansive area spanning 7505 yards and consists of 18 captivating holes. Additionally, the facility is also home to the prestigious Golf Training Academy. Engaging in this leisurely activity amidst a stunning natural setting further elevates the overall experience.

Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve

Optimal Timing to Visit: It is recommended to visit during the summer season. Transportation: This remarkable golf course is located just a few kilometers away from Gulmarg’s city center, allowing convenient access via hired taxis.

5. Bird Watching – Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve

Indulging in bird watching surrounded by the captivating ambiance of the Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve is a true delight. Observe an array of stunning avian species amidst this breathtaking natural sanctuary.

Note: Ensure that all tags mentioned in the prompt are kept in the exact same format.

Renowned for its abundant and unique wildlife and plant life in the majestic Himalayas, Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve stands out as a must-visit destination in Gulmarg during the month of May. Embark on a captivating journey through its vast 180 square kilometers of picturesque landscapes to fully immerse yourself in the marvels of nature. This sanctuary is home to a variety of rare and endangered bird species, making it an ideal location for birdwatching enthusiasts. Among the fascinating avian creatures you may encounter are the Blue Rock Pigeon, Kashmir Roller, Snow Cock, European Hoopoes, Koklas, Griffon Vulture, and Jungle Crow. In addition, the reserve boasts a diverse array of terrestrial animals, including the majestic Kashmiri stag, black deer, brown bear, spotted deer, and elusive snow leopard. To ensure a safe and enlightening visit, it is advisable to follow the provided safety instructions or seek the guidance of a trustworthy tour guide.

Ningle Nallah

For the optimal experience, plan your visit to coincide with the period between March and August, as this is considered the prime time to explore Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve. To reach this natural sanctuary, you can conveniently travel to the nearby town of Pulwama by bus, train, or flight.

For further reading on nearby places to explore, refer to our article on “14 Places To Visit Near Delhi To Witness Snowfall.”

6. Captivating Photography at Ningle Nallah

Experience a picture-perfect scene dominated by majestic mountains and a cascading stream that will leave you in awe. Capture unforgettable moments at Ningle Nallah, guaranteeing some of the most breathtaking photographs of your lifetime. The snow-capped peaks, lush green meadows, and vibrant wildflowers provide the perfect backdrop for your artistic composition. This mountain stream originates from the melting ice of the Apharwat Peak and converges with the grand River Jhelum. The banks of Ningle Nallah are also an ideal location for camping and picnicking, making it an all-in-one destination.


For the ultimate experience, visit during the summer months when the weather is at its best. Accessing Ningle Nallah is a breeze, as it is located just 10 kilometers from Gulmarg. You can easily reach this destination by road or hire a horse for an immersive experience amidst the captivating surroundings. Knowledgeable guides are readily available for hire, ensuring a truly enriching adventure.

For more information on enchanting places to visit in Kashmir for an unforgettable honeymoon, refer to our recommended article on “19 Places To Visit In Kashmir For Honeymoon In Paradise.”

7. Pony Riding Delight at Khilanmarg

Khilanmarg, an exquisite valley, offers a serene natural setting combined with the thrill of adventure sports. Due to the absence of drivable roads, the best way to reach Khilanmarg is by foot or on a pony ride. Revel in the awe-inspiring views of the majestic Himalayan peaks as you embark on this delightful pony ride. Adding to the charm, the valley is adorned with fragrant blooms, creating a sensory feast for visitors. It also serves as a fantastic destination for ski enthusiasts, providing ample opportunities for exhilarating winter sports.

Ancient Temples Of Gulmarg

For an extraordinary experience, plan your visit between December and mid-February, and remember to pack warm clothing to combat the chilly weather. Khilanmarg is a mere 5 kilometers away from Gulmarg, and hiring a pony will cost approximately 500 INR.

8. Ancient Temples of Gulmarg: A Spiritual Journey

Gulmarg is home to a number of ancient temples that exude charm and beauty. Among the town’s most revered temples are the Maharani Temple and the Baba Reshi Temple. Located on a hill, the Maharani Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple, with its distinctive red roof, was constructed by Queen Mohini, the wife of the Kashmir ruler. The Baba Reshi Temple, which is about 500 years old, pays homage to the esteemed saint, Great Baba Reshi Ji. The temple showcases Mughal and Persian architectural styles, adorned with stunning sculptures and intricate wooden artwork.

Optimal Time for a Visit: All year roundHow to Get There: The temples are just 5 km away from Gulmarg and can be easily reached by road.

Choose the Perfect Time to Explore Gulmarg

Peter for Wikimedia

Gulmarg, much like Kashmir itself, is a destination that can be enjoyed throughout the year. If you’re a fan of snow activities like skiing and snowboarding, then the months from mid-December to February are highly recommended. On the other hand, if you’re a nature enthusiast, then the summer months from April to June are ideal, as this is when the place is teeming with vibrant flowers and showcases its breathtaking beauty. This period is perfect for indulging in adventure activities and sightseeing, thanks to the pleasant weather. Ultimately, the best time to visit depends on your personal preferences and what you wish to experience in Gulmarg.

Indeed, Gulmarg offers visitors an array of incredible sports and sights to enjoy. It’s high time you planned a trip to Kashmir and added all the aforementioned activities to your Gulmarg itinerary. Get ready to create unforgettable memories in this heavenly wonderland.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Exploring Gulmarg

What are some safety precautions to keep in mind while skiing in Gulmarg?

Below are some essential safety tips for skiing in Gulmarg and any other location:

1. It is crucial to strictly follow the instructions provided by the trainers.

2. Ensure you have good-quality ski equipment.

3. Always wear a helmet and goggles for your safety.

4. Pay attention to the signboards and follow their directions.

5. Understand your skiing limits and level to prevent any accidents.

Could you please tell me the entry fee for Gulmarg Golf Course?

The fee for entering Gulmarg Golf Course is as follows:

– Indian Nationals: INR 800

– Foreigners: INR 120

To avoid long queues during peak seasons, it is highly recommended to book your tickets online.

Is it safe to visit Gulmarg during the Covid-19 pandemic?

The Jammu and Kashmir government prioritizes public health and has issued safety guidelines to be followed by all visitors. These guidelines include practicing social distancing, wearing face masks, using hand sanitizers, and frequently washing hands. Online ticket booking is mandatory for contactless entry. Additionally, some accommodations may require visitors to provide proof of complete vaccination for a hassle-free stay.

What are the notable attractions in Gulmarg?

Gulmarg offers a variety of captivating attractions that you should explore:

1. Apharwat Peak

2. Alpather Lake

3. Ningle Nallah

4. Baba Reshi Shrine

5. Rani Temple

6. Drang

7. Kongdori

8. Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve

9. Children’s Park

10. St. Mary’s Church

Which cuisines are famous in Gulmarg?

Gulmarg is renowned for its delectable Kashmiri Cuisine. Rice is a prominent component, commonly served with mutton, chicken, or fish. Paneer and vegetables are cooked in rich gravies. When in Gulmarg, you must try the famous Kashmiri Wazwan and Kahwa recipes.

How far is Gulmarg from Srinagar?

Gulmarg is situated approximately 51 km away from Srinagar. You can reach Gulmarg in approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes by taking the Srinagar-Tangmarg road. The most convenient modes of transportation from Srinagar to Gulmarg are either by bus or your own vehicle.

Is Gulmarg a safe place to visit?

Gulmarg is indeed a safe destination for travelers. As one of the most popular tourist spots in Jammu and Kashmir, the government prioritizes safety and takes necessary precautions for the well-being of visitors.

How many days are recommended to explore Gulmarg?

To explore the major attractions in Gulmarg, it is recommended to plan a 1-2 day tour. However, if you desire a comprehensive and relaxing vacation while uncovering the hidden gems of this place, 3-4 days should be sufficient for a memorable and rejuvenating experience.

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