Difference between revisions of "Gulmarg"
Revision as of 21:48, 26 December 2012
Gulmarg is a city in Kashmir and is noted for having one of the worlds highest Gondola (cable car)
Taxi from the Airport to Gulmarg or Srinagar to Gulmarg should be 1,200 - 1,500 Rs. Prepaid taxis from the airport cost 1,350 Rs (December 2010) but if the roads are icy, you will proabaly only be able to catch the taxi to Tanmarg (950Rs), at which point you will need to hire a four wheel drive for 500-700 Rs. The journey takes around 2-2.5 hours. For those travelling from Srinagar, shared taxis (Sumos) are available from Buttmal to Tanmarg for Rs. 60 per person (Feb 2012). From there, you can catch a onward shared sumo to Gulmarg for Rs. 30 (Feb 2012). The whole journey takes 2 to 3 hrs.
Getting around Gulmarg is done mostly by foot. There is one road that does a loop around the whole area. Walking around it would take about an hour. You can even see around Gulmarg in sledges driven by localites which cost around Rs. 50 in off season. If you want a hassle free tour to Gulmarg and you are coming from abroad to India, the best choice can be Salman Andrabi and Smith Gary's GULMARG SKI TOUR company that provides everything from picking you from New delhi airport to transfering to Gulmarg, accomodation,meals,ski trip and courses, sight seeing and dropping you back to New delhi airport with safe and memorable tour.Find complete information about Gulmarg Ski Tour [email protected]
Gulmarg has some of amazing treks in world, You can do Mountain Biking from June till September and enjoy some of the best downhill Mountain biking in world. Skiing season starts from December till Early April. Snow Conditions are really good and you can get deep powder in Gulmarg ski resort every winter The main attraction here is the Gondola. Finished in 2004, it runs up to 3995 meters. A sight seeing trip to the top of the gondola will cost you Rs. 300 for Stage one and Rs. 800 for stage two(inclusive of the cost of Stage one) for a return trip; singles (for skiiers for example!) are half the price, with a day pass available for 1200rs. You can decide whether you wish to go to Stage two when you have reached stage one. Stage two is at a much higher elevation, right on the hill top and is clearly visible from the Gulmarg taxi stand. The hills visible from the top are said to be LOC and Pakistan administered Kashmir (specifically Nanga Parbat and (supposedly) the very tip of K2)
The main activity for a tourist in Gulmarg is skiing. One can enjoy skiing in the long and high slopes of the snowy mountain ranges and experience a difference.
There are two areas for skiing: the high mountain/off piste areas served by the gondola; and a beginner's area near the hotels sited on the hills of the Gulmarg golf course.
The high mountain ski lift is open from approximately 8:30 to 3:30 daily. However, ski rentals are not available before about 10 AM, and the equipment is very low quality, so if you are an excellent/off piste skiier who wants to ski all day, bring your own equipment.
The beginners area is open from 10-1, then closes for lunch until 2:30. Lifts reopen 2:30-4.
The skiing season starts on the 25th of December and runs through to March.
Skis and snowboards are available for rent from a government-owned shop for 300 rs. per day. The equipment is shoddy and there is a lack of skipoles.
As of January, 2012, ski lift ticket prices for Gulmarg are as follows: 150 Rs. per first stage gondola ticket, 250 Rs. per second stage gondola ticket, 1250 Rs. for an unlimited gondola day pass.
Gulmarg is comparable to the higher areas of Whistler/Blackcomb. The snow is good powder. Maps are found at the avalanche bulletin at the gondola.
It is very easy to exit the ski area boundary into the wild terrain where no avalanche control has been done by the ski patrol. A non-profit avalanche center puts out a daily bulletin and teaches avalanche courses. Some are free, like the avalanche awareness talk which is really helpful. The web page for the center is gulmargavalanche.org
With its gondola accessible ski area on Mt. Apharwat, 4'124m it offers many possibilities for descents of up to 1'800 vertical meters.
Heli-skiing is available, which opens up far more off-piste opportunities than the one-lift resort that Gulmarg otherwise offers. The heliski operators are Australian and qualified. They offer rental of good quality deep powder skis but you must have your own boots.
Sound skiing skills and good health are prerequisites to enjoy ski vacations in Gulmarg. Note that only the main bowl to the skier's left of the gondola is avalanche-blasted and patrolled - all other areas are considered out-of-bounds.
The weather is cold and it is necessary for the tourist to wear woollen clothes. Golfing, Sledging, and horse riding are other activities (best enjoyed in the summer). Major Tourist Attractions of Gulmarg are Alpather Lake , Baba Reshi Shrine , Gondola, Cable Car to Kongdor, Gulmarg Gold Golf , Khilanmarg, Maharani Temple, Skiing ,St Marys church,
Take care if considering hiring a guide - they tend to work on a commission basis. Initial price might be attractive but your guide may be reluctant to take you to places which don't pay commission and you'll be paying inflated prices for the duration of your trip.
A number of informal checkpoints exist along the road to Gulmarg, which appear to be staffed by armed volunteers. Tipping may be necessary to pass any given checkpoint.
There are various stores in town that sell carpets, clothing, etc. Expect prices to be higher than in Srinagar.
'There', a new pop-up bar situated in the basement of Alpine Ridge hotel. Serves delicious western-style comfort food in a cool, après-ski atmosphere with good indie music and great Australian hosts.
Bakshi's Green Punjabi Dhaba (Vegetarian). Best food and friendliest folks in Gulmarg.
Global Hotel/Restaurant, excellent eating if you're after some western food, 200mtrs in the direction of the Gondola from the Bus Station
Watch out for Alpine Ridge, lots of food poisioning and objects (in one case a zipper) found in food
Is available legally from the 'Highland Park Hotel' (carry on down the road past the gondola and you will eventually reach it on your right) and not-so-legally from 'other vendors' (ask the locals for hints!)
No trip to Kashmir is complete without sampling the two kinds of Kashmiri tea. One has bicarbonate of soda and salt and is said to aid digestion. The other is green tea infused with cardamoms, saffron and cinnamon, with not a small helping of sugar!
None of the hotels in Gulmarg have adequate (all-day)heat, hot water (you may not bathe during your entire stay), or electricity.
Green Heights - 750 Rs night, no hot water, each room has its own bahari (fireplace).
Hill Top - Central heating, in house restaurant, closest to Gondola.
Hotel Pine Palace - Ski In Ski Out Hotel on the Gondola's Ski slope. Multiple restaurants. 3500 per night at Pine Palace Heritage, and 5500 at Pine Palace Platinum.
The Nedous Hotel - a family-run establishment that was built in 1888 by an Austrian family and now run by their great grandson. Has dining room. All rooms have telephones, cable TV. 500+ Rs. Tel: +911-954 254428 Email:[email protected]
Hotel Highlands Park is also a good option to stay for a night.
New Zam Zam - 600Rs night for double room.
Raja's Hotel-500Rs a night for dorm bed in basically unheated room, but raja is the coolest ex mujahadeen on the mountain.
Fluorescence Hotel and Restaurant The Ski Lounge: Lounge majestic views, live music on weekends, and DJ.
You can also stay at private cottages in Gulmarg. It is a great and homely experience.
Temperatures in Gulmarg remain well below zero for major part of the year. Keep your body well covered with gloves, boots, overcoats to prevent frostbite.On the way to Gulmarg,there are small shops where you can buy heavy woolens and boots for rent.Do buy these,as at that altitude,you'll surely require them.If possible,hire a guide(preferably some one who knows english).A place like Gulmarg,visiting which is like once-a-lifetime needs proper resources to make your excursion more enjoyable and meaningful. Skiers and snowboarders who plan to ride in the backcountry should expect significant avalanche danger and plan accordingly. A non-profit avalanche information center provides daily advisories from avalanche experts. The advisory is posted at the common access points of the gondola and at Gulmagavalanche.org.
Gondola ticket bookings are available in advance from TRC in Srinagar ahead of Lal Chowk and Next to JK Bank HeadQuarters office. It is next to TRC(Tourist Recepiton Centre) and then one can book morning to evening bus service to and fro Gulmarg from TRC Srinagar. Pl check with TRC for reservations and timings.