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Tourist Places To Visit In Gulmarg
Gulmarg is a pristine hill station in North-West Jammu & Kashmir. Surrounded by snow-clad mountains, lush green forests, streams, glacial lakes and valleys, Gulmarg has forever been a coveted travel destination. A site of many Bollywood films, and a favourite haunt of golfers and skiers, there's plenty to do and see in this valley. Read on for a list of the top tourist places you should visit during your vacation in Gulmarg, from Apharwat Peak to Apharwat Lake, the famed golf course to Strawberry Valley.
Apharwat Peak is situated at a height of 4,390 meters (14,403 ft.) above the sea level. The peaks stay snow clad all through the year and the region receives heavy rainfall every year making it an ideal skiing destination in winters. The Kargil Line of Control (LOC) is just a few kilometers away from here. Reaching this spot is highly dependent on the weather conditions.
St. Mary's Church
Standing tall, even after 100 odd years, Saint Mary's Church is located near Golf Course in Gulmarg. One must visit the Saint Mary's Church as it is home to ancient architectural wonders that our country is most renowned for. And it also said that the church has been a location for many Bollywood movies. You can take a break here and explore the interiors, or just soak in the quiet and ethereal vibes of a church that echoes tranquility in the Himalayas.
The ancient Maharani temple, built as early as 1915, can be seen from any part of Gulmarg. Named thus because it was built by Maharani Mohini Bai Sisodia, the wife and queen of Maharaja Hari Singh of the Dogra lineage of kings that ruled the region, the temple exudes an otherworldly charisma. The historic temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and receives high footfalls from the locals all year round.
The Kanchenjunga Museum, named so for its location and the great mountain in the distance, displays modern warfare and mountaineering equipment and gear used by the Indian Army, mainly in the mountains. Initially designed as a High-Altitude Warfare School, the museum commemorates the first Kanchenjunga summit by the Indian army in 1997. If you are an army buff or interested in warfare techniques, then this is just the place for you.
A famous stop-over just 13 kilometers from Gulmarg, Tangmarg is a beautiful valley with a breathtaking view. It's a must visit for nature lovers and trekkers. In local language, Tang means Pear. Thus it is quite common to find the route shaded by lines and lines of pear trees. In season, when the fruit is ripe, you can easily pluck the low hanging juicy pears and snack on them as you explore the valley.
Along with apples, cherries, saffron and walnuts, Kashmir is also known for its strawberries. And here is one of the many valleys where it is cultivated. Gulmarg is home to the beautiful ‘Strawberry Valley,’ where the lush green meadows are populated with wild dark red strawberries, swollen and ripe in season. Off season, you can see the bushes and little buds and flowers of these strawberries, enduring the elements to bloom. If you want to pick, harvest and bite into fresh strawberries then visit during summer. Walks, picnics and special events are also organised through the meadow.
Gulmarg is famous for its 18-hole golf course, which is also the highest golf course in the world. The British built it back in the year 1911, and it’s been a stupefying sight to see as well as play at ever since. There are rolls of green meadows with some very rare flowers blooming in season, with tracks and holes drilled for golfers on the the mainland. If you visit between June and September, you can find the most astounding natural landscape with locals as well as tourists playing a game or two.
Kashmir is filled with beautiful lakes. And Alpather is no different. It is perched between the twin peaks called Apharwat mountains, and is popular as the frozen lake of Gulmarg. Apharwat remains a slab of ice through all seasons except summer, leaving only a few months from June to October for it to exist in liquid form. Many trekkers visit here on a trek that starts from Gulmarg. Then they camp by it, rest by, soak in the views beside it. It is a one day trek that leads here, and most end in impromptu swims and paddling.
A gondola ride in Gulmarg is a good idea at any time of the year. In summers you get to see the bright, vivid colours of mother nature come to life on emerald carpets, while winters take you up snow crusted glaciers and iced mountains. The Gulmarg Gondola is a must-visit, and it takes you up the Apharwat Mountain. During winter, most of the skiing, snow adventures and winter activities are carried out here. You can catch this gondola at Gulmarg Resort and head to Kongdoori Station, from where another line ferries you up to Apharwat. A half hour trek from here takes you to the place where you can site the famed LOC, Pir Panjal and Nanda Devi hills.
Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve
A protected land, the Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve is a gorgeous place near Srinagar, only 48 km away. You can visit here if you are a wildlife enthusiast, especially if you wish to see snow leopards, musk deer and other animals. There are also wildflowers and other flora that populate the reserve. And when it's the season for migration, many birds flock here from far and wide.
Situated in the middle of Himalayan peaks, Khilanmarg is a perfect spot for soaking in beauty and adventure sports. Tourists come here to escape the crowd and throw themselves in the middle of adventure sports like trekking, mountain climbing, horse riding and more. But you can’t reach Khilanmarg just by driving. You will need to either walk up some way or hire a pony. And then during winter, ski enthusiasts throng the landscape.
Ningli Nalla is a stream that flows from the frozen snow capped mountains. This stream runs through white mountains and lush meadows, bringing the ice of Apharwat peak and lake down to the plains. This nalla is perfect to sit by and picnic or enjoy a day or two of overnight camping. Family and friend groups find this spot incredibly fun.
Ziarat of Baba Reshi
Ziarat of Baba Reshi is an Islamic shrine in Gulmarg that dates back to 13th Century. It is built around the tomb of a Muslim Saint named Baba Reshi or Payam-Uddin, who passed away at this place in the year 1480. Along with locals and devotees, tourists also visit this place to experience the history, religion and culture that blooms in the verdant hills of Gulmarg.
Another little nalla or stream in Gulmarg, Ferozepur Nalla flows between Nurpur and Chinamarg Pass. It is a pretty romantic spot and is famous among the honeymooners and couples. You can also carry a blanket and basket for a little picnic by the water. The water in the nalla is cool, crisp and fresh, potable to drink. Fishing is also very coveted here, as is trekking and camping.