Heavy snowfall covers every inch of its land during winters, as if nature has laid down a white carpet on its soil. In summers, the entire region transforms into green pastures spread for miles across the horizon!
Of course, we are talking about Gulmarg, one of the most beautiful places on earth. Gulmarg is a hill station situated approximately 50 kilometers away from Srinagar. The region features several mesmerizing attractions and offers a broad spectrum of adventure activities, including golfing on the most prominent and the highest golf courses at a whopping 9,000 feet!
But is this all there is about Gulmarg? No. Gulmarg is an enthralling experience, regardless of whether you are a regular tourist visiting during the pleasant summers or an adventure aficionado seeking adventure within its lofty snow-clad mountains during the chilly winters. So, let us look at some of the most popular Gulmarg tourist attractions.
The Best Time to Visit the Top 10 Attractions of Gulmarg, Kashmir
1. Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve
One of the best places to visit in Gulmarg, the Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve, is the abode of several endangered species and many rare species of flora and fauna. The reserve is spread across 180 square kilometers and is among the best Gulmarg places to visit in summer for wildlife lovers. Some of the animals that can be spotted throughout the reserve include snow leopards, musk deer, and several bird species.
The reserve is also home to various vegetation such as Aesculus Indica, Pinus Griffithii, Abies Pindrow, and many others. The biosphere reserve remains open from 10 AM to 4 PM daily. If you want to spot mammals, the best time to visit is from September to March. On the other hand, the best time to visit the reserve for bird viewing is from March to May. Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve lies at a distance of five kilometers from Gulmarg.
2. Alpather Lake
If you love photography and have come to Gulmarg searching for picturesque locations, Gulmarg’s Alpather Lake won’t disappoint you! The lake, situated approximately 13 kilometers from Gulmarg and located at an altitude of 4,500 feet, is one of the most beautiful lakes in Jammu & Kashmir. You can hire a pony and explore the divine beauty of the area. Additionally, you can enjoy activities such as trekking, ridge climbing, etc. The best time to visit the lake in the liquid state is from July to September.
3. Lord Shiva Temple
Gulmarg’s Lord Shiva Temple was once the royal temple of the Dogra dynasty ‒ the last monarchy of Jammu and Kashmir. The temple, which is about a century old, witnesses heavy tourist traffic during summers, while in winters, the temple isn’t as accessible. Additionally, situated on a small hillock, the temple site offers a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains and tiny village settlements. The temple is situated approximately 2.5 kilometers from Gulmarg and is open from 6 AM to 9 PM.
4. Baba Reshi Shrine
One of Gulmarg’s most visited sites is the Baba Reshi Shrine. It was built in the 15th century and belongs to Baba Reshi, a Muslim scholar and saint. He is known to have spent his time praying and meditating extensively across the valley. It features latticework windows and wooden pillars that exemplify the skills and finesse of the craftsmen. It is one of the oldest surviving examples of Kashmiri architecture. The shrine is famous among spiritual travelers and is located in Baramulla, Gulmarg. It is open from 9 AM to 5 PM daily and is around 6 kilometers from Gulmarg.
5. Gulmarg Children’s Park
If you are on a family trip to Kashmir, bring your children to Gulmarg Children’s Park. Here, you may let your kids enjoy various activities that include zorbing, horse riding, and hot air ballooning. Experience the delight of enjoying at the highest children’s park in the world. Needless to say, but ensure you click some photographs of the stunning views around. Gulmarg Children’s Park is open on all days. However, some activities won’t be available in winter. The park is located approximately 3 kilometers from Gulmarg.
6. Ferozepur Nallah
Ferozepur Nallah is a famous mountain stream cutting through the valleys between Chinamarg and Nurpur Pass. The stream features clear blue mountain water, conifers adjacent to it, beautiful blooming meadows, and above all, the sun that shines brightly in the sky! The stream boasts a romantic view and, therefore, a fantastic site for couples to visit. Ferozepur Nallah is a natural attraction. Hence, it is open 24/7.
7. Saint Mary’s Church
Saint Mary’s Church signifies the religious diversity of Gulmarg. The church represents 20th Century Victorian architecture. With its charm and the overall atmosphere, it takes you a hundred years back. The ideal time to visit is in summer. However, a visit during Christmas also is an excellent idea, as the festival is celebrated with a mix of local and traditional Christian customs. Saint Mary’s Church is located near Gulmarg’s golf course. It is open from 10 AM to 5 PM. The church is a nine to ten minute drive from Gulmarg.
8. Gulmarg Gondola
Perhaps, our list of the most famous Gulmarg attractions wouldn’t have been complete without talking about the Gulmarg Gondola ride. The ride features Asia’s highest cable car. It offers an enthralling experience, the first stage of which is going to Kongdori at an altitude of over 8,000 feet. Additionally, the site hosts many national and global skiing events. Gulmarg Gondola is in Baramulla. It is open from 10 AM to 4:30 PM. Although the site is popular for year-round activities, winter is the best season to visit if you want to enjoy skiing.
9. Strawberry Valley
The strawberry valley is another famous tourist attraction of Gulmarg. The best time to visit the valley is during the summers when the weather is pleasant. The strawberry valley allows you the opportunity to pick fresh sweet strawberries right off the trees! Although summer is the right time to visit, it is equally paying a visit in winter too. You can book guided treks and horseback rides to enjoy strolling through the snowy paths.
10. Gulmarg Winter Music and Adventure Festival
An exceptional artistic treat that combines music, dance, movies, adventure, and photography, the Gulmarg Winter Festival draws artists from various parts of the world and, over the years, has become a global tourist attraction. Usually, the festival is about a couple of decades ago and is held towards the end of January. Hence, if the festival is part of your itinerary, ensure you bring warm clothes and footwear to keep yourself warm and enjoy the warmth of the music.
So, these were a few of Gulmarg’s famous tourist attractions. We hope you enjoyed reading about them, and you’ll return home from Gulmarg with sweet and unforgettable memories of this incredibly amazing place in Kashmir.