Best Things To Do In Gulmarg This Winter

From the lip-smacking local food offerings to the soul-enriching summit stroll at the Apharwat Peak, Gulmarg has plenty in store for the upcoming winter
Gulmarg during winter
Gulmarg during winterShutterstock

Gulmarg is a winter paradise with snow-covered meadows, stunning views of the Himalayas, and cosy gondola rides during the winter months. While tourists may assume that skiing is the only possible activity in Gulmarg after the first snowfall, they would be surprised to learn that there's much more to experience. In fact, beyond the thrilling slopes, Gulmarg offers a wide range of winter activities that cater to different preferences.

Adventure enthusiasts can enjoy exciting snowboarding adventures or take heart-pounding snowmobile rides through the pristine landscape. For those seeking more peaceful experiences, enchanting snowshoeing trails provide a serene way to explore the surrounding wilderness. Moreover, Gulmarg's vibrant culture comes alive during winter, with traditional festivals, warm hospitality, and local cuisine that uniquely charms the overall experience. Whether looking for the adrenaline rush of winter sports or the quiet beauty of a snow-covered landscape, Gulmarg transforms into a magical winter destination beyond the slopes.

In our curated list of winter indulgences, explore what best suits your taste from the list of activities to do during winter in Gulmarg.

Skiing

Skiing in Gulmarg
Skiing in GulmargShutterstock

Gulmarg is the perfect destination for skiing enthusiasts who love adventure. The ski season lasts from December to April, when you can expect to find a winter wonderland. However, checking the current snowfall levels is advisable to ensure the perfect powder conditions. Gulmarg offers a variety of skiing experiences, including a designated beginners' area, off-piste options, heli-skiing at 15,000ft, and cross-country trails. You can easily access the town's extensive three-acre system through two gondolas and four lifts. You can explore snow-covered meadows on a snowmobile for a motorised thrill, starting at Kongdoor Station via the gondola. If you're an adrenaline junkie, you can opt for a 45-minute high-speed ride with breathtaking viewpoints. Alternatively, you can race through town on a four-wheel giant quad bike at the gondola's base for a lower altitude experience.

Gondola Rides

Gondola at Gulmarg
Gondola at GulmargShutterstock

While the initial hustle and bustle of the gondola journey may seem daunting, reaching the summit is worthwhile. The journey comprises two phases: the first leads to the bustling Kongdoor Station, full of tour operators, restaurants, sunbathing chairs, and fellow tourists.

Souvenir shop at Gulmarg
Souvenir shop at GulmargShutterstock

However, the real treasure lies in the second phase, elevating you to the Aparwath Station at an altitude exceeding 13,000 ft, accessible only in favourable weather conditions. Here, the crowds disperse, and a peaceful atmosphere prevails, allowing you to soak in the breathtaking views of the snow-capped Himalayas. You will find an unparalleled experience of tranquillity and natural beauty at the summit.

Trekking, Skating, or Sleighing

People enjoying snow-bike ride in Gulmarg
People enjoying snow-bike ride in GulmargShutterstock

A challenging 3 km trek from Aparwath Station leads to the frozen Alpather Lake in the Valley of Flowers. This lake offers a mesmerising winter adventure with stunning mountain reflections. Guided treks are available in Tangmarg, 18 km away, and smaller treks in Gulmarg provide a range of diverse options.

For those who prefer adventure, the town centre near the cable car station offers ice skating. Sledge rides are also available almost anywhere in Gulmarg. Although limited, winter pony rides can be arranged too. Moreover, snowshoes, available at rental shops, provide an ideal way to explore the surrounding forest areas.

A Visit To Tanmarg

Baba Reshi shrine
Baba Reshi shrineShutterstock

Tangmarg is a town and tehsil in the Baramulla district just 18 km from Gulmarg. The place is a must-visit if you're in Gulmarg as it offers much of note. It houses the beautiful Baba Reshi shrine, a three-story monument built in 1480 and is dedicated to the Muslim scholar and saint Baba Reshi. The shrine boasts a bustling market around the area, which travellers can explore for authentic street food and brilliant pottery works. The place is a popular picnic spot among the locals.

Durum Falls
Durum Falls_divyanshu_soni_/instagram

Only a few kilometres from the shrine is the Durum Falls. During peak winter, when everything is covered in snow, the waterfall transforms into beautiful icicles, which makes for a perfect insta-worthy shot.

Local Culinary Landscape

A classic serving of wazwan
A classic serving of wazwanShutterstock

Immerse yourself in the rich flavours of Kashmiri cuisine with the traditional 36-course wazwan. This delectable feast features dishes such as tabak maaz, rogan josh, nadru yakhni, and phirni. For an authentic wazwan experience, head to Sarposh at Khaleel Palace, where the meal is served on a trami to small groups of diners. You can also try popular eateries like Bakshi Restaurant (Main Market near Police Station), which serves dishes such as dum aloo, lamb stew, and seekh kebabs.

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