Category Archives: Places to visit

Places to visit in Gulmarg

Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve

Location: 48-km Southwest Of Srinagar, Kashmir Region, J&K
Coverage Area: 180-sq-kms
Main Attraction: Musk Deer
Best Time To Visit: Mammal Viewing – September To March
Bird Viewing – March To May


The reserve area is located at a distance of 48-km from Srinagar , to its southwest. It is famous for retaining several rare and endangered species such as the musk deer, and a rich and varied avifauna. 
The area holds a rich cover of vegetation, the dominant forest consisting of conifers, which account for over 90%. The principal species are Cedrus Deodara, Pinus Griffithii, Abies Pindrow, Aesculus Indica, etc. The major shrubs are Indigofera Heterantha, , Sorbaria Tomentosa, etc. The ground cover over here is also very rich and Dicotyledonus herbs dominate the area, comprising of Rumex Patientia, etc.
Nature has gifted this Biosphere Reserve with multiple species of rare, endangered and protected species. The main species found over here are Hangul, Musk Deer, Serow, Brown Bear, Leopard, Black Bear and Red Fox, etc.
The area houses a good population of pheasants and upland birds apart from other species, both resident and migratory. The common birds are Griffon Vulture, Monal, Snow Cock, Koklas, Blue Rock Pigeon, Kashmir Roller, European Hoopoe, Jungle Crow, etc. 

Tourist and private accommodation are readily available in Gulmarg. There is also a camping site available near the reserve area. FOR RESERVATIONS CONTACT: The Chief Wildlife Warden, Jammu & Kashmir State, Tourist Reception Centre, Srinagar -190001, (Kashmir.)

Gondola Lift

For a fun filled ride of a most unusual kind, Gulmarg’s newly constructed Gondola lift from high above Gulmarg, through pine clad slopes, is exhilarating.


  • By Nov 20, 2005 the Jammu and Kashmir State Cable Car Corporation (JKSCCC) has earned a record revenue of more than Rs six crore from April to November 15 this year.
  • The  world’s highest and the Asia’s longest cable car project at this famed ski resort has been a star attraction for foreign as well as domestic tourists this year and has given a major boost to the tourism sector and winter sports in the state, particularly the valley. The project has also helped in promoting Gulmarg as a premier skiing destination in the world.
  • More than ten lakh domestic and local tourists visited the Gulmarg hill station.
  • The ropeway, which has 36 cabins, ferries about 600 tourists to and from the Afarwat peak and comprises 35 towers and 30 stations. 
  • Earlier skiers used to access the destination by helicopters which was a huge financial burden on the visitors. The ropeway has made skiing a very cost effective venture for tourists. It is a viable option for domestic visitors also.
  • It is the only ropeway in the world that takes skiers to a height of 4,390 mt.
  • There is a proposal to construct chair lifts which will connect Kongdoori with Merry Shoulder peak for beginners and intermediate skiers. The project is at the final stage with tenders being floated soon and is expected to be completed before next winter. There are about 200 tourist bookings for the winter skiing.
  • 302,795 tourists took Gondola rides since April to November 15 in the year 2005. 
  • There have been more domestic than foreign tourists to Gulmarg this year.
  • The ropeway project is a joint venture of the Jammu and Kashmir government and French firm Poma Glaski.
  • The cable car, which has been extended further by 2.65 km, connects the bowl-shaped Kongdoori Valley at 10,000 ft with Afarwat, situated 13 km from the tourist resort of Gulmarg, and at an altitude of 13,400 ft. The second phase from Kangdoori to Afarwat was finished well ahead of time.
  • The second phase from Kongdoori to Afarwat (about 5 km) was completed in a record time of about two years at a cost of Rs 11 crore and opened on May 28, 2005.
    The French company had also built the first phase of the cable car project, connecting Gulmarg to Kongdoori, in 1998.  
“Gulmarg has the best ski point in the world…It is cheap as well as compared to other ski resorts across the globe”

Golf Courses

Gulmarg also has one of the world’s highest green golf courses, as well as a clubhouse, which is a historical building in its own right. For the would-be golfer, there are golf sets on hire, pros to instruct one in the game, and temporary memberships. Naturally, these facilities are available to players as well, except that serious golfers usually carry their sets along.

 J & K govt to upgrade golf courses
Jammu | November 22, 2005 2:42:57 AM IST
In an initiative to promote tourism in the state, Jammu and Kashmir government will constitute a high level committee to oversee the overall management and maintenance of the existing golf courses and laying of the new courses in the state.
This was decided at a high level meeting held here today under the chairmanship of the Deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Hussain Baig.

Headed by Mr Baig, the committee will have principal secretary and director general of Tourism department, besides chief executive officer of an econimic reconstruction agency and some experts in the field as its members.

The meeting decided that a world class expert, preferably from the University of Georgia or Massachusetts in United States, would be engaged for the long term maintenance of the turf and the selection of suitable grass at the Royal Springs Golf Course.

Tourism department officials informed the meeting that they are working on the development of new golf courses at Pahalgam, Sonamarg and Jammu, while steps were being taken to improve the existing golf course at Gulmarg.

For the development of pahalgam golf course spread over 1,100 kanals of land, Rs 4.50 cr were sanctioned and a consultant has also been engaged. A team of experts from the Asian Development Bank (adb) had recentlty visited Sonamarg, evincing keen interest in the development of tourism infrastructure at the world famous ski resort.

The meeting also decided to introduce turf maintenance and management courses at selected polytechnics or in the University on the pattern of similar courses being run by some American universities.

Shrine Of Baba Reshi

Ziarat Of Baba Reshi
This Muslim shrine is on the slopes below Gulmarg and can be reached from either Gulmarg or Tangmarg. The Ziarat, or tomb, is of a well-known Muslim saint who died here in 1480. Before renouncing worldly ways he was a courtier of the Kashmir King Zain-ul-Abidin. Every year thousands of devotees visit this shrine regardless of the faith they believe in.

Ferozpore Nallah

Reached from the Tangmarg road, or from the Outer Circular Walk, this mountain stream meets the Bahan River at a popular picnic spot known as ‘waters meet’. The stream is reputed to be particularly good for trout fishing; it’s about five km down the valley from Gulmarg but quite close to Tangmarg. The river can be reached by walking 3-km down the path from the gap near Tangmarg and then heading south through the forest, down a slope towards the stream.Near here there is a bridge which leas to the small waters meet picnic spot on the right bank. Looking south from Tangmarg the river can be traced up to its source close to the rugged peak known as Ferozpore or Shinmahinyu. On the right bank the stream branches, the left path leading to Tosa Maidan, while the right bends away towards the Gogaldara road at a second bridge, about 32-km upstream, and then leads away to the Ferozpore pass, Poonch and Kantar Nag.

One can continue on from here to Tosa Maidan, a three day, 50-km walk to one of Kashmir’s most beautiful Marg’s, crossing the Basmai Gali pass at about 4,000 metres. The track here is very close to the ceasefire line with Pakistan and on the right one will pass the Jamainwali Gali, the pass at 4,000 metres is one of the easiest and safest routes into the Punjab.