I am back with a new blog and this is the final blog of my Kashmir (India) travel series. After exploring Srinagar, Sonmarg, and Palgham, it was time to explore Gulmarg. It took us almost 2 hours to reach Gulmarg from Srinagar.
Gulmarg is a tiny village in the Pir Panjal range of India, reports suggest that it was built as a ski resort by some British officers. It was a favourite holiday destination for our monarch families and Britishers considering the weather and view it offers The roads were as always picturesque and soothing for the eyes, We decided to stay in Gulmarg for one night, we wanted to know what the hype was all about.
We reached Gulmarg around 12 pm. The Gondola ride was scheduled for the next day, since we didn’t want to experience it in the latter part of the day, Talking about the local markets, there wasn’t much left to explore. People generally come to Gulmarg for its Gondola ride and an unwinding experience. Trust me it is the best place to beat the summer heat and just relax.
Gulmarg has the highest golf course in the world but unfortunately, we couldn’t get a chance to visit that. We were sleep-deprived for almost a week so we decided to take a short nap which was not so short nap. The evening stroll in Gulmarg with lots of hotels and guesthouses felt overcrowded because it was the peak season.
Cut to the next day, I woke up pretty much early to witness the snow but Alas. there wasn’t much snow. Never mind, I got ready for the Gondola ride, We booked tickets for Phase 1 and Phase 2 rides. There is a total of three phases and they are as follows:
Phase 1:The phase 1 stops at Kongdori, the estimated height of it would be 8530 feet, There wasn’t much snow at Phase 1, we waited in the queue for 2 hours to get into the cable car.
Phase 2:The Phase 2 stops at Aparwath peak, its height is 12293 feet, crazy na? We took up the sled to go up to the peak, For phase 2 we had to wait for 3 hours in the queue because the number of cable cars assigned was less compared to that of Phase 1. Reaching the top it was freezing cold and even though the weather was cold, my heart was full of warmth from the sweetness of the local Kashmiri people.
We saw Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) from twin Aparwath peak, It is an army-occupied area considering the location, There was an Indian Army Control post, and I could see certain BSF jawans on duty. Our tour guide showed us a group of mountains a little far and told us that range falls in Pakistan occupied the Kashmir area.
We bought some chocolates and decided to keep them in the snow for some time, sound funny? The chocolates turned out to be very delicious. After clicking some quintessential snow photographs and videos, we decided to sit quietly and just feel the view, sounds weird? but trust me you feel the aura and warmth at the peak.
We went back to Phase 1 and then finally exited the Gondola ride and it was worth the hype
This embarks the end of a very beautiful trip.
Just a few suggestions:
1. Book your Gondola ride online from their official website to avoid difficulty. Advance booking is suggested to avoid delays in the ride.
2. One should book a guesthouse or hotel in Gulmarg a month or fortnight in advance for lower prices and there are minimal options to stay during the peak season.
3. Rent out a snow jacket, boots, caps, and gloves before reaching Gulmarg, because it is overpriced afterwards.
4. One day is enough to explore Gulmarg.
5. Carry some snacks with you everything is very expensive at the top and please don’t throw wrappers at the top.
With a heavy heart. I said goodbye to Kashmir in the hope to visit again. I hope you enjoyed this trip with me.
See you in the next blog, until then, Adios Amigos.
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