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Top 10 Surreal Tourist Places to Visit in Gulmarg, Jammu & Kashmir

A popular hill station in India, Gulmarg is a must-visit place in Jammu and Kashmir. In the local language, the name Gulmarg means ‘meadows of flowers’ and it truly means what it says. The place was previously known as ‘Gaurimarg’ which means ‘the path of Devi Gauri.’ It was renamed Gulmarg by Yousuf Shah Chak, the last ruler of the Chak dynasty, who ruled from 1579 to 1586 AD. It is one of the favourite places of Yousuf Shah Chak as he married his wife Habba Khatoon here, who was also a poetess from Gulmarg.

It was around the year 1942 when the British pioneers started treating Gulmarg as a skiing destination. One of the main reasons for calling it a skiing centre as Gulmarg is one of the places in India that receives heavy snowfall in winter. Since then Gulmarg has captured the top place to be added to every traveller’s Kashmir itinerary. Although the place attracts thousands of skiing enthusiasts to visit Gulmarg in winter, the best time for visiting it is in the summer season.  The green mossy-layered valley with aromatic wildflowers surrounded by the tallest snow-covered Himalayan peaks with picturesque chapels and temples and streams flowing through – make this place one of the sought-after destinations in Kashmir, as well as in India.

We have made a guide on the places in Gulmarg where you should visit while doing a sightseeing tour from Srinagar to Gulmarg. You can also find some budget-friendly places to visit and stay in Gulmarg if you want to spend more time in this valley. Have a read.

List of 10 Tourist Places in Gulmarg Kashmir

  • Apharwat Peak
  • Alpather Lake
  • Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve
  • Gulmarg Golf Course
  • Maharani Temple
  • Shrine of Baba Reshi
  • Mary’s Church
  • Tangmarg
  • Ningle Nallah
  • Khilanmarg

Quick Travel Guide- Top Attractions in Gulmarg

Top Place for Skiing in Gulmarg Khilanmarg
Top Place for Trekking and Camping in Gulmarg Ningle Nallah, Khilanmarg
Top Place for Picnic Ningle Nallah
Top Places to Witness the Beauty of the Himalayas Khilanmarg, Apharwat Peak, Alpather Lake,
Special Places with Religious Importance in Gulmarg Maharani Temple, Baba Reshi Dargah, St. Mary’s Church
Best Place to Play Golf in Gulmarg Gulmarg Golf Course
Best Place to Watch Frozen Waterfall Tangmarg
Best Place to Taste Kashmiri Cuisine Dhabas in Tangmarg, Market outside Baba Reshi Dargah
Best Places for Snow Activities Khilanmarg, Apharwat Peak
Best Place to Witness Wildlife Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve
Best Places for Photography Ningle Nallah, Alpather Lake, Tangmarg, Gulmarg Golf Course, Khilanmarg

Explore Popular Gulmarg Kashmir Holiday Packages

Enchanting Kashmir Tour 5 Nights 6 Days
Magical Kashmir Tour 7 Nights 8 Days
Best of Kashmir Tour 5 Nights 6 Days
Kashmir Honeymoon Tour 6 Nights 7 Days
Kashmir Tour with Vaishno Devi 7 Nights 8 Days

Apharwat Peak, Picturesque Snow Clad Peak Of Gulamrg!

Apharwat Peak Kashmir

One of the top tourist places in Gulmarg and the main attraction of Gulmarg Gondola, Apharwat Peak is elevated at 4,390 metres. It is one of the peaks of Pir Panjal Range, which lies across two Indian states: Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. Apharwat Peak remains snow-covered all through the year and it is the best spot in Gulmarg to get an impressive view of Nanga Parbat, Harmukh and Nun Kun altogether.

Why should you visit Apharwat Peak?

Apharwat Peak is one such place in Gulmarg that receives snowfall and remains snow-covered throughout the year. So, it attracts many skiers and snowboarders from all over the world.

  • Interesting Fact: Line of Control or LOC (the control line between India and Pakistan) is only a few kilometres ahead of Apharwat Peak.
  • Location: Second Phase of Gulmarg Gondola.

How to reach?

Gulmarg Gondola is the best way to reach the Apharwat peak. The phase-II of the cable car network connects the peak to Kongdori Valley via a 12-minute ride.

Timings: Depends on the timings of Gulmarg Gondola, which remains open from 10 AM to 5 PM.

Also Check Out: Srinagar Travel & Tourism Info Guide

Alpather Lake, Perfect Settings Of Scenic Beauty!

Alpather Lake Gulmarg Kashmir

One of the must-visit tourist destinations in Gulmarg, Alpather Lake is located at the foothills of Apharwat Peak, flanked by verdant meadows. The small lake is situated at a height of 4,390 metres from sea level and offers a sight to behold. The lake is fed by the melting snow that comes from the nearby peaks. The picturesque meadows with colourful wildflowers and the close vicinity of the snow-clad mountains around the blue water lake will make you talk about it for a lifetime.

Why should you visit Alpather Lake?

You should visit this lake for the journey it offers. Be it a Gondola Ride following a short hike or a trek for thirteen kilometres, both the journeys offer the best of the topography and present the perfect settings for photography.

  • Interesting Fact: In winter (especially in January and February), the entire lake gets frozen so much that people could walk over it easily. That’s why it is locally called the ‘Frozen Lake.’
  • Location: On the top of Apharwat Peak.

How to reach?

You can reach this lake by hiking a thirteen-kilometre trail for one day or by a Gondola Ride from Gulmarg. In the second phase of Gulmarg Gondola, you will reach Apharwat Peak, then you have to hike for only one and a half kilometres to reach this lake.

Timings: 24 Hours.

Also Read: Must Visit Lakes in Kashmir

Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve, To Witness The Exotic Flora and Avifauna Of Gulmarg!

Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve

Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve or Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected bio reserve, which spreads across an area of 180 square kilometres in the northeastern direction of the Pir Panjal range. Formerly treated as a game reserve, it was upgraded to a wildlife sanctuary in 1987. The elevation of the sanctuary ranges from 2,400 to 4,300 metres. It is home to around 100 species of birds such as the Himalayan snowcock, Kashmir flycatcher, Koklass pheasant and many more. The sanctuary also houses a wide variety of fauna such as snow leopard, Himalayan brown bear, Kashmir grey langur, leopard cat, red fox and many more.

Why should you visit Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve?

Home to a rich collection of exotic Himalayan species, Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve is one of the popular points of tourist attractions. Apart from the species, flanked by snow-clad mountains all around, it is also famed for being a beautiful place itself. You should visit this place to explore the endangered species of the Himalayas and its surreal beauty.

  • Interesting Fact: Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve is situated between Kashmir Valley forests and Poonch and it is a natural corridor in the movement of markhor and brown bear.
  • Location: Baramulla District, Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir

How to reach?

The wildlife sanctuary is located around five kilometres from the Gulmarg Bus Stand and can be reached by car.

Timings: 10 AM to 4 PM

Also Read: Wildlife Tourism in Kashmir

Gulmarg Golf Course, Try Your Hand On Playing Golf!

Gulmarg Golf Course Kashmir

Gulmarg Golf Course has been famed as one of the best places to explore in Gulmarg since the British period. It is one of the highest golf courses in the world. The golf course was established by Sir Neville Chamberlain in the early period of British rule. The golf course is now an 18-hole course, a par 72, 6,760 yards and it boasts of the longest hole in India – a par five, 610 yards. Gulmarg Golf Course includes a bar, lounge, library and spaces for lawn tennis and table tennis.

Why should you visit Gulmarg Golf Course?

The undulating slope with a green natural mossy layer with a variety of alpine wildflowers surrounded by snowy peaks offers a soothing sight that no other visiting places in Gulmarg can offer. Moreover, it is a public golf course where you can learn or play golf by hiring a set or buying a temporary membership.

  • Interesting Fact: It was previously a 6-hole golf course in the British period and was later redesigned into an 18-hole course in 2011. The most interesting hole on the course is the 17th one, which is placed on the edge of a cliff and needs precise hitting to land. And the last one, the 18th hole offers an exhilarating experience which produces a 300 feet drop from St. Mary’s Church to the clubhouse.
  • Location: Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir

How to reach?

It is located at a walkable distance from the centre of Gulmarg. If you walk for around nine minutes from the starting point of the city, you will reach your destination.

Timings: 8:30 AM to 10 PM (remains open between April and November)

Also Read: Pahalgam Travel & Tourism Guide Info

Maharani Temple, Gulmarg’s Pride!

Maharani Temple Gulmarg Kashmir

Also known as Mohineshwar Shivalaya, Maharani Temple is a red-roofed structure that sits atop a hillock and offers a picture-perfect view against the snow-clad mountains. The temple was built by Mohini Bai Sisodia, the wife of Maharaja Hari Singh back in the year 1915 and named after Maharani who used to pray here every day. One of the famous tourist destinations in Gulmarg, Maharani Temple is a shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva and attracts a large number of tourists throughout the year, especially during the time of Shivaratri.

Why should you visit Maharani Temple?

The temple holds an amazing view of the verdant valley flanked by the snow-covered mountains. It is also a great place to celebrate Shivaratri Festival. Another reason is, Maharani Temple is surrounded by several budget hotels, which offer local food and warm hospitality at an affordable cost.

  • Interesting Fact: First of all, the temple is one of a few such architecture built by a woman which was rare in the male-dominating history of India. Second, the temple is situated in the middle of a valley so it is fully visible from all corners of Gulmarg. It is one of those places in Kashmir, where Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz starrer film “Aap Ki Kasam” was shot. And, the most interesting fact is when most of the Kashmiri Pandits migrated, the temple was taken care of by a Muslim priest who used to do all the things any Hindu priest does. The temple is one of the finest examples that supports “unity in diversity” in our country.
  • Location: Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir

How to reach?

From the bus stop, the temple is located at a walkable distance. If you start walking straight for around 10 minutes you will reach the temple.

Timings: 24 Hours

Also Read: Pilgrimage Tourism in Jammu and Kashmir

Shrine of Baba Reshi, Seek Blessings In Dargah!

Shrine of Baba Reshi Gulmarg

One of the top tourist attractions in Gulmarg, Baba Reshi Dargah is located near Ramboh Village in Gulmarg at a height of 2,133 metres. It was built in 1480 by a famous Sufi Saint, Baba Payam-ud-Din Reshi, who was formerly a courtier of the Kashmir King Zain-ul-Abidin in the 15th century. Also popular as Baba Rishi or Babareshi, the saint joined the court of the king as a minister at a young age. Later, inspired by an incident, he sacrificed all his belongings and learnt the teachings of the Sufi path from two other Sufi Gurus. The dargah especially attracts couples to seek blessings to become parents. Legend says that people offering sacrifices in the dargah, have their wishes granted.

Why should you visit the Shrine of Baba Reshi?

The shrine is located in a beautiful place and offers a soothing view amidst a peaceful atmosphere. It is surrounded by green lawns and a quiet big market. The dargah attracts many people for its historical and religious significance, but it also possesses beauty to behold. The green and white colour combination of the Mughal and Persian style architecture along with wooden artworks inside – incite tourists to spend some quality time. You can also indulge in local food sold in the surrounding market.

  • Interesting Fact: The dargah was previously at a higher place where people found it difficult to go. Baba Reshi moved his dargah to its current place to make it easier for everyone. Legend has it, he moved the entire piece of land where the dargah was built on.
  • Location: Baramulla District, Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir

How to reach?

It is located about six kilometres from the centre of Gulmarg. You can reach here by walking or hiring a taxi.

Timings: 9 AM to 5 PM

Also Read: Sonmarg Travel & Tourism Guide Info

St. Mary’s Church, The Victorian Architectural Wonder!

St Mary Church Gulmarg

Located near the Golf Course, St. Mary’s Church is one of the best tourist places in Gulmarg. According to historical references, the church was built in the early 20th century, back in the year 1902. It is surrounded by the Gulmarg Golf Course on its three sides and mountains on the remaining. The Victorian-style architecture with grey stone walls and green roof amidst a lush green valley in front of the mountains – offers a scintillating view to the tourists. It belongs to the Diocese of Amritsar, Church of North India and it is one of the peaceful places in Gulmarg where you can get a different kind of experience far away from the chaos of the city.

Why should you visit St. Mary’s Church?

The location of the church produces a picture-perfect view of a tiny countryside chapel. If you are visiting in winter, you will be amazed by its snow-laden appearance. At night, the church is illuminated by multi-coloured strings, which gives it a distinct character. There are some huts and old hotels near the church where people can choose to stay.

Interesting Fact: Regular mass does not happen here anymore. After the renovation in 2003, a Christmas mass after 14 years was held. But the church remains open daily throughout the year.

How to reach?

You can reach this church only by walking or trekking as it is surrounded by the golf course on three sides and mountains on the fourth side.

Timings: 7 AM to 5 PM

Also Read: Historical Places to Visit in Jammu and Kashmir

Tangmarg, Gateway Of Gulmarg!

Tangmarg - Drung Waterfall Gulmarg

Tangmarg has been known as the gateway of Gulmarg since the Mughal period. It is located about 13 kilometres from Gulmarg town. A quaint place on the lower slope of the Pir Panjal range, Tangmarg is one of the favourite honeymoon destinations in Kashmir. The name of Tangmarg colonially means ‘a place with many pear trees’ and it is true what it means. You will be amused to see the fresh pears hanging from the trees lined along the street. Tangmarg is also famous for Drung Waterfall. The waterfall is located in a village, 10 kilometres away from Tangmarg and it attracts tourists for offering breathtaking views of streams flowing down from the glaciers. Though it becomes difficult to visit Tangmarg during winter as the roads are closed, watching the frozen waterfall in Drung attracts several offbeat travellers during this time.

Why should you visit Tangmarg?

If you want to spend relaxing holidays with your dear ones away from the chaos of a city or do not want to stay in a crowded place, Tangmarg will be a perfect choice. Tangmarg is a place that holds beauty in every corner. Drung Waterfall in Tangmarg is a must-see destination while you are planning a trip to Gulmarg.

  • Interesting Fact: Tangmarg is a famous place for pear trees. So, do not forget to taste fresh pears while passing by the villages. Also, the dhabas in Tangmarg serve the best food, so fill up your stomach when stopping by the road.
  • Location: Baramulla District, Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir

How to reach?

The easiest way to reach Tangmarg from Gulmarg is to take a taxi, which will cover the distance of 13 kilometres within 20 minutes.

Timings: 24 Hours

Also Read: Popular Hill Stations in Jammu and Kashmir

Ningle Nallah, A Picturesque Setting!

Ningle Nallah Gulmarg

One of the picturesque places to see in Gulmarg, Ningle Nallah is a mountain stream passing through the valley fringed by snow-clad mountains and verdant pastures on all sides. The alluring landscape of the stream enhanced by the surrounding scenery produces one of the stunning views that attract tourists from all over the country. Ningle Nallah is fed by the melting ice from Apharwat Peak and it meets with River Jhelum near a place called Sopore. Located 10 kilometres from Gulmarg, Ningle Nallah is one of the top travel destinations in Kashmir Valley that attracts locals as well as tourists for having picnics, camping, fishing and spending a holiday with their loved ones.

Why should you visit Ningle Nallah?

The undulating terrain on the banks of Ningle Nallah is the perfect place for having picnics and overnight camping. Also, the place attracts a lot of photography enthusiasts to capture the stunning views.

  • Interesting Fact: Ningle Nallah is one of the places in Gulmarg, which was treated as a summer escapade in the Mughals, as well as the British period.
  • Location: Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir

How to reach?

The quickest way to reach Ningle Nallah is to hire a cab or taxi from Gulmarg.

Timings: 9 AM to 7 PM

Also Read: Adventure Tourism in Jammu and Kashmir

Khilanmarg, Favourite Ski Destination In Gulmarg!

Khilanmarg Gulmarg

Khilanmarg is the best place in Gulmarg for experiencing winter sports activities. It attracts thousands of offbeat travellers who love to ski, trek and capture the beauty of this place. The miniature valley, located near Gulmarg is a photographer’s delight and a haven for adventure lovers. The stunning landscape of the valley surrounded by some of the tallest peaks and lush green meadows with a bloom of colours is one of the main highlights of this place. The views of Nanga Parbat Peak along with Nun and Kun Peaks from Khilanmarg also make this a must-visit place in Jammu and Kashmir.

Why should you visit Khilanmarg?

People should visit Khilanmarg to experience adventure sports, especially skiing. The verdant meadows are also home to some exotic wildflowers, which bloom in Spring. Moreover, it is also the perfect place to watch Nanga Parbat Peak and Nun-Kun Peaks closely.

  • Interesting Fact: You have to walk or trek to Khilanmarg as this valley cannot be travelled fully by car.
  • Location: Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir

How to reach?

Khilanmarg is about five to six kilometres away from Gulmarg. You can hire a taxi from Gulmarg and trek the rest of the distance to reach here.

Timings: 24 Hours

These above-mentioned tourist spots are some of the best places to add to your Kashmir travel itinerary, specifically for Gulmarg sightseeing. The beauty of Gulmarg, enhanced by the adventurous opportunities it offers attracts thousands of tourists all over the year.

Also Read: Popular Honeymoon Places in Kashmir

If you also want to enjoy a family vacation in Gulmarg, you can browse our website to know more about the deals. We have some perfect packages of Gulmarg Tourism and Gulmarg Kashmir Tour, which will cater the best services for you. Do not forget to share your best memories of the Gulmarg Sightseeing Tour with us.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the gondola ride price in Gulmarg?

The gondola ride price in Gulmarg for phase-I is Rs. 700 and for phase-II, it is Rs. 1,200. It remains open from 10 AM to 5 PM.

What are the top activities for tourists in the summer season in Gulmarg?

Top activities for tourists in the summer season in Gulmarg:

  • Exploring Tangmarg on the way to Gulmarg
  • Visiting Drung Waterfall
  • Learning about the history of Maharaja’s Palace
  • Playing golf in Gulmarg Golf Course
  • Visiting St. Mary’s Church
  • Riding Gondola for both phases
  • Trekking to Alpather Lake
  • Visiting Maharani Temple
  • Visiting Dargah of Baba Reshi

What are the top activities for tourists in the winter season in Gulmarg?

Top activities for tourists in the winter season in Gulmarg:

  • Gondola Ride in Gulmarg
  • Skiing on Apharwat Peak
  • Trekking to Alpather Lake
  • Bird watching in Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve
  • Visiting Ningle Nallah
  • Visiting Khilanmarg
  • Visiting Strawberry Valley
  • Visiting Dargah of Baba Reshi
  • Visiting Drung Waterfall

How many days are needed to explore the best of Gulmarg sightseeing tour?

Two days excluding the travel time are enough to explore the best of Gulmarg sightseeing tour.

What is the snowfall season in Gulmarg?

The snowfall season in Gulmarg is from mid-December to mid-February when temperature drops down to -4 degrees celsius.

Published: 27 Jul, 2022

About the author

Nandini Bhattacharya

From the ‘City of Joy,’ Kolkata, Nandini Bhattacharya is a Travel Writer by profession and traveller by passion. She loves to explore places around the world, new cultures, different cuisines and all new things that one can learn outside the home. She also loves to document her journey so that people can be inspired and travel more. Nandini is a nature lover and talks about sustainable tourism. She wants to make this world a good place where people can live healthy and happily.