Getting to Gulmarg

http://www.powderhounds.com/site/DefaultSite/filesystem/images/India/Gulmarg/GettingThere/01.jpg

Getting to Gulmarg

Where is Gulmarg?

Gulmarg India is in northern Kashmir in the state of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) located in the north west of India in the Western Himalayas. The village of Gulmarg is situated on a high forested plateau (over 2,500 metres) at the base of Mt Apharwat (4,200 metres) which is part of the Pir Panjal Range.

Gulmarg is 56km west of the J&K capital of Srinagar (it’s only the capital in summer!), and the drive takes about 1 ½ to 2 hours depending on how many dogs there are on the road. Gulmarg India is a tourist village, whilst the locals live down in the town of Tangmarg, 13km east of Gulmarg.

Flights to Srinagar

Srinagar Airport (SXR) is the transport hub of Kashmir, and there are direct flights to Srinagar from Delhi and Mumbai. Flights from Delhi to Srinagar take an hour and 15 minutes. You can look at flight schedules from your home city. Most of the scheduling of flights necessitates a night in Delhi on arrival into India.

Delhi Hotels

There are a number of hotels close to the Delhi airport. For quick and convenient access to and from the airport, pick one of the Aerocity hotels which are all 4 and 5 star hotels.

The Ibis New Delhi Aerocity is a well priced 4 star hotel in Aerocity.

The Novotel New Delhi Aerocity is a modest 5 star hotel that offers very good value for money.

The Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi Airport Hotel is just a couple of minutes drive from Aerocity, and offers very deluxe accommodation.

If you don’t want to leave the airport, Holiday Inn New Delhi International Airport is a hotel inside the terminal.

Delhi Hotel Listings

Some of the Delhi airport hotels provide shuttle services which offer peace of mind but can be a little costly. Otherwise use one of the pre-pay taxi options at the airport to get to your hotel. This first experience in an Indian taxi from the Delhi airport to a hotel is a hoot.

The next day, allow lots of time before your flight to Srinagar because traffic, long check-in queues, and security line can make the process very lengthy.

Transport From Srinagar to Gulmarg

After you have filled out your tourist paperwork at the Srinagar Airport, the real fun begins!

Travelling from Srinagar airport to Gulmarg, chaos reigns and road rules seem absent as your transport dodges all manner of obstacles including (but not limited to) oncoming vehicles, pedestrians, military and police checkpoints, herds of goats, wandering cows, packs of dogs, piles of sheep entrails, street stalls, markets, brightly decorated buses with passengers on the roof, diesel belching over-laden trucks, convoys of armoured army vehicles, three legged sheep, random debris, rubbish of every description, flocks of scavenging ravens and hawks, armed soldiers on foot patrol, auto rickshaws, horse drawn carts, human drawn carts and abandoned remains of carts. Getting the picture?

If travelling with a Gulmarg ski tour, your transport to Gulmarg will be waiting for you at Srinagar airport.

If travelling independently, a range of taxis tend to be available to drive you up the hill (they may change vehicles in Tangmarg). Cost will be dependent on your negotiation skills.

The road that winds up the hill between Tangmarg and Gulmarg can be crazy at times, especially on Sundays. The road is not generally not well cleared of snow, and the combination of cars with bald tyres, dodgy chains, and honking horns, makes for an interesting trip.

Getting Around Gulmarg

The Gulmarg village is rather spread out. For example, the base of the Gulmarg Gondola is 1.5km from the Gulmarg Market, the poma slopes don’t connect with the terrain accessed from the gondola, and some of the hotels are a decent distance from the gondola. To get around Gulmarg, you can walk which should expose you to all sorts of shenanigans, do a combination of skiing and walking, or you’ll get plenty of offers to get dragged around on an old wooden sled (which is part of the shenanigans).

Taxis around the village are also rather inexpensive, but as with most things in Kashmir, try and have the correct change. The roads after a big snowfall may be full of ruts so take care if you’re a pedestrian!

Ski Resorts Nearby

Whilst there’s always lots of talk of India opening up more hill stations for skiing, there are currently only a couple of other Indian ski resorts (the term “resort” is used very loosely!) and no other Kashmir ski resorts.

There is a Gulmarg heli skiing outfit, although it’s a bit hit and miss as to whether it’s operating. Alternatively you could go heli skiing in Manali in the Himachal Pradesh of India for a week with Himalayan Heli Adventures, and combine this with a trip to Gulmarg. Himalayan Heli Adventures is a very reputable company with international pilots and guides.
150