Gulmarg, which literally means 'Meadow of Flowers', is indeed an idyllic flower-laden meadow measuring about 3 sq km in area, situated 56 km south-west of Srinagar
, in Jammu and Kashmir
. Perched at an altitude of 2,730 m above sea level, this saucer-shaped bowl overhanging the main valley of Kashmir
is noted for its unparalleled natural beauty and hence has been rated as one of the must-see locales in the state. Gulmarg can be reached by a 2 hr bus journey from Srinagar.
Gulmarg presents a charming picture of nature's splendor at work - the fields of rice, clusters of walnut, pear and mulberry, meadows, ridges and forests that lead to the snow slopes of Khilanmarg, the high rise peaks above the meadow, carpeted with dense forests of tall conifers and gigantic fir and pine trees, which seem to be vying with each other to touch the azure skies, are of unsurpassable allure and a panacea for one's soul and spirit.
Gulmarg is a favored winter destination - some of the best slopes for beginners and intermediate skiers are available at Gulmarg. Other activities include sledging, horse riding and hiking. A cable car journey up to Kongdori is an enchanting experience. Gulmarg is also famous as home to the international lush green golf course, the highest of its kind in the world.
Excursions include Alpather Lake, Khilanmarg, Outer Circular Walk, Ferozpore Nallah and Ningli Nallah (8 km).
The nearest airport is in Badgam District, which is connected with major cities of the country. In winter, the buses operate up to Tangmarg (11 km from Gulmarg), the remaining distance being covered by smaller vehicles. Jammu Tawi Railway Station serves Gulmarg.