Sports in GulmargThe whole of Kashmir is a favorite tourist destination of people from all over. Gulmarg is one such place in the Kashmir valley which is famous not only for its natural beauty but there are host of other reasons too. The fact that it has lot of scope for various sports make it sought after destination for adventurous persons who want to include lot of thrill apart from enjoying the natural beauty all around. Since it is situated at a very high altitude of 2730 meters from the sea level, the place is ideal for various winter sports that are offered here. Many people also come here to enjoy an adventures trek in the Himalayas. Some of the winter sports that can be availed when in this cool hill station are:
Golfing in Gulmarg
Golfing has been played in Gulmarg since a very long time and the Golf club in Gulmarg is said to been in existence for more than a hundred years now. The town was discovered by the British in the year 1927 and was a favorite destination among the Britishers who frequented the place both during summer and winter months. Golf was a favorite game that was indulged into by them when here. The green 18 hole golf course in Gulmarg is famous for being the highest golf course in the whole world. Membership facilities are also there for those who frequent here for playing the sport of Golf. On payment of the fees, the person gets the permission to play in the golf course. Golf sets can also be hired from Gulmarg for those who do not possess one of their own.
Skiing in Gulmarg
For adventure lovers Gulmarg is the best place to choose when it comes to playing the various winter sports here. The slopes for skiing in Gulmarg are said to be the highest in the country and ranges between 8700 feet to 10500 feet. The equipments required for skiing such as snow boots, skis, woolen socks, sticks, mufflers, goggles, windproof jackets, caps and other essentials required for skiing are available on rent from various ski shops that can be found in Gulmarg. Experienced instructors are there to guide those who are armature in this field.
Gulmarg's natural inclines and slops result in the town being a premium skiing destination. There are various slopes which are available for skiing. Servicing by ski lifts is done in some of them. Both intermediate levels and beginner level skiers can ski in the slopes which range between 200 meters to 3 kilometers. Advanced skiers can be seen skiing in the snow for many hours. They often go to places which are relatively quieter than the ones which are serviced by ski lifts and crowded too.
Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering has set up there institute here and offers classes ranging from 10 days to 21 days both for beginners as well as advanced level skiers. If booking in groups, discounts are also offered .Since it is the cheapest place to learn skiing people from all over come here to learn the sport. Various competitions at all levels are organized here too. The longest and the best ski in which the skier can do ski run up to almost 2231 m is accessible by Gondola Cable car only.
Heli skiing has also come up as an option for those interested in doing it. In Heli skiing the helicopters present there pick the skiers to very high peaks that are covered in snow and then the skiers are dropped at the top of the peaks and they can then using their skiing skills to come down the slopes. Heli skiing is also becoming very popular due to the thrill that comes with it. However, it should be attempted by advanced and experienced level skiers only.
Ice Skating and Ice Hockey in GulmargApart from skiing one can also indulge in playing Ice skating and Ice hockey. The ice skating rink located near the cable car station in the middle of Gulmarg is an ideal place to do skating. Playing of Ice hockey can also be fun here.
Snow Sledging in GulmargFor those who find skiing challenging, snow sledging is another option which you can choose to indulge in. In snow sledging the local people will be there to pull you while you sit on a sledge. When a slope is reached, you can sledge down the gentle slopes which can be good fun. Snow sledging can be done mainly at the area where golf is played in summers and also near the cable car station area.
Hiking in Gulmarg
During summer months, the white blanket of snow gets converted into a green area with variety of colorful and beautiful flowers in bloom. During this time hiking and trekking enthusiast find themselves in Gulmarg to enjoy the natural beauty at the same enjoy the challenge that hiking and trekking offers. Nothing can be more enjoyable than going on a trekking expedition with your near ones amidst beautiful and refreshing surroundings. Those who find walking up the hills difficult, donkey and horses are there which will enable you to go up the hills and enjoy the beauty all along the way.
Trekking in Gulmarg
When going on trekking from Gulmarg, the city will act as a base from where trekkers start there trekking. The four popular trekking routs are Pir Panjal range, Khilanmarg, Alpather Lake and Ningli Nallah.
Trekking to Pir Panjal Range from Gulmarg
When seeking for adventure on your visit to the city, you can go to Pir Panjal range on foot after you have dropped your entire luggage at the base camp in Gulmarg. Pir Panjal range is also called by the name Naga Parbat by the locals. The range might seem rounded at first however, the view does not remain the same and keeps changing as you move further. Trekkers will be mesmerized with the picturesque slopes along with forest that dominates a large portion of this trek. The steepness found here resembles that of the Himalayan range.
Trekking to Khilanmarg from Gulmarg Khilanmarg
is located at a distance of just 6 Km from Gulmarg. The place is full
of colorful flowers during spring and becomes a favorite place for
skiers during winters when there forms a thick blanket of snow due to
the heavy snowfall that is received. One can get a great view of the
Kashmir valley from here. Due to the variation that can be seen during
spring and winter, trekkers often choose either full winter or full
spring to take full advantage of whatever the place has to offer. When
here you can have breathtaking views of Kun and Nun that is located at
the south west and charming view of Nanga Parbat too.
Trekking to Ningli Nallah from Gulmarg
Located at a distance of 8 km from Gulmarg, Ningli Nallah is a beautiful stream that has its origin from the mountains. The stream after coming down merges with Jhelum River. The valley is full of greenery and many prefer to choose it as a picnic spot with family and friends. Camping is another option which is resorted to by many tourists. One can also view the bridge that connects Ningli with Nallah.
Trekking to Alpather Lake from Gulmarg
This is a famous tourist attraction as well as a major trekking trail for trekkers who are willing to walk all the way from Gulmarg to Alpather Lake. The lake is situated at a distance of 13 kilometers from Gulmarg. The lake is triangular in shape and located at the foot of Mountain Apharwat. If traveling before June then the travelers will find the lake totally frozen. After June the ice starts to melt and the sight of fresh flowing water provides the visitors with some amazing view that will be in your memories for quite some time. Horse riding facilities are also there and visitors can go on horse riding along the hilly terrain.
Essentials that Needs to be Carried When Trekking
It goes without saying that certain mandatory items should be there in your backpacker before you set out to on that favorite treks of yours. The main items are heavy woolens to protect you from the chilling cold, sun block as the sun rays can be harmful for your skin, gloves, good moisturizer to prevent your skin from getting chapped, rain gear to protect yourself from snow fall and sudden rain, balms to keep you lips from getting cracked, monkey cap to cover your ears and head, some dry fruits to do away with hunger pangs, walking stick to keep your balance intact and helping you to move upwards, sour and sweet eatables, first aid kit to take care of any emergency and a torch in case the return journey is delayed and its already dark when you are returning.
Climate Suitable for TrekkersDue to its high altitude the climate in Gulmarg remains zero or less than zero for couple of months of the year. Hence, it’s ideal to carry woolen cloths during your visit to this city. Trekking is not ideal during early springs due to the fact that snow starts to melt at various places and rains takes place in certain areas. This gives rise to muddy areas moreover the trekking routes becomes very slippery too. Hence, there are chances of accidents during this time. Apart from early spring , the rest of the months are quite ideal for trekking purpose.
Taking the guidance of a local guide can go a long way in making your treks interesting as the guide will divulge various local information that you might be interested in. Also having a guide also means you will never loose your way and will get back to your base camp on time. All in all if the climate is fine and you have all that is required to take care of your needs during the trek, then the experience that would be gained here will be amazing ones and those that will be in your memories for ever.
Tobogganing in GulmargTobogganing is one such sport which does not require any skill. All one is required to do is take a wooden board at some area which is at a higher altitude and then sit on it and then come down. The sport is quite popular and involves lot of fun too. It can be played by one and all.
Snow Scooter and Snow Bobbing in GulmargThese two sport nether require any skill nor does it require any prior experience. These are fun to play and can be indulged by people of all age group.
Walking in Gulmarg
Gulmarg being a small town, it is ideal for those who want to walk their way to the top and enjoy and experience the beauty of nature on the way. As you move up, upon looking down you will be able to have a complete picture of the entire valley which is mesmerizing. Then there is Nanga Parbat which is a mountain situated at an altitude of 26000 feet from where you can get a fine view of the whole valley
There is no dearth of entertainment in Gulmarg. There are lots of activities that one can indulge in. Tours and guides are available in plenty to guide you in case you need any help. The months from November to March are ideal for winter sports. Summer months are ideal for playing golf. If only visiting for enjoying the various sightseeing options that the place has to offer, then months from May to September are ideal. All in all Gulmarg is a great place when visiting here for enjoying the winter and summer sports that the place has to offer.
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