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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

What are the popular outdoor activities in Gulmarg?

Manavi Kapur DEC 10 2012
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Gulmarg may be more popularly known as the resort town but make no mistake that it is a big, backcountry mountain. It is an ideal spot for snow adventure activities, even if that includes throwing yourself off a height feet first into the snow. Some of the activities you can indulge in here are:

  • Skiing

Khilanmarg, about600 meter above Gulmarg, is the site for Gulmarg's winter ski runs. It can be reached via the Gondola ropeway from Gulmarg. From here, you will find yourself whooshing through long, sweeping natural runs of 3 miles, beginning with wide-open slopes, then twisting down through the evergreens and ending at the doors of the hotels. If this doesn't give you the thrill you wanted, then you could walk further up from Khilanmarg, which will ultimately provide you with soaring, plunging runs from nearly 14,000 feet. You have a choice of other activities too like skating, snow bobbing, tobogganing or just soaking in the sunshine while enjoying the alpine scenery.

If you are beginner and all this sounds a little too adventurous to you, then there are nursery slopes where qualified instructors impart training in both skiing and ice skating. This might just be the start of your love affair with skiing.

For the more professional, experienced skiers, the 2 day Snow Festival held during the first week of February, is the ideal time to visit Gulmarg. Night skiing, Snowboarding, Ice-skiing, Snow-cycling competitions are held in addition to an international food festival.

This goes without saying, do not forget to indulge in the best of all snow adventure activity, building a snowman.

Against the backdrop of clear, blue skies and bright sunshine, Gulmarg provides an excellent base for trekking. There are quite a few trails that you could take. Gulmarg to Khilanmarg (5 km), Khilanmarg to Alpather Lake (8 km), Gulmarg to Leinmarg (16 km), Gulmarg to Ningle Nallah (10 km) are some of the more popular ones. Most of them will take you through meadows and forests lush with wildflowers and rare trees like the ornamental Himalayan Horse chestnut, crisscrossing through rivers and streams. As you trek through these trails, Nanga Parbat can be seen to the North from several points and you find yourself mesmerized, walking towards it.

Although you can hire trekking gear from the tour operators and hotels, it may be a good idea to carry your own. During peak seasons, there may not be enough gear to cover all.

  • Golfing

For pro-golfers and golf lovers, teeing off at an altitude of 2,650 meters, is sure to give their golfing experience an altogether different twist. If you have ever thought of taking up golfing or giving it a try then the Golf course at Gulmarg, the highest golf course in the world, is the place to start. With land slopes and inclines, the layout of this 18 hole, par 72 golf course is very striking and has at least 18 different species of wildflowers. You can also take part in the Golf tournaments frequently held here.

Too much of golfing? You can also play billiards and table tennis here.

Whether you want to hurtle down a height of 14,000 feet or simply want to soak in the alpine scenery and sun, in between building snowman and snow walls, in Gulmarg you will never be faced with the question of what to do while you are here.

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