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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

What is the culture and lifestyle in Gulmarg?

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The first thing you will notice when you come to Gulmarg is the austerity and ruggedness, a way of life in the Himalayas, deeply etched in the people of Kashmir. Despite all the problems and troubles faced by them, political or otherwise, they are welcoming and genuine people. Any culture that comes up with a traditional 36 course meal, that can go up to 50 courses, Wazwan, to welcome guests is sure to be one. Apart from these there are some fantastic things to do in Gulmarg.


A huge cup-shaped lush green meadow, Gulmarg looks like something out of a fantasy that begins with "Once upon a time". In spring, the green meadows are dotted with colourful bluebells, daisies, forget-me-nots and buttercups. Surrounding them are snow-capped mountains, and on a clear day, one can see all the way to Nanga Parbat in one direction and Srinagar in another.


  • Multicultural imprint: You will find people here speaking Hindi and Kashmiri. Gulmarg has been the vacation getaway of Dogra and Mughal Kings and theneventually, Britishers. You can notice the physical and cultural imprint the succession of different cultural dynasties has left on the cultural fabric, geography and way of life of the people here. It can be seen in their religious sites, monuments, traditional handicrafts and festivals.

  • Harmonizing effects of Tourism: Tourism and handicrafts are traditionally a driver of the local economy here, and everyone, whether or not involved in the tourism industry, appears delighted that after a very long absence, a good number of domestic and international tourists are finally returning to Gulmarg. Thanks to the development of the Gondola Ski Station and the Gulmarg Winter Festival initiative, tourism here is seeing an unprecedented high. So much so that Gulmarg becomes crowded during peak seasons and to drive out the congestion,Government has opened Nagin Valley to the locals and tourists after 22 years. On the way to Gulmarg is Kanihamavillage, where you can witness the efforts being made to revive the Kani shawl technique. Carpet weaving centers are gradually coming up here.


When you reach Tangmarg and begin your climb to Gulmarg through fir-covered hillsides, do stop your vehicle for a few minutes and look out to the spectacle of snow-covered mountains, almost within touching distance. Your enchantment with Gulmarg will begin right at its doorstep. There are some fantastic places to visit in Gulmarg, you shouldn't miss at all.

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