A Kashmiri Photo Story (5) – Getting to Gulmarg

gulmarg kashmir winter
When I first arrived, Gulmarg was like a dream. Of white mountains, acres of Christmas trees, and snow. I still find it hard to believe that such a place existed in India.

If you’re visiting Srinagar during the winter, going to Gulmarg is a must. From Srinagar, a return taxi costs about RS1,000 – 1,500 in low peak season. You can get a taxi easily from the road by the side of the Dal Lake. Remember to haggle.

I remembered taking a shared-mini van to Tanmarg, then to Gulmarg by bus. Took me about 3 hours to get there and cost RS200 (SGD5, USD4) in total. It cost the same for the way back. If you’re with a big group, it’s best to hire a taxi. It saves all the hassle and the cost when split between each person is only slightly more expensive than if you were to take the bus.

getting to gulmarg kashmir winter
Getting to Gulmarg, another 13km away. The mini-van took me to Tanmarg, then I took a bus up the mountain pass.

Total travelling time to and fro can take up to four hours, so try to start off early in the morning. The bus I was on met a vehicle which had broken down along the two-way mountain pass to Gulmarg, and it that took some time for the vehicles to squeeze their way pass. The congestion took some time to clear and I thank my good fortunes no car slipped down what seemed to me, a rather narrow mountain pass. But the local Kashmiris did not bat an eye. It seem from their looks, chatter (and whistles) that this sort of thing happened every other day.

getting to gulmarg kashmir
Getting to Gulmarg, along the narrow mountain pass
getting to gulmarg kashmir winter
Getting to Gulmarg, taken from the bus window. Check out the steep mountain pass!

If you’re not into ski-ing, there’s nothing much to do in honesty, except to take chill, have a chai and take the cable car up. It was pretty cold I remembered but what I took away was not the frost-bitten fingers but the beauty of a cold winter’s day.

gulmarg kashmir cable car
View from the cable car ride

I remember thinking to myself, some people travel thousands of miles to Europe to find a winter destination, and I thank my lucky stars for discovering Gulmarg, possibly the most economical and beautiful winter destination in all of Asia.

The photos below are a testament to Gulmarg’s beauty. It was so cold that my digital-camera’s shutter had some difficulty opening and closing, hence the black shadows surrounding the side of the photos. Nonetheless, they are still beautiful. Do enjoy.

gulmarg kashmir houses winter
These wooden cottages were the stuff of European fairy tales. Was so happy to see them in India.
gulmarg kashmir ski trails
A European ski-master prepares for the trail of a lifetime
gulmarg kashmir ski trails
The ski-trails of Gulmarg, Kashmir
gulmarg kashmir fir trees
Christmas (Fir) trees, everywhere
gulmarg kashmir cottages houses
This was another European like house which I came across
gulmarg kashmir cable car
The cable car follows the ski tracks too. Very lovely.
gulmarg kashmir winter ski slopes
I could sit here all day, absorbing the wonderful landscape
gulmarg kashmir winter ski slopes
A scene from out of a postcard.
gulmarg kashmir winter cable car
More views from the cable car, it was a pity I did not take the second league, to see the Line of Control which includes part of Pakistan administered Kashmir.
gulmarg kashmir winter cable car
View from the cable car. I think the snow must have covered the roof of houses too!
gulmarg kashmir winter ski slopes
Imagine ski-ing down those slopes. It must be fun.
gulmarg kashmir winter cable car
Cable car coming in….
gulmarg kashmir winter cottages
Seems like little cottages are caught full body in the snow


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