Gulmarg is so beautiful all year around, but especially during winter months. Here are 10 things you must do if you visit Gulmarg in winter. Winter time in Gulmarg runs from December to March but the best months to experience these activities and experiences are January & February. Regular flights operate from major cities to Srinagar airport from where Gulmarg can be reached by car in a couple of hours. In winter season, it’s best to hire a local driver with car (details below)
1. Take a day trip to Srinagar and go for a shikara ride on Dal Lake or Ngeen Lake. Parts of the lake are frozen & the experience is truly surreal during winter time. Sunset is our favourite time for a Shikara ride on Dal Lake
2.Hop on the Gulmarg Gondola and take it all the way up to the second tier for snow-laden panoramas on a clear day. Make sure you take some water & snacks because the altitude might make you feel queasy
3. Stay at Khyber Resort in Gulmarg if you can. Some hotels provide just accommodation but this one is an experience in itself. It’s one of the very few places we keep going back to! It tends to be very busy during winter months but if you can get a reservation, you’re in for a treat. Even you’re not staying at the property, make sure you go have a meal or Kahwa there.
4.Speak to the people – the region’s history is fraught to say the least. Take some time to speak to locals, try foods steeped in tradition, and absorb their stories with an open mind. This is what makes travel special & educational. If you need a car with a reliable driver in and around Gulmarg, you can get in touch with Bilal (+91 96224 04885) – we have used his services many times over the years
5. Visit the instagram-famous frozen waterfall called Drung in Tanmarg. February is the best month to witness Drung in its frozen glory. This site can be completely lacklustre when the waterfall is not frozen. Since the exact date varies from year to year, make sure you ask the reception at your hotel if it is frozen already, otherwise it is not worth the trip at all
6. Learn winter sports such as skiing. Winter provides the perfect opportunity to visit Gulmarg and learn skiing. There are a number of ski schools in the area and Gulmarg’s slopes are ideal for practice
7. Go snowmobiling at Gulmarg Gondola. If you’re up for adventure, you should try your hand at snowmobiling. Rides start at INR1000 per person
8. Chances are you will not feel like leaving Gulmarg at all. But if you are keen on a day trip, drive to Pahalgam or Sonamarg to relish the beauty and solitude of Kashmir during winter time
9. Try local foods and cheese – Wazwan, a multi course Kashmiri meal is popular in the region and winter is the perfect time to sample the decadent curries and desserts that make up the meal. Also take this opportunity to try some little known local delicacies like the Kashmiri cheese Kalari – this traditionally ripened cheese can only be found in this region.
10. The place is just brimming with natural beauty in winter months. Take a leisurely walk around the Golf Course and Gulmarg Road to enjoy beautiful panoramas all around.
Hope this helps you plan that perfect winter trip in Gulmarg. Do you love the mountains too?