And yes, finally I have visited Paradise on earth- Kashmir. Truly, Kashmir is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Everyone knows about its beauty. And most important thing is that it has no specific season to visit. It depends on you which season would you like the most. If you like snow, go on winter season which starts from December and lasts until March. During these months you can get white Kashmir. If you like to see the real beauty means colorful Kashmir go on the month of June and July. Charming Kashmir comes out with colorful flowers. And we traveled in the month of October when Kashmir was green. It was really awesome and I and my husband had enjoyed a lot.
There are several places to visit in Kashmir which overwhelm with their own beauties. We spent 5 nights at Srinagar and took a day trip to all other places.
Gulmarg is one of the greatest places for nature lover and adventures people. It is 54km away from Srinagar. It is one of the most popular destinations for skiing. And if it is about her beauty you have to be a witness for yourself to get the real image. So, I am not going to write more about her beauty, I will give a little idea about how to reach Gulmarg and what can you do there. But yes, I must say that every corner of Gulmarg is photogenic.
How to reach Gulmarg from Srinagar
Gulmarg is around 1hr drive from Srinagar. So we have hired a car from Srinagar which had charged Rs 2000 for this journey. It was really an awesome drive to Gulmarg. You do not even want to close your eyes for a second. Before reaching Gulmarg, there is a small town Tanmarg which enhances the beauty of the way between Srinagar and Gulmarg. A unique green ambiance covers Tanmarg. You cannot keep yourself away from taking some snap at that place.
Gulmarg is well known for its Gondola ride. And we were also so excited for this ride. We have parked our car in parking stand and walked to the Gondola station. There are so many ‘pony owners’ who may force you to hire a pony to the Gondola station. But I have to say that if you love to walk, you can come to Gondola station by yourself. You do not need to hire pony if you do not want to.
The gondola ride was truly amazing and it was my first Gondola ride. There are two levels of Gondola ride. For the first level, you have to pay Rs 700 and Rs 900 for the second level (As of October 2017, per person). There are so many local guides who help you to get tickets and more. Taking a local guide is a good idea for tourists. We hired one for Rs 500 after a long bargain and that guide helped us a lot.
1st level of Gondola was supposed to start around 10.45am but due to some technical problems, it took a long time. We waited for 1 hour still there was no hope to recover the gondola soon. So, our guide advised us to take Pony up to 1st level at that same rate. And we agreed with him and took a pony ride. I was a little worried at first, after some time I got adjust with the ride. The local guide was a very good person who came along with us. He described us well about the place and took many photos of us. After 6kms of a pony ride, we reached the first level and we did not waste time there and took Gondola to the second level. Oh my God, it was too amazing and first experience in my life. It took around ten minutes to reach the second level. It was damn cold on an Affarwat peak. It is 17,500 ft heights from ground level. Even though there was no snow, it was around 1-2 degree Celsius. In order to avoid cold, you can get hot coffee at the peak. When you see the ground level from the peak, what a panoramic view it is! After spending 20mins at the peak we came down to level 1 where our ponies were waiting for us.
Foods At Gulmarg
Time was around 1.45pm. At that moment we felt rats were running in our stomachs. Then we could remind that we had only Britania cake and a little ‘bhujia’ as our breakfast. There are so many veg restaurants out there at the level 1. But they were too costly. We paid Rs 70 for a plate of Maggie which was actually not more than Rs 25. So, do not make ever a mistake without carrying food with you. Because we did not even carry a water bottle with us. And we paid Rs 60 for a pack of Britania cake which exact price was Rs 30.
If you do not want to spend too much of money in Gulmarg, I suggest you not to stay at hotels in Gulmarg. Of course, hotels are high class in services and hospitalities surrounded by scenic beauties. But a bit costlier compared to the hotels of Srinagar. So if you can finish all things in a day at Gulmarg, come back to Srinagar for night stay. We did that.
You do not face any problem with restroom. They have some paid restrooms near Gondola station which are clean. You just need to pay Rs 20 per person for using that. There are so many shops where you can shop Kashmiri special some shawls, Suits etc.