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Gulmarg

Have you ever had the luck of experiencing the soothing sight of honey dewed golden tipped snow mountains, kissed by the first rays of the sun? Have you ever been awakened by the melodious chirping of birds or the first golden rays of the sun or by the fragrances of countless fresh flowers? It’s been how long since you felt a gush of fresh, pollution free air going down your body? If these wonderful thoughts tickle your senses, and propel your longing for such a life, then your perfect destination is none other than the Jammu and Kashmir tourism, Gulmarg.

Gulmarg’, is an Urdu word meaning “a meadow of flowers. ”Located at 34.05 degree north and 74.38 degree east at 2730 meters above the sea level, it is at a 56 kilometers drive from Srinagar, the summer capital of the beautiful Indian state Jammu and Kashmir. Gulmarg is one of the hottest hill stations of India and also the most probable site for the 2010 Commonwealth Winter Games. The hotels in Gulmarg are consistence with the kind of importance it holds as an important tourist attraction. Most of the hotels are three star with all the modern facilities suited to the likings and expectations of the tourists of western countries. One very important reason behind Gulmarg becoming such a hot shot tourist attraction is the easy accessibility of the place from the capital Srinagar which can be easily reached by AIR. From Srinagar, Gulmarg is just two hours drive. Buses ply at regular intervals in order to transport tourists to and fro. The railway station at Kalka is the nearest to Gulmarg at 53 kms.

It really is a tough task to list all the main attractions for the tourists around Gulmarg as the entire place is exquisitely and exotically, carved by the Mother Nature. It is clothed by the soothing green of the plains and mountains and the pristine blue of the lakes. Ornamented by the flowers that seem to be blessed with all the colors that Nature could make, Gulmarg is nothing short of a poet’s imagination. It is a photographer’s delight, a lover’s ultimate destination and, a gift of God to the people of the world.

Still, an attempt is being made to name certain “must visit” spots in this “meadow of flowers”.The stream Ningle Nallah that flows to Alpather Lake and then to the river Jhelum has a lot of space around it that can be and is used as a camping ground. The distance involved is just 10 kms from Gulmarg. There is another similar mountain stream named Ferozpur Nallah which meets the river Bahan a mere 5 kms trekking distance from Gulmarg. The place, where the stream meets the river, is a very popular picnic spot and is called the “Waters Heat”. At a slightly greater distance of about 5 hours drive lays a lake called the Banibal Nag. Koutar is another of those lakes that more often than not exists only in the imaginations. Situated at a strikingly high altitude of 13,250 feet this lake is like the icing on a cake for all the tourists. This lake, on top of a mountain offers the most astounding views including the view of a place called Poonch. Until mid June most of these lakes remain frozen and when they melt blocks of ice can still be seen floating in the waters. The tourists who are fond of fishing need not be disappointed as there is a fishing pond in Gulmarg. Fishing is allowed here on payment. The charm is; every participant is assured a catch.

Like any hill station, Gulmarg holds the pride of hosting a number of winter sports which are a special attraction for the tourists. It is a heaven for sports like ice skiing, heliskiing, ice hockey and ice skating. The Apherwat peak a final destination of the Gondola, a cable car, is also the final destination of helicopter that carries the tourists. This is one very important feature that is helping in the boost of tourism. Apart from Gondola, and helicopter, Gulmarg is armed with the modern facilities like the T bars, ski lifts, chair cable cars, and ropeways.

Besides winter sports, Gulmarg offers fantabulous landscapes for activities like trekking and mountain climbing. In addition, Gulmarg has another feather to its fame, the golf ground, so declared in 1972 by the well known Australian golfer Peter Thomson. This golf course is one of the hottest attractions for the tourists. These games and especially the winter games in Gulmarg are so enthralling and mind blowing that the experience is worth cherishing for the rest of the life.

 
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