Lots of recreational activities are on the offer:
• Gulmarg offers a beautiful Golf Course where equipment is also available on hire.
• A Cable Car (Gondola) is also installed which is great hit with tourists and it takes tourists upto Kongdori.
• Trek to Alpather Lake can be undertaken which is lake 13 Kms away from Gulmarg. This lake remains frozen even in June.
• There is another spot called Khilanmarg which offers unparalled view of the Himalayan peaks.
• The famous shrine of Baba Reshi is also located near Gul Marg noted Muslim saint who is revered by all faiths.
• Gulmarg-Khilanmarg-Apharwat-Alpather is one of the important trekking routes.
Skiing and Winter Sports
Gulmarg is well suited for learning skiing. It has some of the best slopes for beginners and intermediate skiers, all serviced by ski lifts and chair lifts. Most of the skiing activities are centred on these slopes, which have ski runs ranging from 200 to 900 mts. Good quality equipment including skis, boots, sticks, gloves and goggles, are all available on hire from the Government-run ski shop. Trained instructors are at hand for guiding amateur skiers. However, not all tourists who visit Gulmarg in winter come for skiing - some are simply there to watch the skiing or to enjoy a holiday in the snow. Many of them infected with the excitement of the skiers don their first pair of skis within a short while of their arrival. Among the numerous slopes are some which are not serviced by ski lifts. These are quieter than those immensely popular with average skiers. Trained skiers take to these slopes and even trek in the snow for several hours to the top of the Apharwat range, to make a descent lasting no more than 30 minutes. And now with the setting up of the Gondola Cable Car, Gulmarg has become the highest lift-served ski resort in the world providing a downhill ski run of 5.2 km from a height of 14,000 ft in the Apharwat range. It is also the longest gondola served ski-lift in Asia.
Gulmarg also offers a host of other snow sports at this time of the year. The most popular among the tourists is riding a sledge and being pulled along the snow covered roads or gentler slopes. Tobogganing also does not require any skill - a flat wooden board is taken up the hill and then allowed to slide downhill. Snowboarding, another exciting winter sport is also being introduced and promoted here. Making a snowman and holding camp fires around it amidst music and feasting is another popular activity indulged by the tourists. But the most enjoyable aspect of a winter sojourn in Gulmarg is the friendly atmosphere. It is like being in a family where everybody knows everyone else.
Heli-Skiing was introduced in Gulmarg, for the first time in India during the mid 1980s in collaboration with the world renowned French skier, Sylvain Saudan of Himalaya Heli-Ski Club of France. For this highly exciting sport, skiers are taken to the top of mountain ridges by helicopters from where they ski down the immense Himalayan slopes. Initially, the programme was started at Apharwat in Gulmarg.
Subsequently, other sites in the Kashmir Himalayas were also used for the purpose. The programme was suspended during the 1990s, but now it is being revived again in collaboration with Sylvain Saudan's Himalaya Heli Ski Club.Gulmarg, the most exotic ski resort in the Himalayas, has been a favoured winter destination for many years. The first ski club of India was set up by the British here in 1927. Gulmarg’s position as a prime ski destination has been reinforced at two functions held in the national capital recently.
The Winter Games Federation of India, during its annual general meeting declared Gulmarg as the winter sports capital India. Coming from the apex body that organises winter sports in the country, this is indeed a great honour for Gulmarg.