Places to visit in AROUND SRINAGAR Gulmarg

■ AROUND SRINAGAR Gulmarg: The hill resort of Gulmarg, well known for its magical meadows and mountains, is located in the Baramulla district, 57 km southwest from Srinagar. At an astonishing elevation of 2,730 meters above sea level. Its gently sloping topography makes it an ultimate destination for those interested in skiing. In fact, the hill resort of Gulmarg literally means ‘the meadow of flowers.’ You can easily hire at this unique heli-skiing resort in Asia, all equipments required for touring as well as adventure sports. With all equipments and ski instructors at hand, Gulmarg is worth your vacation. The skiing season in Gulmarg. is from November to February. Even amateurs can enjoy with the ski lifts and the chair lifts. Gulmarg also boasts of a dazzlingly beautiful green golf course that happens to be the world’s highest. Besides, there are excellent locations for playing golf and long walks. In case you take up the outer circle walk you can enjoy the pine forests and wonderful vistas. The beauty of the Kashmir valley will not fail to hypnotise you. Then there are the Nanga Parbat and the Haramukh that you would love to explore. So if you fancy some time away from life’s hustle and bustle, Gulmarg is the perfect choice.

Pahalgam: Located at an altitude of about 2,130 meters, Pahalgam is situated at the confluence of the two streams flowing from the Lidder River and the Sheshnag Lake. The beautiful hill resort lies at a distance of 95 km from Srinagar. Also known as the shepherd’s village, Pahalgam also lets you the wonderful opportunity to see large herds of sheep and goats grazing over the vast green cover on the hills. Pahalgam, a beautiful and unspoiled hill resort is worth a visit for its snow-clad peaks, virgin pine forests, dense cedar forests, clear mountain streams, majestic glaciers, pleasant cool winds and meadows of wildflowers. And that is not all! You may also engage in the amazing adventure sports or visit the holy cave shrine of Amarnath. A meadow called, Baisaran, about 5km from

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Pahalgam at an elevation of 150 meters, provides magnificent views over the town and the Lidder valley. Pine forests and the snowclad mountains surround the grassy glen. One can hire ponies for this trek from the town. A travel of 11-km beyond Baisaran will take you to the Tulian Lake at an elevation of 3,353 meters. It is covered in ice for much of the year and surrounded by peaks, which rise more than 300 meters above its shores. It also can be reached by pony trek.

The alpine weather is mild and pleasant in the summer from April to June, while winters from November to February are cold with heavy snowfall. The rainy seasons of July and August see scores of Hindu pilgrims visit the holy cave of Amarnath, the abode of Lord Shiva, as Pahalgam is the starting point of the Amarnath Yatra. The Liddar valley, located on the shores of the Liddar River, is known for its picnic spots. The Liddar River is popular among travellers interested in angling and trout fishing.

Excursions: Chandanwari (starting point of Amarnath Yatra), Mamaleshwara (ancient Shiva Temple), Tulian Lake (frozen lake – good for adventure sports) and Aru (ravishing grasslands) are the main excursion centres.

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