Gulmarg – The Land of Flower, Foliage and Fountain

Beauty pleases the eyes and appeals to the mind. A flower in any form, color or fragrance is the insignia of beauty. Despite its delicacies, a flower is more formidable than fire and iron. Flowers are the best gift of nature. The main reason for discontentment of mind, heart and spirit is remaining too much in-door and keeping away from the nurturing restorative powers of nature. The trees and foliage, the fruit and flowers, the ripples on the lake and the shadows on the grass are the gifts of nature to the visitors to Gulmarg.

Jehangir, the Mughal emperor who conceptualized Taaj Mahal has deep aesthetic insight. He frequently visited Gulmarg, located in Jammu and Kashmir and was so enticed with the flowers found there that he collected 21 different kinds of sapling of flowers for his own garden palace. Today, tourists with special liking for flowers never fail to pay a visit to Gulmarg, because besides satiating their esthetic needs they can experience the thrill and excitement of moving on the highest Gondola or cable car of the world. One can have descents of up to 1,800 vertical meters.

Gulmarg is not only about nature. It is about adventure and sports too. Snow skiing is the best of adventure not only to witness in movies, but also to learn and experience the pumping out of adrenalin, too. Claims of fame have it that Gulmarg have it that the highest golf course in the world and is known as the ‘Heartland of Winter Sports in India’. Activities such as Sledging and horse riding could be taken up during summer.

Climate poses no restriction on tourists to visit Gulmarg at time during the year. Yet, the period during November to February is the best for skiing and other adventure sports. The Gulmarg Snow Festival has started from 2003, thus adding to the attraction of the tourists. The period of summer, during May to September attracts a large number of tourists, because the golf course remains uncovered by snow and tourists can hire golf sets from the Gulmarg Golf Club.

Major tourists’ attractions at Gulmarg are Alpather Lake, Baba Reshi Shrine, Gondal Cable Car to Kongdor, Khilanmarg, Maharani Temple and St Mary’s Church. In order to make the best of the visit to Gulmarg, it is advisable to hire the services of a good guide

Maharani Temple is a Shiva Temple and is also known as Monineshwar Shivalay. Tourist of all religious faith pay visit to the Mazaar Sherif of Baaba Reshi and with his holy bliss get their wishes fulfilled. Khilanmarg is about 6 km from Gulmarg and is famous for winter ski runs and Gondala. The glittering ripples of the Alpather Lake could be enjyed by travelling 13 km farther from Gulmarg, at the foot of Apharwat peaks.

It cannot be denied that a person can derive deeper feelings of spiritual inspiration even from an ordinary flower or a piece of foliage or the sprinkling water of foundation that he may find in abundance during his visit to Gulmarg.

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