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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Skiing In Gulmarg

It is that time of the year again when most adventure are planing a trip to the magnificent Gulmarg. This is no doubt the best place in India to indulge in skiing. I went there two years in a row this time of the year. Sadly, I might not be able to make it there this time. But I plan to relive the moments of my last trip to Gulmarg. 

Under the silken sheet of snow covering everything you can see as far as possible, Gulmarg is beautiful. And the moment you stand on the tip of a slope and look downwards, the adrenaline starts running to your head. Gulmarg is located at a distance of 50 km from Srinagar and is situated at an altitude of 2730 mt. It is in the Beginning of December that snow also makes appearance. The number of foreign tourists is simply mind boggling. I have not been to many skiing resorts but I certainly think that the facilities that are provided here should be as good as any where else in the world and that is what attracts so many international tourists to this small and beautiful town. 

Regular use of Snow beating machines make the slopes absolutely perfect for slopping. I'm absolutely novice in skiing; well I was when I started going to Gulmarg, but I was absolutely comfortable and perfected the art of skiing in very little time. The instructors here are qualified and were simply outstanding in making you get acquainted to this beautiful sport of beautiful hills. Of course, watching professional skiers in action helps you a lot and there are tons of them here. Gulmarg, from even before independence has been a destination for international ski championships and they continue till today. 

For starters and for kids, it is advised that you start with less steeper slopes. Get used to the conditions and the sport itself before you try to go higher towards the top. Believe me, it is worth getting perfect and only then moving up. Beacause a perfect run down the slope from higher spots is an experience that is unmatched and unmatchable. 

And for the information, Gulmarg is the world's highest lift served ski resort in the world. The gondola lift takes you up to Apharwat peak which is the base for heli-skiing. Gulmarg is the only ski resort in India where heli skiing is possible. 

Though it is quite close to Srinagar, there is no need to look for an accommodation in Srinagar. There are ample guest houses in Gulmarg. However, once the season starts, they get filled up at the rate of knox. You can drive down to Gulmarg from Srinagar or take a taxi or a bus. The frequency of buses is quite good.

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