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Skiing In Kashmir

During British Raj in 1927 skiing was introduced in Gulmarg and now it is considered as the ski paradise of India. Just 50 kms from Srinagar, altitude 2730 meters. Gulmarg is worth seeing during the whole year. April to November Gulmarg’s large meadows & slopes are full of wild flowers. From November Gulmarg changes its scenery to one of the most beautiful falls in the world and then from December it’s full of snow and becomes one of the major attractions for adventure loving tourists.

Gulmarg enjoys the position of being one of the highest lift-served ski resorts in the world. This is due to setting-up of a Gandola Cable Car Lift from Gulmarg to kongdori and then to Apharwat top giving a downhill ski run of over 7 kms. Besides, three ski lifts and one chair lift also serves the resort, which are ideal for beginners and intermediate-level skiing, respectively.The Gulmarg itself sits in gently undulating meadows high above the Kashmiri plateau at about 2,730m.

Some of the best slopes in the country for beginners and intermediate skiers are available at Gulmarg. Skiing equipment is available on hire fromthe Ski-Shop. In winter Gulmarg natural slopes and inclines turn into the country premier skiing resort. Not all tourists who visit in winter come for skiing – some simply are there to watch the skiing or to enjoy a holiday in the snow. Many of these are infected with the excitement of the skiers, and have donned their first pair of skis within a short while of their arrival.

Among the multitudes of slopes, there are a few which are serviced by ski lifts. Most of the skiing becomes centred on these slopes, which are specially suited to beginners and intermediate level skiers, with ski runs ranging from 200m to 3kms, instructors are available for both levels.

Around the middle of December, before the Christmas, the skiing season in Gulmarg usually commences, which continues till the middle of April. In January-February, 1998 the first National Winter Games of India were held at Gulmarg, for which the facilities of the skiing resorts were highly improved and upgraded. The resort had two Kasse Bohrer snow beating machines used for preparing skiing slopes, and five snowmobiles, which are used for going up the mountain. Good quality equipment, including skis, boots, sticks, gloves and goggles can be hire on the spot from the Government-run ski shop. There are also experienced instructors available for supervising the visitors. Gulmarg is ideally acceptable for learning skiing, as it is probably the cheapest ski resort in the world.

Skiing Facilities Available

The facilities that are available here are the best in Asia. There are skiing schools that train the beginners on how to handle the powdery snow and the precautions that one must take while skiing. There are shops that give the equipment required on hire. And the gears and equipment provided is as good as you will get anywhere else in the world. There are good medical facilities as well in the region that takes care of any mishap that occurs on the slopes. Avalanche control facilities are also there but they need to be stepped up a bit.

As in the summer, when each individual sets his own pace for a holiday, so also in winter, skiing can be as adventurous as the holidaymaker can want.There are a number of slopes, not serviced by ski lifts, of varying lengths and gradients.

Each of these is quieter than the immensely popular ones with skilifts. Advanced skiers often trek in the snow for several hours to the very top of Apharwat peak, to make adescent lasting no more than 30 minutes. And now, with the operation of the Gulmarg Gondola Cable Car, it has become all the more convenient for skiing enthusiasts, as they can gain a ski run of nearly 3 kms with the help of this cable car which goes up to Kongdori.

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