How to get to Gulmarg?

You don’t get to Gulmarg from somewhere; you go to Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, and then drive up to Gulmarg.

Getting to Srinagar

Getting to Srinagar is not a big deal – its relatively well connected to major Indian cities like Delhi and Mumbai (Bombay). There are regular flights. Other means are taking a train from Delhi to Jammu Tawi, the winter capital of the J&K State. And from Jammu you could take a Taxi or a bus to Srinagar. Alternatively, one could drive all the way to Srinagar from Delhi, using a personal car, a Taxi, or even a hired minivan like Tata Sumo, which works out well if you are in a group. In winters, you need to be careful about driving between Jammu and Srinagar as mud slides can render the National Highway No. 1 blocked, and you may get stranded for days sometimes. But what the heck – that itself is an experience. Imagine spending a night or two in Ramban or Batote, etc. – small towns situated next to river Chenab, as the highway meanders through the Himalayan ranges into the Kashmir valley.

Check some pictures that detail the travel between Punjab and Srinagar – covering the section of Jammu to Srinagar in detail

Some flight details:

Jet Airways (www.jetairways.com)
Kingfisher Airlines (www.flykingfisher.com)
Indian Airlines (www.indian-airlines.nic.in)
Air Deccan (www.airdeccan.net)
SpiceJet (www.spicejet.com)

Booking well in advance online can get you return fares in the range of Rs5000 for first three, and about Rs3,500 for the last two budget airlines.

Security checks for flight to and from Srinagar are an experience. Being perhaps one of the most vulnerable air sectors, its actually pretty secure. Security is air-tight.

Getting to Gulmarg  from Srinagar

The drive from Srinagar is about 2-3 hours (55km) - depending on which part of Srinagar do you start. On a busy morning day, it can easily take up to an hours just to get to the outskirts of sprwaling Srinagar. Its best to leave in early morning hours.

Its fine to drive yourself, if you are used to driving on Indian roads. Else, best is to take a taxi cab (more commonly referred to as Taxi in India). There are JKRTC buses that go to Gulmarg also, but as a tourist you can easily avoid that.

You can take a pre-paid taxi directly from Srinagar airport. Sample fare is about Rs1,250 for a day trip. If you book in advance, it’s about Rs900.

The taxi stand is in front of the J&K TDC (Jammu & Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation) Tourist Reception Centre [Telephone: +91-194- 245-2527).

Important for day visitors: When a friend visited Gulmarg in summer, as he drove in, he got a rude shock when the car was not allowed to go past into much of the town. What the government official at the barrier wanted to see was a confirmed letter of reservation in one of the Gulmarg hotels. So if you are going there on a day trip, either (manage somehow and) carry that letter or you can park the car at the car/taxi/local bus stand and then you would either have to walk your way, or get on the back of a pony. Which would probably be true even if you wanted to take an on-the-spot room in one of the hotels. Or better, just be prepared to be greeted to such whimsical direction/instruction from the local authorities. They can try very well, but with certain things, they just can’t seem to make any sense. Or, there may be other motives that may be working behind the scenes – like probably an intention to maximise the income for the pony wallahs.


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20 Responses to “How to get to Gulmarg?”

  1. Read a very real account of travel to Kashmir and Gulmarg further on to skiing experiences: http://lynnbraz.blogspot.com/2007/02/heaven-on-earth.html

  2. Must leave this link for others coming on this site:
    http://paulseagypsy.wordpress.com/2007/08/29/one-of-the-most-challenging-yet-rewarding-experiences-of-my-life/
    Particularly interesting in the account is how good a salesmen are the Kashmiris.

  3. Hello! Could you please suggest me:
    - variants how to reach Gulmarg from Srinagar
    - how to oder this service via internet
    - the price
    *we are 9-10 persons

  4. Try taking a taxi, but make it a four wheel drive one, because the resort is at 9000 ft. Watch out for the cows in the road and make sure you visit the tomb of Baba Reshi in Tanmarg. The cricket is pretty good at 10,000 feet, but only in Summer.

  5. For 9-10 people (and otherwise) best is to take two taxis. Taxis can be hired from the Tourist Reception Center. But the most usual way is to find out from around where you are staying. Like owner/manager of the hotel or houseboat, for example. That way there will be a reference point – a recommendation from someone you know. Don’t worry too much about if the recommender takes a handred or two from in between. That’s usual in Kashmir.
    Most relevant thing is that taxis will be easily available. You don’t have to really book one online or even well in advance. Kashmir is a very entrepreneurial and market driven society. If there is market demand, anything and everything is available! If you want, you can call up the place you are staying at and have them reserve a taxi contact for you.
    Other than cars (private or taxi), there is not really another viable alternative.

  6. Hi!
    I am hoping to come to Gulmarg in early Feb-08 for 5-7 days of snowboarding. I am looking out for company.
    Please reply to sathwick@gmail.com
    -Sath

  7. Thanks – very informative for any one planning a visit to Kashmir and Gulmarg.

  8. Hassan Visham Says:

    pls kindly send me a your hotel price list for january 2009.

    for 2pax 1 week

    visham2308@hotmail.com

    rgds
    Vishma

  9. Is it possible to get to Gulmarg overland from Islamabad? It appears relatively close as the crow flies.

  10. From Islamabad, you mean from Pakistan’s capital city? (There is another town called Islamabad in the valley itself – actually Anantnag).
    Then I am afraid you cannot. Unless of course, you fly like a crow ;)
    If and when the trade and travel routes open to the Pakistani side of Kashmir, it may become useful to travel from that side to Gulmarg. Gulmarg itself is pretty close to the line of control (actual international border). The Line of Control is apparently no more than 20km away and one of the Indian Army posts can be seen if you are out skiing along the ridgeline.
    Islamabad could still be around 150 km away, however.

  11. Ajoy Ghosh Says:

    Hello,
    I will come Srinagar At 25th may 2009.I am looking for -

    - what are the sites to watch in Srinagar
    - how to reach Gulmarg from Srinagar
    - how to oder this service via internet
    - the price
    Could you please suggest me: “jagdalpur@mail.com”

  12. Is it possible for non skiers(people who have never done sking before) to try sking in gulmarg. is sking open in may-june??

  13. raj saini Says:

    Hi. im travelling with a group of 16 people. Landing on 18 june and the moving to Phealgam and on 22 moving back to srinagar, planning to see the city on 23 and on 25 to gulmarg and 25 is airport drop.

    Should i take 2 Qualis or one temp traveller and where can i book them?

    Thanks

    Raj

  14. md sahazid Says:

    hi friends i have booked a tour to srinagar on june last for 3 days .can any one tell me the tata sumo fair to gulmarg and sonmarg .pl mail me msd_sd@rediff.com

  15. Hello,

    I will come Srinagar on 6/7th DEc 2009.I am looking for -

    - This is 4-5 days plan for two person.
    - what are the sites to watch in Srinagar
    - how to reach Gulmarg from Srinagar
    - how to order this service via internet
    - what will be price for all booking?
    - can i get any cheap an best travel agent from delhi?
    - please send me some number where i can contact for these inquires?

    Could you please suggest me:vermasunil_14in@rediffmail.com

    Thanks in advance for providing information.

  16. Hi guys,

    just got back from Gulmarg today, a truly amazing place. I thought I would post some of my transport recommendations:

    - Tourist information will only tell you about a jeep and a bus
    - Shared taxi costs around 1300 Rs per day, bus costs 180 Rs return
    - Bus leaves Srinagar at 9 AM and leaves Gulmarg at 5 PM
    - They are interested in selling you the shared taxi (commission)
    - There is an option of using a shared taxi from “General Bus Station” to Tangmarg (45 Rs), which is right under the hills and then to Gulmarg (20 Rs).

    I took a bus this morning and locals were shouting at the driver for driving so slow, almost looked like they were gonna start fighting.

    On the way back, it was 5:30 and the bus was still only half full and so who knows when we would leave. I simply left the bus and got into the first shared jeep (sumo) I could find.

    Hope this helps

  17. Sorry, I mean to say:

    - They are interested in selling you the day taxi (commission)

  18. Abhinav Gupta Says:

    iam planning to come to gulmarg with my 4- 5 friends in sept starting , could it be possible for us to do sking in gulmarg or not …

  19. Hi All,

    I have planned to visit kashmir during the second week of February and the tickets have been booked for the same starting from Hyderabad to Jammu and then Jammu to Srinagar, i am worried about the route between Jammu to Srinagar – whether the current weather conditions in Kashmir would allow us to travel? I heard that most of the times the roads are bloked to Srinagar due to snow fall and bad road conditions, does this continues now as well?

    You advise on the above would be much appreciated, thanks
    Rahman

  20. pls tusi mainu meri mail te gulmarg de weather bare plz daso te hotels bare vi daso plz plz plz

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