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Gulmargs legendary beauty, prime location and proximity to Srinagar naturally make it one of the premier hill resorts in the country, in addition to Pahalgam and to some extend Sonamarg in Kashmir.

While Gulmarg is an all-weather resort with refreshing summer meadows and pastoral scenes to keep the camera busy, the main reason to come here, at least in winter, is the off-piste, deep-powder, long-run skiing and snowboarding. The Himalayan resort of Gulmarg is one of the newest and increasingly popular ski destinations.

The journey to Gulmarg is half the enchantment of reaching there roads bordered by rigid avenues of poplar give over to flat expanses of rice fields interspersed with picturesque villages. Depending on the season, natures colours could be the translucent green of spring, summers rich emerald, or autumns golden hues, when scarlet chillies festoon windows of village homes. After Tangmarg, the climb to Gulmarg begins through fir-covered hillsides. At one point, known simply as View Point, travellers generally stop their vehicles for a few minutes and look out a spectacle of snow-covered mountains, almost within touching distance.

Gulmargs gondola, which is the highest in the world, is split into two phases. The upper phase allows access to the really good terrain, and this lone ticket office is the gate keeper to that Himalayan powder. The upper phase often didnt open until midday (for no particular reason), but when it did, it offers access to perhaps the finest lift-accessed powder slopes in the world.

Though skiing in Gulmarg is well established, snowboarding still seems to be a relatively new phenomenon. These soldiers were keen to give it a try and we were happy to let them. After all, they were the ones with the guns.The ski resort of Gulmarg is remarkably easy to access, especially compared to other Himalayan resorts and hill stations such as Manali in Himachal Pradesh. In terms of travel time, its pretty much three hours from Delhi. All major airlines have daily flights from Delhi to Srinagar. The flight takes an hour and 15 minutes. From Srinagar, a prepaid taxi will get you to the twinkling lights of the small Gulmarg ski resorts, 45km away (one-and-a-half hours by car).

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