Camping

Camping in Gulmarg

The meadow of flowers or Gulmarg offers ample scope for camping amidst breathtaking landscape and long lasting beauty. Though there are a few tour operators who offer camping facility, the tourists feel it more apt to camp on any place. Many tourists camp along the many rivers that flow nearby. Ningli Nallah is one stream, which is just 8 km from Gulmarg, which has its origin in Allapatri Naag and it runs through picturesque villages named Wagoora and Kalantara. Tourists often trek down this distance and set their camps alongside the stream.
Just 5 km from Gulmarg, is Ferozepur Nallah, a stream which flows through Chinamarg and Nurpur Pass which has beautiful camping site along its path. The best part is that fishing is allowed here and makes for an excellent place for angling. Also, if you arrive here in winters, skiing is an excellent option on the nearby mountain slopes.

Camping Tips
When you pay for an organized camp, most facilities are included. However, not every operator can envisage every condition and it is better to be prepared and visit the camp with your own precautions. The list is as under:
1.    Medicated Lozenges High altitudes can block nose &chest at night. Mint or menthol lozenges can come handy.
2.    An extra hanging Lamp Though tour operators have everything on them, and organize a camp fire at night but an extra lamp can enliven your spot especially after the fire has died out. Sometimes when everyone dozes off, a hanging light can simply light up the nearby area and make for some exotic & exclusive photographs.
3.    Glucose Tabs/powder/lozengesHigh altitudes make you nauseate and sometimes you don’t feel like eating anything. Popping a couple of glucose tabs or swallowing some glucose powder helps maintain energy.
4.    Antacid Tab/Liquid Sometimes the cook’s food on the tour may not suit everyone resulting in bloating or indigestion. Antacid pouch/tablet/liquid can easily ease the situation and you may continue on your schedule.
5.    Fine Sewing Needle Rough terrains often have thorns and bushes that may pierce awkwardly on our skin. Fine sewing needles help removing them else it can mar your entire day. A fine needle comes handy. By chance if any dress is either torn or ruptured, a sewing needle at least can help you tide over the situation.

Average Camping Tariffs
Most tour operators offer swiss type luxury tents with varying facilities. They include an attached wash room, a heater and room service and all meals.

Charges: Rs 7,200 per person per night and above.

For portable camps, you need to enquire from various vendors, if you plan to take them along with you on trekking and like to set up near the Nallahs or on meadows.

Example Camp -  http://www.gulmargmeadows.com/ paradise camping resort etc

Adventure Facilities in and around Gulmarg
Trekking is the main adventure activity which most tourists opt for. However, there are some other activities introduced recently, like Zorbing. The usual adventures people indulge in are:
1.    Zorbing
2.    Trekking
3.    Skiing & Heli Skiing in winters
4.    Ice Skating on Skating Rink and on frozen rivers
5.    Paragliding
6.    Snow Shoeing
7.    Sledding / Sledging / Tobogganing
8.    Mountain Biking
9.    Rock Climbing
10.  Pony – Horse Riding

How to Reach Gulmarg

By Air
Gulmarg boasts of its Sheikh-Ul-Alam International Airport at Srinagar, which is just 56 kilometers away. All major cities including Delhi, Mumbai and Amritsar have direct flights to Jammu and the fares are easy on the pocket. Tourists can hire either cabs or local taxis.

If you are a couple, try hiring a shared taxi for much less price. Negotiate before you settle down as some operators become noisy when arriving at your destination.

By Rail
Nearest railhead is Jammu/Udhampur i.e. 180/242 kilometers respectively. Jammu being the oldest among the two has maximum trains whereas Udhampur is getting the newly introduced trains. Some of the trains departing from Udhampur to Delhi are: Himsagar express that touches the farthest station Trivandrum, Andaman express, Uttar Sampark Kranti express etc.

Local taxis and cabs are available at both stations for various destinations in the valley. If travelling in a group you can also hire mini buses. We advise to negotiate beforehand and never turn to other operator midway, as noisy scenes are reported. Couples and small families can try hiring a shared taxi and you can save much money travelling.

By Road
Gulmarg is well connected with all cities within Kashmir. State run buses / private luxury buses / taxis / cabs are available. It is 57 kilometers from Srinagar and it takes around 2 hours due to the high altitude snake bends consuming most time at hills.

Buses / taxis / cabs are also available from Udhampur and Jammu. The buses are rickety and not so comfortable and take maximum time to reach. The cabs may charge more but drop you quickly and offer convenience of stopping anywhere en route to click pictures and easing out.

Special Tip

If you can wait for a few minutes, even rigid cab owners give in to charging per person. This benefits all individual passengers and couples because booking a full cab means paying manifold.

Driving Own Vehicle

If you are travelling on own vehicle we recommend you to change your tyres with those that can handle roads in this region. It can make a huge difference in costing and budget travelers should consider another mode of travel.

Best Time to Visit Gulmarg

All through the year Gulmarg is inviting, especially true in winters. Depending on what you are looking for, you can plan your trip.

Kashmir, the Paradise on Earth, excels other destinations all through the year. Though the best times to visit can be divided into three distinct seasons namely, Summer, Monsoon and Winters, the rest of the year also springs many surprises not witnessed by many.

The summer season ranges from March till mid June. The real Gulmarg with most flowers blooming now justify the name “Meadow of Flowers.” Apt for all types of adventure sports because the maximum temperatures rarely cross 29 degrees. Even the lowest seldom dive below 13 and tourists can enjoy the comfortable climes. The leftover snow amuses many especially at very high altitudes. This is one of the busiest seasons this hill station observes.

Next is the Monsoon season which settles in July and lasts till mid-September. The period receives moderate rainfall and does not create any major disruption in day-to-day activities. This is the best season to enjoy Adventure Sports in Gulmarg. Couples often make a beeline to visit here because of the mystic environs the rainy clouds create. Many hotels offer attractive discounts to lure the casual tourists. This period is an off-season in tourism lingo but rarely does it go empty.

The Snowy season usually starts from November and lasts till February-March. The temperatures range from -4 to 11 degrees and despite the freezing climes, you won’t find a single soul complaining. Most skiing and skating enthusiasts arrive in big numbers and is termed as the 2nd most busy season. Many of the tourists’ line up the hills to watch the snowboarders in action and come here equipped with their best cameras to capture the moments.

Honeymooners and “just-got-the-leave” tourists benefit from those in-between days and months of the above specific seasons. They get to see the best of the ending season and the beginning of the next season beauties. This happens because no season stops abruptly or starts on any particular date.

Ironically, they get to capture some unseen vistas in both text & pics and can happily write home about.

These are short off-seasons and the tourists benefit from very low package deals and discounts on almost everything they can lay their hands on.

All through the year Gulmarg is inviting, especially true in winters. Depending on what you are looking for, you can plan your trip.


Other Major Activities

Do's

  • Do make sure you get back to the campsite before dark.
  • Do go hiking accompanied by at least one person. Make your co-travellers informed.
  • Do bring with your insect repellents.
  • Do try to leave the least carbon footprints.

Don'ts

  • Don't try to feed or harass the wildlife.
  • Don't try to enter a private property.
  • Don't leave back any uneaten food in natural areas.
  • Don't try to sleep in the same clothing that you wore during the day.

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