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Skiing in Kashmir

One of the major attractions for adventure loving tourists is skiing in the Himalayas. Gulmarg, the best ski resort in the Himalayas, was first established by the British in 1927, when two British Army Officers, Maj. Metcarp and Maj. Hadow had setup the Ski Club of India at Gulmarg.

Skiing had become very popular during the pre-independence years and Gulmarg used to host two main events, one each during Christmas and Easter. In 1938-39 about 500 skiers are reported to have participated in the Christmas and Easter ski races.

Gulmarg is one of the highest lift-served ski resorts in the world. This is due to setting-up of a Gondola Cable Car Lift. The second section of the lift takes one to a height of app. 4000 mts, giving a downhill ski run of about 5 kms. Daily, weekly & seasonal passes can be purchased for availing the Gondola facility.

In addition, three ski lifts also service the resort, which are suitable for beginners and intermediate-level skiing, respectively.

The skiing season in Gulmarg usually commences before Christmas (around middle of December) and continues till middle of April. In January-February, 1998 the first National Winter Games of India were held at Gulmarg, for which the facilities were enormously improved and upgraded. The resort acquired two Kasse Bohrer Snow Beating Machines used for preparing skiing slopes, and five snowmobiles. Good quality equipment, including skis, boots, sticks, gloves and goggles are available on hire on the spot from the J&K Tourism owned ski shop. There are also trained instructors available for guiding the tourists. Gulmarg is ideally suited for learning skiing and the most enjoyable aspect of a winter sojourn in Gulmarg is the friendly atmosphere. It is like being in a family where everybody knows every one else.

Gulmarg has also been the venue of the fourth & fifth editions of the National Winter Games in 2004 & 2008.Thereafter , every year national winter games are held at Gulmarg. Winter Games Federation of India has declared Gulmarg as the Winter Games Capital of India. The only FIS (Federation of International Skiing) approved event in India has also been held in Gulmarg – “The Himalayan International Cross Country Ski Championship” in 2005.

Many foreign skiers visit Gulmarg and stay there for extended periods. For managing mountain operations, every year the Tourism Department engages a Ski Patrol Team, headed by accredited foreign experts.

Skiing in Gulmarg
Gulmarg Skiing