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Ranked by CNN International the seventh best ski destination in Asia, Gulmarg's average elevation is more than 8,800 feet above sea level. Despite being garrisoned by the Indian Army and located in restive Kashmir, mere miles from the disputed India-Pakistan border, Gulmarg is a safe, low-profile town. Its excellent ski conditions and infrastructure have made it a popular site for winter sports enthusiasts throughout Asia and beyond. Visitors should note that Gulmarg is located near Srinagar, and can be visited on a day trip.
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Hike to the peak of Apharwat Mountain and enjoy the dramatic views of the surrounding countryside. Afterwards, embark on a moderate uphill climb to Alpather Lake, an alpine lake that remains frozen well into each June.
Nanga Parbat Hike
Another worthwhile Hike is a 7-mile (11 kilometer) circuit through the pine forests around Gulmarg; this route offers stirring views of Nanga Parbat, the ninth highest mountain on Earth at a height of 26,660 feet (8,126 meters).
Not only is Gulmarg is home to excellent, world-class ski terrain, but it is also not as visited as other skiing areas in Asia. As a result, skiers and snowboarders can pack in many runs per day on the slopes' pristine powder.
Other activities around Gulmarg include trekking, hiking, mountain biking, snowboarding, and long-distance skiing. In summer months, horseback riding, water-skiing, and fishing are popular activities, as well as golfing; Gulmarg features one of the highest altitude golf courses in the world.
Enjoy a ride on the Gulmarg Gondola, the second highest in the world and a stunning achievement in engineering. The Gondola's way station sits atop the summit of Apharwat Mountain, 13,780 feet (4,200 meters) above sea level.
The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa
A world away from the ordinary, the Khyberâ€™s eighty-five rooms and suites offer floor-to-ceiling views of the surrounding countryside, tasteful furniture, plush beds, and elegant decor. Ride the worldâ€™s highest ski lift, the Gulmarg Gondola, a short walk from the resort, and trek through meadows and forests that have enchanted travellers for centuries. Clad in locally sourced pine and slate, the resort is built in a style true to the architectural heritage of Kashmir. Specialty restaurants include Cloves, which serves a variety of world cuisines at its venue overlooking the forested mountains; Nouf, a casual dining spot that features barbecue served on a terrace with views overlooking the mountains; and Chaikash and Calabash, two tea and hookah lounges. Amenities include a cigar lounge, a well-appointed spa, a heated swimming pool, a childrenâ€™s club, and a mini theatre. The Khyber is a scenic, ninety minute drive from Srinagar airport.