Like a regular north Indian Guy, I was always fascinated by snow, never ever experienced the joy of snowfall or skiing down the slopes, I always dreamed of having a winter paradise holiday. And like millions of us, I googled it and my search results came down to Gulmarg, known in world for best white powder skiing and great Kashmiri Hospitality.
So I decided to book an Airplane Ticket from Delhi to Srinagar, and planned a 5 day holiday in Kashmir, with 4 days focused in Gulmarg, luckily enough I was joined by my College friend and we had the trip of our lifetime and here are my best experiences.
#1. First View From the room
As soon as we opened up the window, seeing so much snow in one breath it felt majestic and those icelings were truly magical.
P.s. It was a budget room with all the amenities Priced at Rs.1200 for Double bed with Geysir, Heated Bed and inroom heater. Hotel Affarfwat, it is, and Kashmiri Hospitality, words cant describe the beautiful essence and honesty they have in Their Hearts.
#2. Skiing from the Beginner Slopes
We tried skiing a lot, but after falling 100 times, I lost my hopes and then enjoyed people making those sharp and crisp turns, which I could never do, my Friend did a better than me, so I tried to compete but ultimately gave up, we also both did zorbing from the same slopes and that was quite fun.
#3. Taking Gondola Ride
One of the highest Gondolas In the world, and the vast expanse of snow you see as it goes up, the skiing trails made by people on those virgin slopes, You would enjoy typical Kashmiri Food such as Mutton Biryani, and definitely our all time favourite Maggi at Phase 1 but in Phase 2, you would be blown by the landscapes and the hill views. Walk as much as you can in snow, in order to see Nature Glance at you in bewilderment.
We rented a snowmobile for 30-35 mins where we could rover it around on phase 1, along with the guide, and he drove us at speed of around only 30km/hr, par it was heart thumping all the time, especially went it went down on the slope, he took us to a point where we could see the sun setting in the moutains and also there was a Bollywood movie being shot, par it was quite at a distance. Total Cost was 1500 for two of us for half an hour.
#5. Snow Roller Coaster
This is the most adrenaline pumping experience of my life by far, where we got these snow scooters, actually it were wooden made small plank with space to sit (in hindi “lakdi ki kaati”), and he told us that by steering it and with pressur of our feet we should ride it till the base point, and it would be fun 20-25 minute ride, par it was so damn thrilling, the slopes were super sharp and steep and I crashed over 10 times, I was not hurt at all as Gulmarg snow is softer than cotton and quite salty, as I tasted it while I was falling, and Having done almost all the adventure sports (just left with Skydiving) and more than 100 roller coasters in USA and European Theme parks, nothing can beat this nature made thriller.
Costed only Rs.100 per scooter, memories worth Lifetime.
#6. Meeting Kashmiri College Guys
After the fun filled more than expected adventurous day, we sat on a small dhaba and ordered Kahwa (Kashmiri tea filled with dry fruits) and mutton, and since Gulmarg is mostly a day tour from Srinagar, all the touristic taxis had gone, so we were like the only remaining species there, and luckily a gang of 5 boys entered, at first we were quite skeptical and afraid to talk, but then slowly we got to talk, and it was an awesome conversation, where we talked about our college studies, curfews in Kashmir, food and girls of Kashmir, cancelled Metallica concert and how it feels to live in Kashmir.
DAY 2 EXPERIENCES IN NEXT POST