Srinagar to Gulmarg - a drive to the beautiful valley


Please note this post is in continuation of my earlier post on the drive from Bangalore to Srinagar via Mughal Road. If you wish to read the same, please click here https://www.amitpahuja.com/single-post/2019/08/18/Is-Kashmir-safe-to-travel

This post contains our experiences of this road trip from Srinagar to Gulmarg only.

Stunning view of Gulmarg Valley

Day 7 - Srinagar Gulmarg, 56kms, 1:50 hrs (appx)

So today we wanted to keep it light for driving and decided to do Gulmarg which was not very far and the road to Gulmarg wasn’t very traffic heavy. We started early from the houseboat so that we can avoid the early morning city traffic. After saying goodbye to Javed and Basheer bhai, we continued our journey towards Gulmarg.

The drive to Gulmarg wasn’t that exciting to start with and we met with some morning traffic exiting the city. We also missed a turn and that lead to another route which was pretty narrow and lead us to a route that had a school in between and had a traffic blockage. This slowed us down and exiting Srinagar itself took us 40mins extra than planned time. After this we joined the state highway road which was ok..

The armour for today :)

The luggage waiting to be loaded while I was enjoying the Kashmiri Kahwa! (The Kashmiri Tea)

Kashmiri Kahwa TEa

Our beast waiting to be loaded..

Early morning drive through the Kasmiri galiyan

One of the main temples in Srinagar

Early morning drive through the Kashmiri galiyan

Look at the buildings here .. they have their own character

The sad part of every Indian city.. the garbage dumped on the road :(

Backwaters..

This then lead to National Highway and that was pretty empty, broad after a while it started getting interesting once we crossed Tangmarg.

Towards Gulmarg.. the roads were pretty wide and without much traffic at least early morning

Until this point one thing we observed is the presence of Indian Army on the roads .. I mean they were plenty and that makes you either secured or very uncomfortable and unsecured as sometimes it gives a feeling that there might be something wrong or sensitive in that area.. but we didn't face any issues while on this trip..

The diversion towards Gulmarg / Tangmarg

The route to Gulmarg

On The route to Gulmarg, we were stopped here to pay the toll/tax or entry fee to the Gulmarg valley. We paid the amount and moved forward!

We went to Tangmarg market to pickup some breakfast but couldn’t find much of our liking so we picked few samosas and continued to Gulmarg hoping to have the breakfast when we reach there.

We picked some Samosas and Farsaan from this shop just to fill or tummies a bit till we find a good place for breakfast. The samosas were real real good..

From Tangmarg the roads were very good, well maintained and had proper markings and road signs everywhere so it looked like it would be a good place with tourist amenities and we may find something to eat over there. We were right, as we reached the main parking lot of Gulmarg valley, there were a plenty of restaurants where we got something to eat, finally!

The route to Gulmarg

The roads were pretty good and well maintained. We loved the drive and the scenery around us..

The roads were literally empty and there were only very few tourist vehicle as well.. we thought maybe its because of we being early at this place ..

Beautiful drive to Gulmarg

Beautiful drive to Gulmarg

One of the viewing point we stopped for a quick photo break

Beautiful views of the valley

So here again we were stopped for a toll or entry ticket of 60Rs. We paid and continued..

Views from the top

As soon as we were about to reach the parking area, we saw some people coming to us and realised that these are the local folks who are either guides, horse men or salesmen of chocolates, snacks etc. which is the only source of income for these localites..

All the guides, horse men waiting for their customers for today

We were approached by a number of these folks and we told them that we would be having breakfast first and then decide on anything to be done at Gulmarg. So we had breakfast while these folks were waiting surrounding us. It was very annoying but we couldn’t do anything to get rid of them, hence we enjoyed our breakfast calmly.