Great Himalayan Drive Day 57: Time for snow in Gulmarg in Kashmir

Need to touch and feel snow – not just see. After all I am in the Himalayas. So off to Gulmarg it was. An eventful day – here is why:

* Conned by shop renting gumboots for the snow – paid Rs. 75 against official rate of Rs. 45.
* At Tangmarg, 12 kms before Gulmarg, I was told to get off to register my name with the police – only to be told later Indians don’t need to. But it gave some guides an opportunity to insist I need their services.
* The pesky behaviour of guides, pony owners and ski guides continued all day – stressed me, spoiling my mood.
* Was not allowed to take my car to the cable car – a half hour walk away – unless I had a hotel reservation within the skiing area. A guide promised I could if I hired his services for Rs. 500. Chose to walk, not even take a pony. No one said anything to local youth zipping around, honking away and littering beer bottles.
* Cable car ride more than worth it. Has two stops: Kongdori (3,050 m) and Affarwat (3,950 m). Hire a sledge up to the Line of Control – or border with Pakistan – where you can see a lone soldier standing guard in the snow. The futility of all this hostility! Cannot get closer – landmines have supposedly been placed in the area. Started snowing when I was there – rushed down lest bad weather leaves me stranded.
* People don’t desist from throwing garbage even at these pristine spots. ****!
* Saw some people ski all the way down to 2,650 m – what a feeling it must be? Why don’t I trust my clumsy self to ski too? Let me start with golf.

This trip was sponsored by TripAdvisor.in and Yatra.com.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. but even if you fall on the snow it does not hurt. but it takes the trainer forever to lift you up and put you back on your feet. i remember how my poor trainer struggled with me all the while with a sweet smile. hehehe

  2. Kashmir needs to learn from Ladakh regarding cleanliness. But I am sure they would end up teaching Ladakhis how to litter instead.

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