Some 56km west of Srinagar and at an elevation of around 2700m, Gulmarg, whose name means “flower meadow”, is a pleasant escape from the city but is rather more geared towards domestic tourists and can get very crowded. It is also rather spread out, with no discernible centre. The meadow itself is 1km wide and more than 3km long, allowing ample room for picnics, pony rides and even one of the world’s highest golf courses. The surrounding pine slopes can be ascended for a distant view of Nanga Parbat (8126m) to the north, in Pakistan-controlled Baltistan. Less active visitors can ascend one of these slopes on the Gulbarg Gondola, the world’s highest cable car. From mid-December to mid-March, the gondola is used to get to the top of Gulmarg’s skiing slopes, which are underused but highly recommended for the quality of powdery snow.

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