The meadow of flowers, Gulmarg is about 50 km from Srinagar, situated at an altitude of 2,730 m. It turns into a meadow of romance in winter, a small ski resort where everyone knows everyone else. There are comfortable hotels and huts to stay in. It is the only ski-resort in the mighty Himalayas where you can ski with a magnificent view of the Karakorams. Gulmarg provides an altitude difference of over 1,500 m with lengths of more than 10 km. But presently only a ski-mountaineer can reach these higher slopes. Four ski-lifts and a chairlift are available but these are suitable for beginners only. Gulmarg is also the cheapest ski resort in the world to learn skiing. The latest Austrian and French equipment is available on hire. There is a ski school known as the Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering, which conducts 10 day and 21 day short ski courses for beginners and advanced skiers. The season is mid-December to mid-April and the road is kept open to Gulmarg throughout the winter with the help of powerful German machines. Apart from downhill skiing, one can also enjoy cross-country runs. An excursion to the shrine of Baba Reshi through the
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