One of the most visited spots in the Kashmir area is Gulmarg, which is a mere 52 kilometres away from the summer capital of the region, Srinagar City. Gulmarg is legally considered a town (or better, a notified area), but it has an extremely small permanent population. This is because there are laws in effect that prevent people from staying there overnight, which results in a good number of the tourists vacationing in the area going up to the resort town by day but coming back down to stay in Srinagar or nearby Tanmarg (a mere half-hour away) by night.
Gulmarg is considered the main resort town of India despite the no-permanent-residents rule in effect, and for good reason. This site boasts one of the most impressive ski slopes in the continent-one so high, in fact, that it also required the construction of one of the highest cable car lifts in the world to service it. This lift is in fact one of the attractions of the area: a 3,700-metre high cable car ride that has been touted to be the second-highest of its kind worldwide.
The impressive cable car height notwithstanding, what really capture tourists’ attention in the town are the sites you find at the end of the ride. Here you have some absolutely stunning views of the Kashmir as well as a nigh-unparalleled set of slopes that rival the longest and highest slopes in the globe. Skiing is by far the most popular activity once the powder starts to pile up in late December, but there are other snow sportsmen present too: there is snowboarding and sledding, for example. Furthermore, the resort town does not lack offerings even once the snows melt away: here you shall find the highest golf course in the globe that remains green at its altitude. Treks happen pretty often here too, as do people riding horses on the trails.
Something that needs to be mentioned about the area, though, is that its surroundings are fairly heavily militarised. This comes about as a result of both its history and its geographic situation, although people would argue that the former is actually a consequence of the latter. If you check a map of the Kashmir, you shall find Gulmarg’s location to be quite near the LOC or Line of Control, formerly known as the Cease-fire Boundary of the territory. This is a border still heavily disputed by Pakistan, which insists that it is an illegal demarcation. India, on the other hand, has long insisted that the fence along the LOC was needed to control the influx of militants to J&K (Jammu and Kashmir).
Whatever the case, you should not let this stop you from visiting Gulmarg, unless some very heavy hostilities suddenly break out while you are travelling. It has been noted that violence has decreased significantly in the region in the past decade and that tourism is indeed among the prime economic forces in the area now, which signifies a growing trust on the part of international travellers in the security of the location.