Gulmarg is a town, a hill station, & a popular skiing destination. The town is situated in the Pir Panjal Range in the western Himalayas in the Baramula district of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It was renamed to Gulmarg (“meadow of flowers”) by Sultan Yusuf Shah of the Chak Dynasty who frequented the place with his queen Habba khatoon in the 16th century. Gulmarg lies in a cup shaped valley in the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas, at an altitude of 2,650 m (8,694 ft), 56 km from Srinagar.
The Department of Tourism of the Government of India invited Rudolph Matt, in 1960 to select a suitable location for such purpose. Matt zeroed in on Gulmarg as suitable location for development of a Winter sports destination in India. In 1968, Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering was established in Gulmarg to train ski instructors.
Over the next decade Indian planners invested ₹30 million (US$420,000) to transform Gulmarg into a world-class ski destination. Gulmarg became a center for skiers from Asian nations. Winter sports like skiing, tobogganing, snowboarding and heli-skiing take place on the slopes of Mount Apharwat reachable by a Gondola lift. According to CNN, Gulmarg is the “heartland of winter sports in India” and was rated as Asia’s seventh best ski destination.
Situated at an altitude of 2,650 m, it is the highest green golf course in the world. The historic Gulmarg Golf Club was started in 1911 by the British who used the place as a holiday resort. The origin of Gulmarg as the golfing centre of India goes back to the late 19th century when a 6-hole course was made in 1890-91 by Colonel Neville Chamberlain. The first golf championship was played at Gulmarg in 1922. The Nedou’s Cup was introduced in 1929.