Down the Valley!

Having resisted going to Kashmir all my childhood in fear of the cold and the mountains, I fell in love with the valley and the moods of each of its season in my 20’s. Just when you think you cannot be overwhelmed by one’s own country, Gulmarg {the meadow of flowers} in the winter is like walking into a snow globe. I cannot forget how it made me feel the first time. Who says you can only go to Kashmir in the summer! Move over flower gardens and Shikaras (House Boats); we’ll see you down the slopes from November to mid March.

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KHYBER RESORT AND SPA

Great for families and couples or even a single person, the warm and decadent interiors of the resort are no less than a Swiss chalet. It’s like entering a cave filled with healing treasures! The spa by L’Occitane and the heated pool overlooking the snow-capped pines makes you want a hot chocolate and a great holiday book in hand.
The rooms are decorated keeping in mind the Kashmiri crafts and the beauty of its rich heritage. There’s a hookah/tea lounge called Calabash and the multi-cuisine restaurant is called Cloves.

PS: To avail their ski package, you need to book your stay for a minimum of five nights

Price: INR 14,000 for single occupancy, INR 16,000 for double, and INR 18,000 for triple {inclusive of drinks on arrival, buffet breakfast & dinner, and Wi-Fi}

Find out more here.

http://www.khyberhotels.com/

khyber

 

NEDOUS 
The 120-year old property stands in the center of Gulmarg, minutes away from the skiing federation, with an incomparable heritage and history. Founded by Michael Adam Nedou {an architect}, who came from Dubrovnik to build a palace for the maharajah of Gujarat, the homely place is great for single travelers and big groups.
The in-house chef’s sumptuous and comforting Kashmiri meals are surely going to call you back. Sit by the fire place with your family and friends and share a cup of Kahwa {a hot Kashmiri drink with nuts and spices}.
Aside from skiing, you can even go on long-trail snow hikes, snow mobile trail rides, wildlife spotting trails, sledging, and snowboarding.
Price: Starting at INR 6,000 per night {includes breakfast, dinner, ski equipment and ski gear each day}
Find out more here.

http://www.nedoushotelgulmarg.com/

nedous-1

HIGHLANDS PARK

Run by a family of hoteliers, Highland Park was opened by Major Benjie Nedou in 1960 and is now run by his granddaughter and her husband. The hotel consists of the reception building and eight separate cottages housing 35 rooms and suites overlooking the Gulmarg golf course on one side and Mount Apharwat on the other.
Refurbished in 2012, the hotel is very well-known amongst politicians and Indian film stars. A couple of Bollywood movies have been shot there too.
You can try snow-boarding, heli-skiing, and ice skating here.
Price: Starting at INR 11,000
Find out more here.

http://highlandspark.in/

highland

WHERE TO SHOP?

-Decathlon has newly opened a massive store in Ansal Plaza, New Delhi or you can shop the gear/outfits at https://www.decathlon.in/search?controller=search&orderby=position&orderway=desc&search_query=ski+&submit_search=

Heartfelt thanks to Mr Faheem at KHYBER and SOL MEDIA’s Meenakshi for the same. Zahara Nedou for Nedou’s! Google for the information on Highlands park.

Little Black Book, Delhi for letting me express and write as I like.

See you on the Highest Gondola then?!

Delighted to have written this article as a passionate traveler and a proud Indian. It’s completely safe to travel there! You don’t have to go too far to discover beauty, it’s within and close by! An hour’s flight from Delhi-Srinagar and a 2 hrs drive up to Gulmarg. You can spend a night in Srinagar and roam the enchanted haven or head straight to your winter destination. DO try Bakarkhani-Salty Kashmiri bread which makes a great snack with tea or Sheermal, it’s sweet counterpart at Jee Een bakery which is a renown landmark.

Zina Singh for (the newly discovered love of hills) Terrible Twos and Lbb,Delhi

 

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