I recently took a 5-day trip to Gulmarg with my friends in the fourth week of January. Reaching there, we were allotted two skiing instructors; we also met many other students who, like us, had enrolled for these lessons. Later, we went to secure our skiing equipment and gear with the help of our super-friendly and kind instructors. They introduced us to the sport and gave us knowledgeable tips. Something that has stuck with me to date is when one of the instructors said, “Skiing is not easy to pick up in comparison to mastering it”, unlike other sports, which are easy to learn but difficult to master. I gained a lot of experience and confidence in my ability to ski. At the end of 5 days, I wished to return to ski on more challenging slopes.
How much did I spend on my entire skiing trip?
I stayed at the Alpine Resort, which cost Rs.10,000 per night, including breakfast and dinner. The food they provided included a variety of veg and non-veg options. Kashmiri delicacies like Kashmiri rajma and dum aloo were among the food dishes, among many others. Non-veg options mainly consisted of Roghan Josh with our choice of tandoori bread.
The view from our hotel was very scenic since it was near the beginner slopes. We witnessed a lot of students, teenagers and families skiing. Watching so many people try skiing and having fun on these snow slopes was enthralling.
Our ski instructors joined along with nearby local shops and handicrafts. They dined hot aloo parathas with onion pickles with us, which tasted amazing when served in the mountains.
The transportation from Srinagar to Gulmarg and reaching the snow slopes cost as follows:
- Airport to Srinagar: 200- 300 per person ( shared taxi)
- Srinagar to Gulmarg: 450 - 500 per person (shared taxi). The return depends on the location where to drop off. If it’s directly to the airport, it’s a little more than Rs 700
- Gondola Ride: As a Skier, we can take a day pass, which costs around ( 750- 1000), and have multiple daily trips. Remember, it is only for a Skier; the skier has to ski down and use a gondola to go uphill.
We rented the ski gear and equipment according to our convenience and with the help of our instructors.
Renting Ski Gear
You will be skiing only for a few hours; the rest of the time will be spent on transportation and other leisurely activities. It is best to remember that the temperatures there are very cold, so it is advised to carry warm clothing.
- Renting ski gear costs around Rs 1000-1500 daily, including skis, ski boots, and ski sticks.
- Some ski shop owners would ask you to pay the minimal fee as your safety deposit.
- It is advised to rent ski gear as these gears are costly and you will be using them once or twice. I would suggest buying clothing accessories such as jackets and gloves to maintain hygiene and health. Also, these clothing items will be useful for you in future as well for the winter season.
The ski instructor costs approximately Rs.1500 to Rs.2500, and it would be great if 2 -3 people merge and divide the cost to gain a cheaper fee.
Insurance & Safety
Gulmarg is a pretty safe place, so one need not worry about any threat. Most ski sports schools have doctors and nurses ready on call in emergencies. The skier is mandated to wear ski safety equipment, a ski helmet. However, not all kinds of health and term insurance are liable for such sports activities, so please go through your insurance documents once before relying on them and proceeding with the trip.
One should be aware of the type of food they wish to eat; for me, I like simple meals, they are pretty affordable ( Rs.300- Rs.400 for a one-time meal ), and the ambience and status of the hotel also matter. Many hotels cater to fine dining, and their prices are higher (going up to Rs.4,000 -Rs.5,000 for 2 People ).
Miscellaneous expenses include nearby tourist attractions and local activities such as a gondola ride or taxis to commute within the city (Rs 1000-2500), depending on the distance. Shopping from Gulmarg’s local brands and handicrafts can also cost you additional money, depending on your convenience and budget.
Overall, your trip to Gulmarg can be cost-effective and fun. It is advised to always keep your budget in mind while booking and spending money. You can even write down your expenses to keep your budget in check. The following is a summary of the costs you will spend on your trip. It is best to save additional money aside for any urgent spending.
Please Note: The Gulmarg snow school covers two meals, breakfast and dinner. Moreover, it also covers the rates of ski equipment and instructor fee. The food expenses are priced as above keeping in mind, some fine dine restaurants and a few meals with friends there.