As an outdoor enthusiast and trekker, I’m always on the lookout for an adventure. In 2017, while I was off work,I saw a Ski Sports scene in a movie. Since my childhood, I always fantasized about putting on skis and sliding down a snow slope. I got motivated and randomly Googled about skiing in India. I discovered that Gulmarg has a lot of ski places/schools that have multiple sessions during the season, so I came across one with good ratings and eventually got connected with Imtiyaz from Snow Gulmarg Adventure and booked a 7-day skiing session in mid-February in 2018. 

How did I start my journey to ‘Gulmarg’? 

I commenced my journey by booking refundable tickets four months in advance to avail myself of the cheapest prices, and I arrived a day before my lessons began to be extra prepared. As a ski amateur, I had to research the necessities to pack. However, I was utterly grateful for the checklist my skiing organisation gave me on what to carry. The checklist was as follows: 

  • When travelling in the mountains, having a lightweight backpack (rucksack) rather than a trolley suitcase is always recommended. 
  • Considering the weather, two pairs of thermals and 5-6 pairs of undergarments were required. (Breathable)
  • One ski jacket and one pair of trousers for each ski session (two jackets if the session lasts more than three days).
  • 2 pairs of long ski socks
  • 2 pairs of ski gloves 
  • 1 pair of ventilated snow goggles 
  • 1 to 2 Beanies

You can carry extra clothing at your convenience; it is best to carry thick warmers and jackets to prevent you from catching a cold. 

Arrival in Gulmarg

Since it was my first time, I researched and prepared an itinerary to suit my needs. I arrived in Srinagar a day before the lessons and checked in at The Raj Bagh Hotel, which is approximately 1 kilometre away from the beautiful Dal Lake. It took 10 to 20 minutes to reach the main city centre from the airport in a shared taxi. The distance between the airport and the city centre is approximately 10 to 20 kilometres, reasonably nearby. 

People here are incredibly generous and have welcoming hospitality (mehman nawazi), whether it's a hotel, houseboat, or homestay, even though it's a tourist destination. 

The weather in Srinagar was pleasant, dry, and cold, as one would expect from someone from the north. I visited tourist attractions such as Dal Lake and Lal Chowk (the city centre of Srinagar). 

My snow school had already set up our stay at a lodging since they have ties with many hotels there. Each room is shared between 2-3 people at max. It was very convenient to reach the beginner ski slopes since it is within 8-10 minutes from my hotel. 

The next day, I took another shared taxi from the Batmallo Stop and drove from Srinagar to Gulmarg. It was a two-and-a-half-hour drive where I witnessed the beautiful snow-covered mountains starting near Tangmarg. The snow school I enrolled at accommodated me at a lodging near the ski slopes (8 to 10 minutes walking distance). It was a warm, centrally heated hotel where everyone shared the rooms with others to have an authentic tourist experience. 

On the first day of the ski school, the principal held an introductory meeting to address the sport of skiing and the itinerary for the remaining six days. Later in the evening, we joined our ski instructors to procure our ski gear and other essential items. 

How did I reach the Ski Spot?

For the first three days, we simply practised on a nearby baby slope, where we learned the fundamentals of skiing. It was thrilling to ski down a slope on the first day; I couldn’t control my ski as efficiently. I had to remember the techniques taught by my instructor to safe land and halt. 

Where did I get ski gear on rent? 

Since it is a pre-booked course, all equipment, such as skis, ski boots, ski sticks, and helmets, are already bought for students in advance. However, if an individual wishes to rent such equipment, there are numerous ski shops or well-known hotels near Baby slopes. 

My first skiing experience

I was allocated to a batch full of beginners (myself being one) with 2 skiing instructors. Our instructors were strict yet generous since they pushed our abilities and made us practise every day to master the skiing techniques. As an avid learner, I loved my lessons, especially the parallel Carving and Slalom Technique; it led me to enjoy this Ski sport on a bigger slope during my Ski Down from Phase- 2 ( where we have to go Via Gondola ). 

Breathtaking views

My instructors and the new friends I made on the slope were kind enough to click candid pictures of me tumbling down, smashing on the nets, and even skiing down the slope. 

How did I learn the basics of skiing?

I enrolled for a ski lesson to learn the basics of skiing. I was first taught to put on my equipment correctly and practise a few techniques like balancing a ski and then starting to glide forward; eventually, I learnt to make turns while controlling my speed. Lastly, I learnt how to stop and land safely. I first started practising on gentle slopes and eventually on challenging terrain. My instructor also taught me body positioning and accurate weight distribution for skiing smoothly. 

Food & Accomodation

On reaching the hotel after my tiring lessons, I was presented with delicious food and drinks to dine on. Being a vegetarian, I did not expect such great food; however, the hotel prepared it lavishly. We were served many dishes, along with desserts at the end. While practising on the slope, we drank Kahwa tea (Kashmiri tea) to warm our bodies. 

Learnings & Recommendations 

Skiing is not that easy of a sport to excel at since many factors play a role. This sport is challenging and needs dedication. Gulmarg is at an ascend of 8500 ft; it is recommended to do the following before enrolling in a snow school:

  • Run for 2-kilometres every day for a month.
  • Practise leg exercises such as squats, chair position, or jumping jacks
  • Drinking enough water during and after the Ski Sessions for hydration.


Gulmarg was an incredible experience; I enjoyed learning beautiful techniques and made many memories. I would love to revise my itinerary and come back to ski on more challenging slopes beyond Phases 1 and 2. I hope to return and ski on the difficult slopes that will be reached via a gondola or chair cable. 

Related articles:
Discover Skiing in India- Everything You Need to know
How Much Did My Skiing Trip Cost? - Detailed Planning

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