Frozen movie has affected almost all the households with little girls. My 4 year old daughter is no different. After blackmailing us into getting Frozen merchandise (gowns, tiara, gloves, shoes, stationary, et al) she demanded to see snow. The obvious reason given was that she wanted to build a snowman. Now that’s a first in her half a decade of life. We laughed, and decided to book a short trip to Gulmarg, the most popular skiing destination in India. The vacation was planned during her winter holidays (end of December). We were very sure to find some snow at Gulmarg. Usually, such vacations are planned after January as most of the winter destinations get snowfall by 2nd week of January. But we didn’t have much choice date wise. We took a flight from Mumbai to Srinagar, stayed at Srinagar over night at a houseboat and after local sightseeing, travelled to Gulmarg. Gulmarg is a 2 hours scenic drive from Srinagar.
The hilly terrain was full of beauty and adventure. Huge pine trees dotted the landscape whereas frozen streams could be seen lying lifeless in the middle of the hills. The winding roads added thrill to our drive but also made the toddler dizzy. Thankfully she slept off. She woke up right before entering the Gulmarg township. She was ecstatic to see snow for the first time in her life. Thankfully Gulmarg had seen first shower of snow a week back. Vehicles are not allowed inside the township. So only a few cars were seen which had come inside to drop the tourists to their respective hotels. We stayed at The Khyber Himalayan Resort and Spa. More about the hotel in a separate post.
We had booked our Gondola ride online to beat the queues. But there weren’t much tourists at that time. The Gondola rides were right outside our hotel. It was a 5 minute walk to the centre of all the action. We got our tickets from the e-ticket counter and off we went on our mission – to build a snowman. Phase 1 didn’t have any snow to our dismay. But we had tickets till phase 2. We went to phase 2 and were awestruck by its beauty. Above the clouds, over the mountain, white snow glistened in pockets. As there was no major snowfall so the rocky mountain had a few pockets which had retrieved snow from the first shower. We could see an Indian Army outpost at some distance. At 14000 feet my daughter jumped with joy. She was very excited. She started singing….”Do you wanna build a snowman?” from the movie. I was worried as there was less oxygen.
Our daughter, her dad and I started building a snowman. It was extremely cold but we went ahead with our toddler’s mission. Oreo biscuits adorned the snowman as buttons. Finally, the snowman was made. She was elated. She played a little with the snow. Ate some frozen Oreo biscuits and snow with a spoon to fulfill another wish and then started shivering vigorously even with her full winter gear on. We decided to come down. We ate some hot Maggi and boiled eggs at phase 1 and then proceeded towards our hotel at the base. It was one hell of a Gondola ride and we loved every bit of it. Mission snowman completed!
Sometimes you relive your childhood through your child. And this trip gave us that opportunity. I am glad we went to Gulmarg. It is out of this world. The Gondola ride at the Himalayan ranges was just brilliant. Anybody who is planning for Switzerland should first try it in Gulmarg.
Have you been to Gulmarg? How did you like it? Do leave your comments below.