Gulmarg (Urdu pronunciation: [gʊlmərɡ]), known as Gulmarag(Kashmiri pronunciation: [ɡulmarɨɡ]; lit. 'meadow of flowers') in Kashmiri, is a town, hill station, popular tourist destination, popular skiing destination and a notified area committee in Baramulla district in the Indian administered union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.It is located at a distance of 31 km (19 mi) from Baramulla and 49 km (30 mi) from Srinagar. The town is situated in the Pir Panjal Range in the Western Himalayas and lies within the boundaries of Gulmarg Wildlife Sanctuary. Yousuf Shah Chak, who ruled Kashmir from 1579 to 1586, frequented the place with his queen Habba Khatoon and renamed it 'Gulmarg' ("meadow of flowers").Wild flowers of 21 different varieties were collected by the Mughal emperor Jahangir for his gardens in Gulmarg.[12][14] In the 19th century, British civil servants started using Gulmarg as a retreat to escape summers in North Indian plains. Hunting and golfing were their favorite pastime and three golf courses were established in Gulmarg including one exclusively for women.One of the golf courses survives and at an altitude of 2,650 metres (8,690 ft) is the world's highest golf course. In 1927, British established a ski club in Gulmarg and two annual ski events were hosted one each during Christmas and Easter.Central Asian explorer Aurel Stein also visited Gulmarg during this period.
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