Songs of Snow

Even as most Indian cities come to terms with the summer heat that has only just begun, Gulmarg, the folkloric as well as cinematic hill station, will celebrate its love for snow through music and adventure.

The Gulmarg Winter Festival 2012, a joint effort of event company Soul Curators and adventure sports company Synapses Adventures, is scheduled to take place from March 9-11. Held outdoors with the Himalayas as its backdrop, the three-day fest will feature bands such as The Raghu Dixit Project, Bombay Bassment and Chakra Vu, in addition to some local acts. However, the festival isn’t only about music. Adventure sports such as skiing, snowboarding and sledging will be a big part of the experience too.

“The idea is to promote music, adventure sports and tourism for which Gulmarg is the best place,” says Mandeep Dhillon, director of Synapses Adventures, which recently organised the Woods Talk Festival 2011 in Rishikesh that also focussed on white water rafting. “There are apprehensions about it being in Kashmir, but that’s a mindset we’re aiming to break with this festival,” says Dhillon. This is the first edition of the festival and while Dhillon estimates an audience of 2,000, he believes that the numbers could increase closer to date. “It’s peak season for tourism in Gulmarg, so we’re expecting a lot of tourists and locals in addition to music enthusiasts from across the country,” he says. “From next year onwards, we’re expecting to get bigger and better,” adds Dhillon.

The Gulmarg Winter Festival 2012 is supported by Jammu and Kashmir Tourism and a three-day pass with access to all music and cultural events will cost Rs 2,999.