Gulmarg Gondola ride is a ropeway project, it was started jointly by the Jammu and Kashmir government and Pomagalski. Pomagalski is a French organization. The Gulmarg Gondola ride is the World’s second-highest operating cable car. It is considered as Asia’s one of the longest and highest cable car plans. This cable car project leads to Kongdori Mountain perched at an altitude of 3099.6 meters from the resort situated in Gulmarg. This area is bowl-shaped and it is popular for abundant opportunities for enjoyable sessions of powder skiing and snowboarding. Kongdori is very famous among adventure-seeking tourists and one of the known places to visit in Gulmarg. Giving the tourists a perfect blend of adventure and recreation, Kongdori is a little paradise in its own way.
How to reach Gondola ride
The Gondola's starting point is 20 minutes away from Gulmarg. You can take a taxi or walk your way to it.
The entire ride comprises two stages:-
Gulmarg to Kongdori – The first phase of the ride takes around 9 minutes.
Kongdori to Apharwat Peak-The The second phase of the ride takes about 12 minutes.
The first phase of the Gondola ride takes the tourists to Kondogri station, which is situated at the altitude of 8530 ft. It starts at 2,990 m and has a vertical rise of 400 m. it is estimated that in every ferries gondola takes 1500 tourists to the height of 3100 m from where several easy runs for skiing are accessible. The snow and pine-covered skiing ways give breathe taking views.
The second phase of the gondola ride takes to the altitude of 12293 feet. Phase one of this cable car became operational in May 1998, while the second phase of the Gondola ride became functional after six years in May 2005. The second phase gives the beautiful view of Himalayan ranges as the gondola goes a little bit higher altitude than the first phase. The cable car ascends 1,330 vertical meters to a height of nearly 4,000m and reaches the Apharwat Mountain. It is estimated that this cable car takes 600 tourists in an hour. After arriving at the station, tourists can have 30 minutes trek to reach the mountain top. From the top of the mountain, LOC (Line of Control) is visible.
The Chair lift addition came into existence in the year 2011. It was inaugurated by the Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah on the 17th of September 2011. The construction of this cable car has boosted tourism in the state. Adventure souls can also enjoy chair rides. The chair rides are offered from Kongdori to Mary Shoulder. Mary shoulder is one of the famous skiing destinations in Gulmarg. It has 90 chairs and designed in a perfect way where the skiers can even bring their gears along with them. The Cahir lift ferries 1000 passengers in an hour. The ride gets completed in 11 minutes. The Gondola ride offers a Bird-eye view of the Gulmarg and it’s truly a photographer’s delight.
Tickets for Gondola ride-
The price of tickets for Gondola is as follows-
Adult- INR 740
Children (3-10 yrs) - INR 740
Children (3-10) - 950
Children below 11 years of age aren't allowed.
Timings: All days of the week-10:30AM-6:30 PM
Time Required: 1-2 hours
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM (Ticket Counter)
Tips for Gondola ride
- To avoid the whole fuss of slots being unavailable book the tickets online
- Remember the boarding pass is only valid for 3 hours from the very moment it is handed over to you. If you board at 3 it will be valid for two hours only i.e till 5:00 PM.
ConclusionGulmarg is one of the most popular skiing destinations around the world. Around Christmas it expects its first snowfall and until it extends till May. So due to the geographical advantage, this ski enthusiast favorite spot enjoys a heavy amount of snowfall. The fresh snowfall makes it a perfect spot for powder skiing. The gondola ride in Gulmarg is just an added feather to the crown of this Kashmir attraction. The Gondola here, will take you high above the pine mountain slopes to the top of Apharwat Range at a height of 14000ft from 10000 Ft. above the meadow of Kongdori through the ropeway giving majestic views of Himalayas if the weather feels like it. It’s simply the perfect blend of excitement and fear, which may lead you to feel the adrenalin rush in your warm blood in the chilling temperature of Gulmarg.
Also read:- The Top Five Famous Markets of Ladakh
image source-amw vacay , Times of India