Gulmarg Gondola is situated in Gulmarg Region of Jammu and Kashmir. This destination is known for the second highest active cable car in the world after the closing of the Merida cable car located in Venezuela, in 2008.
Gulmarg takes pride in the Gulmarg Gondola which is the longest and highest cable car project in Asia. It consists of a two-stage ropeway that has the capacity of carrying approximately 600 people every hour from the Kongdoori Mountain which is a part of the closely located Afarwat Peak having a height of 4,200m (13,780ft). This cable car project is the result of the combined scheme of the Jammu and Kashmir Government along with Pomagalski, a French firm. In the first stage of the ropeway people are transported from the Gulmarg resort located at an elevation of 2,600 (m) (8,530 (ft)) to the Kongdoori station that is situated in the Kongdoori valley having a bowl shape. The second stage of the project coming with 36 cabins and 18 towers carries the people up to an elevation of 3,747 (m) (12,293 (ft)) in the Kongdoori Mountain which is a part of closely located Afarwat Peak having a height of 4,200m (13,780ft). It took a record time of around two years to complete the second stage with an expense of Rs.110, 000, 000 and was offered to the public on May 28, 2005. The first stage of this ropeway was constructed in 1998 which connects Gulmarg to Kongdoori.
The ropeway remains open from 10 AM to 5PM (If the weather is supportive in both the stages). There is space for six peoples in a Gondola in a single time. The cost of the first phase is Rs.300 or $ 10 US and the second phase Rs.500 or $ 6 US. There are also facilities of chair cars in the second stage at a price of Rs. 300. The approximate time for reaching phase-I is 9 minutes, and phase-II is 12 minutes.
Gondola Ride, Gulmarg
The Cable Car ride, popularly known as the Gondola Lift or Ride is the special attraction of Gulmarg. It is located at a distance of 1km in the west of the Gulmarg’s bus stand. The managing authority of the Gulmarg cable Car ride is the Jammu and Kashmir State Cable Car Corporations.
There are two divisions of the ride – one is from Gulmarg to Kongdoori and the second one is from Kongdoori to Apherwat. It starts from an elevation of 2690 m above sea level and go up to a height of 3090 m. It finally reaches Kongdoori by passing over the wonderful pine forests below.
The tourists enjoying the cable car ride get thoroughly enthralled by experiencing the magnificent sight of the greenery of the hilly terrains and the picaresque setting all around. The cable ride also overtakes the marvelous meadow of colorful flowers called Khilanmarg during its journey.
One of the most popular attractions of Gulmarg, an extremely famous resort in the world, is the Gulmarg Gondola. This is the single cable car system in the whole of Asia that can go up to an altitude of 13,500 feet above sea level. The French company PUMA had designed the Gondola as a part of a technical cooperation, and the JKCCC or Jammu and Kashmir Cable Car Corporation is now in charge of its operation. Phase-I and phase-II are the two stages of its operation.
Every single Gondola comes with a yellow colored small cabin with a capacity of 6 adult persons. The cabins of the Gondola Ride are suspended with the support of high strength cables that are constantly moving. It takes two stops and slows down for the purpose of boarding and disembarking of the riders.
In its first phase, the Gondola takes tourists from Gulmarg to Kangdori which is at an altitude of 10,000 (ft) above sea level. It is a thrilling journey of 5 minutes amid the sky touching pine trees and threatening mountains. For adult passengers, the fare is Rs.200 per head.
The second phase of the Gondola is completed very recently and is opened for the tourists on May 2005. In this phase, the tourists are carried to Alpanther at a breathtaking and frightening height of 13,500 feet above sea level. It is a journey of 20 minutes that ascend sharply in the rocky summit of the mountain. Sometimes the gondola even travels surpassing the clouds. For adult passengers, the fare is Rs.500 per head.
WARNING: Heart Patients, persons with respiratory problems and minors below 5 years cannot go for this ride. Moreover, tourists are suggested to take warm clothes with them as the weather can be extremely cold throughout the year.
Attraction at Two Phases
- Seven Springs- the point of origination of 7 springs and also a natural water source.
- Khilanmarg which is a wide meadow covered with flowers and takes 30 minutes to reach on pony.
- Ski slopes.
- A bird’s eye view of lovely Kashmir Valley.
- Alpanther Lake that is a continually frozen lake throughout the year. It’s a 30 minutes’ walk from the peak of phase-II.
- Rare Flowers: Rare flowers can be seen on the way while walking a little distance by foot.
The tickets for Gondola can be booked online at the official site www.gulmarggondola.com and also at Gondola E-Ticket Center in Gulmarg. Tickets are also available in JKSCCC Office Katra and TRC Srinagar.
The system of E Ticketing is recently introduced in Gondola. It is formulated in order to avoid the crowd gathering in front of the ticket Counters and to manage the Gondola capacity. Presently, tickets can be book slot wise. There are total six slots and each slot will be of duration of one hour that starts from 9AM in the morning till 3 PM. Booking for both the phases and the recently launched Chairlift is open.
- (Phase-I) From Gulmarg to Kongdoori
- (Phase-II) From Kongdoori to Apherwat
- (Phase-III) From Kongdoori to Mary Shoulder on Chair Lift
Once you purchase online ticket you have to take the Boarding Pass from an Online Counter 15 minutes before your boarding in the Gulmarg Gondola E Ticket Block after producing the E Ticket and other identification details. Very soon the online check- in facility will be introduced for immediate boarding pass delivery.
Onsite Sale of Tickets
In the Gondola E-ticket Center tickets are available from 8 AM to 4 PM. Booking tickets online is highly appreciated by us as it evades the chances of last minute slot unavailability.
It has been decided by JKSCCC that Limited Premium tickets will be made available for each slot. The holders of Premium Tickets can purchase tickets from Gondola E Ticket Block and can immediately go for boarding.
Note: Premium Tickets are those tickets that are reserved for the VVIP or the Govt Officials and can only be availed if they are not used.
Boarding Pass Validity
The validity of Boarding Pass is only three hours after your boarding. Well, you will get validity of less than three hours that is till 5 PM if you board between 2 PM to 3 PM.
The cost of tickets for the first phase is Rs.300 or $10 US and for the second phase is Rs.500 or $ 6 US. The tickets of chair cars in the second stage are available at a price of Rs. 300.
The International tourists have to reach New Delhi first by flight, and then from there they can reach Srinagar both by air or road.
From Srinagar, it will take one hour by a car or a bus to reach Gulmarg which is the capital of Jammu and Kashmir. During the summer mornings, special sightseeing coaches are available daily at the Tourist Reception Centre. Local buses will take you to the Tangmarg market only, and from there you can hire mini coaches for Gulmarg. Taxis are available at the Taxi stand, and they can be availed at one way or return journey fares. It is advised that the tourists must hire Scorpios, Qualis or Sumos during the winter as due to continuous snowfall and low temperature the Tangmarg to Gulmarg becomes extremely slippery and narrow. You can take the useful assistance of the travel agents.
Buses are available from Srinagar, Batmaloo bus stand and runs to Tangmarg, located at a close distance from Gulmarg. Regular bus and taxi service are available from Tangmarg.
By Taxi/ SUMO/MUV
- Direct Taxi or MUV service can be availed from Batmaloo bus stand Srinagar.
- Prepaid Taxi or MUV can be availed from the Srinagar International Airport and the Tourist Reception Center.
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