Giving a major surge for Kashmir’s tourism, the Gulmarg Gondola has become a standout highlight, attracting over nine lakh tourists this year alone. Anticipation mounts as officials predict the numbers to surpass a million by the year’s end.
Operated by the J&K Cable Car Corporation, the Gulmarg Gondola is a sought after tourism experience in Kashmir’s tourism landscape. Rising to an altitude of 14,000 feet, it holds the title of Asia’s highest operating cable car. The officials described the tourists’ unanimous description of the experience as “surreal and captivating” which further fuels the popularity of this attraction.
This year, the Corporation worked on enhancing visitor experience. They revamped the ticketing system, conducted rigorous safety tests, and implemented cutting-edge technology to overhaul the second phase of the Gondola.
Raja Yaqoob, the Managing Director of J&K Cable Car Corporation, emphasised the corporation’s pivotal role in Kashmir’s tourism. He expressed the commitment to offering tourists an effortless, secure, and enjoyable ride.
Yaqoob assured visitors of upcoming winter season improvements while urging them to book tickets exclusively online and adhere strictly to designated timings to prevent any inconvenience.
The Gulmarg Cable Car‘s structure comprises two phases, ferrying visitors from the Gulmarg resort to Kongdori valley and then onwards to Apharwath Peak. With a total of 108 cabins and 18 towers, the first stage elevates passengers from Gulmarg resort to Kongdoori Station at 2,650 meters, nestled in the picturesque Kongdori valley. The subsequent stage elevates them to a height of 3,980 meters on Kongdoori Mountain, a shoulder of the nearby Afarwat Peak standing tall at 4,200 meters.Beyond the Gulmarg Gondola’s soaring popularity, Kashmir as a whole has witnessed an unprecedented influx of tourists. February 2023 marked a staggering arrival of 120,000 visitors. The previous year itself set a historic milestone with a record-breaking 1.88 crore visitors exploring J&K, a number significantly higher than the average of the past four decades.
A former official from the tourism department revealed that nearly 90 per cent of the 1.2 lakh visitors in February flocked the Gulmarg ski resort, showcasing the area’s appeal alongside other key attractions.