Travel to Gulmarg and ride on Gondola to see Kashmir from sky



Gondola cable car
Gondola is a ropeway cable car, which is a type of enclosed trolley that moves in the air, by taking support from high tensile strength cables, connected through different poles, and these poles are fixed on the ground level and raised to great heights. Six people can easily be accommodated in one Gondola. Gondola is an Italian name of a boat, that is very common in Italy, and this word has been originally derived from there only (source: wonderopolis.org ). But the concept and working of Gondola is based on a French technology, and JKCCC (Jammu & Kashmir cable car Corporation) collaborated with a French company, POMA (also called Pomagalski), to bring this technology in India in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Gulmarg is a town and hill station in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, and Gondola ride can be experienced here. Gulmarg is very well known for its ski resort, and to reach the ski resort Gondola is the way. Just check this google map, which shows, how the Himalayan range of mountains are spreading from Jammu and Kashmir in the north to Arunachal Pradesh in the east. Pir Panjal Range of mountains are a part of Himalayas in the state of Jammu & Kashmir, and this can be seen in dark blue color in the google map, mentioned above. I am pointing to Pir Panjal Range of mountains, because the town of Gulmarg is situated in the Pir Panjal Range of Himalayan Mountains. Just double click on left mouse, to enlarge that dark blue area in the map, and you can find the location of Gulmarg there. This map of India also shows the location of Gulmarg in Jammu and Kashmir, but does not show himalayan mountain ranges.

Because of the presence in Himalayas, Gulmarg is located at a great height of 8830 ft from sea level. Gulmarg lies on a flat plateau at the base of Mount Apharwat. Mount Apharwat is a mountain filled with snow, and it’s an important tourist destination, as all the winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing and heli-skiing take place on the slopes of Mount Apharwat. From the summit of Mount Apharwat, one can also see K2 (the 2nd highest mountain peak after Mt. Everest) across the border in Pakistan, as Gulmarg lies in the extreme west in Jammu and Kashmir, from where Pakistan border is quite near. The second phase ride of Gondola cable car makes you reach at the peak of Mt. Apharwat, as the final destination, and this is exactly the place you need to target for all the great fun with winter sports, ice, and great scenic beauty of the great Himalayan range of mountains. The town of Gulmarg can also be viewed from the peak of Mt. Apharwat, and everything looks gorgeous from here.

The starting point of Gondola ride is 1km away in the west from Gulmarg bus stand. Gulmarg bus stand is usually the place you reach, after coming from Srinagar, capital city of Jammu & Kashmir. Gondola rides can be enjoyed in two phases. First phase takes you from Gulmarg to Kongdoori, and the 2nd phase from Kongdoori to Mount Apharwat. Some people, who do not have enough money, can enjoy the ride upto Kongdoori. The location of Kongdoori is 10,500 ft from sea level. Visit Jammu and Kashmir tourism website to know about major tourist attractions in Kongdoori.

The peak of Mt. Apharwat is 13,500 ft from sea level, while the town of Gulmarg itself is at a height of only 8830 ft from sea level, which means, you cover an additional distance of 4670 ft in the ascending upward direction by Gondola ride, to reach the peak of Mt. Apharwat. This is really a great height to enjoy riding in a car cable. You will find lot of rush, at ticket counters, for gondola ride, and so its better to book tickets online in advance on official site of JKCCC. Here is a nice video showing Mount Apharwat filled with snow.

The same concept of cable car also works in the city of Darjeeling in the Indian state of West Bengal. Cable car ride is also very popular in Darjeeling, and the peaks of world’s third highest mountain Kangchenjunga can be viewed, while traveling in the cable car. To know more about this read another article > Ride on a cable car and enjoy sights of peaks of Kangchenjunga.

How to reach Gulmarg?

If you are an international tourist, first you can reach to Srinagar, the capital city of Jammu and Kashmiri. Flights are available from all major cities of India to Srinagar, and online booking of flight tickets can be done on sites like makemytrip.com. A private taxi or bus can be hired to reach Gulmarg from Srinagar.

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Mount Apharwat


Written by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )

Disclaimer: The suggestions in the article(wherever applicable) are for informational purposes only