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Gulmarg Gondola

Overview

One of the highest operational cable cars in the world, the Gulmarg Gondola transports visitors from Gulmarg town to the summit of the neighboring Apharwat Peak. This two-stage ropeway, a joint initiative between the J&K government and the French company Poma, can transport roughly 600 passengers every hour.

It is split into two phases, also referred to as two stages. In the article that follows, We’ll explain what these phases are and how you might prepare for your cable car ride. For additional information about visiting Gulmarg, you can also have a look at Gulmarg tour packages

One of Gulmarg’s most popular attractions is a ride in a gondola. There are a tonne of other sites to visit as well, but the Gondola is what brings thousands of visitors from around the nation and the local community each year.

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What is Gulmarg Gondola

A cable car system called the Gulmarg Gondola transports visitors from Gulmarg town to the summit of the adjacent mountains known as Kongdori and Apharwat.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no company called Gondola. A gondola is a common, flat-bottomed rowing boat that is used to transport people through Venice.

Later, various other modes of transportation, including rail, balloons, airplanes, Ferris wheels, etc., adopted the same term. ‘Gondola Lift’ is the term used in the case of a cable car because this is what it is in reality.

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Gulmarg Gondola in Summer

The area around Gulmarg transforms into thick vegetation in the summer, with vibrant flowers blooming all over. During this time, the gondola ride provides stunning views of the scenic Kashmir Valley and the distant snow-capped peaks.

In addition to the picturesque gondola ride, Gulmarg offers several other summertime activities, such as:

Trekking: There are several different trekking trails available in Gulmarg that will take you through picturesque meadows, lush woods, and alpine scenery. Khilanmarg, Alpather Lake Trek, and Apharwat Peak are a few well-liked trekking routes.

Also Experience the most adventurous trekking routes: Kashmir Great Lakes Trek | Tarsar Marsar Trek

Golf: During the summer, one of the highest golf courses in the world, the Gulmarg Golf Course, is open. A unique experience is playing golf amidst breathtaking natural scenery.


Location and how to reach

The gondola station is located at the very end of the primary market road. You are at the opposite end of the road, so if you are sitting somewhere close to the Maharani Temple, you should start moving in the opposite direction.

Reaching the Gondola boarding station is the initial step in organizing a Gulmarg Gondola raid. Getting here could require some walking, depending on where you are staying in Gulmarg. The distance is around two kilometers from the Maharani temple. You could even get a pony to transport you there if you didn’t want to travel that far.

If you are travelling alone, you should think about: Cheapest Kashmir Tour Packages


Onboarding Gondola Raid for Phase 1

You will board the Gondola for phase 1 once you have the tickets in your possession. There won’t be any waiting if you visited during the off-season.

Once you board, it will take no more than 10 to 12 minutes to reach the Kungdoor station, which serves as the culmination of Phase 1.

You will step outside after exiting the gondola at Kungdoor station.

The scenery makes the quick trip worthwhile despite its short duration. You can go outside, explore the region, take in the views, and eat because there are many tiny tea shops and eateries.

There is a little waterfall nearby, around two km away. But remember that it’s only a tiny one and not much of one. The two kilometers of the hike, though, are rather arduous and will surely tire you out.

Phase 2

Most families and a large portion of travelers only consider Phase 1 without continuing toward phase 2. Another Gondola in phase 2 will take you to the nearby Apharwat peak if you are interested in traveling further.

You should notice a point that the Gulmarg booking desk is the only place where one can buy tickets for both Phases 1 and 2. There isn’t a reservation counter at Kungdoor.

Do not exit at Kungdoor station if you are traveling to Phase 2. Once you exit the first gondola, you can board the second one directly next to it. Phase 2 will likewise take you 10 to 12 minutes to complete and will take you to the peak of Apharwat.

However, the views will improve, and you’ll start to appreciate the surrounding splendor. No food establishments are present.

If you like to be a little more daring, you can walk to the adjacent Alpather Lake, which is around 4-5 kilometers away.

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Planning Your Ride

It would be preferable to start the journey from Phase 2 instead of Gulmarg. Explore the area and take in the grandeur of the mountaintop. You can walk to Alpather Lake if you like.

Then, on your return, alight at Phase 1 and exit. After viewing the local meadows and eating somewhere nearby, return to Gulmarg on the Phase 1 Gondola.

It’s important to realize that the peak of Apharwat is not actually where Phase 2 ends. The location is in fact at Kongdoori Mountain, a shoulder of the neighbouring Apharwat Peak.

Consider taking a horse ride from close to the Gulmarg parking lot to the Gondola boarding station if you’re looking for something more exciting. However, be on the lookout for fraud as some horse owners charge a lot and travel farther distances to justify the trip. You might waste time and money as a result of it.

If you are looking for safe family trip then must check: Kashmir Family Tour Packages


Cost of the ride

Phase 1 ticket costs Rs. 740 per person to travel from Gulmarg to Kungdoor. From Kungdoor to Apharwat Peak, the second phase costs Rs. 950 per person.

For each segment, the Gulmarg Gondola has a different experience. Phases 1 and 2 will require separate reservations, and you will be given two different tickets.


Timings of the ride

In the summer, Phase 1’s Gondola ride begins at nine in the morning, and Phase 2’s at ten. Phases 1 and 2 of the trip begin at 10 AM and 10:30 AM respectively during the winter season.

In the summer, Phases 1 and 2 of the ride close at 5 PM and 4 PM, respectively. This schedule is modified in the winter to Phase 1 at 4 PM and Phase 2 at 3:30 PM.


Altitude 

Phase 1 covers a journey from Kungdoor station, which is at a height of 3,100 meters, to Gulmarg, which is at a height of 2,650 meters.

You will next ascend to the peak of Kongdori mountain, which is 3,980 meters above sea level, for Phase 2. If you’re up for it, you can walk up to the 4,200-meter Apharwat mountain from here.

You have plenty of time during the Gondola trip to see Gulmarg’s beauty. The Gondola ride is a well-liked tourist destination because the temperature is always pleasant and chilly there. This is the only route you may take if you want to climb the formidable Apharwat peak. Gondola changes between the two phases happen instantly. Here, the entire transportation system is run quite efficiently. However, the work must frequently be shut down due to unusual weather circumstances. Therefore, be sure to do your research before you travel, especially during the region’s hard winters.


Accommodations near gondola ride

There are several hotels in Gulmarg, and it’s simple to pick one close by. Since the town as a whole is not too large, you could easily stroll from wherever you were staying to the Gondola ride’s starting point. You might also simply take a pony ride, which is readily available in this area.


Best time to experience Gondola in Gulmarg

You can have a variety of sensations while riding the Gulmarg Gondola, depending on when you go. For instance, most people believe that winter is the greatest time to visit Gulmarg Gondola since the area is still completely covered in snow. It provides breathtaking views of the broad fields covered in snow, pine trees, and high mountain peaks. Skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports often work best during the winter months.

Nevertheless, the Gondola is always in service and, provided the weather permits it, is a great place to go for a vacation at any time of year. If skiing isn’t your thing or you just don’t enjoy the cold, you can ride the Gondola before winter officially starts, towards the end of September or the beginning of October. The weather is still comfortable during this time, and you may enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the far snow-capped mountain peaks, lush meadows, and towering trees.


Online Booking for Gulmarg Gondola

There are two options for purchasing Gondola ride tickets. When you get to the counter, you can either get it there in person. You may also get it at the official Gondola website online.

Tickets could be purchased in person or online before COVID. The entire procedure was migrated online during COVID and has stayed online ever since.

You must currently purchase your tickets online. One can no longer be purchased at the counter. They might reintroduce this option in the future, but we can’t say for sure right now.

There truly is no getting around that. You must carefully plan your journey and purchase the appropriate online tickets. If you couldn’t, you’ll need to cut the Gondola trip out of your travel itinerary.


Is a Guide needed?

Guides and pony owners are everywhere in Gulmarg, the town. No matter how many times you say no, they will cling to you and not give up. If you walk 100 meters here, a pony owner will offer you a ride.

With guides, the same applies. They’ll be ready for you as soon as you walk into a hotel. There are essentially two issues. The first is that they are completely uninteresting.

In Gulmarg, there is nothing they can show you that you can’t see for yourself. A guide will just follow you, stroll with you, and charge you for the experience of the Gondola ride as well.

They demand far too much money, which is the second issue. To aid someone in need, we imply that we have no problem paying a nominal fee and allowing him to join us.

These men will tell you tall tales while lying through their teeth about locations they can show you and perspectives that only they are aware of. However, the reality is that they received nothing.


Frozen-Alpather Lake 

Even in July and August, the guides refer to it as a “frozen lake.” The truth is that this lake is never frozen in the summer.

After arriving at the Phase 2 Gondola station, all you have to do to go to the lake is to start walking to your right. The interesting thing is the Army travels up this motorable road to the lake.

Therefore, there is no need for climbing. The lake will be reached if you simply continue walking to your right along the road.

The Jammu and Kashmir Cable Car Corporation (JKCCC), which places a high priority on safety, runs and maintains the gondola. To protect the safety of the passengers, they adhere to worldwide norms and requirements for cable car operations.


Is Gondola ride safe?

However, there are some inherent risks involved with the gondola ride, just like any other activity involving transportation and outdoor activities, particularly in unfavorable weather or under unforeseeable circumstances. It is crucial to adhere to the safety recommendations offered by the gondola operators and pay attention to any cautions or warnings issued by regional authorities to reduce any potential risks.


Tips for the ride

The following is important information about the Gulmarg Gondola cable ride that you should be aware of before you ride:

  • It is preferable to purchase Gulmarg Gondola tickets online to prevent wasting time in lengthy lines or falling victim to neighborhood scams.
  • Before purchasing tickets, remember that the Gulmarg Gondola’s Phase III (Chairlift Phase) is only accessible to anyone over the age of 11.
  • In Phase II, the elderly and young children may have acute mountain sickness (AMS). So be careful to take extra care of them and bring along some little supplemental oxygen canisters.
  • If the local weather deteriorates, the Gulmarg Gondola service may be suspended or the trip timings altered.  
  • The location charges costs for food and other services that are about 50% more than the MRP.
  • In addition to winter, you can take the Gulmarg Gondola in the summer to see the natural surroundings from a new angle.
  • The Gulmarg Gondola ride is completely safe, so you can stop worrying and focus on taking in the breathtaking scenery.
  • Six people can fit in a cable vehicle at once, three on each side. For your safety, avoid crowding the cable cars if you have a big group, and think about splitting up appropriately.
  • Make careful to pack and wear warm clothing if you’re traveling in the winter because it gets chilly from Phase I and above.

I hope the previous advice on organizing a trip to the Gulmarg Gondola was helpful. You can reach Cliffhangers India on Instagram if you have any questions, and we will be pleased to respond. With Cliffhangers India, you may also think about organizing a budget-friendly and worthwhile excursion anywhere in the vicinity of Kashmir.

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