It’s almost a year when we visited Kashmir. Kashmir was always one of the top destination in my bucket. In that Gondola ride, Gulmarg was one of the most memorable experience. We visited Kashmir for 5 days, so we could keep only 1 day for Gulmarg visit. After lot of research, I decided to ride Gandola instead of visiting other places in Gulmarg. So here is this post about Gondola ride Gulmarg- Everything you need to know before visiting.
How to Reach Gulmarg from Srinagar:
The distance between Srinagar and Gulmarg is approx.50 Km. the best way to reach Gulmarg from Srinagar is by hiring a car. It will take 1- 1.30 hour to reach Gulmarg. There may be some bus services available for locals, but for tourists the best option is car.
Best time to Visit Gulmarg Gondola:
I believe every time is best time to visit this heaven on earth. It depends on your preference. If you want to see snow covered Alpine range then go in the winter (November- December, Feb- March), if you want to see the meadow covered in green carpet, go in the month of July- August. We went in the month of August, and witnessed the valley covered with flowers and green grasses.
About the Gondola Ride:
Gulmarg is situated at the height of 2653 m, in a pine surrounded base of Pir Panjal range. The Gondola Gulmarg is the second highest cable car in the World. It goes even higher height than the cable car of Mount Titlis, Switzerland. There is two phase in the lift operation. Gulmarg > Kongdoor and Kongdoor > Apharwat.
Phase 1 of the Gulmarg Gondola goes to a height of 3100 meters above sea level to middle station Kongdoor Mountain, from which skiers have access to numerous easy runs through the trees and to the groomed but narrow slopes.
Phase 2 of the Gondola ride starts at Kongdoor and goes to Apharwat (3980 meters.) The steepness of the ride is more in second phase than in first phase.
We were feeling like we have reached above the clouds. You can view the beautiful panoramic view of Pir Panjal range from the top. Even you can see LOC, Pakistan base at Kargil from the above. While going to the top, you can see the top view of Shepherds’ homes. The Gondola will passes through the Pine trees. It is the experience which can’t be explained in words.
How to book Gondola ride, Kashmir:
As we went in the month of August, it was off peak season for Gondola. I booked the ticket online from here.
However, though you book the online ticket, you have to collect the passes from counter for which you have to get into line. We heard that in peak season the queue is quite long.
Gulmarg Gondola Ride Price:
The ticket price for only first phase is 740 per head and for up to second phase you have to spend 1800 per head. This seems little more, however I insists you to spend this much to get this experience.
Alternative way to reach up to Kongdoor (first phase):
If you are acrophobic (fear of height), then to avoid the cable car, you can take the pony ride. The price is highly negotiable and flexible based on season. In the August, they were asking 500 per pony. I believe on peak season they will ask more. Based on your preference of reaching there, you can choose.
For second phase there is no other option available than Gondola.
Others things to note:
- Gulmarg is the place where there is no control of people from outside Gulmarg. So your driver and car cannot even enter the area if it is hired from any other part of Kashmir. The car has to be parked outside the boundary. People of Gulmarg are very rough and quite opposite than the other part of Kashmir.
- You have to do good bargaining for taking any services you want (hiring Pony or buying any souvenirs).
- The distance form main gate to the Gondola place is almost 2Km, which either you have walk or you can take pony. I insists walking as the view is awesome and you can walk at your pace. The pony offering people may tell you that the distance is 5-6 Km, so that you hire the pony! My suggestion is avoid talking with them. Our driver warned us about this, so we were saved from the ploy.
- Take woolens/ warm clothes with you even when you are not feeling cold at ground level. We did mistake of not taking any winter cloths as in August most of the places were not very cold. However in the Apharwat (at the height of 3980 meters), we were shivering and it was very difficult to stay for longer because of the chilly wind.
Places to Stay:
Though we have not stayed overnight at Gulmarg, we decided to come back to Srinagar the same day by night, but we saw many hotels inside and outside the campus. You can book from www. Booking.com using my refer code to get Rs. 750 cashback.
Places to Eat:
There at many places to eat inside and outside the Gondola building, where you can get veg and Non veg food. Food quality is ok (not very good) and butter chicken can even be tasted as garlic chicken. Ha ha…
There is one good restaurant at the Kongdoor (First phase of Gondola ride), but the price is higher.
Other Places to visit at Gulmarg:
The campus is very big and we spend most of the time in the first and second level of the Gondola ride. While going out we saw a very big golf course. This golf course is second highest in World, situated at a height of 2650 meters and is spread over 7505 yards.
This was all about Gondola ride, Gulmarg. If you want to more about Kashmir tourism or want my help to plan your trip, send me a mail. Pin the below image for future reference.
- Everything you need to know before visiting Kashmir
- Safety of tourist in Kashmir
- Places to see in Srinagar