For a fun filled ride of a most unusual kind, Gulmarg’s newly constructed Gondola lift from high above Gulmarg, through pine clad slopes, is exhilarating.
- By Nov 20, 2005 the Jammu and Kashmir State Cable Car Corporation (JKSCCC) has earned a record revenue of more than Rs six crore from April to November 15 this year.
- The world’s highest and the Asia’s longest cable car project at this famed ski resort has been a star attraction for foreign as well as domestic tourists this year and has given a major boost to the tourism sector and winter sports in the state, particularly the valley. The project has also helped in promoting Gulmarg as a premier skiing destination in the world.
- More than ten lakh domestic and local tourists visited the Gulmarg hill station.
- The ropeway, which has 36 cabins, ferries about 600 tourists to and from the Afarwat peak and comprises 35 towers and 30 stations.
- Earlier skiers used to access the destination by helicopters which was a huge financial burden on the visitors. The ropeway has made skiing a very cost effective venture for tourists. It is a viable option for domestic visitors also.
- It is the only ropeway in the world that takes skiers to a height of 4,390 mt.
- There is a proposal to construct chair lifts which will connect Kongdoori with Merry Shoulder peak for beginners and intermediate skiers. The project is at the final stage with tenders being floated soon and is expected to be completed before next winter. There are about 200 tourist bookings for the winter skiing.
- 302,795 tourists took Gondola rides since April to November 15 in the year 2005.
- There have been more domestic than foreign tourists to Gulmarg this year.
- The ropeway project is a joint venture of the Jammu and Kashmir government and French firm Poma Glaski.
- The cable car, which has been extended further by 2.65 km, connects the bowl-shaped Kongdoori Valley at 10,000 ft with Afarwat, situated 13 km from the tourist resort of Gulmarg, and at an altitude of 13,400 ft. The second phase from Kangdoori to Afarwat was finished well ahead of time.
- The second phase from Kongdoori to Afarwat (about 5 km) was completed in a record time of about two years at a cost of Rs 11 crore and opened on May 28, 2005.
The French company had also built the first phase of the cable car project, connecting Gulmarg to Kongdoori, in 1998.