Gulmarg Gondola In Gulmarg

The Gulmarg Gondola ride is a widely renowned activity exclusively offered in Gulmarg town in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, India. Known to be the second-highest and the second-longest cable car in the world, it attracts thousands of tourists and thrillseekers throughout the year. It is a two-stage gondola lift that has the potential to ferry approximately 600 individuals per hour from and to Kongdoori Mountain. This brilliant ropeway project is a joint venture of the government of Jammu and Kashmir and a French company named Pomagalski. The first stage of the Gulmarg Gondola was finished in 1998, and the second stage took two years to complete and was opened in 2005. An additional third phase was added to the Gulmarg Gondola back in 2011 for skiing enthusiasts, which features 90 chairlifts connecting Kongdoori to Mary’s Shoulder.

The Gulmarg Gondola ride is a fun recreational activity and is one of the prime highlights of Gulmarg tourism. It has been operational for more than two decades now, offering a unique experience to tourists. Individuals of nearly all ages can participate in this fun activity when they visit Gulmarg in Jammu and Kashmir. In this activity, individuals get to ride a cable car that takes them from Gulmarg to Kungdoor Station and then Kongdoori Mountain to Apharwat Peak. At the stops, visitors can spend time amidst the snow-capped mountains and tall pine trees and grab a hot cup of coffee while soaking in the panoramic scenic views.

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The speciality of Gulmarg Gondola 

A Gulmarg trip is generally considered incomplete without riding the famous Gulmarg Gondola. Besides being one of its main tourist attractions, there are many reasons why one should try it at least once in their lifetime. Here are some examples of why Gulmarg Gondola is special:

  • Phenomenal views- The first and foremost reason why everyone should go for the Gulmarg Gondola ride is for its views. While taking a ride on this revered cable car, you will get some of the most beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding region from a height. Depending on your time of visit, these sights can include vast green fields, rocky terrains, tall green pine trees, snow-capped mountains, snow-covered slopes, etc. In addition, the mesmerising view of the Harmukh Range and the Nanga Parbat from Apharwat Mountain is something you really wouldn’t want to miss. 
  • Ideal for snow lovers and winter sports- Gulmarg is one of the most popular skiing destinations in Jammu and Kashmir. During winter, the whole region gets covered by a thick blanket of snow, making it an ideal spot for snow lovers and winter adventure activities. With the gondola ride, you can reach the perfect skiing slopes in the region and engage in thrilling winter adventures.
  • Memorable journey- The Gondola Ride Gulmarg is a truly unique experience that will claim a permanent place in your memories. From incredible views of the surrounding areas and the availability of fun snow adventures to taking beautiful photographs and drinking a cup of warm tea or coffee amidst the shivering cold, it makes for a fun time. 
  • Simple activity- One of the best parts about the gondola ride is that it is easy and suitable for most individuals. It doesn’t involve anything extensive that may cause a physical strain on your body, except for some minor altitude sickness at Phase II.

Overview of Gondola Ride in Gulmarg

Before booking your tickets for the Gulmarg Gondola ride, make sure to get all the details regarding the activity, like its requirements. Here are some of the prime aspects of the cable car ride in Gulmarg:  

  • Operational time- It stays open from 10:00 AM to 05:00 PM,
  • Phase 1 route- Gulmarg to Kongdoori,
  • The time needed for the Phase I ride- Around 9-10 minutes,
  • Phase 2 route- Kongdoori to Apharwat Peak,
  • The time needed for the Phase II ride- Around 12-15 minutes,
  • Chair Lift- Kongdoori to Mary’s Shoulder,
  • Age Requirements- Children below 10 years are not allowed in Phase 3 (Chairlift phase),
  • Time required for the whole activity- 2-3 hours.

Things to keep in mind before booking Gondola Ride

The process of the Gulmarg Gondola is pretty straightforward and can be divided into a few sections. The first involves finalising a date and time for your visit. After that, make sure to buy the required tickets a few weeks before through the official website. Then just visit the destination at the allotted time and wait for your turn. Once in the Gondola cable car, you can enjoy the majestic views of the surrounding area and spend some quality time amidst the serene atmosphere at the mid and top stations. Here are some other crucial details you need to know before booking your Gondola ride Gulmarg tickets:

Ideal time for Gulmarg Gondola: 

Depending on your time of visit, you can get different experiences during your Gulmarg Gondola ride. For instance, most people consider the winter season to be the best time to visit Gulmarg Gondola as the whole region remains covered by thick layers of snow. It offers spectacular views of the snow-covered vast fields, pine trees and towering mountain peaks. The winter season also tends to be the best time for skiing, snowboarding and other winter adventures.

However, the Gulmarg Gondola remains operational throughout the year and is an ideal recreational activity at any given time, as long as the present weather conditions allow it. If you are not interested in skiing or don’t fancy the sheer cold, you can go for the Gulmarg Gondola prior to the onset of winter, like in late September or early October. During this time, the temperature remains pleasant, and you can get phenomenal panoramic views of the green meadows, towering trees and the snow-capped mountain peaks in the distance. 

Time taken for the registration:

In order to go on the Gulmarg Gondola ride, individuals are required to book their slots in advance, which takes a few minutes. There is an offline counter at the location, however, booking tickets online is considered the most convenient option. To book tickets, make sure to visit the official site, select the desired route, date and time, enter the required details and proceed with the online payment. After that, individuals should get the confirmation and ticket details within the next few hours, making the whole registration process for Gulmarg Gondola fast and easy.

Options available:

In terms of the availability of options, there are three routes to choose from in the Gulmarg Gondola. The first is Phase 1, which runs from Gulmarg to Kungdoor, the second is Phase 2, which runs from Kongdori to Apharwat Peak and the third is Phase 3 (Chairlift Phase), which runs from Kongdoori to Mary’s Shoulder. Each of these routes costs separately, and it is better to book the slots a few weeks before your visit.  

How the activity is conducted:

The procedure of the Gulmarg Gondola ride is as simple as it gets. First, you will need to reach the main cable car station in Gulmarg, preferably an hour before the allotted time, and stand in the queue. Soon you will pass through the ticket-checking counter and reach the primary hub. There, you will enter the cable car, which is surrounded by transparent glass and seats 6 participants at once, and begin your journey. The first stoppage will be Phase I (Kongdoori), where you can free roam, eat at restaurants, take pictures, and explore any way you prefer. After that, you can approach the next cable car hub in Phase I, which will take you to the final stop, Phase II (Apharwat). Similarly, you can explore Phase II to your heart’s content and follow the same way down to Phase I and then to the main hub for your return.

Locations to do Gulmarg Gondola ride 

The Gulmarg Gondola ride is only offered at a single location within the town. It is operated by Jammu and Kashmir Cable Car Corporation and is located just a kilometre from the town centre. The time and prices are all fixed, with the availability of online booking. As one of the main tourist attractions in Gulmarg, it is a must-try recreational activity during your Jammu and Kashmir holidays.

Entry Fees/ Prices of Gulmarg Gondola Ride

The cable car ride is divided into three phases, each having a separate price tag. The Gulmarg Gondola tickets are quite reasonably priced, and you can book them online via the official website to skip the long queues. Here’s everything you need to know about the Gulmarg Gondola ticket price:

  • Gulmarg Gondola Phase I (Gulmarg-Kongdoori) Ticket- INR 740 plus convenience fee per adult 
  • Gulmarg Gondola Phase II (Kongdoori-Apharwat) Ticket- INR 950 plus convenience fee per adult
  • Gulmarg Gondola Phase II Chairlift (Kongdoori-Mary’s Shoulder)- INR 300 plus convenience fee per adult

Also, children above the age of 12 are treated as adults, so keep that in mind when buying tickets for the Gulmarg ropeway cable car ride. 

How to reach the Gulmarg Gondola

If you are unfamiliar with the Gulmarg cable car ride, then make sure to learn as much as you can about it before setting out for the day. It will keep you safe from any likely scams and make your journey smooth sailing. The distance between Srinagar to Gulmarg is about 50 kilometres, and you can opt for a shared cab or a rental car to get there. Once you reach Gulmarg, the Gondola Boarding point is about 15-20 minutes from the taxi stop. Here are some of the best ways to reach the starting point of the Gondola ride from Gulmarg:

  • Taxi- Going by taxi is the most economical, comfortable and quickest way to reach the gondola boarding point. It is also ideal for the elderly and children.
  • Hike- The road leading to the boarding point makes for an interesting hiking trail which you can cover within half an hour. Keep in mind that it is a long way and is not suitable for everyone. 
  • Horse ride- If you are looking for something more adventurous, consider a horse ride from near the Gulmarg parking lot to the Gondola boarding point. However, beware of the scams because some horse owners charge a lot of money and cover longer routes to justify the ride. It can make you lose both money and time.

Rules, tips and things to know before you go for the Gulmarg Gondola ride 

Here are some useful tips, rules and vital details regarding the Gulmarg Gondola cable ride that you should know beforehand:

  • It is best to buy Gulmarg Gondola tickets online to avoid wasting hours standing in long queues or falling for local scams.
  • Phase III (Chairlift Phase) of the Gulmarg Gondola is only open to individuals above the age of 11, so keep that in mind before buying tickets. 
  • The elderly and children may face Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) in Phase II. So make sure to take special care of them and carry small supplemental oxygen canisters along the ride. 
  • If the weather in the region turns bad, it can affect the ride timings and even halt the Gulmarg Gondola service.  
  • You can find restaurants and various food vendors in Phase I. However, Phase II only has one or two vendors selling tea, coffee and Maggi to visitors. 
  • The prices for food and general services charged in the location are around 50% higher than the MRP. 
  • Apart from winter, you can also go for Gulmarg Gondola in summer to get a different perspective on the natural landscapes. 
  • All safety measures are taken during the Gulmarg Gondola ride, so you can refrain from being afraid and enjoy the mesmerising scenic views instead.
  • Each cable car sits six individuals at a time, three on each side. So if you have a large group, consider splitting accordingly and avoid crowding the cable cars for your own safety. 
  • If you are visiting during the winter season, make sure to wear and pack warm clothes as it gets chilly from the point of Phase I and above.

FAQs about Gulmarg Gondola

  1. Is the Gulmarg Gondola cable car ride safe?

    Yes, the Gulmarg cable car ride is safe. All safety measures and precautions are taken to ensure the well-being of the visitors. Also, there are operators available at all corners of the ride to offer assistance when needed.

  2. What is the appropriate time to book slots for the Gulmarg Gondola ride?

    There are mainly three time slots available for the Gulmarg Gondola ride. Slot 1 is from 9 AM to 11 AM, Slot 2 is from 11:15 AM to 01:15 PM, and Slot 3 is from 01:30 to 03:30 PM. Even though you can book the one that seems convenient, try going as early as possible. Also, the Gondola Ride Gulmarg price is the same for every slot.

  3. What is the distance between Gulmarg and the Gondola boarding point?

    The distance between the Gulmarg parking lot to the Gondola boarding point is about 1 kilometre. It can take around 30 mins to reach it by foot or 7-8 minutes by taxi.

  4. What are some things to do in Phase I and Phase II of the Gulmarg Gondola?

    When you land on Phase I, make sure to try out the food there from the restaurants and vendors. The wonderful setting adds to the ambience, making for a memorable time. When at Phase II, make sure to try hot coffee and Kashmiri Kawa and take beautiful pictures with the backdrop of snow-covered mountain peaks.

  5. Are cameras allowed on the Gulmarg Gondola cable car rides?

    Yes, cameras are allowed throughout the Gondola Ropeway Gulmarg cable car ride, and you don’t have to pay additional money for it. So make sure to click as many beautiful photographs as you can.

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