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Gulmarg Gondola: Highest rope-way in world and longest in Asia
In recent years, Gulmarg has emerged as a major ski resort in the world. A record number of tourists continue to throng the region every year. Thanks to Gulmarg Gondola, the world's highest passenger ropeway system, tourists enjoy skiing besides the panoramic view of Kashmir valley.

THOSE WITH a passion for skiing need not go to one of the European countries or the US and Canada for the experience. In recent years, Gulmarg in Kashmir valley has come up as a major ski resort. Thanks to J&K State Cable Car Corporation, tourists are getting a ski lift to the upper reaches of the tourist resort.

According to officials, the Gulmarg ‘Gondola project’ is the world’s highest passenger ropeway system, carrying skiers to an altitude of 13,400 ft above sea level. It is also Asia’s longest ropeway with an aerial distance of 5.10 km.

A two-stage project, it a joint venture of the Jammu and Kashmir government and a French company Poma. The first stage connects Gulmarg to Kongdoori; it became operational from May, 1998. The second stage extends from Kongdoori to Afarwat peak; it became functional from May, 2005.  The latest addition is the Kongdoori-Merry Shoulder chairlift. Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah inaugurated it just ahead of the winter in 2011.

With this feature, tourism has got a shot in the arm and revenues have also jacked up. Gulmarg Gondola has earned record revenue of over Rs.10 crore in 2011. In recent years, the state of Jammu & Kashmir has witnessed a growing number of tourists. 2011 was a record year with tourists’ number crossing the figure of 10 lakhs, including about 5 lakh Amarnath pilgrims. And, tourist’s itinerary is incomplete without a jaunt to Gulmarg and above all, a ride at Gulmarg Gondola.

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