Background history says that the work on the Gulmarg Gondola Project was started by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir in 1987. The whole Gondola ride has two phases: Phases I and II namely from Gulmarg to Kongdoori and Kongdoori to Apharwat Peak respectively. The time taken to complete the first phase is around 10 minutes and the second one gets done in about 12 minutes. The second phase of the gondola ride project was finished really fast. In about two years, the project was done and operational from May 28, 2005. The Gondola system makes use of 19 towers for the operation running between Gulmarg and Kongdoor stretch. This phase is capable of handling 1,500 people at its outer limit on an hourly basis. The second stretch or phase II that goes from Kongdoor to Apharwat, makes use of 18 towers and is capable of handling 600 people per hour.
The Gulmarg Gondola rides serve two purpose: transportation as well as leisurely entertainment. The entire cable car ride high above is extremely scenic and hence enjoyable. Another phase of Gondola ride can also be enjoyed by adventure seekers i.e., from Kongdoori to Marry Shoulder (a popular skiing destination).
Imagine being thousands of feet above the ground and hanging in a cable car with snowcapped mountains right in front of your eyes! This enthralling experience is what the Gondola rides provide tourists. So, this sure cannot be missed from your travel itinerary. Once riding on the Gondola you will get to see a bird’s-eye view of the whole mountainous area. The two phases of the cable car rides cover around 5 kms of total distance.
The two phases of the gondola ride transports around 600 people on an hourly basis, to and from Kongdoori Mountain (which is a part of the Afarwat Peak). The operational timings of the gondola ride is officially 10 AM to 5 PM but it also depends on the weather conditions in both the phases.
During the Gondola ride, you get ample opportunity to take in the beauty of Gulmarg. The weather being always nice and cold there, the Gondola ride is a popular tourist place. If you are looking to reach the summit of the mighty Apharwat peak, this is the only way you can go there. There is no delay in changing the Gondolas between the two phases. The whole transportation system here is managed very smoothly. However, in unlike weather conditions, the operation has to be closed at many occasions. So, make sure you enquire properly before you go, especially in winters that’s harsh in this region.