I first visited the Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering building (Gulmarg) at night and I could not make out its features at all. Also the concentration was on not falling down while walking on the snow. Then I caught a glimpse of the Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering at Gulmarg from a moving vehicle the next day. It was such a lovely sight. I knew I had to ask the driver to stop so that we could click pictures!
Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering, Gulmarg
I met the principle of the institute and I could see how much he enjoyed his work. He could talk about the institute for hours on end. He suggested that I could actually do a course with my daughter if I can manage two weeks of leave! Now that is a very tempting proposition for me but not sure how my 5 year old will react to it!
When I told Chhavi about snow and skiing she shouted, “I will make a lot of snowmen!” I think I will just take her to a place where she make snowmen and leave skiing and all to when she has grown up more or when I can easily manage two weeks of leave! On this trip we were supposed to do a short ski stint but due to some reason it didn’t happen. I can’t decide if I was happy or sad. I think I was happy because I didn’t fall while trying it. I am sure I would have taken a fall every time I tried to ski!
And the skies tell you a story too, it snowed at night at Gulmarg on the day I took this picture.
This post is part of Sky Watch Friday. It is great fun, do check it out.
Gulmarg Gondola is a Jammu and Kashmir state government initiative. I am sure it is aimed at giving an access to the slopes for skiing. But then it is available for a joy ride too. And we went for the joy ride.
Gulmarg Gondola Offices
In March the places was not too crowded though there were both tourists and Skiers. There were more skiers than tourists using the place. The Gondolas are self operating. When the doors open at the dock we need to step in and after that they close on their own. It would have been then times more fun if people would not have scratched the glass for writing their names and otherwise. I hated the scratches on the gondola glasses. And the litter left behind by tourists. It leaves me foaming at mouth.
A Skiier at Gulmarg
We had Mudassar with us from the Khyber as our escort and he knew a lot about the region. He told us that a lot of the skiers came from Russia. Later at another hotel I also caught a glimpse of the famous Bill Barker who is said to know about Gulmarg more than even a local!
Aparwath, Level Two at Gulmarg Gondola
We did not spend much time at Level 1 (Kungdoor) but we did get out for quite sometime at Aparwath the level 2 of the Gondola ride. In this picture you can see Mudassar (sitting) clicking Neehar who is in turn being clicked by Ashwin and then all of them are being clicked by me. I wonder if we all were in someone’s frame as well! A media trip means that there would be plenty of cameras and plenty of clicking.
View at Level 2, Aparwath, Gulmarg Gondola
Aparwath was chilly because there was a stiff wind blowing. I was glad that I had my thick jacket. For a while I was content clicking pictures. Then the trekker in me wanted to walk up to the next bend. When I started walking, Mudassar joined me on the walk. I am sure he was worried about me breaking a limb by falling on the snow. I just slipped once but I did not fall. Thank god for the small mercies. He then told me about the concept of Heli Skiing. So in Heli Skiing people get dropped on the peaks by a helicopter and then they ski down! How does that sound to you? To me it sounded pretty incredulous.
We also had a long chat about Kashmir and its situation but it is going to be a separate post someday.
I started my India travel blog, Travel Tales from India in 2005. In 2016 I realized Travel Tales from India and Abroad better reflected my writings. I love to walk and ride in metros around the world. I have not been everywhere, I am not even close, but it is on my list. I also quit my job as a professor in 2015, it was a happening year! I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur ages ago!
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