Snow-clad Gulmarg, a tourist-favourite destination in Kashmir, has followed in the footsteps of Finland, Canada, and Switzerland to open up an igloo cafe for the second consecutive year. This time, the 38-feet high snow structure is believed to be the world’s largest and will serve visitors until the end of winter. By Eshita Srinivas
Travellers heading to Gulmarg can now add the unique experience of dining in an igloo cafe to their itineraries. The cafe, reopened for the second consecutive year, is run by Kolahoi Green Group of Hotels and Resorts. This year, however, the creators have taken things up a notch with a larger space and unique additions. Named Snowglu, the cafe has 10 tables and can seat 40 people at a time. It will remain open until the end of winter, tentatively taking its last order in early March.
Gulmarg’s Igloo cafe is said to be the world’s largest
The “world’s largest” igloo cafe has opened its doors for visitors at a ski resort in Gulmarg, India-administered Kashmir
With a height of 11.4 metres and a diametre of 13.5 metres, the cafe is large enough to accommodate 40 guests at one time pic.twitter.com/5yT951TLZz
— TRT World (@trtworld) February 7, 2022
Standing at a height of 37.5 feet and a diameter of 44.5 feet, the cafe claims to be the world’s largest. Elaborating on this, Syed Wasim Shah, the creator of the cafe stated that the current record holder, according to the Guinness Book Of World Records, is a 33.8 feet, 42.4 diameter large structure in Switzerland. “So, this is larger than that,” he added in a report by NDTV. Shah drew inspiration from his travels in Switzerland. “I saw this concept in Switzerland a few years back where they have such hotels, which are equipped with sleeping facilities as well. I thought Gulmarg sees a lot of snow and why not start this concept here,” he said.
The World’s Largest Igloo Cafe Opens In Gulmarg, Kashmir, With Snow Chairs And Ice Tables pic.twitter.com/Zk4rPjvcmB
— Basit Zargar (باسط) (@basiitzargar) February 5, 2022
The one-of-a-kind cafe has two sections, one to serve customers and one to act as an art space, complete with a staircase, ANI reports. Over 65 days and the labour of 25 people went into its construction and the walls are five feet thick and decorated with various patterns.
The doorway is arched and an ice sculpture sits at the centre of the cafe. The tables and benches are made of snow, but the seats are covered with sheep’s skin to offer warmth to the customers. Visitors can spend just about an hour inside until the cold gets to them. To add that local touch, hand-engraved Kashmiri copper samovar, a unique artwork, has been placed in the cafe, a news report by Mint adds.
It promises to be one of the must visit tourist destinations among others in #Kashmir, both for its ingenuity and beauty
Since its opening, pictures of the Igloo Cafe have been going viral#Kashmir#IAmKashmir #ProsperousKashmir#Nayakashmir @Harsimrankang0 @ANI @CestMoiz pic.twitter.com/DDMxHrItEM
— Radio Chinar (@RadioChinar) February 6, 2022
In a report by Roshan Kashmir, the staff added, ““We wanted to serve our guests in a unique way and in a very unique accommodation and the idea of doing something dramatic for our guests and patrons has worked as it has attracted a large number of tourists last year. We are hopeful that the same will happen this year as dozens of tourists are coming to just see this igloo.”
All images: Basit Zargar/Twitter