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Updated January 27th, 2024 at 18:27 IST

Gulmarg's Helicopter Joyrides Woo Tourists With Breathtaking Views of Sunshine Peak & Apharwat Peak

The helicopter joyrides offer visitors a unique and breathtaking perspective of the snow-capped mountain peaks, providing an unforgettable experience.

Zeenat Zeeshan Fazil
Kashmir: The helicopter joyrides offer visitors a unique and breathtaking perspective of the snow-capped mountain peaks in Gulmarg.
Kashmir: The helicopter joyrides offer visitors a unique and breathtaking perspective of the snow-capped mountain peaks in Gulmarg. | Image:Republic Digital
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Srinagar: Despite the uncharacteristic absence of abundant snowfall this winter, Gulmarg, the renowned ski destination, is experiencing a revival in tourism with the introduction of helicopter joy rides. The disappointment among snow enthusiasts due to the lack of traditional snowy adventures has been mitigated by the addition of these thrilling rides, injecting new life into the landscape.

The helicopter joyrides offer visitors a unique and breathtaking perspective of the snow-capped mountain peaks, providing an unforgettable experience soaring above the picturesque Sunshine Peak and Apharwat Peak, situated at a height of 4,390 meters (14,403 ft.) above sea level.

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Gulmarg, boasting more than three acres of ski and snowboarding terrain, usually attracts snow enthusiasts with its heavy snowfall and snow-covered landscapes. However, this winter presented an unusual scarcity of snow. Despite the setback, the introduction of helicopter rides has compensated for the lack of traditional snowy adventures.

Despite the uncharacteristic absence of abundant snowfall this winter, Gulmarg, the renowned ski destination, is experiencing a revival in tourism with the introduction of helicopter joy rides. 

The beginner’s slopes in Gulmarg start at about 7000 feet, with more serious runs at 10,000 feet. A chairlift can take ski and snowboard enthusiasts up to 11,500 feet, while Phase 2 is the highest run at 14,000 feet.

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The Gondola on Apharwat Peak, one of Asia's largest and highest cable cars, takes skiers and snowboarders to the height of 3900 meters to 4100 meters on the mountain, offering breathtaking views of pine forests and snow-capped Himalayan mountain peaks.

Since the commencement of helicopter joyrides on January 13, there has been an overwhelming response, particularly from domestic tourists drawn by the allure of snow-covered mountain peaks.

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Each helicopter ride, priced at approximately Rs 13,000 per person, has become a thrilling adventure for visitors like Sandeep Singh from Mumbai.

Despite the scarcity of snow during this winter season, the introduction of helicopter rides in Kashmir's Gulmarg has compensated for the lack of traditional snowy adventures.

“Initially disheartened by the lack of abundant snow for snowboarding, but found solace and excitement in the helicopter experience. This was simply excellent. The view of the snow-capped mountains above was breathtaking,” said Singh, a tourist from Mumbai.

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“We are getting attracted to such services as they help us to explore these high peaks and witness the natural beauty from the skies,” expressed a tourist group from Mumbai.

Gondola rides remain popular among tourists, offering a different but equally mesmerizing view of the snow-covered landscapes.

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“Taking the Gondola ride was a dreamlike experience. The panorama was nothing short of mesmerizing. It's a must-try experience in Gulmarg,” said Abhishek Dutta, an adventurer from Manali.

Gondola rides remain popular among tourists, offering a different but equally mesmerizing view of the snow-covered landscapes in Gulmarg.

In the face of snow scarcity, Gulmarg has adapted and evolved, providing tourists with alternative and thrilling experiences. The helicopter joyrides have not only turned disappointment into awe for visitors but have also added a new chapter to the allure of Gulmarg, making it an adventure worth every moment.

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Published January 27th, 2024 at 18:27 IST

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