Shairbeen

Human Voice

Kashmir’s first igloo restaurant opens in Gulmarg

3 min read



‘Igloo witnesses huge rush of tourists, booking tables by appointment only’

Gulmarg, the famous tourist spot of Jammu and Kashmir has become home to India’s first and Asia’s biggest Igloo Cafe started by the Kolahoi Green Group of Hotels and Resorts in Gulmarg.

Waseem Shah, the managing director of Kolahoi Green Group of Hotels and Resorts said that the idea to set up very first igloo cafe came into his mind after their family had built a small igloo outside their residence Srinagar.

“The idea of building an igloo came at Gulmarg after a igloo built at our residence attracted lot of people”, he said, adding that “the concept of a snow cafe is very new to Kashmir although it has been tested successfully in Finland, Canada, Switzerland and some other countries.”

“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 large number of tourists”, he said.

The huge snow cafe measuring 22 feet in diameter and 12.5 feet in height, from inside is enough to accommodate four tables with sixteen guests at any point of time, he said, adding that the outside dimensions of the snow restaurant is 26 feet in diameter and 15 feet in height.

The task was accomplished with a team of 20 members working in two shifts. “The project was completed in 15 days, he said, adding that to make the seating comfortable, we used sheep hides to make a person sitting on snow feel warm and tables and benches are all made of snow and ice,” he said.

We threw this igloo open for the public on Monday and the response has been very good and we have served dozens of people so far, he said, adding that hopefully the cafe would remain functional till ending February.

He said that “we are having a huge rush of tourists as it has become very famous as people are eager to visit and having experience of eating inside an igloo and we are booking tables by appointment only.”

A guest can spend about one hour inside the igloo or till he/she feels cold and to give it a traditional touch, a Kashmiri art work with hand engraved Kashmir copper samovar has been placed there, he said.

“This is biggest igloo cafe in Asia and I have approached Limca Book of Records, Waseem claimed and he hoped to set a world record next year,” he said.

Pertinently, an Igloo is also known as a snow house or snow hut, is a type of shelter built of snow, typically built when the snow is suitable.

Moreover igloos are often associated with all Inuit and Eskimo peoples, they were traditionally used only by the people of Canada’s Central Arctic and Greenland’s Thule area. Other Inuit tended to use snow to insulate their houses, which were constructed from whalebone and hides. Snow is used because the air pockets trapped in it make it an insulator.