Kashmir’s first Igloo café all set to amaze tourists

Tourists having dinner inside snow Igloo cafe in Gulmarg. —Excelsior/Aabid Nabi
Tourists having dinner inside snow Igloo cafe in Gulmarg. —Excelsior/Aabid Nabi

Suhail Bhat

Srinagar, Jan 25: A hotelier has made stunning Igloo café out of snow to entice more visitors to the Valley’s winter wonderland Gulmarg, where there is abundant snow this winter.
From snow tables to chairs, everything is made up of snow in the cafe and it took 15-days to get completed. The restaurant left everyone awestruck on an opening day as it was the first of its kind in the Valley.
The restaurant is 22 feet long and 12.5 feet in height and can accommodate four tables with 16 guests at any point in time. “I have seen such restaurants in countries like Finland, Canada, and Switzerland. They always fascinated me. I wanted to give a similar experience to my guests. I built a smaller version of it in my house in Srinagar, and people praised it. That inspired me to build this one here, “Waseem Shah, who owns Kalahoi Green Heights, told Excelsior. He said that they have placed a pattern of charming lights and fur on snow tables to give warmth to the customers.
When the restaurant was lit up at night for the visitors on the first day it generated a reasonable response. “We are getting a lot of inquiries about it,” he said.
As the restaurant is entirely made of snow, he said, some people were curious about the cold inside. “They should not worry as snow is a self-insulator and that keeps it warm inside. For example, if the outside temperature is -12 °C, it will be +2 °C inside,” he said.
Shah claimed the igloo is the biggest in Asia and that can secure it a place in Limca book of records. “I have already spoken to them and send pictures,” he said.
“If a person wants to have food in the restaurant, he has to pay Rs 1500 extra. Apart from the food, he has to pay extra Rs 1500 for the unique experience,” Shah said.
Keeping in view huge response of tourist and locals, the owner has decided to keep the café open till February. “People are showing interest and take selfies while enjoying food in the café. We are getting a huge response. We will keep it for now,” Shah said.
The tourists were equally delighted to witness such a facility in Gulmarg. “We have never seen such a structure. It is a dream come true for us to eat inside a snow café where everything including table and chairs are made up of snow. It is amazing,” a tourist said.