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Snow chairs to ice tables: Kashmir’s first Igloo café comes up at Gulmarg

Srinagar: Come enjoy the cuppa in the first Igloo café of Kashmir.

As the valley freezes, a private hotelier has built the first igloo café in Gulmarg.


Waseem Shah, who owns Kalahoi Green Heights,  build an Igloo café adjacent to his hotel to create a European feel n Kashmir.

From snow tables to snow chairs, the 22 x 12 feet café can accommodate more than two dozen people at a time.

“The idea struck me some 3 years back when I visited Switzerland. So, we came up with an idea of a snow restaurant measuring 22 feet in diameter and 12.5 feet in height. It can accommodate four tables with sixteen guests at any point of time,” he said.

Shah said it took him 20 people and 15 days to build the igloo café which was thrown open on Sunday evening.

Waseem Shah, Owner, Kalahoi Green Heights

“The concept of snow restaurant is very new to India although it has been tested successfully in Finland, Canada, and Switzerland. The walls are 21 inches thick and it took us huge labor to build them. The outside dimensions of the snow restaurant are 26 feet in diameter and 15 feet in height. The task was accomplished with a team of 20 members working in two shifts,” Shah said.

He said an array of beautiful lights and fur has been kept on snow tables to give warmth to the customers. Shah is eyeing the Limca book of records for building Asia’s biggest igloo cafe.

“It has become a huge attraction for people and tourists. We are planning to build even bigger next year to break the Guinness Book of World records. We want Kashmir to be promoted at par with European destinations,” he said.

Igloo Café has become the center of attraction for the tourists and locals who were seen clicking selfies and enjoying food. “The café will work remain open till the end of February. People are coming in huge numbers and clicking pictures inside the café,” Shah said.

Tourists equally were enthralled to witness the first snow structure at Gulmarg. “We have seen Igloo for the first time in our lives. We can’t express our happiness in words. It is for the first time that we are sitting on the snow chairs and relish food inside the igloo,” said Saurabh Banerjee, a tourist from West Bengal.