Gulmarg rated Asia`s seventh best ski resort

Jammu: The Gulmarg health resort in Jammu and Kashmir has been rated by CNN International as Asia`s seventh best ski destination.

Appi Kogen in Japan`s Honshu island tops the list as the best ski resort in Asia, followed by Niseko in Hokkaido, also in Japan.

CNN International says that in the 19th Century, Gulmarg was a hill station for British colonials to escape the summer heat.

"These days, it is a world class ski resort blanketed with fresh light powder from the Himalayas, attracting ski bums tired of Alpine lift queues and fondues," the news channel said.

The report also saysthat the resort`s claim to fame is the Gulmarg Gandola, the highest ski lift in the world at a dizzying height of 3,979 metres. At the top station, skiers can take on challenging runs with Nanga Parbat, the world`s ninth highest peak, in the backdrop. Around 400,000 intrepid skiers took the gondola ride last year.

"The government will soon install all modern facilities required to supplement tourism-related activities in the state," Kashmir Tourism Minister Nawang Rigzin Jora told reporters Friday.

"It is heartening to know that Gulmarg has won international recognition for being one of the best ski resorts. We would like to promote it as well as other equally beautiful places in all the three regions of the state.

"Gulmarg has the potential to come up as an international convention centre also. We will soon devise a permanent winter calendar to attract domestic as well as overseas visitors to the resort," the minister said.