SRINAGAR: Want to enjoy a meal, snack or hot drink sitting inside an igloo? If you are in Gulmarg and willing to spend a few bucks, this may become a reality. India’s first-ever igloo café has come up in the famous ski resort, which is presently blanketed by snow. From tables to chairs, everything inside is made of ice, and the cafe with four tables can accommodate 16 customers at a time.
It is the brainchild of hotelier Syed Waseem Shah, owner of the Kolahoi Green Heights in Gulmarg. Talking to this newspaper, Waseem said he got the idea while visiting Europe a few years back. “I saw igloo cafes there and was impressed by them. These cafes add to the attraction of Europe in winter.” After the heavy snowfall this winter, Waseem decided to give shape to his idea a few weeks back.
“I hired 20 workers and they worked for 15 days to complete the work. It needs continuous maintenance.” The place with a diameter of 22 feet is 13 feet high. The walls are 21 inches thick. The café has received good response from the locals as well as tourists. People are clicking selfies and shooting videos of the interiors made entirely of ice. Waseem added that they have not used anything artificial like wood or plastic. To keep things warm, they have placed animal hide on the chairs.
“We also give hot water bottles and blankets to the customers.” Temperature inside the café is 10-12 degrees more than what it is outside. “If outside it is -5, it will be 5-7 degrees inside the igloo. Snow itself is an insulator and keeps it warm inside.” Waseem claims this is the biggest igloo cafe in Asia. “I have approached Limca Book of Records. They have sought details and accepted my entry.” He hopes to set a world record next year.