Snow-covered Gulmarg is now home to an igloo café whose owner claims it to be the largest of its kind in the world which can attend 40 customers at a time. Measuring 44.50 ft diameter with a height of 37.50 ft and 48 inch thick walls, the igloo café has tables and chairs are made of ice. Animal hides are placed on the ice chairs to ensure thermal insulation.

Fresh snow is sprayed on the igloo every day as it needs continuous maintenance. The café will remain open till mid-March. Hotelier Syed Waseem Shah SAID that it took him 64 days to set up the igloo. “We started the work on December 3 and it was completed today only. It took 1,700 man-days to complete the igloo. Workers were engaged in double shifts with one group worked from 9 am to 4 pm and the other from 5 pm to 11 pm.”

"The biggest Igloo so far had been set up in Switzerland and it figured in the Guinness Book of Records. It had a height of 33.8 ft with a diameter of 42.4 ft. We will contact Guinness officials to get our café recorded as the world’s biggest Igloo café," Waseem said.

The Citizen photographer Basit Zargar captures the freeze with the steaming cups of tea: