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 New Year revellers bring life to Gulmarg

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Srinagar, Dec 31: The ski resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir was abuzz with activity Monday after being completely sold out to the New Year revellers.

"The place is overbooked. There is no hotel that is not running to full capacity in Gulmarg today as tourists from all over the country have gathered to celebrate the New Year," a news agency quoted the manager of a local hotel as saying.

It is after a long time since militancy started in Kashmir that Gulmarg has come to life in such a big way.

"The place used to be the most sought destination for Bollywood before militancy started. Over the years, Gulmarg did not get its fair share of visitors, but it appears today that the old times are again here," said a thrilled hotel receptionist as he battled the rush of guests.

Gulmarg has a Gandola ropeway that carries visitors to the Afarwat Hills situated at a height of 14,403 feet above the sea level. There are snowbikes for the adventure lovers as there are centrally heated hotel rooms for those who come to relax in the snow-clad meadow.

One small disappointment that the New Year celebrations faced was the absence of snowfall which traditionally lashes Gulmarg around new year.

The good news is that the weather office has forecast light to moderate snow in the Valley on Tuesday.

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