Jammu and Kashmir’s famous ‘meadow of flowers’—Gulmarg is famous the world over for its preeminence as a bona fide winter destination with an unrivalled allure for skiers and snowboarders. The scourge of the pandemic meant a brief drop in the footfall that the resort has witnessed year after year. The winter of 2021-22, however, gave a new dimension to the appeal of this Himalayan wonderland, with the Snowglu—the world’s biggest igloo—coming up courtesy of a local hospitality group. Reported to have surpassed the previous biggest in Switzerland by a few feet, this pop-up igloo operates as a seasonal cafe, attracting tourists and residents alike.
Syed Shahriyar is a freelance multimedia journalist based in Kashmir. His works have been published in various international news organisations including BBC, Al Jazeera, SCMP, and Vice News. He is one of nine journalists in the acclaimed photobook 'Witness: Kashmir 1986-2016', besides being awarded Winner in the Human Rights category in the RedInk Awards 2021.