Sonamarg means (The Meadow of Gold), situated at an altitude of 2730 m. It is an alpine valley is situated at the bank of Nallah Sindh (the largest tributary of the Jehlum River in the valley of Kashmir) at distance of 87 km north-east from Srinagar, this place is renown for trekking and hiking trails. The snow clad peaks in the Himalaya and the hilly mountainous regions are perfectly suitable for all types of trekking expeditions. Sonamarg is the base camp for many trekking expeditions. The major treks passing through various mountain lakes such as Gangabal, Vishansar, Gadsar, Satsar and Kishansar has its base at Sonamarg. The trekking routes offer all types of challenges, from mild to most hard. The pleasant climate with mild summer and cold winter make this place an ideal location for trekkers to explore the natural beauty and challenging treks.
Amarthnath Yatra Via Sonamarg: Sonamarg also provides alternative route for Amarnath Yatra via Baltal
This enchanting scenic place is amazing with many mind blowing attractions. Sonamarg is the home of many beautiful and serene lakes. Various mountain lakes such as Gangabal, Vishansar, Gadsar, Satsar and Kishansar are situated in and around, Sonamarg.
Vishansar: Located at an amazing altitude of 4,084 m above sea level, is a scenic eye catching lake in Sonamarg. The gorgeous views of this lake can be experienced from Nichnai Pass. Trekking freaks can get into their trek to this lake from Sonamarg.
Krishnasar Lake: At a height of 3,801m above sea level, is popular for fishing especially for trout fishing. In its vicinity lies the great Himalayan glaciers of Kashmir Valley namely Kolhoi Glacier and Machoi Glacier with some peaks of above 5000 meters; Sirbal Peak, Kolhoi Peak, Amarnath Peak and Machoi Peak.
Sonamarg has no permanent settlement and is inaccessible during winter due to heavy snowfall and avalanches. It remains open only for Summer season from April-May, it is a beautiful place to visit in summer and is one of the main tourist attraction of Kashmir during Summers, Thajiwas glacier a major attraction during the summer months.
Sonamarg had historical significance and was a gateway on ancient Silk Road along with Gilgit connecting Kashmir with China and other Gulf countries. The Zojila pass lies 15 kilometers east and is one of the highest passes for road transport. It still is a base camp for Ladakh on NH 1D, and is strategically important for Indian army who holds control over this part of Kashmir.
A close by excursion is to Baltal, 15 km East of Sonamarg. This little valley lies at the foot of the Zojila, only a day's journey away from the sacred cave of Amarnath is a base camp for Amarnath yatra. Trekkers can also reach the starkly splendid roof-top of the world Leh, by crossing over the Zoji La pass.
This place is also famous for Film making, a large number of Hindi movies have been pictured in the serene beauties of Sonamarg.
Activities to do in Sonamarg:
Sonamarg is also known for providing the opportunities to adventurer lovers. It offers us platform for Trekking, Camping, Hiking, River Rafting, paragliding, Skiing and Mountaineering. Sonamarg is an only place where all these activities take place.
Where to Stay:
There are Delux and Semi Delux Hotels, hotels of category A, B and C (Both in Low and High Budget), equipped with modern facilities. Besides Hotels tourist huts and Guest houses managed by Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Developement Corporation are there.
Best Time to Visit Sonamarg: The period between May to October is the best time to visit Sonamarg as the weather is good for outdoor activities and adventurous activities.
Climate: The climate of Sonamarg is very bracing, but the rainfall is frequent though not heavy, except for two or three days at a time in July and August with fine spell in between.
How To Reach:
Sonamarg is easily accessible from Srinagar or Srinagar Airport by Road, in under 3 hours by car or bus (87 kilometers drive) which leads along Nallah Sindh a key tourist attraction. Sonamarg is inaccessibe during winter due to heavy snowfall and avalanches, the Sonamarg Highway is being closed in December every year for Tourists.