Experience A Spectacular Vacation in the "Gateway to Ladakh"
Sonamarg, literally meaning The Meadow of Gold?, is a real treat to your eyes. This hill station is a known base for adventure sports. It is located 80 km northeast of Srinagar and is known as a trekker's heaven. Being situated at a height of about 2740 m, Sonamarg remains cold even during summers. The meadow, nestling with snowy mountains, dense forests full of sycamore and alpine flowers, silver birch, and fir and pine, presents a captivating sight. May-June is considered the best time to visit Sonamarg.
The most popular trekking route through Sonamarg leads to the holy Amarnath cave. This route welcomes devotees of Lord Shiva during Sawan Purnima. Sonamarg is the base for the major treks that pass through several mountain lakes-Vishansar, Kishansar, Gadsar, Satsar and Gangabal. The 4 to 6 day trek route of Gangabal is one of the most popular route that is open throughout mid summer.
This activity is popular on frozen glaciers. Sonamarg has several adventurous routes with beautiful green water and frozen lakes around. The popular Thajiwas glacier, 3km from Sonamarg, is an ideal spot to enjoy a sledge ride on the snow even in mid Summer. The area near the Thajiwas glacier is a perfect camping site too.
Angling and Fishing
Sonamarg offers wonderful opportunities for fishing as the Sindh River that passes through the valley is rich in trout and mahaseer. For angling in Sonamarg, one needs to get an approved license from the fisheries department. The Krishnasagar Lake at an altitude of 3,801m is also famous for Trout fishing.
The dense woods and enchanting waterways of Sonamarg are also famous for long walks in the jungles, Alpine Skiing, Paragliding, White Water Rafting etc. The months from April to September are ideally perfect for adventure sports in Sonamarg.
Nilagrad River, 6 km from Sonamarg, is a major attraction known for its reddish water. According to the local people, the water has curative power of many diseases. People visit the place every Sunday to bath in the river.
Yushmarg, quite close to Sonamarg, is a nice destination for family picnics. Located on the slopes of the Pir Panjal range, Yushmarg lies at an altitude of about 2700 m and is renowned for its green pastures, pines and firs.
Bird Watchers and ornithologists can visit the Manasbal lake. This lake serves as home to several aquatic birds.
The village of Tulmul, (half an hour's drive from Sonamarg), is much frequented for the shrine of Khir Bhawani. The temple is devoted to goddess Ragnya Devi. It witnesses a heavy crowd on the annual festival, Jesth Ashtami (May-June).
How To Reach
By Air: The nearest airport is in Badgam District.
By Rail: The nearest railhead is at Jammu and is easily approachable via NH-1A.
By Road: Located 80 km from Srinagar, Sonamarg is easily accessible from NH-1A by buses or taxis.