Sonamarg

Sonamarg, or Sonmarg, often referred to as the ‘Golden Meadow’ of Kashmir, is situated at an altitude of 2,740 meters above sea level. An unforgettable excursion from Kashmir to the mesmerizing meadow of Sonamarg is as spectacular as this region, as you traverse through scenic landscapes, crossing a distance of 84 kms from Srinagar, on the Srinagar to Ladakh Roadway.

An excursion trip from Kashmir Valley to Sonamarg takes you through the stunning sights of the Sindh Valley that showcases a different scenic aspect of Kashmir. This enchanting Valley is surrounded by snow-covered mountain peaks intercepted by the meandering Sindh River, dense forest lands enriched with alpine flowers, sycamore, silver birch, pine, and fir trees is a captivating sight indeed to add further delight of your trip.

Sonamarg easily charms many tourists with one of the most memorable en route sights of the picturesque Ganderbal town, situated about 21 kms from Srinagar, followed by Kangan [40 kms] and Gund, situated within the Sindh Valley, before you arrive at your resort.

You also get to enjoy a spectacular view of the Harmukh Mountain Range that dominates the horizon of Sonamarg showcasing a surreal facet of the countryside of Kashmir decked with snowy mountains, set against the azure sky, while the Sindh River cascades through the valley abounding with trout, making it ideal for angling. You can also hire pony rides for the trip up to the stunning Thajiwas glacier, considered as a major tourist attraction during the summer season.

Sonamarg is also referred to as a haven for trekkers offering several trek camp sites and hence is ideal for adventure enthusiasts. Apt as a base camp for major treks, Sonamarg trails leads you along several high-altitude lakes that include Gadsar, Gangabal, Kishansar, Satsar, and Vishansar.
 
You can also use Sonamarg as a take-off point during your Yatra to the Holy Amarnath Cave Shrine, organized during the month of July and August, every year. Sonamarg also acts as a perfect commencement point for an excursion to Ladakh leading you across Zojila, a major pass situated in the Great Himalayan Range, situated 20 kms east of Sonamarg, and perched at an altitude of 3,540 meters leading you directly into the Ladakh Plateau. Zojila forms as one of the most important passes apart from the many Srinagar – Leh Roadway passes.

The Nichnai Pass situated near Sonamarg, offers spectacular views of Gangabal Lake, Kishansar Lake, and Vishansar Lake. These riverbanks form an integral part of many famous trekking destinations from Sonamarg. The Sonamarg hill station, also referred to as the ‘Gateway to Ladakh’, feature forest lands covered with pine, fir, and birch trees, apart from a range trek camping sites and several breathtaking waterfalls; all adding to the delight of tourists and forming major tourist attractions of the Sonamarg Hill Range.

Outdoor activities can be enjoy in plenty at Sonamarg beginning from Alpine Skiing to Angling, for which you require to obtain prior license and permit, Long walks along the riverbanks and the jungles, Sledging across the frozen glaciers, Trekking to Thajiwas Glacier and Trekking to Pahalgam, as well as White Water Rafting water sport.

The Sonamarg Tourist Office situated within the premises of the Tourist Complex, can be accessed from behind the cafeteria. It is recommended that all tourists travelling to Sonamarg must visit the office for information or assistance especially for trekking tours into the mountains. It is highly recommended not to venture on your own for either a short trek or long trek, and always ensure that each trip, whether it is for sightseeing, trekking, or outdoor activity purposes, must be undertaken after consulting with the Tourist Office at Sonamarg or Srinagar for your own safety, security, and feasibility.

Tourists can enjoy accommodation in Sonamarg at J&K TDC Huts, lodges, and a Tourist Dak Bungalow, on prior booking only. In addition, Sonamarg is dotted with several private hotels that offer comfortable lodging facilities, amenities, and hygienic cuisines, on advance booking.

The best time to visit Sonamarg is from May to September and from November to February. There are frequent J&K SRTC buses and Sightseeing Tour buses that operate during these peak tourism seasons. Apart from public transportation, Taxi Services are also available on hire from the TRC Srinagar Office and several other Stations, on a daily basis for Sightseeing in Sonamarg.

Badgam or Budgam District features the nearest airport in the Kashmir Valley from Sonamarg while the Jammu Tawi Railway Station is the nearest railhead.

Excursions from Kashmir