Translating into 'the land of gold', Sonamarg is a picturesque town located in Kashmir valley at an elevation of around 2800 km from sea level. Bounded by natural beauty, breathtaking glaciers and serene lakes the place is a popular tourist attraction ofÊJammuÊ& Kashmir. Nilagrad, a colony of the Baltics, is a picturesque location that one can always visit. 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. Another scenic eye catching lake in Sonamarg also includes Vishansar. Krishnasar Lake, at a height of 3, 801m above sea level, is popular for fishing with beautiful species such as the trouts.
81 km from Srinagar, at an altitude of 2,740 m from the sea level.
Enveloped by alpine trees, Sonmarg is a base camp for the holy Amarnath yatra. The yatra is organized during the month of July-August every year, and thousands of tourists are drawn towards Sonmarg. While visiting Sonmarg, make sure you include a trip to Nilagrad, the confluence of mountain rivers with the Indus river. The most amazing aspect of this place is that the river water is pure red in colour, and is believed to have curative powers for skin ailments. People often take a bath in this water. Krishnasar Lake, one of the most mesmerizing lakes in the chain of many Himalayan lakes, is a good spot for picnics. The place is surrounded by dense alpines and provides a cool and peaceul atmosphere at a height of 3801 m above sea level. People enjoy trout fishing and other water activities here. Vishansar is another popular lake.
Thajiwas Glacier which lies at a distance of 3 km from Sonamarg in Kashmir is an exquisite beauty situated 3000 m above sea level covered in snow all through the year. The glacier is one of the most significant assets of Jammu and Kashmir and a must-visit for all the nature and trekking lovers. One gets to experience the beauty of the glacier by trekking all the way there from Sonamarg. There is also the option of hiring a pony to get to the glacier. On the way to the glacier, the tourists get to witness the beauty of the silver shining frozen lake along with all the greenery around. The contrast of both of them is what makes it enchanting to the eyes. On the way, the tourists also come across Gujjar tribes who have their camps set up and earn their livelihood here.
What runs through the Kashmir valley and Ladakh bringing them and their own corners closer, is a high mountain pass, Zoji-La Pass at an altitude of 3528 m above the sea level. Given the altitude, and the places it travels to, the pass is known for its extraordinarily beautiful views and landscapes. Certain parts of the pass, especially, can be a bit of a dangerous ride, hence one must travel down this one, only with a seasoned driver, used to such steep and playful turns and roads. Also the pass gets closed occasionally during the winter months.
A little outside Sonamarg, is a sparkling blue lake surrounded by lush green meadow, alpine flowers and white and silver mountains at a tantalizing distance. At an altitude of 3710 m, this one secure a width of about 0.6 km and is also a habitat to a number of species of fish.
Sonamarg promises to quench your thirst for an adventure filled, adrenaline gushing vacation. One can even go for a long rafting expedition starting from Baltal and ending at Shutkari Bridge at Sonamarg. With variety of stretches available, one is sure to have a pleasure rafting trip, whether it be a novice, adventure seeker or experienced rafter.
February to March
Situated in the Himalayas, Sonamarg does not have a railway station or an airport. The nearest railway station is at Udhampur (250 km), and Jammu railway station is also nearby which is around 300 km. Jammu station is well connected by rail with the rest of the India. From Jammu or Udhampur, you can take a cab or a bus to reach Sonamarg. The nearest airport is in Srinagar (70 km), and taxis or buses are readily available to take one to Sonamarg. However, Sonamarg is mostly inaccessible during winter due to heavy snowfall and avalanches.
Several international airports of India are connected to Srinagar International airport. The airport is 70 Km away from Sonamarg. Cab service is available from the airport to reach the hill station of Sonamarg.
You can drive to Sonamarg from Jammu on your own and cover the distance of 400 km. It will take around 12 hours to reach there. Regular buses head from the bus stands of Jammu and Srinagar to Sonamarg which are at a distance of around 400 km and 80 km respectively.
The closest railway station to Sonamarg is Jammu Tawi Railway Station in Jammu. You can choose a bus or cab to cover the rest of the distance to Sonamarg.