Nestled between the snow-clad Himalayas in the region of Kashmir is the beautiful hill station Sonamarg. When in Kashmir, Sonmarg is the perfect destination for a surreal getaway in the lap of the mountains. When translated, ‘Sonmarg’ means ‘Meadow of Gold’.
We all know that Kashmir is fondly referred to as ‘Heaven on Earth’ and contributing to its unparalleled beauty is this quaint little town. With the tall Himalayan mountains as the backdrop, abound with natural beauty and surrounded with pristine glaciers and gushing rivers, Sonmarg is nothing short of a paradise itself. Thousands of tourists flock here every year to enjoy this piece of paradise.
Whether you are someone who enjoys challenging treks, indulging in adventurous activities or just looking to unwind yourself from the busy city life, Sonmarg Kashmir has something for every kind of traveller. Make sure that you come equipped with a fully charged camera as the photogenic beauty of this place is something you’ll want to remember forever.
Want to know more about this picturesque hill station? Then, come along, as we take you on a virtual tour of this snowy white-wonderland.
Top places to visit in Sonmarg:
1. Nilagrad River
This gushing mountain stream adds oodles of beauty to the already breathtaking landscape of Sonmarg. Rejuvenate your senses and enjoy a moment of calm as you visit this river. You can also enjoy a little picnic here while taking in all of nature’s bounty. The river merges with the Indus at the Baltic colony. The locals here believe that the Nilagrad river has several healing properties and thus, is often considered holy. Every Sunday, several people gather here to take a bath in this supposedly holy river.
2. Thajiwas Glacier
The Thajiwas Glacier is a must visit when in Sonmarg. You can either trek all the way here or take a pony ride. This place is blessed with splendid beauty. Frozen lake, alpine trees, meadows and several waterfalls adorn the Thajiwas glacier, making its scenery look picture-perfect. This spot is perfect for all the snow lovers. You can either indulge in snow-related activities like sledding or skiing or just build a snowman or have a snow fight with your loved ones.
3. Baltal Valley:
The Baltal valley acts as the camping ground for the pilgrims making their way to the Amarnath temple. It is located on the shores of the Sindh river and at the foot of the Zoji La Pass. This valley is known for its gorgeous scenic views. You can trek to this place or take a pony or taxi ride.
4. Zojila Pass:
The Zoji La pass is a high mountain pass connecting Sonmarg to Leh. Being one of the highest mountain passes in India, being here is quite a thrilling experience. This place brings you closer to the Himalayas. You will also get breathtaking views from here that look almost unreal.
5. Vishansar Lake
The name of the lake in Kashmiri means the ‘Lake of Vishnu’ and this lake is believed to hold a lot of significance for the Kashmiri Pandits. Surrounded by lush green meadows during the summer, you can often find some sheep grazing here. However, the lake freezes during the winter season. Like almost every other place in Sonmarg, the Vishansar lake is sure to captivate you with its beauty.
6. Gangabal Lake
The Gangabal lake is situated at the foothills of the Haramuk mountain. This lake is home to many types of fish. Surrounded by stunning mountains all around, this lake is a top must visit destination in Sonmarg. This is also a very popular trekking point.
7. Gadsar Lake
The Gadsar lake is yet another picturesque lake in Sonmarg. The lake freezes from the months of November to April. You can see its floating icebergs even during the summer. This lake is also popularly known as ‘Yemsar lake’ or ‘Valley of flowers’. The Gadsar lake is one of the highest altitude lakes in Kashmir.
8. Satsar Lake
Satsar lake or ‘seven lakes’ is a lake formed by the cluster of seven alpine lakes. Its landscape is filled with lush green meadows and colorful alpine flowers. It is a popular tourist destination and thousands of tourists flock here every year. The Satsar lake is accessible only during the summers.
9. Krishnasar Lake
This is one of the best lakes in Sonmarg, offering some amazing views to its tourists. Apart from beholding its beauty, you can also go fishing here. Its name in Kashmiri means ‘the lake of Krishna’. Popular among tourists, this is yet another picture-perfect spot in Sonmarg.
10. Walnut Orchards
Along with several lakes, Sonmarg is also home to some walnut orchards. When in Sonmarg, make it a point to visit one of these. Watch how walnuts blossom and ripen at this interesting place. And maybe pluck one and savor one for yourself!
Things to do in Sonmarg
Now that you know about the top spots to visit in Sonmarg, here are some things that you can do here. There are many recreational activities that you can do here. Let’s take a look at them:
Sonmarg Kashmir is basically a paradise for all the trekking enthusiasts. There are various short as well as long trekking trails that you can do here. You can trek your way to the various lakes here or even do the Seven lakes trek. Trekking here is truly a once in a lifetime experience.
– White Water Rafting
If you love to indulge in adventurous activities then white water rafting is one of the best things that you can do in Sonmarg. Feel the adrenaline rush as you go rafting on the Sindh river.
One of the most exciting things that you can do in Sonmarg Kashmir is camping. This is also one of the many reasons why tourists love to visit this place. There are various camping sites in and around Sonmarg and you can choose one according to your preference. The best time to camp here is during summer.
– Trout Fishing
You can also go trout fishing in Sonmarg. Some spots where you can go fishing are the Sindh river, Krishnasar lake and the Vishansar lake. This is one of the best activities to do if you just wish to laze around and enjoy Sonmarg’s scenic beauty.
– Snow Activities
Who doesn’t love to play in the snow? Sonmarg Kashmir is also a great place to have some fun in snow. You can go skiing or sledding or indulge in other snow-related activities.
Now for all the shopping lovers, there’s a ‘Main Market’ in Sonamarg. This is a street market where you can find some local Kashmiri products. You can buy walnut, saffron or some authentic Kashmiri handicrafts from here. You can pick up some souvenirs from here for friends and family back home. Even if you don’t wish to shop, just take a relaxing stroll along the lanes of the market for a refreshing experience.
Accommodation in Sonmarg
Sonmarg being a prime tourist destination, all kinds of accommodations are available here. Right from cheap hotels to luxury 5-star hotels, there is something for every traveler’s budget. You can check them online and book the one that goes best with your budget.
Sonamarg weather is almost always cool. During summer (March to June), the weather ranges from 10 to 20 degrees Celsius. The monsoon season (July to September) here is also quite cold with temperatures ranging from 2 to 10 degrees celsius. Winters (October to February) are extremely chilly and the temperature drops below zero degrees.
What is the best time to visit Sonmarg?
The best time to visit Sonamarg is during the months of summer from March to June. This is the time you can truly enjoy Sonmarg and the weather is quite pleasant too. Even the months of monsoon from July to September are best avoided by tourists. Sonmarg Kashmir is mostly shut during the winter season due to the very harsh climate here.
How to reach Sonmarg?
The best way to reach Sonmarg would be by hiring a private cab from Srinagar. You can also board a state-run bus to reach Sonmarg. The nearest airport is the Srinagar Airport and the nearest railway station is at Udhampur in Jammu.
What is the distance from Sonmarg to Srinagar?
The distance from Sonamarg to Srinagar is about 80 kilometers. You can easily book a cab from Srinagar to get to Sonmarg. It will take you around 2 hours to reach Sonmarg from Srinagar.
What is the distance from Sonamarg to Pahalgam?
The distance from Sonamarg to Pahalgam is about 183 kilometers.
Over to You
All in all, Sonamarg’s beauty is truly out of this world. You’d enjoy each and every minute that you spend here. A trip to Sonmarg is sure to remain etched in your heart forever. In this article, we shared with you everything that you need to know to plan a trip to this paradisiacal place. Hope it helped you out. So, when do you plan to visit Sonmarg?
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Mir Saeid is the Founder of Kashmirica, a brand that is poised to ‘Bring Exclusives from Kashmir to You’. An enthusiastic cultural entrepreneur, he is driven by a passion to bring about a social impact. He has a Masters in International Business from the University of Bedfordshire and has worked in leading Marketing positions at various SMEs and Startups for 8+ years.
A polyglot who English, Arabic, Urdu & Koshur, Mir loves traveling, reading, researching, and writing. And that is why he keeps writing about art, culture, life, philosophy, health, and just about everything else he knows.