Languages Hindi, Urdu, and Kashmiri
Best time to visit April-June
Sonamarg is situated at an altitude of 2740 m above sea level. The adventure destination of Sonamarg lies 80 km northeast of Srinagar in the Srinagar District of Jammu and Kashmir.
Sonamarg (Meadow of gold) is a trekker's heaven and has
adventurous routes with beatiful green water and frozen lakes
around. The vale is believed to be bestowed with mystical
water which turns everything into enternal riches. High
altitude makes it cold even during summers. It is advisable to
always carry warm clothes and rain proofs.
The everlasting Thajiwas glacier, 3km from Sonamarg, provides a chance to enjoy sledge ride on the snow even in mid Summer. Ponies are available up to the glacier from Sonamarg. Superb campsites in Thajiwas area makes ita a prime location for school camps and trekkers during the Summer. Sind River is a natural hatchery of Trout, where angling is great fun provied the permission is obtained from the fisheries department. Ascending river makes Sonamarg ideal for River Rafting, which is done in full swing by youths, corporate executives and even old members with their familes at different levels in the Sind River Arrangements can be done through travel agents in Srinagar or Sonamarg Development Authority. More adventure sports like Paragliding is getting lots of takers during the Summer. Assistance is available at the tourist office at Sonamarg.
The rugged countryside market makes one feel the thrill of adventure . Island retreat a park amidst river Sind enroute to Sonamarg. is a real treat as a short stopover. The roaring Sind created a constant cool breeze , it is hard to get off from such heavenly environs.
Sonamarg road passed trhough the village of Ganderbal, which also leads to manasbal lake. This lake serves as home to many aquatic birds makig it a bird watchers paradise.
5 km from Ganderbal is the village of Tulmul where the shrine of Khir Bhawani is situated. The sacred spring symbolizes goddess Ragnya Devi. An annual festival, Jesth Ashtami is held during May June, when according to beliefs, the goddess changes the colour of the spring water. A trip to this temple will be worthwhile.
The famous Gangabal trek starts from Sonamarg across the Sind river with the steep Nichnai Pass at 4080 m. Rough trek of 15 km from Sonamarg will certainly make you stop at the first visible compsite in the area. Passing via Vihansar Lake at 3680 m and further to Krishansar lake at 3819 m a marvelous campsite urges you to stop overnight.
A 23 km trek to Gadsar lake, 3900 m , passes through steep climbs followed by a rapid descent, whereafter the magical gadsar lake appears, mostly full of broken glacier masses. A trek of 17 km via Satsar lake, 3600 m passes through Gangabal valley, where the view of Harmukh Peak is breathtaking. Few kilometers walk will take you to gangabal Lake 3570 m at the foot of Harmukh. A plain compsite amidst the valey is an unforgettable experience.
From Gangabal , a 17 km tough descend leads to Naranag, where ruins of Buddhist temples, built by Jauka , son of Ashoka and also by King Lalitadatya are still present. 5 km fruther down is Wangat 2050 m, from where a metal road leads back to Sonamarg via Kangan and to Srinagar.
You can easily hire a registered guide and ponies from Sonamarg for this 4 to 6 days Gangabal trek which is open for the trekkers and explorers throughout mid Summer.
Amarnathji Yatra : - Baltal Route
Best time to visit : April to October
Baltal, 15 km from Sonamarg at an altitude of 2743 m , is the base camp of Amarnathji yatra . The meandering trek of 14 k from Baltal leads to the Holy Cave . You can easily return the same day by early evening to Baltal where ample tents are available at affordable cost. Panies and Danies from Baltal can also be hired at fixed government rates. Now operate Helicopter Services for Yatris from Baltal and Srinagar during the yatra period
Sonamarg - How to Reach
Sonamarg lies on the Srinagar Leh Highway, which is easily accessible through buses and taxis. The railway station at Jammu is the nearest to the adventure destination of Sonamarg and caters to the rail transportation. Further the National Highway Number 1A links the Kashmir valley. The airport closest to Sonamarg is in the Badgam District.