For all those adventure loving people who wish to enjoy camping at a hill station, Sonmarg is the ideal destination. Tourists flock to this small hill resort in heavy numbers to see the enchanting natural beauty and snow clad peaks. Known as the 'Meadow of Gold', Sonmarg is set amidst a valley of flowers and lakes. The word "Sona" literally means "Gold" in Hindi, and this golden beauty covered with white snow is most attractive in the spring. The exotic flora of the region is nurtured by the Sindh river. Sonmarg is the gateway to Ladakh.
The dense forests of Sonmarg comprise of sycamore and alpine flowers, silver birch, fir and pine. The place is frequently visited by nature lovers in the search of tranquil peace and soothing natural beauty. The stunning blue water lakes and grasslands are the other attractions. The enchanting beauty of the towering snow clad mountains is a real treat to the eyes.
You can find a number of Hotels and lodges of various types and budgets in Sonmarg. Most of these are operated in summers only. If you visit Sonmarg in winters, you can hire cottages or guest rooms.
Sonamarg is a place of enthralling beauty. Three lakes viz Kishensar,Vishensar and Gangabal can be viewed from Nichnai Pass. 20 Kms east of Sonamarg is Zoji-La Pass at 3540 mtrs which leads into Ladakh Plateau.
Sonamarg is in Srinagar District on the Srinagar Leh Highway approx.110 Kms from Srinagar.The nearest Airport is in Badgam Distt. This Airport is connected with major cities of India.The nearest Rail Head is at Jammu and from there National Highway NH1A connects the Kashmir valley with
India. Every sort of transport to suit every budget from Buses to Taxisply on this Highway. It Takesaround 10 to 12 hours to cross this mountaineous road whichcrosses some beautiful spots andthe famous Jawahar Tunnel linking Kashmir Valley with India. Bus service is available from Srinagar which leave at fixed time from the Srinagar Bus stand. Taxis and other sort of transport can be hired from Srinagar at pre-fixed rates. Assistance isavailable at Tourist Reception Centre Srinagar.
Sonamarg has a number of Hotels and lodges of various types which are open only during summer months. Accomodation needs to be booked well in advance from srinagar.
Sonamarg offers lots of recreational activities:Sonamarg mainly offers trekking adventure.Trekking can be undertaken to Thajiwas Glacier which is very beautiful.
Sledging at the frozen Glaciers is also offered by locals.Angling ( a license is required)You can take long walks in the jungles and explore rich lora and fauna.
Sonamarg is also the base camp to Amarnath Cave for the route of Bal Tal.
Alpine Skiing is also available at high altitudes.A Popular trek from Sonamarg to Pahalgam can also be undertaken.
Some probability of white water rafting is also available downstrean from sonamarg.
Thajiwas glacier at an altitude of 9,186 feet is a striking silvery scene set against emerald meadows and a clear blue sky. In summers, you can take a half-day hike to numerous waterfalls around this glacier. The road will be long and the journey hard but the captivating views make it worthwhile. On the way, have a friendly match with the local Gujjar kids who are almost always ready for a friendly snowball fight!
Kheer Bhawani Temple
The Kheer Bhawani Temple, situated in the middle of a natural spring, is often visited by tourists out of curiosity. Devotees offer milk and kheer to the resident deity. Popular with all tourists, it is especially revered by the Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley. The architecture of the temple is simple yet beautifully created using smooth grey stones. Rumour has it that the waters turn black as a warning for any looming calamity.
Sonmarg with its primitive and idyllic feel offers respite from city life. You can go soul searching to Gadsar Lake, which at 16,400 feet lies frozen throughout the year. Surrounded by snow covered mountains and shrouded in alpine flowers, from Gadsar Lake you can enjoy panoramic views of the frozen Satsar and Baltan Lakes.
Khilanmarg is situated at a distance of 4 km from the Gulmarg bus stop. Tourists can easily reach this place by walking across the meadows of the valley. Surrounded by mountains on all sides, the valley is scattered with wild flowers in the spring season. Tourists can enjoy the panoramic views of the Nanga Parbat, the Himalayas, and the twin peaks of Nun and Kun. Several scenic tourist spots are located in proximity to Khilanmarg.
Nilagrad near Sonmarg is where a mountain river, red in colour, meets the mighty Indus River. The Baltic community that stays here believes that the waters have curative powers. Over the weekend, people swarm the banks of the river for a dip in the healing waters. With picturesque meadows around, it’s also an ideal picnic spot.