In Winter - November To
February The drive to Sonamarg is through the Sindh Valley which
presents yet another spectacular facet of countryside in Kashmir.
Situated at an altitude of 2730 m, Sonamarg (‘The meadow of gold’)
has, as its backdrop, snowy mountains against a cerulean sky. The
Sindh River that meanders through the valley abounds with trout and
mahaseer. Ponies can be hired for the trip up to Thajiwas glacier,
which is a major local attraction during the summer months.
Sonamarg is the base of a major trek that passes along several
mountain lakes –Vishansar, Kishansar, Gadsar, Satsar and Gangabal.
Sonamarg is also the take off station for the drive to Ladakh across
the Zojila, a major pass in the Great Himalayan Range, through which
the Srinagar-Leh Road passes.
The Meadow Of Gold
At a height of 2,740m, Sonamarg is the last major point in the
Kashmir valley before the Zoji La pass into Ladakh . At the pass the
green, lush Kashmiri landscape abruptly switches to the barren, dry
landscape of Ladakh. Sonamarg is thus not only a good base for treks
but also a jumping off point for trips into Ladakh.
The name means 'Meadow of Gold' and although this could be due to
the profusion of flowers that carpet the meadow in the spring it is
also possible that the name derives from Sonamarg's strategic
trading position in the days when this was a major route into
central Asia. The Sindh River meanders along here and abounds with
Trout and Mahseer.
Sonamarg's Importance Is Two Fold:
It is the starting point of a major trek passing several
mountain lakes - Vishansar, Kishansar, Gadsar, Satsar and Gangabal.
One trek leads all the way to the Amarnath cave . The other reason
for Sonamarg's importance lies in the fact that it is the last halt
on the Kashmir side for the drive from Srinagar to Leh .
Walks From Sonamarg
One of the most popular short walks from Sonamarg and a major
attraction during the summer months is the 4-km route to Thajiwas, a
small valley at the foot of the Sonamarg glacier. A path leads up to
the Shakhdar hill, overlooking the glacier from the northeast. It is
dangerous to climb the steep slope leading up to the glacier. Ponies
can be hired for the trip up to Thajiwas glacier. Often in early
summer one will meet groups of Gujar passing through Sonamarg on
their way to the alpine meadows for the summer.
A mountain river meets the Indus at the Baltic colony, Nilagrad,
6-km away from Sonamarg. The water of the river is reddish in colour.
The Baltic thinks the water has curative power of many diseases.
Inhabitants of the colony visit this place every Sunday to bath in
Bisansar Lake & Krishnasar Lake
There is a lake in every corner of the Himalayas and there is one at
Sonamarg also. The road proceeds from Sonamarg to Bisansar Lake via
Nichinai Pass. Crossing the river at Nichinai Pass stands the
Bisansar Lake at an altitude of 4, 084m, with its its lovely natural
beauty. Beside the lake is the Krishnasagar Lake at an altitude of
3,801m, popular for Trout fishing.
Location: 81-km From Srinagar, Kashmir Region, J&K
Also Known As: Sonmarg
Best Time To Visit: In Summer - May To September