81-km From Srinagar, Kashmir Region, J&K
Also Known As: Sonmarg
Best Time To Visit: In
Summer - May To September
In Winter - November To February
The drive to Sonamarg is
through the Sindh Valley which presents yet another
spectacular facet of countryside in Kashmir.
at an altitude of 2730 m, Sonamarg (‘The meadow of
gold’) has, as its backdrop, snowy mountains against a
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.
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.
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
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 the river.
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