Sonamarg, (meaning "Meadow of Gold") is a hill station in the Ganderbal district in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The alpine valley is situated at the bank of Nallah Sindh at an altitude of 2800 meters ((9,200 ft)) above sea level, 87 km northeast of Srinagar.
Sonamarg is a popular tourist destination, nestled within the imposing Himalayan peaks. In its vicinity lies the great Himalayan glaciers of Kashmir Valley, namely Kolhoi Glacier and Machoi Glacier, with peaks above 5000 meters: Sirbal Peak, Kolhoi Peak, Amarnath Peak, and Machoi Peak.
Sonamarg had historical significance and was a gateway on the ancient Silk Road along with Gilgit connecting Kashmir with China and other Gulf countries. The Zojila pass lies 15 kilometers east and is one of the highest passes for road transport. It still is a base camp for Ladakh on NH 10, and is strategically important for the Indian army which holds control over this part of Kashmir.
Sonamarg has no permanent settlement and is inaccessible during winter due to heavy snowfall and avalanches. At the 2011 India census, Sonamarg had a population of 392. The official language of Kashmir is Urdu, but locals here also speak Hindi and English.
Sonamarg is the gateway to Ladakh as it is situated just before the Zojii La pass. It also serves as a base for treks to Great Himalayan lakes, Vishansar Lake, Krishansar Lake, Gangabal Lake, and Gadsar Lake. The dense forests of Sonmarg comprise of sycamore and alpine flowers, silver birch, fir, and pine. This place is frequently visited by nature lovers in the search of tranquil peace and soothing natural beauty. The stunning blue water lakes, meadows, and the enchanting beauty of the towering snow-clad mountains are a real treat to the eyes.
The best time to visit Sonamarg is during the summer (June to October). The nearest Airport is in Badgam District. This Airport is connected with major cities of India. The nearest Rail Head is at Jammu.
Explorations & Experiences in Sonamarg-
- Thajiwas glacier
- Gangabal Trek
- Zojila pass
- Vishansar lake
- Gadsar lake
- Walnut Orchards
- Gangabal lake
- Kishnasar lake