Sonamarg Tourism, India: Places, Best Time & Travel Guides 2020
Sonmarg is a tiny town of Kashmir situated 9,000 kms above sea level at the bank of the gushing Sindh river. This picturesque town is located in Ganderbal district of Jammu and Kashmir and is just 70 km away from the Srinagar International Airport. The valley is the connecting point of a number of Himalayan peaks like Kolhoi peak, Amarnath peak, Sirbal Peak, and so on. The charming view of the place becomes more attractive with the wide varieties of flowers and alpine trees gracing this quaint town.

Here you can enjoy, meadows of gold, sun-kissed peaks, breathtaking lakes and towering glaciers, all in one place. This beautiful himalayan town is full of mountain ranges and valleys to explore through trekking. It is a base camp for trekkers going to Ladakh and for many trekking routes to different lakes of Kashmir, such as Krishnasar Lake, Gadsar Lake, Vishansar Lake, and so on. During winter the valley covered with snow offers an opportunity to the tourist to enjoy sledding or skiing or snow fighting.

The tourists can also enjoy fishing trout and other species in Vishansar Lake, Krishnasar Lake, Gangabal Lake, and so on. If you like water activities, Sonmarg provides you the opportunity to enjoy white water rafting. To enjoy the true natural beauty of Kashmir, the tourists can explore places like Nilagrad, Kheer Bhawani Temple, Nichnai Pass, Vishansar Lake, Zoji-La Pass, Gadsar Lake, Baltal Valley, and so on from Sonmarg. The place also has an ancient importance.

It was the gateway to the Silk Road connecting Kashmir with China. Except for the winter months (November to February), the climate of the place remains very pleasant for tourism. The month of April to October is the pick time to experience the beauty of flowery meadows, snow-covered peaks, frozen glaciers, waterfalls, and pristine lakes. But if you are interested in snow-related adventures like skiing, ice skating, and sledding on frozen glaciers, winter is the best time for you to visit Sonmarg.
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Newly Added Sonamarg Experience
05 January 2016
Excellent
kashmir, the haven on earth is my favorite destinations and trekiing there was just like icing on the cake... really enjoyed my trek.. camping was also something I was looking forward to and it turned out to be awesome as well.... planning to go for another trek soon..
15 November 2015
Excellent
An absolute treat of a trek passing through the lakes. It was surreal like heaven on earth. Trekking with my friends were fun and the camping and the clear night stars were very beautiful to look at. Loved this trek. Worth every penny I spent.
19 June 2015
Excellent
Sonamarg is indeed lovely. Kashmir is the unsung beauty of India and we had an amazing time while we were here with all our loved ones. It was truly an awe inspiring experience to traverse through the valleys and hills of this place.
12 June 2015
Excellent
Slice or paradise. Kashmir stood true to its name, amazing journey. I just can't get over the fact that something that beautiful is considered as sensitive region. the lakes, the greenery surrounding the place is equally impressive and breathtaking.
07 May 2015
Excellent
Forget all the hyped places this place is something that will bee just for you…away from all crowds and people, its so beautiful you won’t feel like coming back.
Though we are familiar with the beauty of Kashmir from pictures and stories, watching them with the naked eyes was really exciting for me. I am not a regular traveler type but I like traveling. Last time, when I got one long weekend, I took three more days leave and went to Kashmir. Dal Lake, Vishansar Lake and one more lake were there in the package. We trekked to these places and many of the climbs were tough for me. I was feeling the adrenaline rush in me when I was looking from the top of a hill to the valleys down. But I should agree to a fact that, the entire location is a fairy tale kind of place. I was wondered to see the glittering mountain ranges and the utmost beauty prevailing in each village. Dal Lake was the most beautiful attraction in the whole region, I felt. Such an extensive lake with a lot of traditional boats decorated with flowers. That sight was really appreciable from the shores. We stayed in one of the hotels in Leh watching the nearby areas from the windows and the next days, we visited the monasteries located near to Leh. From Srinagar, we went to Sonamarg also. The availability of food was limited during the trekking trip to Sonamarg and the walking along the Sindh River was captivating. The river looked so pretty with many trees on its either side. Vishansar Lake is another bundle of beauty with full of flowers and green meadows around. There are a lot of hilly regions near to it. They make the lake so amazing in the middle. No doubt why people call Kashmir the paradise on Earth. Such beautiful places are not existing in any parts of the world.
Kashmir Great Lakes trek was something beyond our expectations. I and my husband were going to visit Leh and other major parts in Kashmir. Two days in between, we have done the Great Lakes trekking as well. It was so amazing and the mountain ranges, rough valleys, tall trees, the villages were all looking so incredible. The blue, green lakes in the centre of the mountains had some extra ordinary charm, I felt. The trekking towards the Great Lakes were through some of the pine forests and along many streams and rivers. Some of the roads were really tough. We went alone, so that we found it difficult to reach the destination easily. But some travelers who were going after the activity helped us take the easiest routes. There was no shops or houses near the lakes but you have to come walking a lot to a stop where you can get some water at least. Hence, you should carry some water with you along with biscuits or energy bars. Camping was also done somewhere near and the night picture was superb. The wind was cold though it was not the time of an extreme climate. Dal Lake was also an amusement for us. We did a shikara ride along the lake and mind blowing it was. Overall, the trip was filled with pure joy. We continued to visit the other places near Kashmir.
18 October 2016
Excellent
The Kashmir Great Lakes trek is just amazingly beautiful, gorgeous beyond words. everyday it used to get better and beautiful. the pristine lakes, the endless meadows, the scenery, the view of twin lakes of gangabal and nandkul from 14000 ft zaj pass is all lifelong experience. this is the kashmir that one cant see on normal tourist itinerary and the hardwork is totally worth it . Our local operator has organized it pretty well, the trek lead and 2 guides were friendly, supportive and professional in their conduct. the food was just too good and never expected to have such yummy food on such remote high altitude trek. we were group of 13 n bonded really well. our batch was during the kashmir lock-down period but i'm glad that we didnt cancel it. the long walks were moderately tough so you definitely need prepare a bit for fitness but its totally manageable. the descent was daunting but thats always the case in my experience. we did face issues with accommodation n return transport on last day due to the curfew situation and operator could have done better job in co-ordinating it rather than just leaving us on our fate. that was the only sore point of the whole experience. I highly recommend this trek to anyone who wish to experience the real beauty of Kashmir and why its called jannat on the earth.
10 July 2016
Superb
Great Lakes Trek has been an awesome experience with some breathtaking views of valleys, lakes, rivers and snowy mountains. But apart from the natural beauty, we were stunned experiencing the worm and kindness of the local people to make us feel at home all the time. We were able to complete the trip safely in the midst of heavy political turmoil just because of some big hearted local friends who stood by us even risking their lives.
11 May 2016
Superb
Among all the treks in North India, the Kashmir Great Lakes is overpoweringly the most gorgeous one. However, this can be the most dangerous trek that you might ever take. It is totally advisable to be cautious during the trek. That said, this is an enjoyable trek as well. It is 8 days of sheer fun. We had a lot of fun with this trek. I loved the fact that this trek was organized in a way where people can relax in camps in between the treks here and there. The cost of the trek is not that costly, but giving discounts would have helped a great deal. Nice trek!

People Also Ask About Sonamarg

  1. What are the places to visit in Sonmarg?

    Sonmarg is a popular tourist destination, settled within the imposing Himalayan peaks. Some of the popular places to visit here are as follows.

    1. Thajiwas Glacier
    This glacier is situated about 3 km away from the city center. This is one of the best places in Sonmarg featured with a stunning glacier, the refreshing meadows, and numerous waterfalls. This opens up umpteen numbers of opportunities for activities and adventures like hiking, trekking, and camping. 

    2. Zoji-La Pass
    If you’re looking for a thrilling mountain pass in Kashmir, Zoji La pass is the one, located about 9 km from Sonmarg. This thick snow-covered pass is an important link between Kashmir and Ladakh; it was once captured by Pakistan and later re-captured by the Indian army. The natural beauty of the place takes you a step closer to the Himalayas.

    3. Vishansar Lake
    Also known as the “Lake of Vishnu”, this lake has great significance in the cultural heritage of Kashmir. This sparkling blue lake is located at about 3,710 meters above the sea level, surrounded by lush green meadow, alpine flowers and white and silver mountains at the back. This oligotrophic lake is a habitat for a number of rare species of fish.

    4. Nilagrad River
    This River is one of the most fascinating places to see in Sonmarg for its amazing natural beauty. People also have faith in the miraculous healing power of the river water to cure diseases. The unique combination of nature and medicinal benefits has made the place fascinating to the tourists.

    5. Krishnasar Lake
    This natural lake is located more than 3500m above sea level and is one of the most attractive lakes in Sonmarg. It is surrounded by dense alpine trees, lush greenery that offers a cool and pleasant atmosphere to the people who come here to enjoy water activities and trout fishing.

    6. Baltal Valley
    The valley is situated along the banks of river Sindhi and quite popular among the visitors for its breath-taking scenic beauty. People interested in embarking on the famous Amarnath Yatra can take helicopter services or ponies from here to reach the next stop. This is a popular place among trekkers and here one can hire a tent and camp outside. 

    7. Gadsar Lake
    Gadsar Lake is situated at 16,400 feet above sea level and remains frozen throughout the year. The lake is surrounded by snow-covered mountains, thick forest, wildflowers and attracts a number of tourists and trekkers every year to enjoy the beauty of nature.

    8. Gangabal Trek
    Visit to Kashmir cannot be completed without viewing the fascinating Gangabal Lake. This is about 3570 m above sea level and surrounded by natural springs and glaciers. June is the best month of the year to experience the natural beauty of this area at its peak. The lake is known for having a good population of fish, especially the rainbow trout fish, and people can enjoy fishing here.
  2. What are the things to do in Sonmarg?

    The haven on earth offers not only scenic beauty but umpteen numbers of opportunities to enjoy fun and thrilling activities like hiking, rafting, trekking, fishing, nature camping, and so on.

    1. Hike on the beautiful valleys of Sonmarg
    Sonmarg is encircled by thick forests, mesmerizing valleys, and meadows. Enjoy hiking trails in Thajiwas Glacier and surrounding waterfalls amidst the stunning landscape of Sonmarg.

    2. Skiing, ice skating, & sledding the way to enjoy Sonmarg in Winter
    Winters cover the town under a blanket of snow and make it a hotbed of snow-related adventures like skiing, ice skating, and sledding on frozen glaciers. Or you can make a snowman or have an exciting snowball fight.

    3. White Water Rafting
    To fulfill your adventure thirst, Sonmarg offers you a chance of a long rafting expedition from Baltal and to Shutkari Bridge. It can be a good experience to quench your thirst for an exciting vacation.

    4. Trek to explore the Himalayan beauty
    Sonmarg is a real delight to the trekkers for those numerous trekking trails available surrounding the town. The trekkers can explore Thajiwas Glacier and other valleys near Sonmarg with the help of local guides and experience challenging mountain ranges and beautiful trekking trails.

    5. Enjoy leisure with trout fishing
    Fishing is another exciting activity for the tourists of Sonmarg. Vishansar Lake, Krishnasar Lake, Gangabal lake, and others are enriched with varieties of fish species; different types of trouts are star attraction to the passionate fish-catchers.

    6. Nature Camp or summer camp in Sonmarg
    Camping by the riverside can be an excellent way to enjoy the natural beauty with snow-covered mountains of Thajiwas Glacier,  Baltal Valley, and so on. if planning for camping, you can rent a tent and camping equipment from Srinagar.
  3. Why is Sonmarg called Gold Meadow?

    Sonmarg  means ‘Meadow of Gold'.  During spring, the bloom of yellow crocuses fills this valley and a golden glow covers the whole area.  Therefore, the place is known as ‘Golden Meadow’ or Sonmarg. This picturesque hill station is situated on the bank of river Sindh decorated by many varieties of alpine flowers.
  4. How do you get to Sonmarg from Srinagar Airport?

    Sheikh Ul-Alam International Airport Srinagar is about 70 km away from Sonmarg; to reach Sonmarg from Srinagar by road it takes 1 – 2 hours through cars or cab or buses. Taxis or buses are readily available outside the airport to take visitors to Sonmarg. State-run buses from Srinagar airport are available daily.

    You can also take the special deluxe buses available from Srinagar to reach Sonmarg comfortably. Train service is unavailable from Srinagar to Sonmarg. You can also hire a cab through different service providers like ola, meru, savaari taxi service, etc. to reach Sonmarg from Srinagar within one and half hour.
  5. Which is better, Sonmarg or Gulmarg?

    Sonmarg and Gulmarg both have their own beauty. Sonmarg is a lovely tourist spot having small meadows, snow capped mountains, picturesque sceneries, fresh water streams, and waterfalls. A number of parks and adventurous spots are present in Sonmarg, which make this place attractive to tourists of different age groups and taste.

    There are also many breath-taking sightseeing options in Sonmarg, such as Thajiwas glacier, Zoji-La Pass, lakes, etc. Unlike Sonmarg, Gulmarg has huge meadows, gondola(cable car) and awesome accommodation options including 5-star hotels. The main attraction of Gulmarg is its snow; If you're coming in summer then Gulmarg won't be as pleasant as Sonmarg. Also, Gulmarg is comparatively pricey than Sonmarg.
  6. How far is Sonmarg from Pahalgam?

    The distance between Sonmarg to Pahalgam is about 30 km or 19.1 miles.
  7. How far is Sonmarg from Srinagar?

    The Distance between Soanmarg and Srinagar is 80.2 km. A local taxi service is available to cover the distance within hours.
  8. What is the best time to visit Sonmarg?

    The best time to visit Sonmarg is from the middle of April to October. During this period, the temperature remains pleasant and you can explore the city at its best. In summer, the whole valley becomes decorated with alpine flowers which makes the place even more beautiful. Though the place can be visited throughout the year. Winters being too cold offers a lot of options for skiing, snowboarding and a lot of snow adventures.
  9. Is Sonmarg safe to travel?

    Yes. Sonmarg is a safe place for tourists. The security has been increased to ensure the safety of tourists. The local police force ensures that peace is maintained in the valley.

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