Sonamarg or Sonmarg, located at a hefty altitude of 2,740 m above sea level, literally means 'Meadow of Gold'. The picturesque natural beauty of the region brought this name to Sonamarg. Sonamarg, a town surrounded by breathtaking glaciers and serene lakes, is a snow covered beautiful flower-laden meadow in the majestic Himalayan mountain region. Sonamarg in the Kashmir valley is the gateway to Ladakh and situated just before the Zojii La pass.
Located at 87 km from Srinagar, the place is renowned for trekking and hiking trails. The snow clad peaks in the Himalaya and the undulated hilly mountainous regions are perfectly suitable for all types of trekking expeditions. Sonamarg is the base camp for many trekking expeditions. The major treks passing through various mountain lakes such as Gangabal, Vishansar, Gadsar, Satsar and Kishansar has its base at Sonamarg. The trekking routes offer all types of challenges, from mild to most hard. The pleasant climate with mild summer and cold winter make this place an ideal location for trekkers to explore the natural beauty and challenging treks.
This enchanting scenic place is amazing with many mind blowing attractions. Nilagrad, a colony of the Baltics, is a picturesque location where a small stream splashes in to the River Sindh. Sonamarg is the home of many beautiful and serene lakes. Various mountain lakes such as Gangabal, Vishansar, Gadsar, Satsar and Kishansar are situated in and around Sonamarg.
Vishansar, located at an amazing altitude of 4,084 m above sea level, is a scenic eye catching lake in Sonamarg. The crystal clear water of the lake with ice flakes all through is an appealing view from the top of the Sonamarg. The gorgeous views of this lake can be experienced from Nichnai Pass. Trekking freaks can get into their trek to this lake from Sonamarg. Krishnasar Lake, at a height of 3,801m above sea level, is popular for fishing especially for trout fishing.
Located at a height of 3801 m above sea level, Krishnasar Lake is one of the most mesmerizing lakes in Sonamarg. Surrounded by dense alpines, the place offers cool and pleasant atmosphere. The lake is popular for trout fishing while people also enjoy other water activities here.
Situated 06 km from Sonamarg is the Nilagrad River, a major attraction known for its reddish water. According to the locals, the water has curative power of various diseases and many people visit this place every Sunday to bath in the river.
Sonamarg offer many adventurous routes with amazing green water & frozen lakes around and Thajiwas glacier is a one such major tourist attraction in the region. Located 7 km from Sonamarg, it is an ideal spot for enjoying a sledge ride on the snow even in mid-summer. The nearby area is perfect camping site too.
Vishnsar LakePerched at a height of 3710 m above sea level, Vishansar Lake lies around 35 km from Shitkadi, Sonmarg. With a length of a kilometre and a width of 0.6 km, this charming lake is among the visitor’s delight in Sonmarg. The spectacular surrounding with snow covered mountains and meadows around with alpine flowers make it a haven for trekkers and adventure lovers. Besides, the lake is home to different species of fishes.
Fed by Krishansar Lake and glaciers, the lake is the main source of Neelum River. During winter, the lake freezes while in summer, the lush green meadow surrounding the lake gives truly an amazing sight.
A high altitude lake, it can be reached through trekking or pony ride. The lake is also accessible from Nichinai Pass, which is another high elevation well-known tourist spot..
About 20 km east of Sonamarg is Zoji-la pass, the gateway to the Ladakh plateau. Situated at a height of about 3,528 m above sea level, the pass connects Kashmir Valley to Ladakh, Kashmir Valley to its south and Ladakh to its North. It is an ideal spot to enjoy the scenic beauty.
Gangabal lake, also known as Harmuk Ganga at a height of 3570 m above sea level is a popular attraction in Sonamarg. It is considered sacred place by Hindus. Also a popular spot for rainbow trout fishing, the lake can be reached from Sonamarg via Krishnasar and Vishansar, after an enjoyable trek through enchanting scenery.
The trekking season is from July to October while the fishing season extending from March to October.
The Sonamarg region is renowned for trekking and hiking trails. The snow clad peaks in the Himalaya and the undulated hilly mountainous regions are perfectly suitable for all types of trekking expeditions. Sonamarg is the base camp for many trekking expeditions.
The major treks passing through various mountain lakes such as Gangabal, Vishansar, Gadsar, Satsar and Kishansar has its base at Sonamarg. The trekking routes offer all types of challenges, from mild to most hard. The pleasant climate with mild summer and cold winter make this place an ideal location for trekkers to explore the natural beauty and challenging treks.
The total straight line distance between Sonamarg and Amarnath is 22 KM (kilometers) and 261.74 meters. The miles based distance from Sonamarg to Amarnath is 13.8 miles. This is a straight line distance and so most of the time the actual travel distance between Sonamarg and Amarnath may be higher or vary due to curvature of the road. Sonamarg is located around 22 KM away from Amarnath so if you travel at the consistant speed of 50 KM per hour you can reach Amarnath in 0.45 hours. Your Amarnath travel time may vary due to your bus speed, train speed or depending upon the vehicle you use.
Sonamarg provides white river rafting for adventure lovers. The river of Sindh has various stretches of wild water where one can enjoy the thrilling sport of rafting. One can even go for a long rafting expedition starting from Baltal and ending at Shutkari Bridge at Sonamarg. With variety of stretches available, one is sure to have a pleasure rafting trip, whether it be a novice, adventure seeker or experienced rafter.
Best Season / Best time to visit Sonmarg
Sonamarg experiences cool climatic conditions to snow covered chilly periods but the best season to visit Sonamarg is from April to October.
(November to March) are chilly with temperature goes down to subzero levels. Snow bound landscapes are the typical views in winters and snowfall is common.
(April to October) are bit warm and pleasant with cool atmosphere and climate. Average temperature is around 20°C. Summers is ideal for sightseeing, adventures and pilgrimage. Snow can be found on high altitudes.
(July to September) is not very vigorous but the hilly rugged terrains can become slippery. It is challenging to take up trekking through the curved and caved paths.