Sonamarg an alpine valley is situated at the bank of Nallah Sindh, 87 km north-east from Srinagar, on the Srinagar Leh Highway approx.110 Kms from Srinagar it is a popular tourist destination, nestled with in the imposing Himalayan peaks. It lies at an altitude of 2800 metres above sea level. The drive to Sonamarg is though yet another spectacular facet of country side in Kashmir, this time its the Nallah Sindh, the largest tributary of the Jehlum River in the valley of Kashmir. It is upwards of sixty miles long valley and deep rock-girt gorge to open grassy meadow land and village-dotted slopes.

Every sort of transport to suit every budget from Buses to Taxis ply on this Highway. It takes around 10 to 12 hours to cross this mountainous road which crosses some beautiful spots and the famous Jawahar Tunnel linking Kashmir Valley with India. Bus service is available from Srinagar which leave at fixed time from the Srinagar Bus stand. Taxis and other sort of transport can be hired from Srinagar at pre-fixed rates. Assistance is available at Tourist Reception Centre Srinagar.

For all those adventure loving people who wish to enjoy camping at a hill station, Sonmarg is the ideal destination. Tourists flock to this small hill resort in heavy numbers to see the enchanting natural beauty and snow clad peaks. Known as the 'Meadow of Gold', Sonmarg is set amidst a valley of flowers and lakes. The word "Sona" literally means "Gold" in Hindi, and this golden beauty covered with white snow is most attractive in the spring. The exotic flora of the region is nurtured by the Sindh river. Sonmarg is the gateway to Ladakh.

The dense forests of Sonmarg comprise of sycamore and alpine flowers, silver birch, fir and pine. The place is frequently visited by nature lovers in the search of tranquil peace and soothing natural beauty. The stunning blue water lakes and grasslands are the other attractions. The enchanting beauty of the towering snow clad mountains is a real treat to the eyes.

Major Attractions

Enveloped by alpine trees, Sonmarg is a base camp for the holy Amarnath yatra. The yatra is organized during the month of July-August every year, and thousands of tourists are drawn towards Sonmarg.

While visiting Sonmarg, make sure you include a trip to Nilagrad, the confluence of mountain rivers with the Indus river. The most amazing aspect of this place is that the river water is pure red in colour, and is believed to have curative powers for skin ailments. People often take a bath in this water.

Krishnasar Lake, one of the most mesmerizing lakes in the chain of many Himalayan lakes, is a good spot for picnics. The place is surrounded by dense alpines and provides a cool and peaceful atmosphere at a height of 3801 m above sea level. People enjoy trout fishing and other water activities here. Vishansar is another popular lake.

Walk along the exotic grasslands of Baltal to explore the untouched beauty of Sonmarg. Situated at the foot of Zoji-la-pass (gateway to the Ladakh plateau, 3540 m from the sea level), Baltal is close to the Amarnath cave. Baltal grasslands witness a number of pilgrims during the Amarnath yatra.


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