Sonmarg – the meadow of gold
Also known “The Meadow of Gold”, Sonmarg is situated at a sturdy altitude of over 2,000 meters. The region is named as such after its scenic natural beauty. Encircled by spectacular glaciers and serene lakes, Sonmarg has had historical importance and was a gateway on ancient “Silk Road” connecting Kashmir with China and other gulf countries. The Zojila pass lies 14 kilometers east and is one the highest passes for road transport. Sonmarg has no permanent settlement and is inaccessible during winter due to heavy snowfall and avalanches. It is situated at a distance of 87 kilometers from Srinagar on the Srinagar Ladakh Road.
There are a lot of places to be explored in Sonamarg. The Sindh river that rambles through the valley is full of Trout and Mahaseer fish making it an ideal spot for the anglers. Nilagrad, where a mountain river meets the Indus River, is a gorgeous baltic colony. The color of water is reddish and locals usually visit on Sundays to bath in the river. The breath-taking view of the Nichai pass is a junction point to beautiful lakes of Vishansar, Krishansar and Gangbal. The mesmerizing Gangbal lake from Sonmarg across the Sindh river is a trekkers dream providing them the ultimate adventure experience. Sonmarg is the home to many types of fish among which is the brown trout in Vishansar lake.
Located at a short and interesting walk from Sonmarg is Thajwas which is known for its glaciers. The miniature plateaus, snowfields, pines and islets add to the charm of Thajwas. The Naranag valley is noted for its scenic meadows and is a base camp for trekkers to mount Haramukh, Gangbal lake and Satsar. Shoksar, Poschar, Atmas, Lolgul, Kushal, Kanasar are few other beautiful lake around Sonmarg.
Sonmarg is an ideal place to visit all year round. However, the region becomes inaccessible during the winters due to heavy snowfall and avalanches. The best time to visit is between March and October. The temperature in summers is around 20 degree celsius. The resort has calm and lovely weather conditions throughout the summer as snow may be found on top of the peaks. Autumn is exciting with a tinge of cool waves blowing throughout the valley. Winters are frosty that go down below freezing point. Temperature ranges between -8 to 18 degree celsius, There are fine hotels and government huts along with plenty of eating joints in Sonmarg to accommodate the overnight tourists. Indeed a must place to visit when you are in Kashmir.