Location: 81 km from Srinagar, at an altitude of 2,740 m from the sea level.
Best Time To Visit: May To September, and November To February.
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 “Son” 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.
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 peaceul 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.
The weather is alpine. Summers (April-June) are mild, one can get by with thick cottons. But the place receives heavy snowfall in December-February. The best time to visit Sonamarg is during the summers.
You can find a number of Hotels and lodges of various types and budgets in Sonmarg. Most of these are operated in summers only. If you visit Sonmarg in winters, you can hire cottages or guest rooms. JKTDC, a government initiative, has a Dak Banglow and number of Huts which are available on hire.
How To Reach
By Air: The nearest airport is that of Badgam District.
By Rail: Jammu Railway Station.
By Road: Regular and smooth bus services are available to and from Srinagar.