Sonmarg is located in the Ganderbal district of Jammu and Kashmir and it means a “meadow of gold”. The valley is home to a variety of peaks like Kolhoi Peak, Amarnath Peak and Sirbal Peak. The place is about 85 km away from Srinagar but the drive is absolutely worth it because beautiful Himalayan peaks surround you while you chase the snow-capped mountains. Let us look at the top seven places to visit while you are in Sonamarg!
1. Vishansar Lake
Situated in the vicinity of Sonmarg, Vishansar Lake runs a kilometre in length and holds a lot of importance for Kashmiri Pandits. The lake freezes during winter but in the summer, the lake is surrounded by green grass and the occasional flock of sheep grazing away to glory. The lake is also the source of Nelum River which flows upwards in the Northern direction. The lake attracts a lot of trekkers and is the best place for a night-stay next to pristine water.
2. Nilagrad River
Nilagrad River is the perfect spot for a picnic under the sun as it provides the scenic setting of a riverside. It is located around 6 km from Sonamarg is known for its red water that is believed to have medicinal properties. People flock to this river every Sunday for a holy bath. The river later merges with the Indus River as it flows down.
3. Zoji La Pass
Zoji La Pass is located about 9 km from Sonmarg and is a very important link between Kashmir and Ladakh. It is known for its thick snow covered layers along the road. Historically, the pass was captured by Pakistan in a war and was later re-captured by the Indian forces for which this place becomes a must visit as it was is the highest land where tanks were used. It is an out of the world experience to be here at Zoji La!
4. Thajiwas Glacier
Adventure-seekers behold! Thajiwas Glacier is the kind of heaven that adrenaline junkies feast one. The snow is beautiful and the place has options to go ice skiing or hire an ice scooter to enjoy the majestic snow cover and scenic beauty. Just remember to bargain while hiring the rides and you’ll have an experience of a lifetime!
5. White River Rafting at Shutkari Bridge
The fun starts here from Baltal to Shutkari Bridge where a long rafting expedition is carried out to quench your adrenaline thirst. The rafting is great for experienced as well as novice rafters and is one of the best experiences you will ever have at Sonamarg.
6. Krishnasar Lake
Krishnasar Lake is located at about 3500 m above sea level and is one of the most beautiful lakes around. It is surrounded by lush greenery and big trees. The lake is known for trout fishes and fishing, as well as water sports. Pay a visit to the lake if you want a quiet moment alone with nature.
7. Baltal Valley
Baltal Valley is another place where one can hire tents and camp outside. There is a cave that can be accessed by trekking, by ponies or by a helicopter service. It is one of the most popular tourist places and is worth the trek!
Sonmarg has ancient importance because it was a gateway on the ancient Silk Road that connects Kashmir with China. It provides as a base camp for Ladakh and is militarily very important for India. In the winter, Sonamarg becomes a valley covered in white gold thereby living up to its name.
The Jammu and Kashmir Tourism department organises frequent river rafting tournaments that have participants from all over the world as the city booms with life with the flow of tourists. Sonmarg is a gem hidden in the high passes of Kashmir and is away from the hustle-bustle of city life. Plan your next vacation to Sonmarg to witness the aptly named “meadow of gold”.
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