Traversing through the 'Meadow of Gold' Sonamarg Hill Station in the state of Jammu & Kashmir it is not difficult to lose track of time being lost in the scenery of Nature's artistry. Try to peek into the valley and depth of it along with gravity would seem to be drawing. The pointed conifers make the whole mountain appear pointing towards sky trying to attain some more height in the process. The white of snow matched with brown patches of earth has no match when it comes to subtle yet sublime color of landscape.
Some of these most delicate details are intricately woven in the valley. These elements are divine enough to allow its viewers enter in a kind of trance, as momentary as it might be. Situated at an altitude of 2800 m, the place is surrounded by numerous five-thoudsander peaks, which only furthers the enigma of the meadow and the valley. Tourists swarm in the valley to witness this wonder of Nature as a part of Sonamarg tourism.
Once upon a time, the place acted as a part of ancient silk gateways, but now the place is primarily known for the adventure opportunity as well as viewing various glaciers, high altitude lakes, Indus River, and many other wonders to get indulged in.
In India, one way or the other, meeting Divine is inevitable, which is why people sometimes actually choose hills to recuperate, spiritually and bodily. Sonamarg is no different in this aspect, whether divine sought after in places of worship, Nature or just any visual representation that mind believes into.
Following sites and sights as a part of Sonamarg tour package ensure that tourists and adventurers keep coming here -
Places of Worship
Amarnath - The place is worshipped by millions of devotees of Lord Shiva who are ready trek through the rocky terrain in harsh weather condition to pray at Amarnath located 15 km farther. Shiva lingam from ice gets formed naturally in winters which attract alarming numbers of Shaivites to witness this natural phenomenon.
Charari-Sharief- 13 Km from Yushmarg and there is another place of bowing head in reverence and prayer- Sheikh Noor-ud-din. Shrine of this patron saint of Kashmir who is also known as Nund Rishi is located in the tranquility of this valley.
Buddhist Temples - Ashoka and his descendents are credited with flourishing and spreading the Buddhism teachings in the world. Jaluka, son of Ashoka is known to have built temples associated with this religious faith ruins of which could be seen 17 Km from Gangabal.
Yushmarg - Views of dense forests and snow-peaks are constant company at this place which is very much enjoyed for picnic. Tatta Kutti Peak and Sang Safed Peak are add-ons for the joy while picnicking here.
Places around Sonamarg
If Sonamarg travel is wished to be extended to nearby places, following places are ready to enthrall tourists at any given point of time-
Pahalgam - A hill station at 45 Km from Sonamarg, it is among celebrated health resorts. Amarnath temple, where ice stalagmite form natural Shivalinga, is at 6 Km from here.
Srinagar - A hill station of reputation, the capital of the state of Jammu & Kashmir is an unrivalled beauty of Himalayas. River Jhelum and its houseboats are quite a time-maker here.
Gulmarg - This meadow of flower is more popular with snow adventurers rather than floriculturists being a ski heaven. The population of the place keeps on fluctuating due to the harsh winters.
Things to do
Trekking to the wild and uninhibited aspect of this region of Jammu & Kashmir is the most common activity in Sonamarg for the various picturesque destinations such as mountain lakes, rivers, glaciers, peaks and valleys.
When trekking takes to the renowned lakes, being ready with angling gears is natural for the lovers of sport of fishing. Trout fishes in the lakes provide a great fun and the sport is very much enjoyed by the tourists. The River Sindh also houses Mahaseer in addition to trout making angling a great way to pass time while on Sonamarg holidays.
Wake up to a soft morning and retire in the coziest of accommodations while in Sonamarg. It is equipped with hotels and resorts having facilities to meet all the general and customized needs of the visitors, especially when season gets challenging. Ski season sees rush of people from abroad a lot and bookings are almost full during that time or the charges touch new highs just because of the demand.
Accommodations could be booked at places like Hotel Glacier Heights, Snow Heights Hotel, Rah Villas Hotels, JKTDC Sonamarg, Hotel Snowland, Ahsan Mount Resort, Paradise Camping Resorts, Sonamarg Nature Resorts and some others.
Booking Sonamarg hotels before actually holidaying is always preferable than making a search after arriving to this hill destination.
The names of various hotels and resorts are enough of indication to note that 'snow' is a part of it any which ways and this trend is not without reason. Winters stay from November to March when snowfall is common. This is the time when skiers crowd the place over. In summers, the average temperature is 20 degrees; time to visit the place and immerse in the bounty of Nature. Monsoons that last from July to September are not sever but can still pose challenges for trekkers for the slippery hilly terrains.
Best time to visit
Observing all the seasons of Sonamarg it could be easy to deduce that best time to visit the place is from April to October to those who like cool atmosphere but not frigid. The later could be experienced and enjoyed in the winters here.
How to reach there
Air - Srinagar Airport which is also referred to as Sheikh ul Alam Airport formally is the nearest airport, 70 Km away from Sonmarg. Flights from Shimla, Delhi, Chnadigarh and Mumbai are awailable. Hiring Taxis and cabs from here to the hill station is a norm.
Rail - Nowgam Railway Station, also known as Srinagar Railway Station is the nearest one to Sonamarg but not well connected with rest of the India. Instead Jammu Tavi Railway Station is much preferred being well linked with major cites of India.
Road - Through road, most of the nearby cities are well connected, especially Srinagar and Jammu. Tourists on road trip to Sonamarg can depend on maps and can come all the way from Bangalore, if they want.
Time to have adventure in Kashmir!