Sonamarg • The Meadow of Gold

The word 'Sonamarg' means ‘Meadow of Gold' and is a mesmerising place located at high altitudes in the wonderful state of Jammu and Kashmir. Sonamarg is surrounded by enchanting glaciers and lakes, and the beauty of the place is simply ethereal. You will pass this picturesque town as you drive to Ladakh and Sonamarg also serves as a base when you embark the holy Amarnath Yatra. If you desire to spend some days admiring nature's tranquillity and beauty, there will not be any better place than Sonamarg for visiting.

 Location : State/District

Sonamarg is a beautiful hill station in the Ganderbal district of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The latitude and longitude coordinates of Sonamarg are 34.3300⁰ N and 75.3300⁰ E respectively.

 Destination Type

Sonamarg is a must-visit hill station in Jammu and Kashmir. The lush landscapes and the view of snow capped mountains are enough to relax your senses, making this place an ideal hill resort.

 Honeymoon Destination & Adventure Tourism

Sonamarg is nature's paradise and therefore a perfect place for planning your honeymoon. This small town is the favourite destination for nature lovers. The lush greenery and pleasing ambience is a pleasant break from the stressful city life. Sonamarg also offers its visitors several adventure activities like hiking, mountaineering and trekking. This has made this place a sough-after holiday place for adventure enthusiasts.

 Weather Information

Being located amidst snow covered mountains, Sonamarg experiences delightful climate all year round, making it an all-season destination. Summers starts from April to June and the climate is moderately hot and ideal for sightseeing. The region experiences heavy rainfall during the rainy season. The winter months from November to March are extremely cold and the place is completely covered with snow. The most favourable time to visit Sonamarg is from April to November. You need to carry light cotton clothes or some light woollens if you travel during the time when winter starts setting in.

 Travelling Requirements

Travelling to Sonamarg does not have any restrictions for people living in India. Tourists coming from places outside India, however require a prior visa from the running government. Also foreign tourists must carry their passports and other formal travel documents with them.

 Places to Visit

Sonamarg is a wonderful destination with loads of sightseeing activities and attractions for tourist.

Thajiwas Glacier is just located at 5kms from Sonamarg. This is an awe-inspiring place where nature flourishes without any interference. The walk from Sonamarg to Thajiwas is very delightful and the sight of majestic glaciers in this place will leave you spell bound. There is also meadow at the base that remains covered with lush Fir and Pine trees. You will also find several waterfalls around this place that are worth-visiting. Thajiwas is also a suitable camping place surrounded by Himalayan ranges.

Nilagrad River is a prominent spot among the locals as well as tourists. This river is popular for its reddish colored water that is also known to have remarkable curative properties. It is a common practice for locals to visit this site every Sunday and take a bath in the healing waters of the river.

Yousmarg is a favourite picnic spot, very close to Sonamarg. This place is famous for its lush greenery, firs and pine trees.

The Vishansar Lake is fondly called as the ‘Lake of Vegetarians' as the color of the water in the lake is green. It is a serene place that gives you the panoramic view of the majestic snow covered mountain ranges, flowering meadows and natural waterfalls.

The Krishansar Lake is located very close to Vishansar Lake and these enchanting lakes add to the natural beauty of Sonamarg. This lake is dedicated to Lord Krishna and is also called the ‘Lake of Lord Krishna'. The Krishansar Lake is a delightful place to visit and is also an important spot for water sports.

The Nichnai Pass is a famous vintage point in Sonamarg that gives a breathtaking view of the Gangabal Lake, Vishansar Lake and Krishansar Lake.

Besides sightseeing, Sonamarg is also a favourite destination for adventure activities. The Sindh River is an ideal spot for masheer and Trout fishing. The place also has beautiful hiking and trekking trails. Sledging at the glaciers is also a popular activity.

 Nearby Destinations

The Zoji-La Pass is located at 26 kms from Sonamarg. This pass is an important link between the Kashmir valley and Ladakh. The Zoji-La Pass is the second highest pass present on NH-1D and it remains inaccessible during winters.

Dachigam National Park is located between the Himalayas and is home to the rare Kashmir stag or Hangul. The park holds over 500 species of herbs, 20 varied species of shrubs and 50 different species of trees.

Pahalgam is a beautiful hill station in Jammu and Kashmir that can be visited from Sonamarg. This place is bestowed with picturesque locations and is also a popular destination for adventure sports like trekking.

 Food & Accommodation

Sonamarg offers good quality vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisines to tourists. During your stay in the place you must try the local Kashmiri dishes like dum aloo, Yakhni and Rogan Josh. There are also local eateries spread around Sonamarg that offer traditional Kashmiri breads like baqerkhani and sheermal.

Being a popular tourist destination, there are all range of hotels in Sonamarg right from the luxurious hotels to rented Dak bungalows by JKTDC. If you looking for hotels with basic facilities and with room tariffs not more than INR 2500, some of the choices are Mountain Green Camping, Hotel Snowland, Paradise Camping Resorts and Glacier Heights. Some of hotels with world-class amenities are Raha Villas Hotel, Ahsam Mount Resort, Namrose Resorts and Sonamarg Nature Resorts. These hotels are priced at INR 5000 and above per room/night.

 Safety and Security

Visiting Sonamarg is absolutely safe. However all the trekking trips should only be undertaken after permission from the Tourist Officer in Sonamarg or Srinagar for feasibility and safety.