Sonmarg - A Golden Touch To Life
When you drive from Srinagar to Leh, Sonmarg is the last stop of Kashmir District. From here starts the territory of Ladakh. Situated at an altitude of 2743 m above sea level, Sonmarg is absolutely true to its name, which means 'Meadow of Gold'. The moment you enter Sonmarg, the first thing that you will notice will be the snow-covered mountain that forms the backdrop of the town. Covered with alpine trees from all sides, Sonmarg has few of the most loveliest flower collection in J & K. In winters though, the town is covered with snow giving it an altogether different charm of white. The town has become famous for the many excursion option that it offers, mainly short walks and trek routes to nearby stunning areas. The most famous trek is definitely the one that takes you to Amarnath caves. In fact Baltal which is just besides Sonmarg, is used as a base camp for starting the holy Amarnath yatra.
Attractions - Gifts of Nature
Sonmarg in itself is a beautiful place full of natural grace and gifts. This charming little town of Sonmarg has some stunning blue water lakes and rich in color grasslands. From Sonmarg, you can also look at the towering snow clad mountains of the Ladakh region that are a real treat to eyes.
Nilagrad is the place where confluence of a mountain river and Indus river takes place. The amazing thing about this place is that the water here in the river is of pure red color, which makes for a colorful sight. The locales here believe that the water has curative powers and can cure any skin ailments. In this belief, they take a bath in the river once every week. The largest crowd turns up on Sundays, as it is an off day.
Situated at a height of 3801 m above sea level, Krishnasar Lake is one of the most mesmerizing lakes in the chain of many Himalayan lakes. You will see travelers from all over the state coming here and enjoying themselves. Most of them will be engaged in Trout fishing which has made this lake a famous excursion spot.
Baltal is extremely stunning grassland which is situated right at the foot of Zoji la pass, adjacent to Ladakh territory. Baltal is more famous for its closeness to Amarnath cave. You can just walk to the cave which is approximately 5 km away from here. During the Amarnath yatra, many pilgrims set up camps here to rest.
Where To Stay
Sonmarg has good number of hotels of all kinds ranging from plain basic to luxury. J&KTDC also has few huts and cottages that you can hire but you will have to book for them in advance as during peak season they generally are full. For a pleasant stay, you can look to Hotel Glacier.
The nearest airport is at Srinagar which is around 81 km away from Sonmarg. It takes around 3 hrs to cover the distance by road.
The closest railhead is Jammu Tawi in Jammu. The distance of approximately 400 km between Sonmarg and Jammu is covered in almost 10 hrs.
Road connection to all parts of J & K is good. Buses from all districts come to Sonmarg. You can even hire pre paid taxis from Srinagar.
To move around in the town, buses are the best option as they have good frequency inside the city. But if you want to explore the city at your leisure, choose a ride in a tanga (horse carriage).