The word Sonmarg is a derived from “Sona” meaning “Gold” and “Marg” meaning “Meadow” bestowing it with a literal meaning of “Meadow of Gold”. Sonmarg is an ideal destination for those who have a nick for camping and trekking as it is bestowed with enchanting lush green beauty and snow clad mountains. If the green mountainous beauty doesn’t enthral you, the gushing water of melodious river Sindh will definitely lift your soul. The flora of Sonmarg comprises of Sycamore and alpine flowers, silver birch, fir and pine trees. Those in search of tranquillity and peace need to listen to the murmur of chirping birds and flow of river Sindh at night.
Sonmarg is at a distance of 110 Kms from the Srinagar city. The Sonmarg is an intermediate connection between Kashmir and Leh – Ladakh on NH1A and has few breathtaking locations to visit which include Nichnai Pass, Zoji La, Thajwas Glacier, Kolohai Glacier, Mochai Glacier Amarnath Peak and River Sindh.
A lot of recreational activities are being offered in Sonmarg. Trekkers find it heaven in terms of slopes and treks. Be it 3-day trekking to Kolohai glacier or a famous trek from Sonmarg to Pahalgam. White water rafting downstream the river Sindh is a breath gulping activity for those who have a heart for such activities.
The striking silvery scene set against emerald meadows and a clear blue sky, that is Thajiwas glacier which at an altitude of 9,186 feet is a feast in itself. Thajiwas glacier offers you a wonderful half day trek to numerous waterfalls. Brace yourself as you will have to ride ponies to reach Thajiwas but the enchanting views make it worthwhile.
At a travel distance of 15 km from main Sonmarg, Zojila pass lies in the east and is one of the highest passes for road transport. Zojila is a base camp for Ladakh n NH1D and holds an important focus during the summer for being the road to Ladakh division. Sonmarg had historical significance and was a gateway on ancient Silk Road along with Gilgit connecting Kashmir with China and other Gulf countries.
Sonmarg with its primitive and idyllic feel offers respite from city life. You can go soul searching to Gadsar Lake, which at 16,400 feet lies frozen throughout the year. Surrounded by snow covered mountains and shrouded in alpine flowers, from Gadsar Lake you can enjoy panoramic views of the frozen Satsar and Baltan Lakes.
Nilagrad near Sonmarg is where a mountain river, red in colour, meets the mighty Indus River. The Baltic community that stays here believes that the waters have curative powers. Over the weekend, people swarm the banks of the river for a dip in the healing waters. With picturesque meadows around, it’s also an ideal picnic spot.