One of the oldest civilizations in the world, our country is called Incredible India because of its kaleidoscopic variety of nature, its culture, and its great heritage. Among all the destined places, the cities which are situated in the lap of the Himalayas are the most enjoyable tourist destinations. Sonmarg which means “Meadow of Gold” is a hilly district, situated in the Jammu and Kashmir Indian Union Territory.
History of Sonmarg:
Almost 2000 years ago Sonmarg was under the kingdom of King Pravarasena. After that Sonmarg and its surroundings came under the control of Mauryan rulers, and as a result of it, Buddhism prevailed in the area. In, the 1st century AD Kushana was the ruler of this place. After that, it became a part of Ujjain and later Huns invaded it in the 6th century. Mughals ruled the area during the 14th century. In the 18th century, it was reigned by the smaller rulers and the rule of the Sikhs came here in the 19th century. It became a princely state due to the treaty of Gulab Singh and the British, till the time of India’s independence in 1947. After that Sonmarg became a part of India.
The History of a Trade Route:
From the ancient literature we come to know about Sonmarg and its surroundings as a part of the famous “Silk Route”, the connector between India and Tibet. The outstation trade had flourished here long ago. Now it is a defense post of the Indian Army. It attracts tourists all over the world and also is a base camp for trekkers. Incredible India is justified by Beautiful Sonmarg.
Elevation and Boundary:
The elevation of Sonmarg is 2800 meters or 9200 feet. Some famous Himalayan glaciers can be seen from here such as the Kolhoi glacier and Manchoi glacier. Sirbal Peak, Kolhoi Peak, Amarnath Peak, and Manchoi Peak all are above 5000 meters and can be visible from this place. At the bank of Nallah Sind, Sonmarg is situated. It is 87 km Northeast of Srinagar, which is the capital of Jammu and Kashmir Indian Union Territory. People from all over the world come to this place to have the proper essence of nature at its best. The river Jhelum is the predominant in this area. The valley is sixty miles in length, surrounded by grassy meadows and dotted villages.
Sonmarg is not a permanent settlement because of its chilly weather. Very few people reside here.51% of the population is male and 49% are female who resides permanently here.
Places to Visit:
The drive from Srinagar to Sonmarg is worth it because of its natural beauty. Sonmarg which means “The meadow of gold” is justified though it’s on a road journey. The snow-capped mountains and the beauty of the Himalayas will enchant you. Lots of places are there to visit in Sonmarg, but among them, some are very special.
It is one kilometer in length and freezes during winter but in the summertime, it has its charm with green valleys and flocks of domesticated animals. The Kashmiri Pandits give respect and importance to this lake. It is the source of the Neelum river and is very much attractive to trekkers.
It is a picnic spot situated six kilometers away from Sonmarg which is known for its red water. It is believed that water has medicinal properties. A holy bath is occurred on every Sunday by the people. It merges with the Indus river later on.
It is a very important link between Kashmir and Ladakh. The roads of this Pass are always covered with snow along the side. Pakistan captured the place earlier but later on it is recaptured by the Indian Army again. It is the highest land point where the tanks were used. So, it is a must-visit place for all the tourists who like to explore the mountainous region. It will be a lifetime experience for the people who will visit the place.
The place is famous for its scenic beauty and snow-covered mountains. There all have the option of skiing or hiring an ice scooter to enjoy the beauty of the place. A bargain is a must in that place to gain an awesome experience.
River rafting from Baltal to Shakuri Bridge will quench your thirst for adventure. Even the novice rafter will get an enjoyable experience through it.
3500 meters above sea level this lake is one of the lakes in the world. This lake is also famous for the trout fish and its fishing. If anybody wants to be in a peaceful mind under nature, it is the right place to carry on.
It is one of the most famous tourist attractions and a place worth trekking. Ponies and helicopters are available here. If you want to camp outside, tents will be provided.
This lake is 3610 meters above sea level. The meaning of Satsar Lake is the reunion of seven lakes in which seven clustered lakes are interlinked with each other.
Situated 5000m above sea level, this lake is also called the lake of flowers or the Yemser Lake. Some rare and endangered fishes can be seen in this lake like the brown trout fish. The Alpine Meadow will smoothen your mind and eyes. Floating icebergs and the variety of wildflowers are also the attraction of this region.
It is situated in the heart of the famous PirPanjal mountain range. Another name for this place is ” Meadow of Jesus” because of the peace and tranquillity of the place. It is 7500 feet high and the surrounding is spectacular.
Rafting and Trekking in Sonmarg:
Rafting is one of the most favorite sports in Sonmarg. The white water river rafting is amazing. Everybody including a beginner can do this sport from Baltal to the end of the Shutkari bridge is an unforgettable journey.
Sonmarg is nothing but a heaven for the trekkers. What you have to do is to grab a Trekking stick and go on. Machoi Peak, Amaranth Peak, and Kolahoi Peak are some places where you can have your Trekking. Nichnai is a great base for trekkers which is 13 km from Sonmarg. But during the months of winter Trekking is prohibited.
Local Life and Culture:
Very few permanent residents are there in Sonmarg because of its extreme weather conditions. Nomadic Gujjar tribes are prevalent in society. 392 settlers are counted during the census of 2011. The settlers come down to the plains during winter and in the summertime, they return to Sonmarg again. They are simple, friendly, and easy-going people. The attire for them is bright and colorful. ‘ Pheran’ is the clothing that is used during winters. They also wear ‘ Kangri” under the ‘Pheran’ to keep themselves warm. They are mainly cattle grazers and involve in tourism.
Humid Continental Climate is the specialty of this place with sufficient rainfall. The average temperature is 6 degrees with 932 rainfall. Snowfall happens during winter.
During April when the road has been opened for the tourists, all can access the beauty of snow all over like a white carpet. Rainfall is frequent during July and August but not a heavy shower. Trekking routes are ideal for the trekkers who lead to the different Himalayan lakes. Trekkers can also reach the splendid roof of the world ‘Leh’ and Sonmarg is the base camp for the Amarnath Yatra. The tourism department is organizing river rafting tournaments in which people from all over the world come to this place.
Where to Stay:
Sonmarg has different hotels and homestays which are very much reliable. All of them are friendly and cooperative. The rent is within the reach. Comfort zone and privacy are maintained. The food is also good.
Sanitized car with a professional driver is available here which is not only pocket-friendly but eco-friendly also.
A great holiday can be obtained here in six nights and seven days, which will be a tour we will remember forever. Many vehicles are there for sightseeing.
How to Reach Sonmarg from- Delhi:
Through air, road, and train you reach Sonmarg from Delhi. From Delhi, if you want to come by air the nearest airport will be Srinagar. Jammu is the nearest station and Sonmarg is interlinked through all the places, all through the country by bus or cab.
Here in Incredible India, we have portrayed every detail about Sonmarg. It is a place which is must watch the place, situated in the Jammu and Kashmir Indian Union Territory. So what you are waiting for? Set out with your backpack and have a nice holiday.