Sonamarg or Sonmarg, located at a hefty altitude of 2,740 m above sea level, literally means ‘Meadow of Gold’. The picturesque natural beauty of the region brought this name to Sonamarg. Sonamarg, a town surrounded by breathtaking glaciers and serene lakes, is a snow covered beautiful flower-laden meadow in the majestic Himalayan mountain region. Sonamarg in the Kashmir valley is the gateway to Ladakh and situated just before the Zojii La pass. Located at 87 km from Srinagar, the place is renowned for trekking and hiking trails.
The snow clad peaks in the Himalaya and the undulated hilly mountainous regions are perfectly suitable for all types of trekking expeditions. Sonamarg is the base camp for many trekking expeditions. The major treks passing through various mountain lakes such as Gangabal, Vishansar, Gadsar, Satsar and Kishansar has its base at Sonamarg. The trekking routes offer all types of challenges, from mild to most hard. The pleasant climate with mild summer and cold winter make this place an ideal location for trekkers to explore the natural beauty and challenging treks.
Thajiwas glacier at an altitude of 9,186 feet is a striking silvery scene set against emerald meadows and a clear blue sky. In summers, you can take a half-day hike to numerous waterfalls around this glacier.
Thajiwas Glacier is just half an hour walk from Sonamarg town . tourists hike to the glacier from Sonamarg. One can even hire a pony ride to travel to the glacier. Trek to the renowned glacier includes face off with a silver shining frozen lake and its lush green surroundings, which offer an amazing contrast to the eyes.
Baltal is a camping site for visitors as well as a famous base camp for the pilgrims to Holy Amarnath Cave. From famous tourist resort, one can reach this camp site on the Sind River by covering 15 kilomters motor able distance. One can hire taxi at Sonamarg to reach the Baltal. From the site, one can have a view of the Zojila pass – the gateway to Ladakh.
During the months of June and August, the Baltal which has an elevation of 2743m, is bustling with pilgrims who set up the base camp here for their onward journey of 14 kilomters to holy Amarnath Cave. There is a tented accommodation by the private owners at affordable rates.
One has to cross the high mountain pass known as Zojila to reach Ladakh region from Kashmir Valley. Zojila on the Indian National Highway 1 between Srinagar and Leh is thush a gateway to Ladakh.The pass at an elevation of around 3528 m above the sea level is 9 kms from Sonamarg.