Sonmarg: The Meadow of Gold
The beauty of Kashmir has never been in doubt, an amazing destination that never disappoints you. I first came here two years back, where my trip started with sailing on still waters of the tranquil Dal Lake, Srinagar.
Dal Lake so fascinating, charming and spread with lotus and lilies as far as the eyes can see, the smell of tranquil water is so captivating that it aroused spirituality in me. The same has happened with me also during my stay on Dal Lake. I spent a whole day sailing in Shikara, shopping in floating market and staying in houseboat for a night. Just have a look at “Experience houseboat and Shikara” to taste my magnificent experience.
I was surfing through my album; just at that moment the photomontage of astonishing mountains came up and rolled over my eyes.
Now that, I’m sitting here and trying to describe the extraordinary grandeur of Kashmir, my words seems to fail me. To describe the comprehensive grandeur of that view is beyond my power. That’s why I’m trying to recollect every photograph and memoir of such a stunning destination.
Rather than going into deeper novelistic lines, allow me to drive you through the splendor destination.
Sonmarg (Meadow of Gold)
As the name says ‘Sonmarg’, is derived from ‘sona’ meaning gold and ‘marg’ meaning meadow. For that reason, it is also known as “Meadow of gold”. Comfortably nestled in the lap of the Himalayas, this “meadow of gold” offers everything that an adventure traveler could possibly want. This is an act with lots of thrill that is as much an adventure as it is a discovery.
The 90 km drive from Srinagar to Sonmarg offers one of the spectacular beauty of nature. From the gorgeous peaks to rushing Sindh river, the towering alpine trees and gigantic snow cuddled -capped mountains make you like a Lilliput with no powers.
The bracing climate of Sonmarg and the embracing mountains forms the base for some of the most hardened treks like Krishansar Lake trek, Vishansar Lake trek and many more. Again it is known for its worth-watching path to the sacred Amarnath Caves.
These mountains are placed thus, like the pillars of a gigantic gateway where one path leads you to Kargil and the other to rider’s paradise Leh.
Take a drive to Baltal Valley
Baltal Valley is known for the most scenic views and it is the starting point of one of the most (arduous) difficult trek ‘Zojila’. Just take a walk along the Valley and explore the untouched beauty of Sonmarg. Baltal Valley is situated at about 15 km from Sonmarg. During the time of “Amarnath Yatra” this valley serves as the base camp for every pilgrim. Pony service and helicopter services are also available during the Yatra.
Apart from these, there is still something so inexpressibly solemn and overpowering about the mountains, that it demonstrates the serenity of this picturesque place to every tourist or traveler. Have a look at the photographs and you’ll accept it.
I went further to escape this chaos….
If you want to travel to the world of snow and lakes, than Thajiwas Glacier is a must to experience. People from all over the world come here for trekking and skiing. Thajiwas Glacier being one of the highest peaks in Kashmir is the major attraction of Sonmarg. The trek for Thajiwas starts at about 4 km from main Sonmarg market, and then you have to show your adventure spirit to trek for about 6 km to reach the main glacier. You can even hire a pony.
The mountains of Thajiwas stood in an eerie silence, the only sound was that of melting water flowing beneath.
So where do I have a bad bath:
Unfortunately I couldn’t conquer the glacier completely as the weather condition didn’t support me. I had to return back half way. But the best part was the Indian army helping people to get back to the starting point.
This was the first time when I’m jealous of real aviator i.e. bird. They can fly high and conquer every mountain. Sometimes I wish I could be a bird, so that I can fly high and reach the top of the world.
Still I would say, believe me, what I saw during my trekking was so magical that is just got tattooed in my mind.
Avoid ponies or horses at Sonmarg. Ride can be expensive and some touts will misguide you by saying, it’s a 10 km rugged walkway and slippery where only horses can pass. You can hire a guide and trust me every trek in Sonmarg can be conquered comfortably. Also, you can have the best experience only when you are doing trekking. Walking through heavenly mountains lasts 90 min and you won’t even realize when it’s over.
Therefore, walking through the valleys of Sonmarg is like you are walking in heaven as whenever you walk on snow it seems like you are walking on clouds. There are lot more things to do in Sonmarg. I hope Kashmir will again call me to do more exciting adventure.
In the end, i would like to say: Kashmir is the pleasantest sensation of India and the world.