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Sonamarg Town

Lush meadow with the backdrop of Thajiwas Mountain at Sonamarg
Lush meadow with the backdrop of Thajiwas Mountain at Sonamarg
thajiwas-mountain-sonamarg
thajiwas-mountain-sonamarg
Horses grazing on high meadows near Sonamarg
Horses grazing on high meadows near Sonamarg
Nullah Sindh flowing past Sonamarg
Nullah Sindh flowing past Sonamarg
Guest House run by Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation
Guest House run by Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation
Block of new hotels at Sonamarg
Block of new hotels at Sonamarg
The economy of the town is dependent on tourism
The economy of the town is dependent on tourism
An old house with the backdrop of beautiful meadows at Sonamarg
An old house with the backdrop of beautiful meadows at Sonamarg
A mosque at Sonamarg
A mosque at Sonamarg
A temple built by the Indian Army at Sonamarg
A temple built by the Indian Army at Sonamarg
Gujjars passing Sonamarg town on their way to the mountains
Gujjars passing Sonamarg town on their way to the mountains
A horse grazing with the backdrop of Sonamarg
A horse grazing with the backdrop of Sonamarg
Snow clad peak above the pine canopies
Snow clad peak above the pine canopies
snow-clad-peak-sonamarg
snow-clad-peak-sonamarg
Snow peaked mountain hovering above Sonamarg
Snow peaked mountain hovering above Sonamarg
Horses are an important means of commuting in this rugged landscape
Horses are an important means of commuting in this rugged landscape
Sonamarg town is confined to a short strip of road
Sonamarg town is confined to a short strip of road

Sonamarg is a small hill town located around 80 km from Srinagar. The place gets its name from the picturesque view of golden sunset reflecting on the meadows like a perfect 'Meadow of Gold'. The meadows looked golden and vibrant in the fading sunlight. Nallah Sindh, a major tributary of Jhelum River runs right through the town. 

Sonamarg is also a stopover town for people travelling between Leh and Srinagar. There are many hotels along the highway. Surprisingly, the government run guest house was more expensive than privately run hotels. Room tariff for government guest house starts from Rs. 1,500. The rooms are well maintained with spacious compound overlooking the main bazaar and the mountains, making it a nice place for a stay.

A lot of hotels have come up because of the busy tourists season in June and July. The room tariff hikes up by 40-50% during the Amarnath Yatra to fetch maximum money from pilgrims and tourists. A normal Rs. 500 room is then offered for Rs. 2,000. Apparently, the hike doesn’t affect their business as much as it does to the tourists.

Sonamarg is well connected to Srinagar and other cities and have taxis and buses going to Srinagar every few minutes. Sonamarg has many options for food. It also has ATM facilities. 

Sonamarg was also a gateway of ancient Silk Road that linked Kashmir to China and other Gulf nations. It has managed to always stay in the spotlight, in spite of its small size. 

The popular Amarnath Yatra begins a few kilometers from Sonamarg town. During peak season that starts in the last week of June, the town is flooded with outsiders. Its residents do good business through their hotels or by supplying ponies for the trek.

North of Sonamarg, along the Sonamarg-Leh highway, the road ascends steeply and it is one of the most difficult roads towards Leh. In winter, the mountain is covered with snow and the road to Leh remain closed till late spring.

Sonamarg is a picturesque place. The gentle valley of grass with horses grazing and galloping up and down the slopes, along with the compelling sight of snow-peaked Thajiwas Mountain, made a perfect picture.

 

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