or Sonmarg, to be found at a substantial elevation
of 2,740 m upstairs sea level, accurately means
'Meadow of Gold'. The charming likely exquisiteness
of the area got this title to Sonamarg. Sonamarg, a
town bounded by magnificent glaciers and peaceful
lakes in Sonamarg, is a snow shielded good-looking
flower burdened the meadow in the stately Himalayan
mountain area. Sonamarg in the Kashmir valley is the
entryway to Ladakh and placed just previously the
Zojii La pass. Set at 87 km from Srinagar, the
location is celebrated for trekking and hiking
traces. The snow attired Alps in the Himalaya and
the swollen hilly rocky areas are effortlessly
appropriate for all kinds of trekking excursions.
A paradise on Earth, the name "Sonamarg" itself signifies its beauty: The Golden Meadow. Set in a backdrop of snow capped mountains and bright flowers, this place is sure to get your energy flowing.
Sonamarg, which means 'meadow of gold' has, as its backdrop, snowy mountains against a cerulean sky. the Sindh meanders along here and abounds with trout and mahseer, snow trout can be caught in the main river. In late April when Sonamarg is open for road transport, the visitors can have access to snow which is furnished all over like a white carpet. Ponies can be hired for the trip up to Thajiwas glacier a major attraction during the summer months. However, there is need for some stricter regulation to save the environment of the area from over tourism. Litters such as plastic bottles, etc., are strewn all over along the track.
It offers many adventurous routes with amazing green water & frozen lakes around and Thajiwas glacier is a one such major tourist attraction in the region. Located 7 km from Sonamarg, it is an ideal spot for enjoying a sledge ride on the snow even in mid-summer. The nearby area is perfect camping site too.
Baltal, on the shores of the Sindh River, is located around 15 km away from the north of Sonamarg. This small valley serves as a camping ground for the Amarnath pilgrims. It rests at the foot of Zoji-La Pass on the banks of the river Sindh. Moreover, for the convenience of the pilgrims, base camps are set up in is this ground and this little valley is only a day's journey away from and provides a shorter high-altitude alternate route to the sacred cave of Amarnath.
Through a meandering trek of 14 km from Baltal, one can reach the Holy Cave and during the Amarnath pilgrimage, tents are also set up here. One can hire taxi or take a bus from Sonmarg for Baltal and it will take approximately 1 hour.
Tourists can directly reach Baltal from Pahalgam as well which is just 24 km away and takes approximately 45 mins on bis. For those tourists wanting to indulge in trekking to Baltal from Pahalgam will take around 5 hours.
Baltal is known for its scenic views. The tents available here are affordable and tourists need to either trek to hire ponies to reach the cave. Tourists can also take helicopter services from Baltal that will drop the yatris till Panjtarni which is 5 km from the cave in just 7 minutes. The journey further to the cave needs to be covered on foot or ponies. From Baltal to the holy cave and back, ponies will cost around Rs 1,700. The 14 km long steep trek will take almost 4 hours for the tourists to reach the cave. Large number of free langars are also available in Baltal for the pilgrims and many small tea shops will also be available enroute.