I visited a couple of times to Sonamarg , first in March and other during Amarnath Visit. During March, Sonamarg Valley is treat to eyes as the mountains covered fully with Ice and really an excellent Visual treat . If you are not on a package, definitely worth spending a day in Sonamarg.
I personally like the March Journey as , the climate is Very cool and Snowy Mountains was something “WOW”. It was my first visit to this kind of place and felt it was a very special.
I will share my experience and compare the Journey in March and August , so people can decide based on their wish on which month they wanted to travel.
How to Reach .
Sonamarg is 80KM from Srinagar. It can be reached by Car. I m not sure on the Public transport in Srinagar nor i didn’t see any buses as well. Reach Srinagar and rent a car from there to reach Sonamarg.
Note: I covered how to reach Srinagar in my Srinagar Blog
Sonamarg in March.
We started our Journey early in the Morning for Sonamarg. Srinagar weather was very cold. On the way to Sonarmarg, We enjoyed the sceneries around and took photographs where ever we felt . On the way , we enjoyed taking snaps on Saffron field which has a Mountain backdrop.
On the way, we could see many rivers passing by, I clearly understand there is no chance that Srinagar will have scarcity of water as five rivers flow through it . ( Just though about Tamilnadu for a min when I heard five rivers 😦 ) The river has its natural beauty enhanced with the stones in the Middle and one could clearly sense why it attracts Movie Makers.
An interesting incident happen’d in this place, one of our friend bought a new camera and went ahead in the river with enthusiasm for taking pictures, the flow of river was too high and not able to stand due to the extreme chillness ,the guide warned us not to enter in to the river. Inspite of his advice, our friend went ahead and slipped and lost his camera.. New Camera gone in seconds !!!!!!
As we stopped in the middle and taking pictures, there were more surprise waiting for us, Snowy mountains hosted with more beauty and gigantism . It’s advisable to go with a Power bank and MORE chances of Camera battery getting drained due to the climatic conditions.
As we are getting closer to Sonamarg, the roads started shrinking and the passage for the vehicle would be only one way. To add more , the mountains welcomed us with more beauty. I will be taking a picture of a scenery at one point and in another few miles, there will be more beauty and visuals waiting for me. You CANNOT keep your EYES OFF from the Visuals for sure. Your camera will be a very busy Person 🙂
SLEDGES TO CARRY OLD AGE/ WOMEN/ KIDS WILL ENJOY THE FUN RIDE
There are sledges available for you to play around in Ice. It’s better bargain with them else there are more chances you would be cheated .Language is a barrier anyway but need to live with it :). For a person with Fluency in Hindi should be absolutely fine.
Make use of sledge if you really wanted to do so, else, Just enjoy the snow and climb. For those who wanted try with adventure, Reach the vantage point for taking photographs with ski ( Ski available on rent basis ) .. Just go for it !!!! . if you are not an expert, don’t worry !. Just stand with ski get Photographed , that’s what i did 🙂 .Sharing few pictures as the beauty of Sonamarg would be , one word “FANTABULOUS”
There are some small vendors selling noodles,biscuits and tea in the middle while you climb . Eating noodles in the snow would be yummy .. even though it’s not good for health :)) Once you reach the Vantage point , you can see the panoramic view of the mountains , ski fields . It might take almost more than 1.5 hours to climb and come down.
On a Special Note: Try to spend atleast more than 4 to 5 hours on these places (Gulmarg, Sonamarg, Pahalgham) . If you go with time lines, you will not enjoy these destinations .
During August, there will be local guides available outside the hotel to take you for glaciers , which we may need to climb the mountain with the help of horse or pony available there for rent. We didn’t went as it’s already close to 6 PM . The cost including guide and car would be around 1500 . If it is a day time, its worth else don’t spend on it. The below snaps covered some of the view points .
We missed to explore Tajiwas Glacier as it was already close to 6 PM and wanted to take rest .
Plan one destination for one day as all these places are from different directions from Srinagar. You can stay in Srinagar and Sonamarg and not sure on the stay at Gulmarg and Pahalgam.
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