Sonamarg is the outset destination of the state from where the major trek route to the great lakes of Kashmir begin.
Sonamarg is a small hill town in the land of Jammu and Kashmir which opens a new page to the state’s endless beauty. Situated at a height of 2740m above sea level, the beauty of the town is captured in the snow-clad mountains. The literal meaning of the place is “the meadow of gold” which is justified by the flowers blooming in the spring season and envelopes the valley with the golden shade. The Sindh River meanders through the valley and is a home to trout’s and mahaseer. Along with the picturesque beauty the valley is also a prominent spot for adventurers who are willing to explore the mountains. The valley gives a closure to nature’s gifted resources in the form of gigantic mountains, lakes and steady passes. It is also the takeoff destination towards Ladakh which passes through the Zoji La pass, a part of the great Himalayan range. Sonamarg is also the base camp for the pilgrims who visit the Amarnath caves in Sawan Purnima.
The Thajiwas glacier is one of the most famous tourist spot in the Sonamarg valley which is layered with snow all-round the year. Surrounded with fir birch and pine trees, this beautiful destination rests at the foot of the Sonamarg glacier. The nature’s beauty and the calm environment makes this place one of the ideal spots in the valley for camping.
To enjoy the beautiful sight of the valley the best time is between May and October when the valley looks like a golden land as the sun rays touches luscious green landscape.
The Nichnai is the paradise for the enthusiastic travellers to quench their thirst for adventure. This adventurous pass rests at a height of 4139m above sea level and serves as an ideal place for the trekkers to set their camps. The tall and dense pine trees and the beautiful lakes in the vicinity enhances the beauty of this pass.
The Vishansar Lake is hidden gem of nature amidst the beautiful meadows of Sonamarg. The lake is located at a high alpine region at an altitude of 3710m and surrounded by the immensely dense forests. Trekkers passes the Nichnai pass and covers a distance of 20km from Sonamarg to take a glimpse of this pristine lake. The literal meaning of Vishansar Lake is “the lake of lord Vishnu” which also takes a lot of attention among the Hindus.
The Krishnasar Lake is the twin lake of the Vishansar Lake and located in the vicinity of the Sonamarg valley. Krishnasar Lake rests at an altitude of 3801m and it is one of the most beautiful lakes in the Kashmir valley. Travellers walk several miles to witness the beauty of this lake which evolves with dense forests which surrounds the lake and the snow-capped mountains in the backdrop.
Gadsar is a high altitude lake which is situated at an altitude of 5,000m above sea level and often called as the “Lake of flowers”. Visitors often cluster here to spend time amidst the serene beauty of the valley while enjoying trout fishing sitting beside the lake. The lake is located at a distance of 28km from Sonamarg which is the take-off destination for exploring the great lakes in Kashmir. Stretched across the distance of 0.85 km with a width of 0.76km, this lake has emerged as a prominent spot for camping.
Satsar Lake is another gem resting at the Gandarbal district of Jammu and Kashmir. This beautiful lake is unique because it consists of seven small alpine lakes thus it is named Satsar or “the seven lakes”. Situated at an altitude of 12,100 ft. above the sea level, this lake is 3.6km greater in length than Gadsar Lake. The lake is encircled with luscious green trees and the water is a home to trout fishes which attracts many visitors.
The Gangabal and Nandkol are twin lakes which lies at the foot of the Harmukh mountain range. Separated by a distance of mere 100ft from each other, the twin lakes survives on the glaciers and rainfall. The pristine lake rests at a height of 3500mts above sea level. The Gangabal and Nandkol are the last resort to the great lakes in Kashmir trek. The place is also a major attraction for the visitors fond of fishing. The sheer beauty of the valley is enclosed with plush green landscapes and snow covered gigantic mountains which will give a beautiful ending to the excursion.
Naranag is a beautiful village which is nestled at the Gandarbal district of Jammu and Kashmir. The serene and sheer nature’s beauty of the place makes it a prominent place in the state. Naranag is the base camp to trek towards Harmukh Mountains and Gangabal Lake. This village is also nestled with alpine peaks and meadows. The major reason to visit the village is the Naranag temple which holds a major archaeological importance. The site is famous for its clustered temples which spreads at distance of 200 metres. Built in the 8th century by Kayastha Naga Karkota dynasty, this historical treasure showcases the art of that era.
The Harmukh glacier is also named as Mount Harmukh which stands firm in the Gandarbal district of Jammu and Kashmir. With a height of 16870ft. the Harmukh rests at the north-western side of the Himalayan range. This beautiful wonder of nature’s holds an important significance in the Hindu mythology as the Kashmiri Pandits believes that the mountain is the home of Lord Shiva. The mountain has a treasure of beautiful lakes and fishes to attract the attention of the visitors. The massive glaciers at the peak of Harmukh adds a mystical charm to the beauty of the place.