Sonamarg – The Meadow of Gold

Hello Ghumakkars

We had spent two days in Srinagar, and were off to Gulmarg. If you still haven’t read the previous posts then click here. After spending some quality time in Gulmarg, we left for Srinagar. We still had to cover Mughal Gardens & Pari Mahal. After the long drive from Gulmarg, we visited both the gardens and headed back to the hotel. I have already published a photo essay on all the gardens; Click here if you haven’t seen the same. Moving on, next day was our third day in Srinagar. According to the itinerary, we had to leave for Sonamarg. We woke up around 7:00 AM, had a tea & fortunately, this time it was made from Amul Milk .We left the hotel at 9:00 AM and Mr. Rouf was waiting for us on the other side of the lake.

A Kashmiri riding a Shikara

Mr. Rouf gave us some info. About Sonamarg. He said that Sonamarg is 87 km northeast of Srinagar & situated at an altitude of 8,950 ft. .The drive to Sonamarg is through the Sindh Valley which presents yet another spectacular facet of countryside in Kashmir. Sonamarg is the base of a major trek that passes along several mountain lakes -Vishansar, Kishansar, Gadsar, Satsar and Gangabal. Sonamarg is also the take off station for the drive to Ladakh across the Zojila, a major pass in the Great Himalayan Range, through which the Srinagar-Leh Road passes. The everlasting Thajiwas glacier, Mansabal Lake, Narang Ruins etc. are some of the places of interest in Sonamarg.  He also mentioned that the way to Sonamarg is a feast for eyes & it would seem that you are in Switzerland. In the month of spring , the entire region is flooded with bright yellow gold flowers known as crocuses.  In addition to the beautiful spring flowers, travelers to this region are treated to gorgeous views with include alpine forests and mountain peaks covered in snow.

A waterfall on the way

Chinar trees on the way

We had some cookies and namkeen on the way, which we had brought from Lucknow. Everyone was indulged in seeing the view, and as usual I was busy capturing those moments in my camera. After plenty of shots, I decided to have a capture the scenery in my mind. Indeed, the picture of those beautiful roads is still fresh in my memory. We had covered a good distance in an hour or so. The one funny thing I noticed about all Kashmiri taxis was, that each one has something humorous written on them and these people literally played with spellings. One of them was: “Dekh Saheli, Tera Sajaan Jaa raha hai” ;). Check out the pic for other one.

Never trust on smiling Girls

Moving further, we came across the snow capped mountains and the Sindh River. The breathtaking view was so beautiful that I could have spent hours sitting there. Now, we were hardly a few kilometers away from Sonamarg. Below are some more pics of the way.

Sindh river

View from the Car

As you enter Sonamarg, you’ll find yourself surrounded by huge mountains, tons of horses etc. Mr. Rouf parked the car and we got off to explore the beauty of nature. But before that, we proceeded to Hotel cum Restaurant Snow Land to have some breakfast. The hotel was very clean and was nicely built. The restaurant was very warm. We ordered rice plate and some pulses. These people did not serve chapattis. After a quick meal, I ran outside to experience snow.

Hotel Snow Land

Having a meal in the restaurant

God! It was so cold! I had just brought a jacket with me. Anyways, as soon as we were out of the restaurant, we were surrounded by horsemen who tried to convince us with their competitive prices. They had good marketing strategies. At first they offered us Rs. 1,000 for a ride up to Thajiwas glacier.After an argument they halved the prices. We moved further and we rode a horse up to some Kilometers, then I sat on a sledge. Ahh! It was indeed very enjoyable. :) The sledge vala bhaiya charged Rs. 70 for one round. I must say that those tons of horses make this place a little dirty. They shit all around and the melted snow makes it mire.

Breath taking view

 

The Sledge

 

All of us!

After exploring and having fun in Sonamarg for about 2.5 hours, it was time for us to go back. We proceeded to the taxi stand and Mr. Rouf drove us back to Srinagar. All of us were so tried that as usual we took a nap in the car itself. We had to cover Nishat Gardens. After that were supposed to enjoy the Shikara Ride on Dal Lake. The photo essay covering Nishat Gardens is already published. In case you haven’t read that click here.

It’s the end for this part. In the next part I’ll be covering the Shikara Ride in detail. Hope you all enjoyed reading this part. Stay tuned for future posts.

-Naman

 

 

20 Comments

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    Naman,
    Another beautiful post. Attractive pictures and interesting write up. Keep it up……………Waiting for the next part of this series.

    Your presence on Ghumakkar is decreased now a days, am i right? . I can’t see your comments on other stories since a long. May be this is because of your exams. Anyways we all wish you best of luck for your exams.

    Thanks.

    • Naman says:

      Nameste Mukesh Ji…
      Thanks a lot for your appreciation. Yeah! Actually This year I have my Class XII-boards,so I hardly come online. Thanks a lot again. I’ll definitely read up the previous posts, as soon as I end up with my exams. :)

  • SilentSoul says:

    Good photos. Kashmir really looks beautiful, but I dont wish to go where I am asked “Are you from India ?” in my own country.

    but your post was great with some gr8 photos

    • Dear Silent jee

      you are late , not first one today to write the comment ………………….

      Jokes apart . And why people ask in such a manner in Kashmir????? ridiculous???????????

      When i will go kashmir, if anybody ask me that question i will give a strong reply that even ” YOU ARE from INDIA and always will be “…………

      • SilentSoul says:

        Bhai Rathodeji, the “First Comment” thingy is reserved for some very special friends only.

        Many a times I thought of going to Kashmir, but seeing their anti-Indian feelings and pushing lakhs of pundits from their ancestral state, forced me not to spend a penny on anti-Indians.

        There are dozens of places in Himachal & Uttrakhand which in no way are less beautiful than Kashmir. I have vowed to visit Kashmir when all pundits are taken back, I will visit Mathura & Benaras when original temples of Krishna & shiva are restored..

        So I continue my journey to Uttrakhand and Himachal….. cheers!

        • Dear SS jee,

          ???? ??? ?????? ??? ?? ???? ??? ?? ???? ??…………………………
          ???? ???? ???? ?? ??? ???? ??? ???? ??? ?? ??? ??? ???? ?? ???? ??????? ???? ?? ????? ?? ????? ??…………………………..( ???? ?? ?????) ………………
          ????? ?????? ????? ?? ??? ?? ????? ???????? ??? ????? ?? ?? ????? ???????? ?? ???? ???? ????? ?? ???? ????? ??………………
          ?? ???? ?????? ????? ?? ??? ?? ?? ????? ???????? ?? ????? ???? ??? ??? ??…………………………………………

          Secondly Dear SS jee ,

          From past many days , after reading your posts and comments , I have made some sort of picture about you and that is you and i have many things in common as far as spiritualism and bhakti is concerned………..I like your posts and specially your views….
          As mentioned above also people like you are very difficult to find.

          That is the reason i take this opportunity in this comment to invite you at my place with your family in Mumbai any time you feel Sirjee…………………….

          Whenever you come to Mumbai please contact me i will be ready for you ………

          And if you don’t have recent plans to Mumbai then make one small plan i will be obliged to meet you…………………..

          Thanks……………..

          vcr1976@gmail.com

    • Naman says:

      Thanks SS ji. Oh Really! I never found anyone asking that to me. Actually, The media needs to be blamed for the current situation. They have just broadcasted a completely different image of Kashmir valley. All in one, one must go there and see how beautiful the place is. :)

  • D.L.Narayan says:

    Good post, Naman. The pictures were great too, except for the shot of the food served at Snow Land. Rice and pickle? Come on, that isn’t a mouthwatering diet by any stretch of imagination.

    I wish that the owners of horses were made responsible for clearing up the mess made by their horses and fined heavily to ensure compliance.

    Best of luck for your Board Examinations. Trust me, the Class XII exams are the most important ones you will ever write, so please concentrate single-mindedly on them. There is plenty of time for other pursuits.

    • Naman says:

      Thanks DL jee. Rice,Dal and pickle were least expected in Sonamarg and that’s the reason I added that pic. :)
      Yeah, I’m quite busy with boards. I’m going good. :)

  • Very good one Naman

    Enjoyed every bit of it…………………………

    keep posting………….

  • Nandan says:

    Good Luck for your exams. Pay complete attention and take a break from here or visit less frequently for a break :-)

    Be cool and you would lead.

    Every time I read about Kashmir and view these wonderful pics, I wonder when would it happen for me.

  • neeraj jat says:

    SS ji, I also feel it but as a ghumakkar, we shouldn’t think more about it. Each place has its culture, people, nature, history. We should explore them. I also think about great Kashmir and pandits, but this is all political matter, spread by politics. I, you and all of us know that kashmiri pandits cannot be restored but why should we ignore Kashmir. The more ‘indian’ will visit Kashmir, the more change will be there, the more kashmir will be turned into India.
    I was at Sonamarg during my Amarnath yatra in July 2010. It is indeed Switzerland. I was surprised to see its beauty.
    Naman, I think it is not that great Indus (Sindh) river. Indus river flows into POK after Zojila in Ladakh. It may be any mini Sindhu that merges with Jhelam.
    All the way, great post with miser photography.

  • wow naman , beautiful photographs and post.

  • Inderpal Singh says:

    Hi Naman,
    Read all your post on Kashmir today. It was great to read and see the snaps taken by you. We have planned 9 days visit to Kashmir in 1st week of June. Your post will definately be of help to me.

    Regards
    Inder.

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