Sonamarg is a wonderful destination for an intrepid traveler, who is looking for 'meadows of gold' (this is what Sonamarg means) and exciting places for adventure sports. Perched at an altitude of about 2,740 metres above sea level Sonamarg is a scenic tourist attraction located in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Sonamarg is at a distance of about 80 kilometres from Srinagar.
Tourist places in and around Sonamarg
At a time when mercury rises in the plains of India, it is soothing cool in the upper reaches. Sonamarg is a perfect tourist destination for summer. The lush meadows and snow capped peaks in the backdrop offer magnificent views. Sonamarg is a complete scenic destination in itself. There are a number of places that one can visit when in Sonamarg. There are a number of waterfalls in and around Sonamarg that you can visit. Gadsar Lake and Satsar Lake are two beautiful lakes that you can visit. The lakes are surrounded by tress and flowers. Nilgrad and Nichnai Pass are other two beautiful places that you can visit.
The Winter Games Federation of India, during its annual general meeting declared Gulmarg as the winter sports capital of India. Coming from the apex body that organises winter sports in the country, this is indeed a great honour for Gulmarg.
Skiing & Winter Sports.
Sledging: A flat wooden board is taken up the hilltop and, without a navigator, allowed to slide downhill on the snow-covered slopes. Sledges as well as sledge-pullers are always available on hire.Skiing: Some of the best slopes in the country for beginners and intermediate skiers are available at Gulmarg. Skiing equipment is available on hire from the Ski-Shop. In winter Gulmarg's natural slopes and inclines turn into the country's premier skiing resort. Not all tourists who visit in winter come for skiing - some simply are there to watch the skiing or to enjoy a holiday in the snow. Many of these are infected with the excitement of the skiers, and have donned their first pair of skis within a short while of their arrival.
The Gandola Cable Car Lift.
Among the multitudes of slopes, there are a few which are serviced by ski lifts. Most of the skiing becomes centred on these slopes, which are specially suited to beginners and intermediate level skiers, with ski runs ranging from 200 m to 3kms, instructors are available for both levels. Each of these is quieter than the immensely popular ones with skilifts. Advanced skiers often trek in the snow for several hours to the very top of Apharwat peak, to make a descent lasting no more than 30 minutes.
Sledging at Gulmarg.
And now, with the operation of the Gulmarg Gondola Cable Car, it has become all the more convenient for skiing enthusiasts, as they can gain a ski run of nearly 3 kms with the help of this cable car which goes up to Kongdori.
There are a host of snow sports at Gulmarg at this time of the year. Tobogganing, the most popular among them requires no skill. No skill is required - a flat wooden board is taken up the hill and is allowed to descend downhill. There are also snow scooters and snow bobbing, neither requiring special skills.