SONAMARAG

download.jpgSOnamarg is set high in the Sindh valley bere the Westward flow of the river Sindh is turned south to the vale of Kashmir. At this point it cuts through a line of igneous rock running North-West to South-East, weathered and firm. Nichnai and Thajewas Valleys form North and South run alongside these harder strata to join the Sindh just below Sonamarg. Sonamarg is not simply a picnic spot and a base for Shri Amarnathji yatra but is a wonderful hidden play-field for different adventure activities. It has tremendous potential for adventure tourism which needs to be exploited by the tourist players. It is also one of the best places to study flora, fauna and avi-fauna of the state but unfortunately it remained out of focus of the tourist players due to lack of infrastructure.

The Sonamarg Development Authority, led by Mr. Mohammad Yousuf is coming to the expectation by raising huge infrastructure here. Sufficient accommodation has been built and all kinds of modern amenities are available in these buildings for the intended tourists. Appreciably the SDA has recently thrown open the state-of-the-art Sonamarg Club, International Youth Hostel, number of VIP huts, and Yatri Bhawan etc. Number of campsites, picnic spots and parks are developed here. Many more hotels are under construction so there may not be any problem in respect of accommodation here now onwards. The non availability of accommodation was the biggest hurdle in promoting tourism at Sonamarg. By outsourcing its properties to private sector the SDA has easily generated revenue of nearly rupees one crore which is being spent on further development of infrastructure like laying pathways for ponies and bus station etc. The Youth Hostel alone could accommodate 200 persons at a time in its 4 dormitories and 10 rooms. It has all indoor and outdoor sports facilities available like billiards, table-tennis, carom, chess and health club, while for outdoor pursuits it conducts different adventure activities. A large Conference Hall facilitates corporate sector to hold conferences, cultural and meetings here.

There is a no other place in India where all types of adventure activities could be conducted simultaneously. It is a place where “Burf, Pani Aur Pahar” greets the adventurers. Sonamarg could offer a host of many adventure sports activities round the year. It has a wild mountain beauty and offers wide variety of low and high altitude trekking. It is a base for many treks. One can undertake a circular trek to Amarnathji Cave; Bandipora; Gurez and Telail which can be further extended to Bandipora via Zadkhusi; Drass; and Pahalgam etc. A trek from Thajiwas leads to Kolahoi peak via Bear Valley. The most interesting trek is to high altitude Himalayan lakes of Vishensar, and Gangabal etc. There is no other place in the entire Himalayas which has more than 30 high altitude lakes within a distance of about 60 kilometers. One can also undertake day treks from Sonamarg to Ludderwas, Eagle’s Nest, Nilgrath and Sarbal, Amaranth cave, Lashi Pathri, Thajiwas, Zabnar, Hapatnar and Kazim ridge etc. Zabnar, 4040 mtr. high above sea level makes a splendid day walk and provides one of the finest view points in the area for peaks such as Nanga Parbat, Nun & Kun and Amarnath etc.