Sonamarg

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Sonmarg

The Meadow of Gold
Sonamarg
Sonmarg towards north
Sonmarg towards north
Sonmarg is located in Jammu and Kashmir
Sonmarg
Sonmarg
Location in Jammu and Kashmir, Republic of India
Sonmarg is located in India
Sonmarg
Sonmarg
Sonmarg (India)
Coordinates: 34°20′N 75°20′E / 34.33°N 75.33°E / 34.33; 75.33Coordinates: 34°20′N 75°20′E / 34.33°N 75.33°E / 34.33; 75.33
Country India
Union territoryJammu and Kashmir
DistrictGanderbal
Elevation
2,730 m (8,960 ft)
Population
 • Total392
Languages
 • OfficialUrdu
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
PIN
191202
Telephone code+91-1942417-
Vehicle registrationJK16

Sonamarg (translation: "Meadow of Gold"), or Sonmarg, is a hill station in Ganderbal district in Jammu and Kashmir union territory, India, about 80 kilometres (50 mi) north-east of Srinagar.

View of Sonmarg Valley

History[edit]

Sonmarg had historical significance as a gateway on the ancient Silk Road connecting Kashmir with Tibet.[1][2] Today, it is a tourist destination for fishers and hikers, and, following the Kargil conflict in 1999, is a strategically important base for the Indian Army.[citation needed]

Geography[edit]

Sonmarg lies in the Kashmir Valley at an altitude of 2,730m[3] and is close to some of the valley's tallest peaks, including Machoi Glacier, Sirbal Peak, Kolhoi Peak, Amarnath Peak and Machoi Peak. Combined with the meadows that bloom in summer and rivers and lakes stocked with fish, this makes Sonmarg a popular tourist destination.[4]

Sonmarg gives rise to the Three Sisters, a group of rivers (the Lidder, Sind and Neelum) that run parallel to each other and which feed the major Jhelum River running through Kashmir Valley.[citation needed]

Climate[edit]

Given its high altitude and mountainous terrain, Sonmarg experiences the regionally-rare humid continental climate (Köppen: Dfb) with significant rainfall. The average temperature in Sonmarg is 6.5 °C (43.7 °F), and nearly 932 mm (36.7 in) of precipitation falls annually (not counting the heavy snowfall that falls occasionally in winter).

Climate data for Sonmarg
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) −5.4
(22.3)
−3.4
(25.9)
1.7
(35.1)
9.3
(48.7)
17
(63)
21.7
(71.1)
24.3
(75.7)
24.1
(75.4)
21
(70)
15
(59)
7.5
(45.5)
−0.5
(31.1)
11.0
(51.9)
Daily mean °C (°F) −8.4
(16.9)
−7
(19)
−1.5
(29.3)
5.6
(42.1)
11.8
(53.2)
16.1
(61.0)
19.1
(66.4)
19
(66)
15.3
(59.5)
9.1
(48.4)
2.5
(36.5)
−4
(25)
6.5
(43.6)
Average low °C (°F) −11.3
(11.7)
−10.5
(13.1)
−4.6
(23.7)
2
(36)
6.7
(44.1)
10.5
(50.9)
14
(57)
13.9
(57.0)
9.6
(49.3)
3.3
(37.9)
−2.4
(27.7)
−7.5
(18.5)
2.0
(35.6)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 95
(3.7)
98
(3.9)
137
(5.4)
139
(5.5)
115
(4.5)
50
(2.0)
54
(2.1)
68
(2.7)
68
(2.7)
42
(1.7)
26
(1.0)
40
(1.6)
932
(36.8)
Source: Climate Dat [1]

[5]

Demographics[edit]

Sonmarg has no permanent settlement and is inaccessible during winter due to heavy snowfall and avalanches. At the 2011 Census of India Sonmarg had a seasonal population of 392 (51% male, 49% female), excluding tourists and those working in the tourism industry.[6]

Tourism[edit]

Sonmarg provides trekking routes leading to Vishansar Lake, Krishansar Lake, Gangabal Lake and Gadsar Lake in the Himalayas, which are stocked with snowtrout and brown trout.[7] The Sind River meanders here and abounds with trout and mahseer. Ponies can be hired for the trip up to Thajiwas glacier, a major attraction during the summer months. The Yatra to the nearby Amarnath Temple begins in Sonmarg.

Baltal, 15km east of Sonmarg, is a valley that lies at the foot of the Zoji La pass. Trekkers can also reach the city of Leh - known as "the rooftop of the world" - by crossing over the Zoji La.

The Jammu and Kashmir tourism department organises river rafting tournaments at Sonmarg throughout the year, which has recently seen the participation of teams from abroad.[8]

Access[edit]

Sonmarg is accessible by bus or car from Srinagar, the capital of Jammu and Kashmir, via National Highway 1 (NH 1) and the Zoji La pass. During the winter, heavy snowfall and avalanches block the NH 1, meaning local traffic is only permitted up to Gagangear village, which is the last permanent settlement of this area. The Z-Morh Tunnel is being built to keep the road open year-round, and is due for completion in June 2021.[9]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Knight, E. F. 1893. Where Three Empires Meet: A Narrative of Recent Travel in: Kashmir, Western Tibet, Gilgit, and the adjoining countries. Longmans, Green, and Co., London. Reprint: Ch'eng Wen Publishing Company, Taipei. 1971
  2. ^ "Sonamarg on Silk Route". silkroutee.com. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  3. ^ "Sonamarg Tourism". india.com/travel. Retrieved 10 January 2021.
  4. ^ "Sonmarg from Srinagar". kashmironline.net. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  5. ^ https://en.climate-data.org/location/964583/
  6. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 16 June 2004. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  7. ^ Petr, ed. by T. (1999). Fish and fisheries at higher altitudes : Asia. Rome: FAO. p. 72. ISBN 92-5-104309-4.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  8. ^ "International Rafting Championship at Sonmarg". groundreport.com. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  9. ^ "Strategic Z-Morh tunnel in Kashmir to be completed by Jun 2021: Official". The Economic Times. 20 July 2020. Retrieved 10 January 2021.

External links[edit]