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Sonamarg – A Place Known for Remarkable Natural Beauty and Majestic Surroundings
About The Meadow of Gold
The literal meaning of Sonamarg is “Meadow of Gold”, which is what this picturesque town, located in the Ganderbal district of Jammu and Kashmir, is popularly referred to as. The place was named due to its strategic location on major trade route leading to and from Central Asia into other parts of India. The place is a major tourist destination of Kashmir and is also famous for being the base camp of various trekking and hiking expeditions. In the modern times, Sonamarg has earned much strategic importance as it is the base camp for Ladakh and hence is controlled by the Indian Army.

Prominent Tourist Locations of Sonamarg
The town of Sonamarg is famous for its beautiful surroundings which include various spectacular glaciers and tranquil lakes. Thousands of visitors come to this place every year to enjoy the unmatched beauty of   flower-laden and snow covered meadow that lies in foothills of the majestic Himalayas.  

Charari-Sharief: Located at distance of nearly 13 km from Yushmarg, a famous picnic spot of Sonamarg is the holy shrine of Charari-Sahrief. The Shrine is dedicated to Sheikh Noor-ud-din, the patron saint of Kashmir, who was also popular by the name of Nund Rishi. Although the shrine was destroyed in a fire in 1994, it was later reconstructed and restored.  

Gangabal Lake: This Lake, which is believed to be one of the several sources from which River Jhelum emerges, is located on the Harmukh Peak, at a height of 3,570 m. Also known by the name of Harmukh Ganga, the place is considered sacred by the Hindus of Kashmir.  An annual fair is organized in the 3rd week of August, which is attended by numerous devotees and tourists. The lake is also popular as a site to enjoy fishing, especially in March and October. 

Zoji-La Pass: Located at a height of nearly 3,465 m, within the Himalayan ranges is the Zoji-la Pass, which is also popular as the gateway to Ladakh. Believed to be extremely dangerous, it is one the highest motorable passes in the entire Kashmir region. The pass is surrounded by the Drass Valley, High Mountain peaks covered in snow, thick forests and the beautiful valley of Kashmir.  The pass generally remains closed for most part of the year due to heavy rains and can be visited only during the late spring season.
Nilagrad River: This mountain river is favorite tourist destination as its red-waters are believed to have medicinal powers. Every Sunday there is a large rush of tourists and locals converging on its banks to take a dip in its medicinal waters and rid themselves of diverse ailments. The area is also a favorite picnic spot mainly due to its proximity with nearby lakes and scenic meadows.

Gadsar Lake: Located at a height of nearly 5,000 m, the Gadsar Lake is one of the highest lakes in Kashmir valley. Nested within the Himalayan Ranges, the lake is also famous as a base camp for various trekking expeditions. Even reaching the lake requires visitors to trek through a trail surrounded by alpine trees. The lake is also famous as the destination to enjoy the fishing of Brown-trout.

Krishnasar Lake: This mesmerizing lake is situated at a height of nearly 3801 m amidst a thick assembly of alpine trees, which make the surrounding environment extremely cool and pleasant. The lake is frequented by visitors wanting to enjoy trout fishing and other water activities. 

Vishansar Lake: This yet another beautiful lake of Sonamarg is ideal for visiting between the months of April and June. Visitors can reach the lake via the Nichinai Pass, which is another major tourist hot spot situated at a height of nearly 4,084 m. 

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