Sonamarg

Sonamarg (Urdu pronunciation: [soːnaːmərɡ]) or Sonmarg (Urdu pronunciation: [soːnmərg]), known as Sonamarag[3] (Kashmiri pronunciation: [sɔnɨmarɨɡ] ;lit.'meadow of gold')[4] in Kashmiri, is a hill station located in the Ganderbal District of Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is located about 80 kilometres (50 mi) northeast of the capital city, Srinagar.

Sonamarg

Sonamarag

Sonmarg
Northern Sonamarg photographed in 2012
Northern Sonamarg photographed in 2012
Location map of Sonamarg in India
Location map of Sonamarg in India
Sonamarg
Location map of Sonamarg in India
Location map of Sonamarg in India
Sonamarg
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
 • OfficialKashmiri, Urdu, Hindi, Dogri, English[1][2]
 • SpokenPahari, Gujari, Shina, Balti, Phustu
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
PIN
191202
Telephone code+91-1942417-
Vehicle registrationJK16
View of Sonamarg Valley

HistoryEdit

Sonamarg had historical significance as a gateway on the ancient Silk Road, connecting Jammu and Kashmir with Tibet.[5][6] Today, the hill station is a popular tourist destination amongst fishers and hikers, and following the Kargil War with neighbouring Pakistan in 1999, serves as a strategically important point for the Indian Army.[citation needed]

GeographyEdit

The hill station is situated in the Kashmir Valley, at an altitude of 2,730 metres (8,960 ft)[7] and is close to some of the valley's tallest peaks, alongside the Machoi Glacier, Sirbal Peak, Kolahoi Peak, Amarnath Peak and Machoi Peak. Combined with the alpine meadows that bloom in the summer as well as rivers and lakes stocked with fish, Sonamarg is a notable tourist destination in Jammu and Kashmir.[8]

Sonamarg gives rise to the 'Three Sisters'—a group of rivers (the Lidder, Sind and Neelum) that run parallel to each other and serve as tributaries for the major Jhelum River that runs through the Kashmir Valley and into Pakistan.[citation needed]

ClimateEdit

Given its high altitude and mountainous terrain, Sonamarg experiences the regionally-rare humid continental climate (Köppen: Dfb) with significant rainfall. The average temperature in Sonamarg 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]

[9]

DemographicsEdit

Sonamarg has no permanent settlement and is inaccessible during winter due to heavy snowfall and avalanches. Per the 2011 Census of India, Sonamarg had a seasonal population of 392 (51% male, 49% female), excluding tourists and those working in the tourism industry.[10]

TourismEdit

Sonamarg 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.[11] 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 Sonamarg.

Baltal, 15km east of Sonamarg, 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 organizes river rafting tournaments at Sonamarg throughout the year, which has recently seen the participation of teams from abroad.[12]

AccessEdit

Sonamarg 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.[13]

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "The Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Act, 2020" (PDF). The Gazette of India. 27 September 2020. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
  2. ^ "Parliament passes JK Official Languages Bill, 2020". Rising Kashmir. 23 September 2020. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  3. ^ Toshakhani, S.K; Koul, Lal; Hajni, Mohiuddin; Pushp, P; Mohiuddin, Akhtar (1968–1980). Kashir Dictionary (in Kashmiri). 4. Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages. p. 244.
  4. ^ Mitra, Swati (2013). Jammu & Kashmir: Travel Guide. Eicher Goodearth. p. 46. ISBN 9789380262451. 'Meaning the 'meadow of gold', Sonamarg is covered with yellow crocus flowers in spring'
  5. ^ 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
  6. ^ "Sonamarg on Silk Route". silkroutee.com. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  7. ^ "Sonamarg Tourism". india.com/travel. Retrieved 10 January 2021.
  8. ^ "Sonmarg from Srinagar". kashmironline.net. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  9. ^ https://en.climate-data.org/location/964583/
  10. ^ "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.
  11. ^ 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)
  12. ^ "International Rafting Championship at Sonmarg". groundreport.com. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  13. ^ "Strategic Z-Morh tunnel in Kashmir to be completed by Jun 2021: Official". The Economic Times. 20 July 2020. Retrieved 10 January 2021.

External linksEdit