Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Kashmir diaries- Sonamarg, Meadow of gold

I was too excited for this trip to Sonamarg for n number of reasons the major being snow covered mountains and Himalayas in a close up..We started off after a heavenly breakfast from our hotel around 9:00am. It was drizzling and the clime looked just perfect for the day out.This was the map we followed along Srinagar-Ladakh highway over Sindh river.

Our guide cum driver Yousuf was quite friendly and got talking about the places cuisine and other interesting things about Kashmir and people. Kashmiri in general respect tourist I have not come across general public as hospitable to the tourist apart from Andaman of course.He told us how their lives shattered as a result of terrorism and how many of his friends  had to stop their schooling .Terrible days  when they had to stay home without food for days together without any clue about their surroundings , he also mentioned how their lives largely depended on tourism and when popped with the question as how their life would be in off season , he replied as a matter of fact  with a bright smile , that their life would get back to poverty..I was taken aback by his spirit.

The river water was so clear and beautiful it that it remained me about a travel show " Indian Holiday" which was telecasted in Sony Television.It was one of the reason  that really stung the travel bug in me way back in my school days.In that show they anchors used to camp on the banks of Ganges..woow I was really excited to get that kind of feel all my way.All through there were Army patrolling and security checks at many places.There were very young Army personnel standing all alone , Man when I am enjoying my holiday with all smiles a thought crossed my mind as on how it must be feeling to stand all by yourself!!! must be though, well they are indeed tough, sure men in uniform have always been.

After about 45 minutes the scenery slowly started to change from cloud kissed mountain to snow cap ,my excitement knew no bound.

When we were almost reaching our destination it started to rain which meant that I wouldn't be able to take out my DSLR and click the way I would have wanted.

The moment we got down from our car people with ponies came forward, with rain and cold the scene was not that attractive as I had supposed it to be , somehow with all gloves and winter gear  with much apprehension I started my climb up slowly and steadily on my pony.But once I got the hang of it, it was more of a fun ride for me.To certain distance local vehicles were allowed but tourist cars were let only till foothill perhaps to give the locals a mean to earn their livelihood..My surroundings were beautiful just like a moment from dream my only complaint was that it was still drizzling and I couldn't click pictures.Just as I got near to the glacier , I could see many shacks and shops and I was relived.My body craved for something hot, and coffee seemed so heavenly,there were people trying to get some heat for themselves too.

There are two options to go up one through sludge that would be dragged by these kids which was not that appealing for me but there people who were opting for that  and as per distance the charges vary.

I had fun playing with snow but with the cold and slight drizzle time and again got me exhausting hence after some 45 to 50 min I started my descend which was steep and I must be admit it was a bit scary and I was so happy to be back in the luxury of car heater

Guess what I found a frozen water channel on my way back.We didn't feel hungry at all so had lunch only after we got to Srinagar but there are few options for food at downhill...It was one of the memorable trips I have had, just brilliant but for rain it would have been a different experience all together

And that's what I wore for the day, you can check it out here.

Bargain the pony and winter gear charges it can come down to Rs 300 per person to as high as Rs 900, so beware of the situation before you commit.
After you go up negotiate your distance and charges for sludge as well.
In case of rain insist for raincoat and waterproof glove.


  1. Sonmarg is awesome place also i love Gulmarg.

  2. Sonmarg is really a heavenly place in Kashmir . These clicks are really amazing . Thanks for sharing .Kashmir holiday Packages


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