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Jammu and Kashmir: Sonamarg, Yusmarg and Khajjiar
81 kms north west from Srinagar is Sonamarg meaning golden valley, It is at a height of 2740 meters. The way to Sonmarg is the major attraction. The fast flowing Indus will accompany you all the way, which is shaded by coniferous trees like Pine, Birch and Fir.
One can go to Sonmarg just for the sake of travelling in this marvelous pathway. There is heavy milliatary activity at Sonemarg too. Pandit Jawarharlal Nehru liked this place a lot. It is also a very healthy place to stay.
The main attraction of Sonamarg is the Khajjiar glacier, which is 3 kms away, and can be easily reached on foot. It is this glacier that gives birth to river Indus.
There are a few hotels to stay, but the standard of the hotels and the quality of service is poor, hence it is advised that you tour Sonemarg from Srinagar, and return the same day.
6 kms from Sonemarg is Nilagrad, where a mountain stream has met Indus. The water of this stream is reddish in color, and locals believe it has medicinal properties. Hence, the locals flock to the stream for a bath every Sunday.
Sonemarg also has its share of lakes. It has the twin lakes of Bisansar (or Visansar) lake and Krishnasar lake. The views from Visansar lake is awesome. Krishnasar lake has trouts in them. The former is situated at a height of 4084 meters, while the latter is situated at a height of 3810 meters and are situated side by side.
The latest attraction of Kashmir is also near Sonemarg. It is the Dachigam Wildlife Sanctuary, in the Dachigam Valley It is also known as Dahigaon. Ranging from a height of 1692 meters to 4289 meters, the sanctuary is home to many endangered species like the panther, sloth bear, Himalayan bear, deers, stags and monkeys. It is closed on Sundays, and the months of June and July are the best times of visit. One has to get a permission ticket of Rs.20 from the reception center to visit the park. You can take a bus to Harwan, from where the park is in 5 minutes distance. There is a forest rest house too, if you want to stay.
The park is divided in two parts. Lower and upper. The lower part is easily accessible with buses and tourist taxis plying from Srinagar, while the upper part can be accessed by trekking only.
Yusmarg is a nice place to visit, especially if you are physically fit. The conducted tour to Yusmarg happens three days a week from Srinagar. Distance is about 47 kms, and it is situated at a height of 2700meters. Yusmarg is at the slope of the Pir Panjal mountains, and proved extensive grazing pastures for the cattle. It has trademark Kashmiri scenic beauty. The beauty multiplies in moonlit nights.
The main attraction of Yusmarg is the Nilnag lake, which is at a distance of 4kms from Yousmarg and is literally cradled by the mountains. The pathway is terrific and ends at the lake. You can also hire a pony ride. The lake itself offers a breathtaking sight. At the end of the lake are the mountains. It is also known for the Charari- Sharief, the Shrine of Kashmir’s patron saint Sheikh Noor-ud-din or Nund Reshi, situated about 13 kms from away from Yusmarg.
Yusmarg gives you ample opportunity to take walks of every sort. The Dudh ganga river, which meanders through the place, is also a place for rests and walks. Other points of interests are the sunset point and the Mahadev mountain.
Snow Covered Valley People Enjoying on Ice
Huge Snow Everywhere