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A Trek in Sonmarg

 

Hello and welcome back to the Kashmir series! Today I will write about the fourth day of our trip when we went to Sonmarg.

On the fourth day, our original plan included a visit to Gulmarg, famous for its stunning landscapes and the thrilling cable car rides. However, as it was peak season, the cable cars were fully booked until mid-July.

To avoid the crowds, we decided to head to Sonmarg instead. We left our resort at around 9 AM and embarked on a scenic 2.5-hour drive to Sonmarg. The journey was smooth, and the views were breathtaking, setting the perfect tone for our adventure. Sonmarg, known for its enchanting meadows, promised a day filled with natural beauty and outdoor activities.


Upon reaching Sonmarg, we started our trek to the Thajiwas Glacier, located about 3 kilometers away from the main tourist hub. Thajiwas is one of the most accessible glaciers in the region, making it a popular spot for visitors. However, our arrival was met with a barrage of guides offering horse rides. Despite repeatedly saying that we want to trek, the persistence of the guides was quite a nuisance and you will need to be very firm when saying no. Initially we felt quite disappointed by the crowded path filled with horses. The constant need to dodge groups of horses made the start of our trek less enjoyable. Fortunately, Mr. Fayaz an amazing guide, offered to take us through a less crowded route.




Following him, we went a bit off track and climbed a small dirt road which led us to open and empty roads, though they were extremely steep. The roads then led us through a picturesque route in front of a well and through small streams of water which was extremely narrow and only had enough space for two feet kept together at some places. The route we took was quite scary honestly. While this route is not suitable for older individuals or children, it is perfect for adventurous souls. We recommend hiring a guide if you choose this path.


After almost an hour of trekking, we reached the base of the Thajiwas Glacier. The sight of the white snow covered glacier was mesmerizing, although the area was crowded with people and horses. The narrow bridges over the Indus River were particularly dangerous, especially with the crowd pushing from both directions



and some super intelligent beings (excuse the sarcasm) ignoring the queues and trying to insert themselves in between the two lines of people. Water boots were also available for those who wanted to walk through the calf-deep water. We had a blast hitting each other with icy snowballs and trying sledging. After about 20 minutes of fun, we decided to head back.


The trek back took another 1.5 hours. We were tired but content. Hungry and cold, we stopped by a small food truck for a bowl of Maggi each, tea and Kashmiri fruit cake which felt like heaven at the moment. For those not interested in trekking, there are hotel restaurants in the first quarter of the trek and a beautiful lake behind the main road just 5 mins away. You can also book cabs to visit some tourist spots near by.



As we headed back to our resort, the journey became darker and more isolated which scared us a bit but thankfully we reached safely by around 8:30 PM and enjoyed a filling dinner at our resort. The day, despite its challenges, was an unforgettable adventure in Sonmarg. Do read our next blog on the Sky View Hotel and Patnitop too!


 

Thankyou for reading and see you!

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