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Sonamarg Calling

November 8, 2023
Serene Sonamarg-The breath-taking view of snow clade world famous tourist resort Thajwas Sonmarg on Saturday 14 November 2020.The resort remains closed for tourists during winters as the place remains covered under 8-10 feet of snow which makes it difficult for people to reach it. PHOTO BY BILAL BAHADUR

Gulmarg ski resort in North Kashmir has always remained the favourite tourist spot for visitors in the winter months. However, there are other destinations like Sonamarg that can also become a top choice for not just domestic tourists but international travellers as well. In this regard, senior officials recently convened a joint meeting of officers and stakeholders to review winter preparedness and allied facilities for keeping Sonamarg open during the winter season. Discussions were held regarding the necessary preparations and arrangements including water, electricity, health, road, fire service, snow clearing operation, traffic management, operationalization of Z-Morh Tunnel, firewood and other related facilities to be put in place for keeping Sonamarg open during the winters. Directions were passed in the meeting that the pamphlets and other printing material regarding the promotion of Sonamarg as an all-weather tourist destination may be pasted on airport road at prominent places and tourist vehicles. The government has also assured that proper promotion will be done during the trade fairs organized in various parts of the country and other appropriate platforms. It is pertinent to mention that as winter approaches, Sonamarg undergoes a dramatic transformation. The meadows and forests get blanketed in a pristine, powdery snow, creating a breathtaking winter wonderland. The snow-capped mountains and frozen rivers add an extra layer of magic to this already enchanting place. Sonamarg offers a wide array of winter activities that cater to all types of travelers. For adventure enthusiasts, the region presents numerous opportunities for activities such as skiing, snowboarding, and snow trekking. The wide and open snowfields are perfect for beginners and experts alike to indulge in their winter sports passions. Snowshoeing is another popular activity in Sonamarg, allowing visitors to explore the untouched landscapes and serene forests. It’s an experience that offers solitude and the chance to witness the natural beauty of the area at a leisurely pace. For those seeking a more relaxed winter holiday, the pristine surroundings of Sonamarg are ideal for snow picnics. Tourists can build snowmen, enjoy snowball fights, and soak in the serene winter atmosphere. The glistening snowscapes provide a perfect backdrop for creating lasting memories. For the social media content creators, the snow-covered landscape of Sonamarg is a haven. The surreal contrast between the white snow and the blue skies creates a photographer’s dream. Moreover, unlike the more popular winter destinations, Sonamarg offers a more authentic and less crowded experience. With fewer tourists during the winter months, visitors can truly connect with the local culture and the natural beauty of the region. To fully realise its winter tourism potential, Sonamarg needs to invest in infrastructure and marketing. Efforts should be made to improve road access, provide quality accommodation options, and promote the region’s unique winter charm. In addition, local authorities should work on enhancing safety measures and accessibility for tourists during the winter months. The authorities should also immediately address the issues and points raised by the local hoteliers and other stakeholders in the recent meeting so that Sonamarg is kept open during the coming winter months.

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Avatar of M Aamir Khan

M Aamir Khan

Koshur from Bagh-e-MaGarmaL

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