Sonamarg vs. Gulmarg: Which Destination Should You Choose?

Compare the two heavenly beauties of Kashmir.


Blog Home | Mujtaba Hussain | 06-11-2023


Kashmir: A Mysterious Heaven

Cashmere or Kashmir is a valley in the north of India between the countries of China, Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is surrounded by naked Himalayan mountains, touching the sky and hiding everything in between them. The landscape of Kashmir is magical with its springs, streams, glacial formations and pastures of green grass.

Even after being a region of political instability and violence resulting from terrorism, the valley of Kashmir has been a favourite vacation place for a long time. Kashmir has been called paradise on earth by many figures of the past. This piece of writing is about the two best places in Kashmir.

The Vale of Kashmir has many beautiful resorts. Today we will look at the two best destinations of Kashmir and try to give you a comparison between them. This will help you decide which one is better. Let’s start the comparison of Sonamarg vs. Gulmarg.

Sonamarg: The Golden Meadow

Horse riders are moving on a trail in Sonamarg. Source: Holidify

Sonamarg in the Kashmiri language means the Meadow of Gold. This place is located in the Ganderbal district of the Kashmir Valley. It is a famous hill station standing at an altitude of 2,730 metres. This destination is thronged by lacs of tourists all around the year. Sonamarg is a small valley with snow-capped peaks and streams flowing down the slopes. With its green meadows, it is equal to seeing a real diamond. It is among the best places in Kashmir.

The Sonamarg Valley is also important in terms of the Amarnath Yatra as it serves as a stopping place for the pilgrims. It is close to the Amarnath cave and is among the two routes to reach the cave. Sonamarg is also precious for the government as the only route to Ladakh which passes through the dangerous pass of Zoji La is from here.

Gulmarg; The Meadow of Flowers

Purple wildflowers are looking vibrant in the meadow of Gulmarg. Source: Kashmir Online

Gulmarg is called the Meadow of Flowers for a reason. It is a place which is known for its many varieties of wild flowers which the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan used to collect during his reign. The hill station of Gulmarg is located in the Baramulla district of the Kashmir Valley, with an elevation of 2650 metres.

This resort is world-famous for many reasons. It has vast green meadows, beautiful landscapes, and tall peaks and serves as India’s most important ski resort in the winter. It is also close to the border and thus is a vital place for the government. Gulmarg is one of the best places in Kashmir.

Which is the best?

It is very difficult to say which one is best because both of them have their own treats to offer to the visitors. Both have important aspects in terms of many factors. To make this task easy we are looking at the different things available at these places, in this Sonamarg vs. Gulmarg blog.

Streams and Rivers

Beautiful Sind River flowing in the green landscape of Sonamarg. Source: Sajids Kashmir

The Sonamarg valley is full of roaring streams with the main stream of Sind running down the Valley. This stream makes the Sonmarg Valley more amazing and charming. Looking at Gulmarg, there is no stream in the main area but some streams are located a little far away. Having a stream is a big point in Kashmir tourist destinations comparison.

Winter Sports

Kids are prepared for the winter sports championship at Gulmarg. Source: Unknown

Gulmarg is the place that comes to mind if we talk about winter sports. It is like a dreamland for skiing, snowboarding and other winter sports lovers. CNN ranked Gulmarg as the 7th best ski resort in Asia. Having this title, you can imagine the importance of this place. Sonamarg on the other hand is not that apt for winter sports. Having winter sports is a heavy point in Kashmir tourist destinations comparison.

River Rafting

Tourists enjoying the sport of River Rafting. Source: Kashmir Online

The thrill of river rafting can only be enjoyed in the Sonamarg Valley. You can glide on the waves of the Sind River and have an adventurous time. In the hill station Gulmarg, there are no river rafting opportunities. The opportunity of river rafting is an important point in Kashmir tourist destinations comparison.

Apharwat Ropeway

The cable car of Gulmarg is visible in the backdrop of the mountains of the Himalayas. Source: Kashmir Online

Counted in the world’s highest ropeways is the Gulmarg Gondola Ropeway which reaches a height of 14,000 ft or 4,267 metres. This ropeway is very famous and it is among the best activities to experience in the Kashmir Valley. This is a speciality that no other destination in Kashmir has. This makes a bold point in the Kashmir tourist destinations comparison.

Amarnath Cave

Pilgrims are lined up to enter the revered cave of Amarnath. Source: Unknown

This cave is a highly sacred place for the Hindus which is located 14 kilometres from Sonamarg by trek. This place witnesses a large number of pilgrims who come from every corner to visit the cave. This point increases the importance of Sonamarg Valley. It is among the best places in Kashmir.

Golf Course

The charming Gulmarg Golf Course is situated among the mountains of Gulmarg. Source: Kashmir Online

If you want to enjoy a golfing day at one of the highest golf courses in the world, Gulmarg is the place to visit for the purpose. The Gulmarg Golf Course was established in 1890  by a British official. It is a 6-hole golf course that has serene views of dense forests and mighty peaks. This experience belongs only to Gulmarg. It is one of the most unique and best places in Kashmir.

The Winner

We surely can not decide which is the best in the Sonamarg vs. Gulmarg comparison. Both resorts have equal beauty and lots of activities to enjoy. There may be some points that outweigh one destination from another but that can not give the final decision.

Decide with our packages

It is up to you to decide on the basis of the data available on the Internet. Although the real experience of visiting these places is a different story which will show you the true beauty of these places in front of your eyes. This is possible with our affordable and blissful packages which are available on our website. Kashmir Online is always ready to give you a wholesome tour.

Author Profile

Mujtaba Hussain is a poet, writer and analyst. He loves to research different things. Travelling is his passion, and he is in quest of learning something about everything.