One of the most beautiful places to see around Sonamarg in Kashmir is the Thajiwas Glacier. It is a favourite among picnickers and campers as it is far from tourist chaos of Sonamarg market.
Thajiwas glacier is located seven kilometres from Sonamarg. One has to trek upto the glacier from the road-head. It is lovely place to relax and enjoy.
But it is not just for picnickers . It is also for serious trekkers. Trek to Thajiwas is not a tough one, but it is one of the favourite treks for all those who have based themselves in Sonamarg and want to acclimatise for other high altitude treks around including the Great Lakes trek.
Those who don’t want to trek, can also take a pony ride to the glacier. Glacier is at an altitude of 9,186 feet. Trek to glacier goes through a serene valley with meadows around and streams coming from the glacier flowing in it. Song of these streams is what you are going to hear all the way along.
Those who trek to Thajiwas glacier to acclimatise themselves don’t take the road-head to get closer. As we did, most of them will trek from Sonamarg market itself. It is generally an easy walk.
But than many people will camp around the Thajiwas glacier itself. Mostly those who look for either some adventurous stay in camps or want to away from regular tourist crowd coming to Sonamarg. Operators will even arrange for some experience of glacier walks while you camp around Thajiwas.
Trek to Thajiwas passes alongside meadows and streams.
While on the way to glacier, you will also find many shops selling tea, kahwah, cold drinks and snacks.
There are many operators in Sonamarg, who organise trip to Thajiwas, whether you are interested in trek, pony ride, camping or glacier walk. You can easily find these operates in Sonamarg, and actually many will themselves approach the tourists.
The area around Thajiwas is covered with snow in the early days of summer. The white gives way to lush greens, as the temperature picks up.
Among the places near Srinagar, while Gulmarg is popular among skiers and snow-lovers, Sonamarg is more loved by those who enjoy rather serene nature with rivers flowing through lush green meadows. The meandering Sindh river is bound with trout and mahseer fish.
Sonamarg means ‘golden meadow’ and it is lovely slice of paradise which this whole Kashmir valley is. There are many other adventurous routes with amazing green water and frozen lakes in this region. Thajiwas glacier is just one of those routes, popular among trekkers.
Sonamarg is easily accessible from Srinagar city. You can also come directly to Sonamarg from Srinagar airport which is 87 kilometres from Sonamarg. The National Highway 1D goes from Srinagar to Leh via Sonamarg, Drass and Kargil.
Sonamarg gest inaccessible during winter months as roads get blocked because of snowfall. Work for an all weather tunnel from Gagangir to Sonamarg is already underway. Another tunnel is coming up under the Zozila pass (3528 metres), toughest mountain pass enroute Leh on this road. Once the tow tunnels are ready, Srinagar-Leh route will be accessible almost all the year round.
You can see a video of trek to Thajiwas glacier on my channel on YouTube by clicking on the link below.
I have great memories of the walk up to the glacier from a really long time back. I didn’t even have a camera then. Unthinkable, isn’t it?
Your photos match my (somewhat hazy) memories.
Thanks a lot. Even my first trip to Sonamarg was in days when a camera was an unimaginable luxury for people like us.
The great lakes of Kashmir is definitely my next trek, and if you say that Thajiwas is a great acclimatisation for the Great lakes, then I am game. But can you just tell me the duration or the distance of this trek? Thank you.
Hi Animesh, thanks for reading. I will be doing posts on that trek in coming days. Just the trek (Great Lakes) from Sonamarg and back is six days. Days to get acclimatise before the trek are always upto us. And, than lot will also depend upon the fact that you are doing trek on your own or with a group/operator.