Exploring the Wintry Charms of Kedarkantha
Kedarkantha, situated within the enchanting Govind Pashu Vihar National Park in Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand, is a trek that beautifully merges spirituality with the wonders of mother nature. It’s celebrated as a premier trekking destination, renowned for its accessibility and the mesmerizing beauty it holds, especially when adorned by the captivating snow of winter. The ease of access, combined with its enchanting landscapes, makes Kedarkantha a highly sought-after trek, attracting both novice and experienced trekkers.
This captivating journey unfolds in the heart of Uttarakhand, India, offering a glimpse into the grandeur of the snow-draped Himalayan range. Spanning approximately 20 kilometers over five days, the Kedarkantha trek provides an enchanting blend of adventure and picturesque beauty. It’s not just a walk through the snow; it’s an immersion in the splendid and tranquil landscapes that define the region.
Beyond the landscapes, the Kedarkantha trek offers an equally rewarding opportunity to immerse in the local culture of the Garhwal region in Uttarakhand. It encapsulates the harmony between nature’s artistry and the rich cultural heritage of the region, making it a remarkable and soul-enriching experience.
Kedarkantha is nestled in the grandeur of the Himalayas and is a captivating winter destination that caters to both beginners and experienced trekkers. Its breathtaking landscape is adorned with dense forests, snow-clad peaks, expansive meadows, and panoramic views of the Himalayan range, featuring iconic peaks like Swargarohini.
One of the most alluring aspects of the Kedarkantha trek is the bond it fosters between trekkers and the local villagers along the way. The warmth and unique traditions of the villagers create a special connection with the community, adding depth to the trekking experience. For adventure enthusiasts, Kedarkantha offers thrills, while stargazers are treated to a mesmerizing night sky.
These serene locales offer inner peace, where the rustling of leaves during meditation provides a profound connection with nature. Exploring such places may lead to personal transformation and a newfound perspective on life and the world. Kedarkantha stands as a remarkable testament to the spiritual and natural wonders that coexist in this picturesque corner of Uttarakhand.
7,500 INR / Per Person
From Dehradun to Dehradun
Day 1: Dehradun to Sankri village
Your remarkable journey to Kedarkantha commences with your arrival in Dehradun, the gateway to the Himalayas. From Dehradun, we embark on a picturesque drive to Sankri, a charming village nestled amidst picturesque mountains. The drive treats you to mesmerizing views of the lush valley and the gushing rivers of the region.
Upon reaching Sankri, which serves as the base camp for the Kedarkantha trek, we check into our guesthouse. Spend the evening exploring the village and interacting with the locals, immersing yourself in the rich culture of the Himalayan foothills.
Day 2: Sankri - Shepherd Camp
We start our walk today, taking us to the Shepherd Camp. Our route also passes by Juda Ka Talab, a serene lake surrounded by thick pine woods. The breathtaking views of the nearby peaks and the alluring beauty of the Himalayan landscape are unveiled along this walk. At the Shepherd Camp, we’ll pitch our tents and enjoy a sumptuous cooked lunch beneath a starry sky.
Day 3: Shepherd Camp – Kedarkantha Base Camp
Gear up for an exhilarating day as we ascend towards the Kedarkantha Base Camp. The trail leads us through enchanting forests, meandering streams, and open meadows adorned with vibrant flowers. As we reach the base camp, panoramic views of the majestic Himalayan ranges greet us. Spend the evening marveling at the beauty of the surroundings and savoring a hot dinner.
Day 4: Kedar Kantha Peak from Base Camp - Juda Ka Talab
Today marks the pinnacle of our adventure as we conquer the mighty Kedarkantha Peak! We start early in the morning, trekking through a snow-covered trail toward the summit. Reaching the top, the sense of achievement, and the breathtaking 360-degree views of the Himalayas make it all worthwhile. After spending some time at the summit, we descend to Juda ka Talab, where we set up camp for the night.
Day 5: Juda Ka Talab – Sankri – Dehradun
On this day, we bid farewell to the mountains as we trek back to Sankri. The trail guides us through pristine forests, charming villages, and scenic landscapes. Upon reaching Sankri, we celebrate the successful completion of our trek with a hearty meal and some well-deserved rest.
Afterward, we head back to Dehradun with our hearts filled with unforgettable memories of the Kedarkantha trek.
Map Of The Trail
Cost Terms & Trek Essentials
- Accommodation: Enjoy comfortable accommodation during your trek in hotels, guesthouses or dormitories on a twin, triple or dormitory sharing basis. When camping, rest in spacious tents with double or triple sharing.
- Meals: We provide nourishing and delicious vegetarian meals designed to keep you energized throughout the trek.
- Camping Fees/Permits: All trekking permits and camping fees are included, ensuring a hassle-free experience
- Trek Equipment: We provide essential trekking equipment including dining tents, kitchen tents, sleeping tents with mattresses and sleeping bags. Utensils, ropes, micro-spikes and gaiters are also included if required.
- Mules and Porters: Mules and porters carry central equipment, easing your load so you can focus on the trek.
- Qualified Team: Our experienced, qualified team of guides, cooks, helpers and porters is dedicated to making your trek safe and enjoyable.
- Basic First Aid: A basic first aid kit with oxygen and a helmet is available to address health concerns during the trek.
- Expert Assistance: Reach out to our experts for any queries or assistance during your trek at +91-8089693825.
- Transportation: Transportation from Dehradun to the basecamp and back to Dehradun is not included. If opted, additional charges of INR 2,500 apply.
- Backpack Offloading: Backpack offloading is available for an additional INR 1,050 per bag.
- Mules or Porters for Personal Bags: Mules or porters for personal bags are available at an extra cost.
- Emergency Costs: Emergency expenses during the trek are not included.
- Tips: Tips for the trekking team are optional and not included in the package.
- Items Not Mentioned: Any expenses or items not mentioned in the inclusion section are not covered.
- Stay at Dehradun: Accommodation and meals in Dehradun on the last day of the trek are not included.
- Meals During Transportation: Meals during transportation are not included.
- GST: A 5% Goods and Services Tax (GST) applies, not included in the package.
- Early Departure Alert: If a trekker leaves before the scheduled dates, they must cover their own expenses for food, accommodation, and transportation.
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Permits for Kedarkantha Trekking
As of 2021, the Uttarakhand Government has implemented new regulations mandating the presence of a local guide when trekking in the region.
Additionally, it’s important to note that permits for the Kedarkantha trek are exclusively issued if you are accompanied by a local guide who is registered with the Forest Department.
The authorities of Govind Pashu Vihar National Park have enforced this regulation. Sankari Forest Office, in collaboration with the local guide, will assist you in obtaining the necessary permits for your trek.
How To Reach
If you’re flying in, the nearest airport to Sankri village is Jolly Grant, located near Rishikesh. From there, you can arrange a separate taxi that will take you directly to Sankri, which serves as the starting point for the trek.
The nearest railway stations to Sankri are Dehradun and Rishikesh. From Dehradun, you can easily find a bus or taxi that will take you directly to Sankri.
Buses to Sankri can be boarded at the Mussoorie bus stand near the Dehradun Railway station. These buses depart from Dehradun at the following times: The first bus departs at 5:30 a.m. The second bus leaves at 6:30 a.m. The third bus departs at 7:30 a.m. En route, you’ll pass through checkpoints such as Mussoorie, Naugaon, Purola, Mori, and finally, Sankri village.
Best Time To Visit
The most ideal time to explore Kedarkantha falls is during the winter season, spanning from December through April. This period witnesses a remarkable transformation as Kedarkantha gets adorned with a pristine snow cloak, unveiling captivating landscapes that will leave you mesmerized.
In December and January, the spectacle reaches its peak, with the entire region immersed in a thick blanket of snow. The snow-covered peaks, dense forests, and frozen lakes collectively craft an enchanting and magical atmosphere. It’s during these months that you can genuinely experience the true beauty and tranquility of Kedarkantha.
However, it’s important to acknowledge that Kedarkantha’s winter season comes with its challenges, including freezing temperatures and substantial snowfall. To fully embrace this experience, it’s vital to come well-equipped with appropriate winter gear and clothing.
Additionally, it’s highly advisable to have an informed guide or a reliable tour operator by your side. Himalayan Dream Treks, for instance, boasts a team of experienced guides who are committed to ensuring your comfort.
For those seeking milder weather and a break from the extreme cold, March and April present a feasible alternative. During this period, the snow begins to melt, revealing lush green landscapes and blossoming flora. The temperatures are relatively warmer, enhancing the overall comfort for trekking and exploration.
Ultimately, the decision of when to visit Kedarkantha depends on your preferences and the kind of experience you desire. Whether you crave pristine snowy vistas or vibrant spring landscapes.
More Info about Kedarkantha
Kedarkantha, nestled in the Himalayas, isn't just a winter wonderland; it carries profound cultural and spiritual importance. This enchanting region derives its name from the revered Kedar Peak, counted among the twelve Jyotirlingas, which are sacred abodes of Lord Shiva.
According to ancient tales, Lord Shiva, in the guise of a bull, sought refuge in the caves of Kedarkantha to evade the Pandavas after the Mahabharata. It's believed that he imbued this place with divine energy and blessings. The local villagers, primarily hailing from the Garhwal region, hold deep veneration for this sacred mountain, considering it a site of immense spiritual power.
The Kedarkantha trek is not just a physical journey; it's a spiritual odyssey. While navigating the pristine snow-clad trails, you'll encounter ancient temples and shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva and other deities. These structures stand as testaments to the area's rich cultural heritage and religious devotion.
A local story about Juda ka Talab: Legend has it, according to the local tale, that during Lord Shiva's meditation at this very place, he desired water. Finding none in the vicinity, he resorted to a unique solution. Lord Shiva, in his divine grace, plucked a single strand of hair from his hair bun, often referred to as 'Juda' in Hindi, and cast it onto the ground. This miraculous act resulted in the creation of the lake we now know as Juda Ka Talab.
During spring, the landscape is adorned with the vibrant colors of Rhododendron flowers, creating a picturesque scene. The region's alpine areas are dotted with hardy Alpine trees that have adapted to the mountain environment. Deodar and Pine forests contribute to the lush greenery of the Himalayan terrain.
The wildlife here is equally captivating. The Himalayan Monal, a strikingly colorful bird, graces the Himalayan region, adding to the area's natural splendor. In the alpine meadows, you'll find the Himalayan Tahr, a herbivorous mammal, while the Himalayan Black Bear roams the woodlands near the Himalayan region, enriching the region's biodiversity.
The Himalayan Griffon Vulture, a majestic bird of prey, plays a vital role in maintaining the ecological balance of the alpine environment. Finally, the Himalayan Musk Deer, known for their unique scent glands that produce musk, can occasionally be spotted in the region's deep woodlands, making them a fascinating part of Uttarakhand's wildlife.
- Saru Tal Trek: Saru Tal is a high-altitude glacial lake located in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. The trek to Saru Tal offers stunning views of the Himalayan peaks and the lush alpine meadows. It's a moderate-level trek, making it accessible to both beginners and experienced trekkers.
- Bali Pass Trek: Bali Pass is a challenging high-altitude trek that connects the Tons and Yamuna valleys. Trekkers can witness the dramatic change in landscapes, from dense forests to barren snowfields. The trek requires prior experience in high-altitude trekking and mountaineering.
- Rupin Pass Trek: The Rupin Pass Trek is famous for its diverse terrain, including forests, waterfalls, and rocky paths. Trekkers cross the Rupin River multiple times, adding an element of adventure to the journey. It's a moderately difficult trek suitable for those with some trekking experience.
- Ruinsara Tal Trek: Ruinsara Tal is a pristine glacial lake nestled amidst the Garhwal Himalayas. Trekkers can enjoy the serenity of the lake and the surrounding meadows. The trek is of moderate difficulty, making it accessible to a wide range of adventurers.
- Osla Village: Osla Village is a traditional Himalayan hamlet known for its rich cultural heritage. The village is famous for the centuries-old Duryodhana Temple and the warm hospitality of its residents. A visit to Osla provides a glimpse into the authentic mountain way of life.
- Taluka Village: Taluka Village serves as the starting point for several treks, including those leading to Har ki Dun and Osla. It's a picturesque village situated along the Supin River, offering a serene atmosphere. Trekkers often use Taluka as a base camp before embarking on longer expeditions.
- Har ki Dun Trek: The Har ki Dun Trek is a classic route leading to the Har ki Dun Valley. Trekkers can explore the lush meadows, dense forests, and the Swargarohini Peaks. The trek is known for its cultural richness and varied landscapes, suitable for trekkers of different skill levels.
The Kedarkantha trek is generally categorized as having an easy to moderate level of difficulty. For those with a good BMI and a decent level of physical fitness, it shouldn't pose significant challenges. However, while it is accessible to most trekkers, there are some factors to consider.
The trail to Kedarkantha can be uneven and steep in places, so exercise caution as the terrain can be quite different from the plains. Altitude sickness becomes a potential concern as you ascend to higher elevations, emphasizing the importance of proper acclimatization and fitness when embarking on Himalayan treks.
Furthermore, it's crucial to note that weather conditions in the mountains can change swiftly, leading to sudden drops in temperature and unexpected rain or snow.
Kedarkantha is located in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, India.
Sankri serves as the base camp for Kedarkantha. Here is how to reach Sankri:
- By Bus: You can take a direct bus from the Mussoorie bus stand near the Dehradun Railway station. Buses to Sankri depart from Dehradun at 5.30 am (1st Bus), 6.30 am (2nd Bus), and 7.30 am (3rd Bus).
- By Train: The nearest railway stations to Sankri are Dehradun and Rishikesh. From Dehradun, you can find a bus or taxi that goes directly to Sankri.
- By Air: The nearest airport to Sankri village is Jolly Grant near Rishikesh. From there, you can take a separate taxi directly to Sankri, where your trek will begin.
The Kedarkantha trek distance is around 20 km long and is an easy trek.
No, Kedarnath is in the Rudraprayag District of Uttarakhand, India, whereas Kedarkantha is located in the Uttarkashi District of India.
Kedarkantha experiences snowfall from November to March. However, there might be variations in the timing of snowfall.
The altitude of Kedarkantha Peak is 12,500 feet, which is approximately 3,800 meters.
The Kedarkantha trek distance is around 18 km long.
The closest known ATM is in Purola, as there is no ATM in Sankri. It's advisable to withdraw cash from an ATM in Dehradun before starting your trek. You can also find ATMs in Mussoorie.
From the Kedarkantha peak, you can enjoy breathtaking views of several peaks, including Nanda Ghunti, Black Peak, Gangotri Ranges, Yamunotri Ranges, Draupadi ka Danda, and the Swargarohini Peaks (1 to 4).
While there are villages in the initial stages of the trek, it is recommended to charge your gadgets the night before your trek begins or bring along portable solar chargers for your convenience.