Let’s wander where the wifi is weak.
Kedarkantha (not to be mistaken for the well known Temple Kedarnath) is a trip to Govind Pashu Vihar National Park in Uttarakhand. Kedarkantha is one of the most well-known journeys in India — popular amongst seasoned trekkers and beginners alike. There are numerous reasons why it is an extremely well-known trip to do in the Indian Himalayas. The most significant of them is this — the highest point climb. The highest point climb of Kedarkantha is a rewarding one. As you start your journey in the early hours of the morning and consistently move up the lofty slant, the world opens up around you.
The climb isn’t that easy. The whole stretch is consistently steep. As you draw nearer to the summit, it gets tricky too. But the big mountains of the upper Himalayas keep you company until you finally reach the summit. As you stretch yourself and take in the views of the Himalayas from the summit, you feel a solid feeling of fulfilment and achievement. This is an awesome feeling. Not many journeys offer a similar experience, making it popular among beginners for its finest summit climb.
Except for the summit, the journey is likewise interesting for its delightful clearings. Rarely you will discover dazzling clearings on a trip that clears a path for some rest spots and wonderful campgrounds. This journey is loaded up with clearings in all the various courses. What more, the clearings are exactly at the correct areas, giving you excellent viewpoints to appreciate the trek and its views.
The third main motivation for this journey is special is its excellent timberlands. Every one of the three courses has lovely assorted woods that will absolutely drench you in. On the off chance if you are not careful, you will get lost in them (in a good way).
Best Time To Do The Kedarkantha Trek
Kedarkantha journey is one of the few treks in the Himalayas where you can travel for most part of the year. Kedarkantha trek is accessible for 10 months of the year except in July and August (the peak rainy months in Uttarakhand).
These 10 months spread four distinct seasons –
Each of these seasons has something altogether different to bring to the table regarding landscape, trouble and climate.
Kedarkantha in Winter (December, January, February)
Kedarkantha in Spring (March and April)
Kedarkantha in Summer (May and June)
Kedarkantha in Autumn (September, October and November)
Availability of Mobile Networks
Kedarkantha journey starts from Sankri, a wonderful town settled in Govind National Park, Uttarakhand. The moment one enters the National Park, the mobile network will begin fluctuating. On arriving at Sankri, forget connecting with the rest of the world!
Despite the fact that Sankri has landline telephones at a few shops, yet none of them really work. Services like BSNL, Airtel, Idea and Jio have been professed to work. Truly, they don’t. The last hint of the ideal sign quality that one can get before arriving at Sankri, is in Mussoorie, Dehradun. So in the event that you need to have a word with your loved ones preceding the beginning of the journey, you should ring them when you land at Mussoorie.
Availability of ATM
There are no ATMs accessible in sankri and all through the Kedarkantha journey. Everybody needs cash to make their excursion agreeable without experiencing any difficulty. ATM machines make ease in pulling back cash from financial balances legitimately. All things considered, the truth of the matter is that, not a solitary ATM machine present in Sankri or, between the journey. The last spot you will discover an ATM machine is Purola.
So, make sure you are carrying enough cash to spend your time beautifully in Kedarkantha. Since cash consistently makes things simple for us. It’s a requirement for everybody. It might help to save us from big trouble or issue if we had a bad day.
Things to do in Kedarkantha
What is it like in the north? I cannot help remembering this being the only thought running on my mind as I started my journey to Uttarakhand. A trek to Kedarkantha, a place where magic exists!
Day 1: Dehradun to Sankri
I and two other friends booked this trek with Uncia Trails. We chose this travel company as it offers you great-customized packages as per your needs. Since we were a group of 3, we were going to join this trek with a few other people. Meeting new people along the journey has always thrilled me. Talking to people and getting to know their stories and perspectives will only make one realize how good exits in every person. It is quite exciting, how one can learn so much from different people and their experiences.
As we got down in Dehradun, we met our coordinators from Uncia, Avinash and Shubham. These guys were the ones that ensured that all our requirements were being met throughout the trip. As we started our journey, the Tempo Traveller had 12 of us. I was both excited and nervous as I sat in the Traveller dreaming of the Summit. As I started getting to know everyone in the Traveller, I had a sense of relief, as I felt comfortable with each one of them. They all seemed nice. The journey from Dehradun to Sankri is beautiful. One the way, you get a scenic view of the mighty mountains and rivers flowing by. You will see beautiful fields including Step farming practised in the Mountains. Be sure to enjoy this breathtaking view while you are on your way to Sankri as most of them miss this because of falling asleep during the journey.
Day 2: Sankri to Hargaon
The trek starts from the village of Sankri, situated in the Uttarkashi district; this is truly the gateways to the Himalayas for trekkers without any doubts. The place is filled with Mountaineers and tourists. You will see many small commercial shops selling trekking gears and other essentials. For Dog Lovers, there are a number of local fluffy Mountain dogs, who will make sure to take their heart away with their cuteness. As we got into our rooms, I could sense butterflies in my stomach. I was going to start my Trek the next morning. The food served here was homely and nice. Be sure to taste the local pickle that they serve. Their bread omelettes were my personal favourite.
The trail from Sankri to Hargaon base camp is a scenic view with dramatic landscapes, meadows and every now and then, trekkers can hear the river streaming by. Close your eyes and listen sharply. You will find yourself in a different world altogether, while you hear these streams of gushing water along with the birds singing a song for you. The Pine forest will soon open up to beautiful Alpine Meadows and one can start to see trails of snow starting from the 1st day of the trek during winter. On the way, there are plenty of teashops to get a quick bite or to relax and have some hot tea and the Pahari Maggie, of course! Eating Maggie in the mountains has a unique feeling of satisfaction.
The campsite overall was beautiful. There were vast green mountains, surrounding these mountains were snow-covered mountains. As though they were different layers, somehow arranged perfectly. These views are sure to remind you of those perfectly arranged sketches you used to make during your childhood. It is here you will begin to wonder if everything one imagines truly exist somewhere out in the world. Somewhere, where no man had gone before maybe? This place is truly a world within the world!
The food provided in the camp was homely. Dal and rice mostly! Just what the trekkers’ need after a long tiring walk to regain all the energy, carbs are the best during these times. The best thing about the food was that there was always a sweet dish along with the main dish every day.
There were two washrooms provided along with sand. I suggest and request everyone going for treks to please, learn the usage of these toilets. Making sure, you are keeping the mountains clean and hygiene is purely every trekker’s responsibility. Everything got for the purpose of facility & hospitality, that includes your basic tents, food and water facility along with other necessities, even though it is not much, has been brought there with a lot of effort, without proper transport facilities or a good amount of labour, as procuring them to such altitudes are not easy. The tent stays are a different experience altogether, listening to the howling of the wind inside the tents, wrapped in the sleeping bag is beautiful in its own way.
Day 3: Hargaon to Juda ka Talab to Kedarkantha Base
We started our trek the next morning first to visit Juda Ka Talab on the way and then all the way to Kedarkantha Base camp. Juda ka Talab is a frozen pond by the mountains. The hike from Sankri to Juda ka Talab is a vertical climb of about 2798 ft. approx. Surrounded by the Pine forests throughout, it is a tranquil setting where time seems to have frozen along with the beautiful frozen Talab. According to traditional beliefs, this Talab is said to have formed when a droplet of sweat fell down from Lord Shiva’s hair. Other locals say that it was formed over time by the flow of water from multiple slopes in the region. Overall, Juda ka Talab is one of the most beautiful sights seen on the way to Kedarkantha peak.
Kedarkantha has a sense of magic one cannot explain. The beauty of the forests and the vibes this place has is no match to any other. There is a historic reference to this place as it is called the “Bal-Kedar”. According to a source, I remember reading that, according to local legends, it is said that Lord Shiva was in his Bull avatar, hiding away from the Pandavas when the local dwellers here disturbed his peace. Therefore, he made his way to the current Kedaranath site. If not for this, Kedarkantha was supposed to be the actual Kedaranath site. The village of Sankri believes that Lord Shiva Protects the Himalayas and keeps their water replenished.
As you ascend towards the Base camp, you will get a magnificent view of small villages in the surrounding mountains, Oaks, Pines and an open sky along with the view of the mighty Himalayan ranges. By now, our whole group had become friends on the way. Their rest of the day went by as people started to have dinner and relax, chitchat and chill for the rest of the night until the Summit climb to be starting at night.
Day 4: Kedarkantha Base to the peak > Descend back to Hargaon
While we were in the Base camp, the feel of it was unbelievable. The night sky especially was so blissful that you can see twinkling stars, wherever you look. For one to be there, after staying in the cities, is a mind-blowing experience. One can see the Summit from this camp. For whatever reason, if you decide to give up at this point, all you have to do is look at the peak peeking back out at you; you will hear it call you for sure and there will be no looking back! The next thing you know is you will be wearing your gears to climb up to the calling of your soul. This is exactly what happened to most of us.
After good food, we started our trek at around 2 am, aiming to reach the summit by 7 am as the sunrise the next morning was said to be at 7:15 am approx. The night trek is another beautiful experience. With torchers and gears on, we go in a line with mountain dogs happily accompanying us (Which is the cutest thing). An open sky full of stars, if you are lucky to have a clear sky during your trek. It will make you wonder if you are on a mountain or in outer space. We had an upcoming full moon during our night trek and the moon looked like he was just a few feet away from my grasp. The moon accompanied us and cast his light over the mountains. As I looked up at the Moon, it felt like that was the closest to him I’ll ever get. I looked at my friend look at the moon like a kid that night and wondered if he could grab just the Moon for me if he tried to stretch a little. That is how close you will feel to the sky at this place.
The trek to the summit is pretty challenging. The trail gets steeper. If one slips, there will definitely be a chain reaction. There was a heavy wind that night! It made me feel like I was about to fly away if I tied to take another step. The wind will make it even more challenging to climb up, as your vision will start to get a little blurry. This might even be due to the decrease in the level of oxygen as you get to the higher altitudes. You will have an uncontrollably running nose. As you reach the peak, the Trishul pointing at the sky marks the Summit. There is a small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Parvati along with Ganesha. Kailash, Har Ki Dun and Rupin ranges are visible from the peak. Look all you want here. These images are sure to last with you for a lifetime.
At this point, while you are looking at the beautiful Sunrise, as the rays of the Sun make their way from behind the Mighty Mountains, there will be shadows falling on the opposite side of these Mountains. There will be a spectrum of colours spreading across the sky. All your tiredness will be gone at this moment. You will feel as light as a bird, only to wish you could fly and stay by these Mountains forever if it were possible. Your body will automatically relax. All the efforts will feel worth it. As you descend, you will be a different person. You will have new dreams and definitely a much happier version of yourself!
The Descend from the peak back to the base camp is fun. Bring out the kid in you coz boy, you are sure to slide down those Mountains like a boss!
Day 5: Hargaon to Sankri
After a successful summit climb and a rewarding view from the peak along with a playful climb down from the slopes, we reached the Hargaon camp. Later that night, as the moonlight cast over our tents and as the night grew darker, there was silence all over. It was excessively cold for me to fall asleep. I kept listening to see if I can hear anything at all and just then, there was a strong wind coming out of nowhere. The gushing sound of this strong wind seemed so dangerously beautiful! The whistling of the wind and the echoes of the howling wind hitting the mountains and coming back was as though I was in a cave about to be swallowed by some gigantic mammal that has no historic reference. The sound of the winds from that night still lingers in my head. As I lay there inside my tent in my sleeping bag, I kept wondering if our tents were going to fly off, taking us all along with it.
At around 4 am in the morning, we woke up to a beautiful snow shower. It was as though we slept in one fairyland and woke up in another. We were in the midst of the forest, on the mountains and there were snowflakes showering down and giving a kiss of magic to anything and everything you set your sight on. There were no traces of any other colour but beautiful pure white. There was snow everywhere. It felt like it was the luckiest day of my life. It surely was as it was my first snow and I got to experience it in such a heavenly place! All of us there had become kids again. Playing in the snow, running, jumping, dancing, making a snowman and making lots of memories.
The climb down from here to Sankri was magical. It felt like a fairytale. The silence of the forests and the quiet of my soul spoke to each other the entire way down. I kept stopping by to look all around, not once could I see any spot that looked out of place. It was heavenly. What a beautiful world God has created for us. The purity of the mountains and her forests covered with snow is sure to heal all your wounds from inside out. I tried to soak it all in, so I never forget what that moment right there felt like!
This being my first time in the snow, I felt as light as the snowflakes themselves! It felt as though I was floating somewhere in the sky surrounded by clouds all around me. Who knows if the Gods really do reside in the mountains? One this is for sure, there is positive energy there, which talks to the silence within you, you will hear it if you truly listen. When I stood by the woods while it was snowing, I realized how the mountains and I were one. How the trees and I were one and how I and everyone else were just one and the same, elements of nature.
Nothing more, nothing less!
Isn’t that the beauty of this whole universe? How somethings and people can be so different but are all still coming from the same source. My magical Kedarkantha trek came to an end with this thought!
I believe once you are back from a trek like this, you become a different person, brand new! Free of all the chains that had once put your spirit down. The only chain that will sustain thereon is the ones you have just created, between you and nature itself. All that you will see after, as my friend says, is how we are all just like snowflakes, all different and beautiful, in our own ways!
I would like to thank Uncia Trails for all the services they have provided. Even though there were many confusions and changes of plans last minute, they ensured to handle everything and each one of us just right! I am glad I chose them as my travel company. Their hospitality and friendliness is no match to any other! They took care of everything for us, including our transport from Bangalore. With them, I did not just go for a trek but I came back with lots of memories that I will cherish for a lifetime!
The best part of my trek with them is that I got to meet beautiful people who I now call my friends. I am sure we will all meet again, climbing the mountains somewhere, teasing each other, gossiping in the tents and adding value and quality to the memories that we make for what we call life!
Author: Sneha Poojari
|Short Itinerary||Dehradun – Sankri – Juda Ka Talab – Kedarkantha Base – Kedarkantha Peak – Hargaon – Sankri – Dehradun|
|Total Distance||20 km|
|Altitude Gain||1,968 to 3,810 m|
|Nearest Railway Station||Dehradun (DDN)|
|Nearest Airport||Dehradun (DED)|
|Nearest Inter State Bus Station||Dehradun|
|Nearest Local Bus Station||Sankri|
|Nearest Medical Facility||Sankri|
We cannot pay any compensation, reimburse expenses, or cover losses for any amount or otherwise accept responsibility if as a result of circumstances beyond our control, we have to change your tour after booking, or we, cannot supply your tour, as we had agreed, or you suffer any loss or damage of any description. When we refer to circumstances beyond our control, we mean any event that we could not foresee or avoid, even after taking all reasonable care. Such circumstances will usually include but are not limited to, war, the threat of war, airport closures, epidemic, natural or nuclear disaster, terrorist activity, civil unrest, industrial dispute, bad weather.
In case of unforeseen weather conditions or government restrictions, the activity may be cancelled and in such cases, you can reschedule your Kedarkantha Trek bookings. However, no refund will be provided in any condition.
30 days or more: 90% of the total Package Cost is refundable
21-30 days: 75% of total Package Cost is refundable
11-20 days: 50% of total Package Cost is refundable
Less than 10 days: No refund
Note: Token amount is non-refundable and cannot be adjusted with another booking on the same date.
Kedarkantha Trek is a moderate level trek. The summit is a bit steep and because of snow and cold weather, it becomes more challenging. Yes, you have to follow a strict fitness routine and prepare your body before going for this trek.
Kedarkantha trek is around 10 km from sankri to Kedarkantha peak. It will take about 4 days to complete the trek to and fro from Sankri.
No Kedarkantha and Kedarnath are not the same. Kedarkantha peak is situated within Govind wildlife sanctuary in Uttarakhand whereas Kedarnath Temple is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located on Garhwal Himalayan Range of Uttarakhand.
April is the month when the snow starts melting. You may or may not find snow if you are visiting this month. Moreover, Beyond this month there will be no snowfall. So if you are planning to do it in April, It is advised you check the weather forecast or ask our team about the current situation.
Yes, It is safe provided you have proper gears and itineraries. Most of the people try to do the summit in December only. The temperature can range from -5 to 3 °C so make sure you carry proper clothing to protect you from extreme cold.
Sometimes due to heavy rainfall, landslides or snowfall, the government may ban tourism activities. To know if Trekking is open or banned right now you can mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
No the network in Kedarkantha is very unreliable, the Last point where you might get signal is sankri. It is advised that if you want to inform anyone you should do it in Dehradun itself.
The distance is about 400 km.
From Dehradun, you can take a Bus to Sankri. There are very few local buses which you will get early in the morning at 6 am or 7 am. You can catch them at Prince Chowk in Dehradun. It will take around 10 hrs by these buses to reach sankri.
Kedarkantha Peak is an altitude of 12,500 ft or 3810 m.
Kedarkantha is a winter Trek and therefore you need to protect yourself from extreme cold. Try to bring Thermals, Jackets, Warm cap, Gloves other than this you also need the proper gear to walk on the snow which includes waterproof trekking shoes, gaiters, crampons, Sunglasses, and Trekking poles. Carry a headlamp for proper visibility in less light and other toiletries as required.
Winter season from December to April is the best time for Kedarkantha Trek. During this period Kedarkantha is fully covered with snow. It is the best time to witness the true beauty of the Kedarkantha peak and the valley around it.
Yes, Kedarkantha is a long trek and you need a proper guide who has complete information about the area. Locals will be the best guides as they know the area very well. If you book the package guide is included with it.
Yes, if you are coming solo and thinking of joining one of our group, then you can go ahead for it. However, if you wish to do it all alone it might be risky if you are doing it for the first time.
Yes, Kedarkantha Starts receiving rainfall by the month of December.
There are lots of options available at base camp Sankri where you can rent trekking gears. The exact price we cannot mention as it is not managed by us. Wherever you rent any gear make sure it is in good condition before after starting the trek you won’t have any option to replace or rent new gear on the way.
Kedarkantha means “Throat of Lord Shiva”. According to Indian Mythology Lord Shiva meditated here and the droplets falling from Shiva’s hair formed the water body known as “Juda ka Talab”.
Yes, the trek is easy in the beginning and moderate in the end. But make sure you have proper gears and equipment as mentioned otherwise you will have a hard time doing this trek.
You can take a bus or hire a cab from Dehradun to Sankri. The journey takes around 10 hours. Make sure you catch the buses early morning (between 6 am to 7 am). After that, it will be difficult to get any bus.
Yes. It is absolutely safe for couples. And lots of couples have already done it. The tour guide will be there with the group and take care of everything.
You have to follow a strict fitness routine one month before going to Kedarkantha Trek. Make sure you go for jogging and walking regularly and do some basic stretching exercises. Also, perform squats and climb up and down a flight of stairs daily.
From Sankri it will take 4 days and from Dehradun, it will take a total of 6 Days to complete the Trek.
The total distance of Kedarkantha Trek is approximately 20 to 23 km.
Yes, there are lots of options for booking homestays at Sankri. Make sure you book them beforehand. In our package stay at Sankri is already included.
Yes, it is absolutely safe for female travelers. If you join the group you will find other females in the same group or any other group which will be going along.
Sankri is the starting point of Kedarkantha Trek.
The temperature at Kedarkantha stays in the range of -5°C to 17°C throughout the year. For the latest updates about the weather, you can contact our team on email@example.com.
Juda ka Talab is a campsite used by trekkers to stay who are going for Kedarkantha Trek.
Never try this or any other trek in the Himalayas on your own until you are 100% sure about everything. Don’t try to attempt any trek after reading blogs or watching some videos. You think you can do it after collecting all the information but reaching the place and navigating the trail is a different thing.
In Hindu mythology, After the war of Kurukshetra, Pandavas were searching for Lord Shiva in Varanasi to compensate for their sins, but Lord Shiva was extremely angry about the loss and dishonesty in the war and didn’t want to meet them so he disguised himself in the form of Bull (Nandi) and Went to Garhwal Ranges in the Himalayas. Pandavas who were not able to find him at Varanasi went to the Himalayas where Bheema spotted this Bull and identified it to be Lord Shiva. He held on to it, not letting him go. In the struggle, the bull was torn into five parts which resulted in panch Kedar; Kedarnath – Back of Lord Shiva, Kapaleshwar – Hairs of Lord Shiva, Rudranath – Face of Lord Shiva and Kedarkantha – Throat of Lord Shiva. There is a small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva at the summit.
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