About Kedarkantha trek
Altitude: 12,500 ft.
Base Location: Sankri Village in Uttarakhand
The trek to Kedarkantha beholds the sight of the lofty Himalayan peak of Kedarkantha which is not a difficult climb even if you are a beginner. Kedarkantha trek is one of the top winter treks in Uttarakhand. Kedarkantha means Throat of Lord Shiva. Other than Kedarkantha, following are the major Shiva temples: Kalpeshwar: Hair of Lord Shiva, Rudranath: Face of Lord Shiva, Tungnath: Arms of lord Shiva, Madhyamaheshwar: Navel of Lord Shiva, Kedarnath: Back of Lord Shiva, Pashupati, Nepal.
Due to the sheer richness of Kedarkantha in terms of mythological value as well scenic appeal, thousands of people come each year to trek their way to this peak. The trek appeals to beginners as well as those looking for a winter trek in Uttarakhand.
Starting point and getting there
Route- Dehradun-Sankri-Jadu Ka Talab-Kedarkantha Base-Kedarkantha-Hargaon Camp-Sankri
The beautiful journey towards Kedarkantha starts from the city of Dehradun. The base location, Sankri (6400 ft) is located at about 220 kms from Dehradun and is a long 10 hours drive from the city. It is from Sankri that the actual hike starts. There are several buses and trains available from Delhi to Dehradun. Delhi to Dehradun flights start from below INR 2K.
Besides the incomparable beauty of the fresh falling snow, snow-capped pine trees and lush meadows, one can also stand a witness to the grandeur of some of mightiest mountain peaks, like that of Swargarohini (6252m), Kalanag (6387m), Bandarpoonch (6316m) and the Rupin Range (4650m). Swargarohini is visible quite clearly from Sankri itself. Kalanag or the Black Peak and the Bandarpoonch are a treat to the eyes as well.
Although the winter and summer landscpaes of the Kedarkantha trek are absolutely different and incomparable, both are beautiful nevertheless. The summer on one hand provides the tourists with the magical view of sunlight peeking through the dense pine trees, and the winter on the other provides one with a “white carpet” to tread their path towards a bucket full of everlasting frozen memories.
Day 1- Sankri to Juda-ka-Talab (6400 ft-9100 ft, 4 kms, approx 5 hours)
The journey to Juda-ka-Talab includes crossing several bridges through thick forests of pine and maple trees. The striking charm of the beautiful colours of the leaves and mountains contrasting against each other along with the clears gurgling sound of the streams flowing by, makes it an expedition of a life-time. The entire route towards Juda-ka-Talab is highly rich in biodiversity, and one could easily witness boars, martens, hares and even Himalayan Langurs.
The final destination of Juda-ka-Talab is no less picturesque and mesmerizing. Legend has it that this beautiful giant lake right on the lap of Mother Nature was created when Lord Shiva on his way to Kedarkantha had let his hair down, for a short while.
Day 2- Juda-Ka-Talaab to Kedarkantha Base (9100 ft- 11250 ft, 4 kms, 2.5 hours)
Bidding goodbye to the magical Talaab, the thrilling journey through thick forests of pine and oak trees, now leads us to our next destination- the Kedarkantha base.
During this trek, one can not only get greeted warmly by the shepherds around, but can also start clearly spotting the snow-capped ranges of Swargarohini, Kalanag, Bandarpoonch and Ranglana.
The final hault at the base relaxes one with the inconceivable beauty of the twinkling stars and glowing planets, shining bright against the pitch-black sky and the snow-white mountains.
Day 3- Kedarkantha Base to Kedarkantha and then descend to Hargaon Camp (11250 ft- 12500 ft- 8900 ft, 6kms, 7 hours)
The beauty of this particular trek is beyond words. Though final ascent towards the Kedarkantha peak can get a little difficult for the novice, yet the spectacular 360 degree view of all the snow-clad mountains visible from the top of the peak makes it all worth it. Sunrise view from Kedarkantha top is something to watch out for! So now you have conquered Kedarkantha and grasped the magnificience of all the exquisite beauty around. Now it’s time to bid Kedarkantha a sweet goodbye and descend towards the Hargaon Camp.
Day 4- Hargaon to Sankri (8900 ft- 6400 ft, 6kms, 4.5 hours approx)
Treading through similar picturesque paths, the return journey to Sankri is truly no less magical. It is while descending from Hargaon to Sankri that we come across the dreamy Har-ki-dun valley, which is also very appropriately known as the Valley of Gods.
There is no bad time to visit Kedarkantha, except for monsoons. However with each season, the beauty of the landscape changes. If green meadows, gurgling streams are your favourite, then summer, i.e May-June and September-November, is your best time. However, if snow-capped trees, snow-cladden mountains and snow covered meadows are your preference, then winter, i.e December-April, is the best time.
Purola (2 hrs before Sankri) has the last ATM point and is the last place before the trek where you’re likely to get a stable mobile signal.
Cellular connectivity for the trek is very poor and is inconsistently available at Sankri.