Snow-capped peaks, lush green meadows, crystal clear streams, tall deodar trees, sunshine covering its trail in golden glow-Kedarkantha trek is what it feels like. While trekking is generally considered a summer activity, the number of people who are exploring the world of winter trekking, There is, or snow trekking as some like to call it, an ever-increasing number. When you think of winter treks, So it is the Kedarkantha trek that has emerged as a clear favourite among adventure lovers.
There are many reasons for this, And the opening sentence of this article only gives a glimpse of what they are. But first, some information about this lovely part of the Himalayas:It is located inside the Govind Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttarkashi district in the western Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. Situated at an altitude of 3,810 meters(about 12,500 feet), this trekking trail covers a consolidated distance of 20 kilometres.
The best time to visit is in the winter months,i.e.from November to February, with the last snow present at the end of April. The nearest major city is Dehradun, about 220 km from Sankri, the starting point of the trek. The nearest railway station is also in Dehradun, Which is located in the heart of the city, and the nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport, located about 22 km southeast of Dehradun. you can also visit Mcleodganj.
THE KEDARKANTHA TREK:-
The Kedarkantha trek starts from Sankri, a quaint little spot in the foothills at an altitude of 6,400 feet. The first big stop is when someone reaches the magic pond. Which is about 9,100 feet high and is about 5 hour walk from Sankri.This first section gives a sample of that abundant beauty. What awaits the trekkers ahead. It offers gorgeous deodar forests and maple trees, for which Kedarkantha is famous, Which has stunning meadows and rivers.
Magic Ka Talab is the first campsite on this trek; Here you can spend the night and relax for the next stretch the next day. After this, the trek to the Kedarkantha base is at a distance of 11,250 feet and 4.5 km. That’s the place with this section. Where you encounter for the first time the splendid and spectacular 360-degree views of the snow-capped summit all around you.
The campsite at Kedarkantha base is one of the most beautiful campsites that any trek in India has to offer, And the perfect place to pitch your tent, make some Maggi and get your night’s sleep. The next and final destination is the Kedarkantha peak, which is situated at an altitude of 12,500 feet. This stretch is the only slightly challenging part of the trek, But if you are moderately fit then it can be done easily.
Also, the views that you face on the way and finally at the summit are unparalleled in beauty and grandeur. The Himalayas present themselves in all their glory here, and trekkers find the experience to be most rewarding. After reaching the top, it is a journey back to land. Where the first stop will be Horegaon Camp. It offers yet another attractive campsite. And can serve as your night-stop. The next day you can go straight back to Sankri through those dense deodar forests, The ones that won your heart when you started this trek.
WHY IS KEDARKANTHA TREK SPECIAL?
First and foremost, it is a moderately easy trek, yet one of the most scenic. It offers just a great return on investment(in terms of effort and skill required)for most trekkers and especially beginners. A total of 13 peaks have to be faced during this trek. That’s a pretty impressive number, especially when they’re all covered in snow. And their reflections of them offer spectacular views of the sunlight.
Swargarohini, Kali Peak and Bandarpunch are some of the particularly beautiful Himalayan peaks that you will see on this trek. It is relatively easy to reach here, as it is not far from Dehradun, which offers good connectivity by road, rail and air. Also, the drive from Dehradun to Sankri is an experience in itself, which is absolutely guaranteed to make you stick to your window seat. The most striking and unique feature of the Kedarkantha trek is the number of wide and open clearings of this trek, which is quite unusual. and is not found on most other treks.
This is the reason why the campsites on this trek are considered to be the most heavenly. The Jadoo Ka Talab, Kedarkantha Base and other campsites are all located on these clearings, nestled between peaks of snow and sunshine. Along the way are charming little villages where the residents are friendly. You can get amazing insights into the local Garhwal folk culture and the way of life of those who reside in the Himalayas.
TIPS FOR THE KEDARKANTHA TREK
If one decides to go for this amazing trek(cough cough, you totally should), there are a few things to keep in mind. The total number of days to and from Dehradun for this trek should be around 6 days, But you can always customize the itinerary to your liking. While the trek is not particularly challenging or difficult, a good level of physical fitness is always a plus point.
When you reach the peak the height becomes a bit high, so prepare accordingly. Carrying a good amount of water is always a safe bet, and is a good trekking habit. You may not expect mobile network reception after Sankri, but with mesmerizing views and natural beauty all around you, All you need in your phone for this to work is an amazing camera for clicking scores of pictures for your Instagram feed Snapchat stories.