I had been planning to go on a trek for a long time. Fortunately, I got a chance to go along with my office friends. As it was our first trek so we decided to go for a simple yet exciting one. We searched the net and finally decided to choose between ‘Har Ki Doon’ & ‘Kedarkantha’ trek, both of which starts from a small village in Uttarkashi, Sankri. After a lot of brainstorming, we decided to go for Kedarkantha trek as it was 2-3 days moderate level trek.
Valley Of Har Ki Doon
We did all our bookings and finally started our journey from Jaipur to Dehradun on 30.11.18. At 9 pm, We boarded the bus and reached Dehradun by 10 in the morning. Wasting no time, we immediately booked a taxi for Village Sankri which was about 200 km away from ISBT Dehradun. The road journey was on Crisscrossed and sharp turning roads which turned into a single lane after some time. With tall standing mountains on one side and deep trenches on the other sides, it was quite horrifying at some turns. But anyways we all enjoyed the journey. After 9 hrs of the journey, we finally reached Sankri at 8 pm.
Being at an altitude of 6400 ft it was very cold in Sankri. The temperature dropped to 1 at night. We were all very tired but at the same time excited. The view of the night sky from our hotel’s roof was really mesmerizing. For the first time in my life, I saw a shooting star, and its beauty enthralled me.
We clicked some pics and went to sleep as we had to get up early tomorrow to start our trek.
It was the starting day of our trek; all four of us got ready and had our breakfast at a nearby kitchen. It served simple yet tasty and healthy food. It was fun talking to fellow trekkers as well, some were going on that same trek and some opted to go for Har Ki Doon’ trek.
We finally got the permission letter from the forest department and hired a guide as it was compulsory. We left our hotel at 9 am.
Start of our trekking journey
After walking for 300-400 m, we encountered steep narrow passages starting from the foothills of the mountain. As the trek progressed, the steep kept on increasing.we were taking a halt after every 100-200 m to catch our breath. We were hardly 1 km up the hill, but it felt like we were climbing for ages. But to counter all the tiredness and rocky paths, we encountered some very beautiful and picturesque scene throughout our trek.
Also, the temperature kept on decreasing as we climbed up. There were tall pine trees and green meadows along with a beautiful waterfall during the first 5 km of our climb.
A lot of local and friendly dogs kept following us throughout the trek. After 5 km we came across a tea stall in the woods which was serving Maggi, omelette, and snacks. After a little halt, we began to head for our base camp which was another 2-3 km.
Juda Ka Talab
We finally reached our base camp at 3:30 pm known as ‘Juda Ka Talab’, It was a small semi-frozen lake which equally complemented the surrounding.
I was overjoyed to have completed the journey till the base camp. We clicked a ton of pics and enjoyed the beauty of the wilderness. Within some time we had set up our tents and met up with some other trekkers who had set up their tents alongside ours. We then lit up a fire as it was really freezing cold there. Soon it was dark we prepared Maggi, which we had for dinner along with some snacks. It was really a wild experience cooking in the woods.
The sky soon filled up with stars, and the scene was beyond explanatory. To see something like this is to witnesses the nature in its full beauty. Overjoyed with happiness, I took a lot of pictures of the mesmerizing sky. There are memories that I will cherish for life.
The next morning- journey to the summit
The night was cold but the tents and sleeping bags managed to keep us cozy. We woke up early at 5 AM and started our day with a hot cup of tea. We then set out for the summit which was another 7-8 km from our base camp. The night sky was still visible with a glimpse of sunlight in the sky. We had our torches handy.
We started walking in the woods again. The steep got more inclined and now we were gaining altitude at a faster pace. The path was even more exciting as now moved over the snowy patches of the trek.
Somewhere the snow was soft and easy to trek on but somewhere it was like a thick ice slab which was very slippery. We somehow managed to cross the tricky paths with our hearts in our mouth. After 5-6 hrs of rigorous walking, we finally made it to the summit. As it was dense forest so we were concerned about wild animals like Snow leopard, Bears, and Wild Pigs. Though the chances of any attack were highly unlikely, still we kept thinking about it in the back of our minds.
Top of the World
As we reached the summit, the alluring beauty at the top washed away off our tiredness. We could only just stand there and watch nature in its full glory. There we saw Swargarohini, KalaNaag and other prominent peaks of Himalayas.
The scenery around us left us awestruck by the splendid beauty of our country India. It was at an altitude of 12700 ft and surely oxygen was scarce. But standing there makes you believe that you are special. Looking down from there we could not believe that had finally made it to the top. I was indeed feeling at the top of the world.
Then we started our descent journey, which was harder than we thought. We decided to complete our trek on this very day. This would mean that we had to make a descent of around 15 km in just 4-5 hours. We all were very motivated to make it on the same day.
The journey was tiring as hell but kept on going. By 3 pm, we made it to our base camp and packed all our belongings. Our whole body was paining and even if we took a halt for 2 mins then it was very difficult to start again. Our pace was really good but the terrain was rocky and paths were not clear. At this point, we were focused on completing the journey.
Finally, at 5:30 we came to Sankri and congratulated each other on completing on first-ever Trek without any considerable loss. We were so tired that we went to sleep immediately after having dinner. It felt like home food and was tasty and healthy.
Next morning we checked out and started our journey to Dehradun in the cab. We reached by evening, stopping at picturesque locations and enjoying the road trip.
Our next agenda was to stay in Dehradun for one more day to explore nearby locations on bikes. Next morning, we rented 2 Royal Enfield bikes, and our amazing road trip to Mussori and Dhanulti started.
Things we did in Dhanulti
As we started to reach Dhanulti, the temperature again dropped to around 0. Riding bikes on hilly roads is truly an adrenaline rush. We took regular halts to click pics and enjoy the scenery that nature had to offer. Somewhere the patches were rough but most of the roads were in good condition. We had Hot and crispy Alok Parantha along with hot coffee for lunch which truly complemented the aura of our surroundings. We finally reached Dehradun at 6 in the evening, checked out of our hotel and boarded the bus back to Jaipur.
I enjoyed each and every moment of our trip and all our decisions eventually turned out in our favour. I would recommend it anyone who is new to trekking and is looking for easy-moderate treks.
In the end, I could say that the trek was truly worth the efforts as we witnessed beauty which is next to impossible in cities. As the saying goes that ‘To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles’ and trekking is the best way to do it.
Thank you for the great trip, Kedarkantha, Sankri. We just get back home. How was your holiday? How are you doing these days? Now Share here What did you do for the holidays & your experience?
Photo Credit: Parmeet Singh
Please let me know if you have any other questions, and thank you so much for reading.