People often try hiking because they tend to know trekkers who claim that their travelling escapades are like none other. That trekking takes you to the unexplored, picturesque, innermost parts of the world. And before you know it, you too are determined to go on a hiking adventure of your own.
If you are an ardent lover of fantasy lands like Narnia, Arendelle and such and would love to explore a similar location & landscape; this is your golden opportunity! You don’t need to spend pots of gold and make your way all the way to Switzerland or New Zealand; the trek to Jaundhar Glacier via Har ki Dun will reward you with breathtaking sights just the same.
Credited by temples, caves, quaint hamlets, gurgling rivulets & panoramic views of the Himalayan Range; this trek promises a mixture of natural beauty and grandeur. But to be fairly honest, not even the most eloquent writer could do justice to the sheer splendour of this trail. It’s a trip you must experience for yourself!
About Jaundhar Glacier
Jaundhar Glacier (also called Jamdhar Glacier) standing tall at a striking altitude of 4300m happens to be one of the largest contributors of the Tons river, the largest tributary of the river Yamuna. This majestic glacier lies 13 km ahead of the Har ki Dun and takes roundabout 7-8 hours of trekking. Only a selected few get the golden ticket to view a glacier up-close let alone walk on it. But you can experience it all at Jaundhar.
Jaundhar Glacier is often considered to be a side trek from the Har ki Dun campsite but to be honest it should be the main event. The glacier adds a bewitching element of high mountain scenery to this hike. A sharp contrast from the lush green meadows and valleys of the Har ki Dun, you will abruptly find yourself in a rocky terrain.
The hike takes you via a long winding route and covers a very uneven road carpeted by a mix of scree, moraine, boulders and the occasional snow. However, the terrain only gains a marginal height of 150m thus ensuring the trek does not become too arduous. But like they say, at the end of every laborious journey there lies a pot of gold. And Jaundhar is nothing less than a treasure chest waiting to be discovered! Every effort made on the hike is worth it.
Also, keep your eyes open for a charming little waterfall and series of cairns en-route your way to Jaundhar guiding you to your destination. From the glacier, one also gets a much closer and fantastic view of the towering Swargarohini massif peak. The Swargarohini I is generally seen remaining shyly hidden behind its sister peak, the Swargarohini II, but it is prominently visible from the glacier making for an unforgettable panoramic view. Moreover, an amusing fact to be noted is that if it rains in the Har Ki Dun, there is a high probability that it will snow at the Glacier.
Jaundhar Glacier via Har Ki Dun
To make your way to the ultimate destination, Jaundhar glacier, you have to first traverse through the pictorial valley of Har ki Dun, popularly known as ‘The Valley of Gods'. Situated on the border of the Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Har ki Dun lies entirely within the Govind Pashu Vihar National Park. It is a U shaped valley with mesmerizing views of picturesque alpine grasslands along ridges and glacier basins, surrounded by imposing mountains.
One of the best trek routes of Uttarakhand, its inception is from the quaint hamlet of Sankri, Jaunsar region. A drive along the Yamuna and Tons river brings you to the tiny village of Sankri wherefrom your trek to Har Ki Dun will officially commence. Hiking through this eternal meadow, on your way to Jaundhar Glacier, is sure to be one of the most rewarding experiences of your lifetime. With its riveting views of mountain ridges, ancient temples, appealing caves, endless verdant green meadows, wildflower gardens and ultimately the gorgeous Jaundhar Glacier, the “Valley of Gods” truly lives up to its name.
At the conclusion of your Har Ki Dun trek, you will be greeted with the formidable summits of the Swaragrohini massif, Fateh Parvat, Kalanag, and Bandarpoonch ranges. These Himalayan peaks make an astounding view climbing up to a staggering altitude of 5000 to 6000 meters. And while every day on the trek will bring you closer to the Jaundhar Glacier experience, you will thoroughly enjoy the trek via Har Ki Dun.
Diverse Seasons, Weathers & Temperature
The Har ki Dun trek is ever rewarding with its perpetually changing seasons and scenery.
Summer: In the summer months of May and June, the route is covered in lush greenery. The valleys and forests are alive with colourful mountain flowers, earthy smell, and a pleasant breeze. For those who love to see flowers, the meadows here are carpeted with alpine flowers and make for stunning visuals.
Monsoon: Monsoon soon takes over by mid-July and overstays its welcome till early September. During monsoon, the trek becomes a less frequent choice among trekkers, as the views remain completely blocked. But to be truthful, the trek is beautiful even then, with its foggy mornings and giant white clouds playing hide and seek with the mountains. However, it is essential to remember that once it rains, it rains here continuously.
Winter: Once monsoon has bid adieu for the year, the trek is reopened and the trekkers are greeted with fresh greenery. By the month of November, the meadows have begun their preparations for the onset of winter. They turn brownish and dry waiting in anticipation for the long snow cover which lasts for almost 4 to 5 months.
The trek is at its stunning best during the winter. The lush greenery of the valley lies hidden in a fresh white carpet of soft snow, making the trek ever more gorgeous. The middle of December will bring with it the region’s first snowfall, the remnants of which can be witnessed until late April.
Level of Difficulty
The Har ki Dun trail & the trek to Jaundhar Glacier is pegged as a moderate to difficult trek. And it is near perfect for seasoned trekkers and fit beginners. Of course, the trails are treacherous at times with many ups and downs and you will need to push yourself out of your comfort zone but the beauty of the place will take away all the tiredness of your climb.
Throughout your trip, you will often find yourself lost in reveries, amazed and speechless by the astonishing beauty of Mother Nature, with its sun-kissed peaks and glacial rivers. And somehow when you finally reach the endpoint of your journey, you will see that the sight before you is even more vivid than your imagination simply because of the effort you put in.
So, get packing and prepare yourself for a tryst in the mountains, find comfort in the lap of the Himalayas and come out of the quest feeling invigorated & alive.