The Himalayas beckon me with a magnetic pull to delve deeper and deeper into their beauty. The majestic Himalayan peaks kissing the horizon amaze me to no end. At times I want to scale the lofty summits and sometimes I just want to gaze at the invincible peaks and let their silence speak a thousand words.
Looking for a short fun-filled vacation topped with adventure plus a trek that is easy and comfortable, then Kedarkantha is your calling! An all-season trek, bewitches you with a landscape which is unique to every season. It can easily be eulogized as the “soul” of all Himalayan treks.
Kedarkantha trek is everything a trekker can dream about; crystal clear mountain lakes, the verdant expanse of rich flora, unexplored mountain terrain of Uttarakhand, jaw-dropping campsites, the serenity of mountain villages and a glimpse into the distinct culture of locals, the trek is a wholesome package of fun and adventure.
The spectacular beauty of mountain lakes, lush greenery of rich flora, the virgin wilderness of untouched landscapes, picturesque campsites, balmy solitude of quaint villages and a sneak peek into the primitive lifestyles of locals; these benevolent offerings from Kedarkantha trek detox your mind and spirit alike.
Early morning sunrises showcases a beautiful spectrum of sunlight which illuminates the landscape and mountain peaks in the amazing hues of orange, red and golden. Watching Kedarkantha shimmer at its glorious best during the night is the heavenly treat of this trek. Moonlight casts its silver glow on the mountains against the backdrop of a star-lit sky, this postcard view gets permanently etched in your mind.
Experiencing the local culture and feasting on local meals is another attraction of the Kedarkantha trek. The warm hospitality of locals is such a rewarding experience that it leaves you wondering at their magnanimity.
A quick glance to some amazing facts of Kedarkantha
- Region- Uttarakhand Himalayas
- Trek Altitude- 12,500 feet
- Trek Difficulty Level- Moderate to Difficult
- Trek Duration- 6 Days
- Distance- 20 km
- Start Point- Sankri
- End Point- Sankri
- Base Camp- Sankri
- Temperature- Average day temperatures vary from plus 8 degrees Celsius to plus 20 degrees Celsius and average night temperatures vary from minus 10 degrees Celsius to plus 3 degrees Celsius.
- Nearest Railway Station- Dehradun
- Nearest Airport- Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun
- Last ATM- Purola near Sankri has the last ATM
Standing tall and mighty at an elevation of 12,500 feet, Kedarkantha is a majestic mountain peak of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand. It is located within Govind Ballabh Wildlife Sanctuary and Govind Ballabh National Park. Kedarkantha trek treats you to an exotic array of flora and fauna all through the trek,
Whether trekking on snowy winter trails or traversing your way through glossy green pine forests, Kedarkantha trek is a trekkers delight.
If you are seeking a short rendezvous from the mundane routine of city life then Kedarkantha trek is bound to soar your spirits.
Kedarkantha the word itself conjures beautiful images in your mind. The image of Lord Shiva sitting atop an imposing Himalayan mountain, showering his blessings to the world underneath is one of the first images that titillates your senses. Located at an altitude of around 12,500 feet, the Kedarkantha summit is the majestic mountain peak bedecked in the Himalayas of Uttarakhand.
Even though Kedarkantha Trek is an ideal destination during all seasons, it is one of the most sought-after winter treks in India. Trekkers marvel at this amazing trek which flatters you with snow till the end of April. The snow-capped peaks encompassed by tall trees offer mesmerizing views from altitudes as low as 10,000 feet.
How to reach Kedarkantha
- By Train- Dehradun is well-connected to major cities of India like Delhi, Lucknow, Kolkata, etc. by train. From Dehradun to Sankri, it takes around 10 hours by road.
- By Road- Dehradun is well-connected with most of the major cities of India like Delhi, Lucknow, Kolkata, etc. by road. From Dehradun to Sankri, it takes around 10 hours by road. From Delhi, you can even take a bus to Rohru and then a taxi from Rohru to Sankri. It takes around 15 and a half hours in total.
- By Flight- Reach Dehradun from Delhi by flight. There are flights available every day and flying time is 55 minutes. From Dehradun to Sankri, it takes around 10 hours by road.
Reaching there is pretty easy. The trek commences from Sankri village which is a 10-11 hour drive of approximately 210 kms. from Dehradun. It takes 4 days to reach the summit and come back to Sankri village. There is a proper motorable road till Sankri; beyond that, you walk your way through the scenic terrain.
Kedarkantha trek is rooted in mythology and that’s what makes it more alluring.
The place gets its name from “Kedar Khand” which translates to “Section of Lord Shiva”. It is the historical name of this region. Kedarkantha literally translates to Throat of Lord Shiva. Legend has that Lord Shiva once meditated in Kedarkantha and then relocated to Kedarnath.
According to Hindu mythology, Juda Ka Talab owes it’s origin to the water droplets that fell from Lord Shiva’s hair. Synonymous with its name, a lake (Talab) was formed where water from Lord Shiva’s bun (Juda) touched the ground.
The Godly peak of Swargarohini, one of the glittering attractions of this trek is said to be the stairway to heaven. It is believed that Yudhishitra along with his dog reached heaven via this sacred peak.
About Kedarkantha Trek
The journey to this beautiful abode starts at Sankri which is located at a distance of around 210 km from Dehradun. It takes around 10 hours by road from Dehradun to Sankri and the journey takes you along zigzag roads in the backdrop of lofty mountains with mountain rivers bubbling effervescently in close proximity. Enroute you cross Mussoorie, Damta, Nain Bhag village, Purola, Harsaadi, and Natwad before reaching the remote village of Sankri. Throughout the route, you are treated to the magnificent views of Mussoorie, awe-inspiring views of high altitude mountains and rivers such as Yamuna, Kamal Ganga, Kedarganga, Supin and Tons rejuvenate you with their sparkling waters.
At an elevation of 6,400 feet, Sankri is a quaint village located in the foothills of Himalayas. It serves as the base camp for Kedarkantha trek. Trekking route from Sankri takes you to Juda ka Talab, the sacred mountain lake, as you journey along local trails and dense forests.
You are treated to the magical panorama of two amazingly beautiful campsites enroute your trek to Kedarkantha.
Juda Ka Talab, is the picturesque campsite located at an altitude of 9,000 feet. It is beautifully perched beside a placid mountain lake, nestled amidst snow-capped mountain peaks and lush flora of pine and oak trees. The setting of this heavenly campsite is bound to remain etched in your memory for the rest of your lifetime. Juda Ka Talab weather ranges from -12 to -1 in winter months, 3 to 12 degrees in spring and summer months and -8 to 12 degrees in the fall season.
From Juda ka Talab you trek around 4 km through pine and oak trees to reach the open highlands just below the Kedarkantha summit. Just as the forest ends, you reach a wide meadow which is Kedarkantha base camp. Located at an elevation of 11,250 feet, Kedarkantha base camp is the second campsite in the Kedarkantha trekking trail.
From Kedarkantha base camp, you take a challenging uphill trek of 6 km. to reach the Kedarkantha summit located at an elevation of 12,500 feet. The 360-degree view of colossal mountains ranges from the Kedarkantha summit leaves you awestruck.
Kedarkantha Trek is one of the easiest and most alluring treks in the Uttarakhand Himalayas. Dehradun to Kedarkantha distance can be easily navigated within 6 days and Kedarkantha Trek cost is one of the most reasonable and inexpensive among other trekking tours.
This all-season trek is one of the best and most comfortable treks in India. But the beauty of the trek is at its best in the winter. It is an ideal trek for that it journeys you through a beautiful vista of Himalayan beauty. The trek begins at Sankri traversing through local trails and dense forests leading you to small village and then to the picturesque campsite near Juda Ka Talab. Juda Ka Talab captivates with a beauty so serene that you blink twice to feel if the place really exists. A thicket of mighty oak and tall pine trees with colossal mountains in the background surrounds the glacial lake imparting the look of a protective shield
Kedarkantha trek base camp leading to the majestic summit treats you to a magical panorama of open highlands, expansive meadows, steep slopes, and lofty mountain ranges.
At the summit, a 360-degree view of mountain peaks sways you off; not just the famous peaks like Bandarpoonch, Swargarohini, Kalanag, Gangotri, Yamunotri, and DhaulaDhar ranges but also hundreds of other untouched and untainted virgin mountains welcome you with a warm embrace. This picture-perfect scene is absolute bliss, each frame looks like a postcard image; it is a sight that stays with you for the lifetime.
Kedarkantha Trek Best Time
Kedarkantha is an all-season trek that captivates you with a distinct beauty in each season. Spring and summer boast of clear skies and fresh landscapes that treat your senses with the fragrance of blooming flowers. The glossy green pine forests look inviting and the green landscape allures you with a magical freshness that is simply irresistible. The fall season offers a unique experience; trekking on the trail bedecked with dried multi-hued leaves is an amazing experience. This season with its auburn, cognac, and wine coloured flora floors you with a panorama so surreal that you have to blink twice to soak in the generous offerings of nature. However, winter is still considered the best time to visit Kedarkantha. The snowy trails lined with tall snow-drifted trees, frozen mountain lakes incandescent in the moonlight and snowy peaks glittering at dawn and dusk in amazing hues of golden and red; the panorama of winter landscape leaves an indelible impression on your mind. Kedarkantha peak at an elevation of 12,500 feet shimmers beautifully in the winter sun and at night the moonlight casts a magical glow to the lofty mountain. The panoramic view of the stunning mountain ranges of Swargrohini, Bandarpoonch, Kalanag, Gangotri, Yamunotri, and DhaulaDhar from the Kedarkantha summit looks ethereal in winters.
The beautiful slopes covered with snow during winters make Kedarkantha for a wonderful ski destination as well.
Trek to Kedarkantha is an all-season activity. However, you can better plan your trip if you visit it during the season that best suits you. You might love to explore Kedarkantha in its greenest glory when the meadows, trails, and campsites are fresh with new leaves and blooming flowers. The region gets enough rainfall during the monsoon months and you witness pretty waterfalls sprout up in the hills. The dark and grey clouds hovering over the mountains make for a beautiful sight. However, heavy rains may cause a lot of landslides during the monsoon months. If you are seeking a snowy rendezvous then you might want to trek Kedarkantha in the winter months. Kedarkantha trek in December is the beginning of winter when the falling snow transforms the landscape to wintry fairyland. Snow remains in the trail till the last week of April. The temperatures vary from -10 to 8 degrees in winters and you might face harsh weather conditions such as slippery slopes and severe winds. Trudging your way through thick snow is also a divine experience offered by Kedarkantha winter trek.
- Summer months of April-June- Plus 6 degrees to plus 20 degrees
- Monsoon months of July-August- Plus 3 to plus 16 degrees
- Fall/Autumn months of September-November- Plus 2 degrees to plus 15 degrees
- Winter months of December-March- Minus 10 degrees to plus 8 degrees
Is Kedarkantha Trek Safe?
One of the easiest treks of the Uttarakhand Himalayas, Kedarkantha trek can be your best bet if you are a beginner. It is a 6-day trek that requires you to trek 4-6 km every day. Kedarkantha is a safe trek to undertake in all seasons except monsoons. The rains are unpredictable and there might be a lot of landslides. It is highly recommended that only experienced trekkers undertake this trek during monsoon months.
Difficultly Level Of Kedarkantha Trek
The gradient is gradual with easy ascends and descends. Kedarkantha trek gives you a chance to acclimatize well to the changing altitudes as you gain elevation slowly. The last lap of the trek from Kedarkantha base camp to Kedarkantha summit is a steep uphill hike and can be a bit tricky and laborious.
The difficulty of Kedarkantha trek ranges from easy in spring, summer, and fall season to moderate/slightly difficult in winters. Monsoon is not recommended for trekking as the region is prone to landslides. With the right attitude and proper equipment, Trek Kedarkantha is bound to give you a memorable experience even in the chilliest of winters. Don your winter jacket, warm innerwear, snow boots, hats, gloves, scarf, equip yourself with walking sticks to brace the winter and you are all set to have a classic winter rendezvous on Kedarkantha winter trek.
Fitness Required for Kedarkantha Trek
Some basic preparations are required for undertaking the Kedarkantha trek. You should be physically fit, have the endurance to walk 6 km daily and have no medical issues. You can prepare for the trek by doing a brisk walk every day for 30 minutes and then increase your speed each day. This should be done a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the trek.
Trekking is always fun, it takes you back in time. With the right attitude and adequate preparation, you can conquer the invincible. The trick is to be well equipped so that you undertake your trek with utmost confidence and conviction.
Health and Safety
- For any Himalayan Trek, Ideal BMI for a trekker should be 18.5 to 24.9
- To keep a check of this please calculate BMI here
- Below given Safety checks should be done to get prepared for any Himalayan Trek.
- Balance : As well said a balanced mind and body gives out best in every condition and that too works in Himalayan treks as well.
- Legs Strength : Body and Legs Strength is required to carry body weight as well as the backpack while trekking in uneven multi terrains. Generally, a good strength on legs works out good in any Trek. One can gain legs strength by doing simple Squats.
- Muscle Flexibility : While trekking in Trans Himalayan region with a flexible body one can easily achieve full range of movement and this can be really helpful for trekkers as well as trek leads. A good flexible will be an advantage while walking on trails, climbing and river crossing etc. Flexibility can be achieved by simple stretching, yoga etc.
- Cardiovascular Endurance : Cardiovascular endurance is defined as the ability of lungs and heart to transmit oxygen to the body muscles. All Himalayan treks are basically ascending descending the slopes and for this trekkers should be having a good cardiovascular endurance. Anyone planning for a Himalayan trek can attain this capacity by doing any cardio exercise like running, swimming, cycling etc.