About Kedarkantha Trek
Kedarkantha trek is everything a trekker can dream about; crystal clear mountain, 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.
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 glance at some amazing facts about Kedarkantha
- Region- Uttarakashi, Uttarakhand
- Trek Altitude- 12,500 feet
- Trek Difficulty Level- Easy to Moderate
- Trek Duration- 6 Days
- Trekking Distance- 20 km
- Temperature- Average day temperatures vary degrees Celsius to 20 degrees Celsius and average night temperatures hover between -10 degrees Celsius to 3 degrees Celsius.
- Nearest Railway Station- Dehradun
- Nearest Airport- Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun
- Last ATM- Purola near Sankri has the last ATM
- Pickup Point on Day 1- Dehradun Railway Station
- Departure time from Dehradun Railway Station on Day 1- 7 am
- 2nd Pickup Point on Day 1- Kitab Ghar bus stand, Mussoorie
- Pick up time from Mussoorie- 7:45 a.m.
- Drop Point on Day 6- Dehradun Railway Station
- Arrival time on Day 6 at Dehradun Railway Station- 6 pm
- Base Camp- Sankri
- Distance from Dehradun to Basecamp, Sankri- 210 km
- Cloakroom: There is no separate cloakroom available. You can hand over your luggage to our team and collect it while returning. We will be keeping it safely at Sankri in the same Homestay.
- The shared vehicle will be a Tata Sumo, Bolero, or so and may be shared with a few other local passengers. The cab will be arranged from Dehradun to Sankri and Sankri to Dehradun.
- We charge Rs.1200/- per person each side.
- The cab is a 7-seater.
- The whole cab costs 7500/- from Dehradun (one way).
- Trekkers may choose to travel by bus or local cab to reach Sankri.
- The forest permits for international clients will be as actual and are to be paid by the trekker at the base camp only.
Kedarkantha, a spectacular Himalayan peak in Uttarakhand, stands towering and formidable at an altitude of 12,500 feet, Govind Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park is home to it. Regardless of whether you are trudging on icy wintry routes or crossing your path amid lustrous verdant pine woods, the Kedarkantha journey will thrill you with a diverse assortment of vegetation and animals.
The name Kedarkantha conjures up fantastic images in your head. One of the first pictures that enthrals you is Lord Shiva seated over an enormous Himalayan peak, bestowing his benediction on the earth below. Standing at a height of roughly 12,500 feet, the Kedarkantha pinnacle is the magnificent mountain peak lodged in the Himalayas of Uttrakhand.
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
Sankri is the starting point for the Kedarkantha trek. To go to Kedarkantha from Dehradun, you must first travel to Sankri. Sankri is around 200 (197) kilometers from Dehradun, and it takes about 8 to 10 hours to travel this mountainous path. To go to Kedarkantha from Dehradun, use the government bus, which departs from Mussoorie Bus stand at 8:00 a.m. After about the 7th hour from the starting point, the bus will leave you off in Sankri.
If you by chance miss the morning buses then you can also board the Hanol bus which travels via Mussoorie. According to the route availed by this bus, you have to get down at Mori, and from there you can book a private taxi to Sankri.
You can travel to Dehradun from Delhi by Nandadevi Express which departs at 11:50 pm and reaches Dehradun by 5:40 am. From Dehradun again, you can take a taxi or board a bus to Sankri.
Board a flight from Delhi to Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun. It will take about 1 hour to reach. From here again, you can follow the directives as mentioned above.
MYTHOLOGY SURROUNDING KEDARKANTHA
Kedarkantha trek is steeped in mythology and that’s what makes it all 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 translates to Throat of Lord Shiva. Legend has it that Lord Shiva once meditated in Kedarkantha and then relocated to Kedarnath.
According to Hindu mythology, Juda Ka Talab owes its 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 trudging up this sacred peak.
About Kedarkantha Trek
The journey to this beautiful abode starts at Sankri which is located at a distance of around 197 km from Dehradun. It takes around 7 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 nearby. En route, 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, and awe-inspiring views of high-altitude mountains and rivers such as Yamuna, Ganga, Kedarganga, Supin, and Tons rejuvenate you with their sparkling waters.
At an elevation of about 6,400 feet, Sankri is a quaint village located in the foothills of the Himalayas. It serves as the base camp for the Kedarkantha trek. The 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 amazingly beautiful campsites en route to your trek to Kedarkantha.
Juda Ka Talab, the first campsite, is a picturesque campsite located at an altitude of about 9,000 feet. Juda Ka Talab captivates with a beauty so serene that you blink twice to see if the place exists. A thicket of mighty oak and tall pine trees with colossal mountains in the background surround the glacial lake imparting the look of a protective shield. Juda Ka Talab weather ranges from -12 to -1 in winter months, 15 to 17 degrees in spring and summer months, and -2 to 8 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 3 km to reach the Kedarkantha summit located at an elevation of 12,500 feet. The 360-degree view of colossal mountain ranges from the Kedarkantha summit leaves you awestruck.
It is an ideal trek for that it journeys you through a beautiful vista of Himalayan beauty. 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 sweeps 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 a lifetime.
Kedarkantha Trek is one of the easiest and most alluring treks in the Uttarakhand Himalayas. 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.
Kedarkantha Trek Length
The Kedarkantha trek length is 20 Km which is covered in 6 days. Kedarkantha Trek is an easy to moderate-grade trek that can be done by beginners or first-timers also if they have a basic fitness level. The trek from Sankri to Juda ka Talab is approx 4km and from there another 4km trek to the Kedarkantha base camp. The next day you will be trekking 6km in total from basecamp to summit and summit to Hargaon. On your return to Sankri, you will be trekking to a length of 6km from Hargaon.
Kedarkantha Trek in Summer
Kedarkantha is one of the most favored treks and the summer season also brings an opportunity for adventure seekers to experience this trek with the awe-inspiring landscape and the dense forest cover of oak and pine. The summer months of April, May, and June are the times when the temperature varies from 0 degrees Celsius at night to 12 degrees Celsius in the day.
Kedarkantha in April: It is a time when the leftover winter snow can be encountered throughout the trek route, melting and revealing the beautiful landscape beneath. It is the best time for those who want to experience the pleasing breeze with the perfect amount of bearable chill. Woolen clothes are recommended if you plan to trek in April.
Kedarkantha in May: This is the time when you can witness vast green landscapes throughout with a variety of sweet blossoming flowers. During this month the trek is easiest to perform as there are no thick sheets of snow or the monsoon to make it slippery and difficult to carry out. The temperature during May is generally around 5 degrees to 15 degrees.
Kedarkantha in June: To experience the multitude of vibrant blooming flowers and the freshness of the beautiful Kedarkantha valley this is the perfect time for the adventure enthusiast and nature lovers. The chances of rain are slight during this month but the valley is at its best to enliven you.
Kedarkantha trek in Winters
During the wintertime, the pastures of Kedarkantha are blanketed in heavy snow, giving the area a dreamlike appearance. The snowfall begins in early December, and the terrain remains snow-covered until April. Because of the frost, the path turns a bit more challenging, but with due caution and safeguards, even amateurs may attempt a winter trek in Kedarkantha.
During the cold season, the streams stay iced due to the hostile weather conditions and heavy snowfall. The bewitching Juda ka Talab turns utterly immobile. The beguiling campground positions allow you to enjoy the imposing panoramas against the starry night sky to your heart's content.
Kedarkantha Trek Best Time
Kedarkantha is an all-season trek that captivates you with a distinct beauty in each season. Spring and summer boast 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.
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 winter.
The beautiful slopes covered with snow during winter make Kedarkantha a wonderful ski destination as well.
Kedarkantha Weather and Temperature
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 into a wintry fairyland. Snow remains on 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 the Kedarkantha winter trek.
- Summer months of April-June- 6 degrees to 20 degrees
- Monsoon months of July-August- 3 to 16 degrees
- Fall/Autumn months of September-November- 2 degrees to 15 degrees
- Winter months of December-March- -10 degrees to 8 degrees
Difficulty Level Of Kedarkantha Trek
The difficulty level for Kedarkantha Trek is easy to moderate. Kedarkantha Trek is best done in the winter season which is from mid-Dec to the end of April. During this time the temperature can drop to -10 degrees as the weather in the Himalayas is highly unpredictable. One has to carry proper clothing for protection from the rough weather. So, for beginners, the Kedarkantha trek in winter can be a bit challenging if not properly taken care of. For the summer months, from April to June, the temperature varies from 0 to 20 degrees Celsius. During these months, the weather is cool, breezy, and pleasant which makes the trek easy to do as compared to the wintertime.
The difficulty of the Kedarkantha Trek can be decided on the basis of weather and terrain.
- On the Basis of Weather: The best time to do Kedarkantha Trek is in the winter season as you get to experience ample snow throughout the trek. From the base camp, Sankri to the Kedarkantha summit you come across a thick blanket of snow that whets the sense of adventure that trekkers are looking for. The trail during winter becomes somewhat tough but with proper gear and fitness, one can easily reach the summit. Good health is mandatory with no pulmonary or cardio-vascular difficulties to carry out the Kedarkantha Trek. The view of peaks like Gangotri, Swargarohini, Yamunotri, Dhauladhar Range, and many virgin mountain ranges welcomes you for a lifetime experience. On the other hand, Kedarkantha Trek in summer becomes an easy trek for both beginners and experienced trekkers.
- On the Basis of Terrain: The trail throughout the trek is easy, surrounded by thickets of oak and pine treks. The campsites are mesmerizing. Be it the snowy winter trails or the crackling brown leaves covering the forest. One has to trek a maximum of 6-7 km a day. With proper physical fitness to trek the ups and downs, this distance is easy to trek in summer as the trails are non-slippery as compared to treks in winter.
Is Kedarkantha Trek Safe?
One of the easiest treks of the Uttarakhand Himalayas, the 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.
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 increasing your speed each day. This should be done a minimum of 2 weeks before 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.
- Kedarkantha Trek
Day 1: Arrival at Sankri From Dehradun
- Early start from Dehradun in the morning at 7:00 a.m.
- Altitude 6,400 feet.
- 210 km drive
- 10 hours of Travelling, Expected arrival time at Sankri – 5:00 pm.
- Accommodation and food in Guest House.
The drive from Dehradun to Sankri is an enchanting hill drive of 10-11 hour stretching over approx 210 Km ride via Mussoorie, Damta, Naugaon, Purola, Mori and Naitwar. A pick up will be arranged at Dehradun and the pick-up points and timings will be coordinated by email prior to your bookings of the trek. The booking excludes the lunch for the day and the transportation from Dehradun to Sankri. And from Sankri, we will be taking care of your fooding and lodging.
Day 2: Start from Sankri to Juda ka Talab
- Altitude Gain From 6,400 feet to 9,100 feet.
- 4 kms Trekking
- 5 hours of Trekking
- Camping at Juda Ka Talab
- Accommodation & Food in tents.
Your second day will start with a chilled morning, locals doing their daily works, mules passing by and lots Himalayan Bhutia dogs trying to get friendly with you. Post breakfast trek starts from the local Sankri road entering into the local trails and then dissolving into the forest of broad leaves trees. The path goes through Saud village and it is a gentle climb. A lot of locals, mostly women and children will be seen on the way carrying wood and dried leaves for their cattle. Walking trails of this day will be steep sometimes and sometimes it will be levelled grounds with green and dense forests running alongside you. End of the day we will be setting up our campsites which is located near to Juda Ka Talab and is a closed camping site surrounded by tall pine and oak trees and mountain slopes. We will be reaching the campsites by afternoon and staying in camps enjoying the serenity scattered around this place with evening sunset and glittering sunrise in the morning.
Day 3: Juda ka Talab to Kedarkantha Base Camp
- Altitude Gain From 9,100 feet to 11,250 feet.
- 4 kms Trekking
- 2.5 hours of Trekking
- Camping at Kedarkantha Base Camp
- Accommodation & Food in tents.
We start post breakfast from JUDA KA TALAB and trek through the pine and oak trees to reach the open highlands below the summit. As you move forward into the forest suddenly at the end forest trails you start to see a wide meadow stretching in front of mighty Dhauladhar Ranges. This camping site has excellent picturesque views and is the main highlight of the trek. There are green pastures nearby and the views towards Himachal are unending. You can roam around this place easily and soak all the fresh tidings of nature's gift .We camp here for the night.
Day 4: Kedarkantha base to Kedarkantha peak then descend to Hargaon
- Altitude gain from 11,250 feet to 12,500 feet, then descend to 8,900 feet
- 6 kms Trekking
- 7 hours of Trekking
- Reach the summit and then return to the base camp for lunch.
- After lunch, descend down to Hargaon.
- Reach Hargaon by evening.
- Accommodation & Food in tents.
It's a long day today as we are climbing on steep slopes from the west ridge of the mountain and then after reaching the summit, we return back to the basecamp and post lunch we move to Hargaon campsite. We will start early in the morning post breakfast and try to reach the top by the next morning to experience the sunrise. As we move forward slowly dense forest trails surrounding by Pine trees start to disappear. It's a rigorous and tiring uphill climb of over 2 hours but the scenic views around you will keep your adrenaline rush high in anticipation of the view from the top. At some point of this walk you will be awestruck by the 360-degree view and once everyone reaches the top, believe us it's a win-win situation for everyone. Panoramic views of mighty Himalayas range mixed with dark blue and white clouds scattered like a painting sketched by nature just for you. After spending some time on the top we head back to our campsite, have lunch at a mid point of the downwards journey from the basecamp and head towards Hargaon. Stay for the night in tents.
Day 5: Hargaon camp to Sankri
- Altitude: 8,900 feet to 6,400 feet.
- 6 kms trek, approx 4 hours
- Descend 2500 feet through dense pine forests.
Today we will be heading towards Sankri from where it all started approximately 6 kms long trail counting about 4 hours. After breakfast, we will descend through a more marked well paved route, laden with stones. A trail further leading to a ridge from where you get a splendid view of Har ki Dun valley. And by the evening we reach Sankri. Small handmade goods, wooden toys and wooden home décor items can be bought from here. Local delicacies can be tasted here for a memorable experience. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 6: Sankri to Dehradun
- 210 km drive, approx 10 hours.
- Travel Back From Sankri to Dehradun
- You will be dropped at Dehradun station in a pre-booked vehicle or cab.
We will be arranging a vehicle for you to drop at Dehradun.