If you’re interested in knowing about North India’s most popular trekking destination, you have arrived at the right place. Through this comprehensive Kedarkantha trek guide, we would like to highlight some of the reasons that make Kedarkantha a perfect trekking destination. If you’re planning a trek to Kedarkantha, this guide will be able to help you in finding all the details regarding Kedarkantha trek.
Kedarkantha stands at a majestic height of 12,500 ft and is a popular trekking destination in North India. It is a trek that is open throughout the year, allowing trekkers to explore this destination in all seasons. This trek is suitable for beginners and first-time trekkers. In fact, anyone between the ages of five and sixty-five can go on this trek. If you’re interested in knowing more about Kedarkantha, you should read on.
Kedarkantha Trek Guide
Kedarkantha is an ethereal peak located in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. It is part of the Garhwal Himalayas and lies within Govind Wildlife Sanctuary. Trekkers from all over the world come to explore this beautiful trekking destination. One of the reasons behind its popularity is its easy-to-moderate difficulty level. Anyone who wishes to scale the heights of Kedarkantha can go on this trek. It is considered to be one of the best trekking destinations in North India.
The trekking route varies depending on the months that you go there. If you travel during winters, you will trek on snow. If you trek during summers, you will see an abundance of flora and fauna. Due to this reason, many trekkers go on this trek multiple times. It is also one of the few trekking destinations in India that are open all year round. With this Kedarkantha trek guide, we will try and give you a few details that will help you in planning Kedarkantha trek.
The World of Kedarkantha
Legend has it that Lord Shiva began meditating on the peak of Kedarkantha. However, owing to the noise from the surrounding areas, he left the spot and moved on to Kedarnath. There is a temple located on top of the summit which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. According to local legends, it marks the spot where Lord Shiva sat and meditated.
Whether you believe in the legend or not, it is still a fascinating experience when you reach the summit. The trek to the mountain peak is peaceful and enchanting. A lot of trekkers prefer to go on this trek alone. However, if you’re a beginner you should go along with an experienced trekker or a Kedarkantha trek guide. It’s worth mentioning that this trek is suitable for everyone, provided he or she is in good health. Due to its easy to moderate difficulty level, it is also one of the most sought after trekking destinations in North India.
Some of the Most Stunning Scenic Experiences
Kedarkantha peak is part of the Garhwal Himalayas and is surrounded by multiple peaks. Once you reach the summit, you will be able to enjoy 360-degree views of over 12 peaks. If the weather is clear, your Kedarkantha trek guide will be able to show you all the mentioned peaks. You may even get to see the Swargrohini Peaks, that are considered to be the crown of the Garhwal Himalayas.
The peak of Kedarkantha is located within Govind Wildlife Sanctuary. Therefore, it is possible that you will come across some exotic plants, birds, and animals. As you trek through the well-marked trail you will have to go through dark green alpine forests. When you come across wide-open meadows, the grandeur of it will catch you by surprise. It is here that you will get to feel and experience the strong winds of the Himalayas. The scenic landscape changes colours during different months. In winters, it is completely white, covered entirely in thick layers of snow. In summers, on the other hand, it is completely green. While you are trekking, you will be able to see an abundance of flora and fauna.
Where Does the Trek Actually Start?
If you’re planning to go on Kedarkantha trek, you should know that it starts from a small village by the name of Sankri. This village is located at a height of 6,500 ft and is at a distance of 10 km from the summit. Therefore, when you begin your trek from Sankri, you will have to trek for around 20 km from start to finish. Once you step foot in Sankri, you will be surrounded by the snow-capped Garhwal Himalayas. There aren’t many things that you can do in Sankri. However, the people of Sankri are extremely warm towards trekkers. In this Kedarkantha trek guide, we would like to mention that it would be a good idea to spend some time with the locals to understand the culture and traditions of the region.
How to Reach Sankri?
Now that you know that Kedarkantha trek begins from Sankri. You may be wondering about getting there. Sankri is located at a distance of 200 km from Dehradun, which is Uttarakhand’s capital. Getting to Dehradun from any part of India is quite convenient. The town is well-connected to all major Indian cities. It has its own airport and train station. You can easily reach Dehradun from Delhi in over an hour by taking a flight. You can also drive to Dehradun and spend some time exploring the town before beginning your trek.
It takes around 7 hours to get to Sankri from Dehradun. You can hire a cab or take a local bus from Dehradun to Sankri. It’s worth mentioning that if you take a private transfer, you might arrive early. Public transfers may take up to 8 to 10 hours. However, public transport costs a lot less than private. You need to keep in mind that if you book a Kedarkantha trek package from a tour operator, the price of the package may be calculated from Dehradun onwards. In that situation, you will have to pay extra for your journey to Dehradun.
Trekking from Sanki to the Peak
With this Kedarkantha trek guide, we will take you through the entire trek route and share a few details about the trek. As mentioned earlier, the trek begins from Sankri. The trek route from Sankri to the peak is marked by gradual ascends and descends. As you trek along the well-marked trail, you will come across wide-open clearings. These clearings or meadows are a sight to behold. You can feel the strong Himalayan winds as you traverse through them. Along the trail, you will also come across some thrilling ridges that you will have to cross to get to the peak. You should know that the trail doesn’t have a lot of steep climbs, however, the last 100 ft of the trek can be difficult.
The trek route from Sankri to the Kedarkantha peak is quite beautiful and serene. If you go on this trek during the summer months, you will be able to see an abundance of flora and fauna. As you move away from Sankri, you will come across two beautiful campsites – Juda Ka Talab and Kedarkantha Base Camp. To know more about these beautiful locations, you should continue reading this Kedarkantha trek guide.
The Journey from Juda Ka Talab to Kedarkantha Base
After you start your trek, you will be able to stop at Juda Ka Talab. This is a lake located at a distance of around 4 km from Sankri. Situated at a height of 9,000 ft, Juda Ka Talab is known for being one of the most beautiful campsites in the Himalayan region. It is surrounded by a dark alpine forest so thick that even the sun rays fail to shine through. The setting seems right out of a fairytale. During the months of winter starting December, the lake freezes and trekkers can walk all over it. This is one of the fascinating experience that you get if you trek to Kedarkantha during winters.
From Juda Ka Talab, you can get to Kedarkantha base camp by trekking for a distance of 4 km. The popularity of this base camp comes from its proximity to the peak. From here, you can reach the highest point of the trek in a matter of hours. The climb from Kedarkantha base camp to the peak is a little difficult as it consists of a few steep climbs. However, experienced trekkers consider trekking to the top very doable, even if you’re a beginner. One great thing about this base camp is the sunrise that you can catch from here. Surrounding by Garhwal Himalayas, this campsite sees some great sunrises. If you go on Kedarkantha trek, you should definitely wake up early to watch the sun rise over the hills.
What’s the Best Time to Travel?
Kedarkantha is open all year round to trekkers. Therefore, the best time to travel to Kedarkantha will depend on your personal choice and likings. If you wish to trek in the snow, then there is no better time to trek to Kedarkantha than the winter months. Starting December, the entire trekking trail turns white from all the snow that begins to fall. Snow stays there until the last few weeks of April. Kedarkantha is also popular as one of the best winter treks in the Himalayas, so you will obviously have a good time.
On the other hand, if you are a nature lover, there is no better time to visit Kedarkantha than the months of summer. Starting from May to the last few weeks of June, the summer months make travelling to Kedarkantha an extremely pleasant experience. The weather is good and the average temperature ranges between 5 to 15 degree Celsius. In fact, the months of September, October, and November can offer you the same trekking pleasure. During these months, you will be able to see an abundance of flora and fauna. Since Kedarkantha is located within Govind Wildlife Sanctuary, you may even see a variety of exotic plants and animals. It’s also worth mentioning that the entire trail will be covered with a variety of Himalayan wildflowers that are a beauty to behold.
There’s one thing that you should keep in mind. If you’re a beginner trekker, you should try and avoid Kedarkantha’s monsoon season. The months of July and August see plenty of rainfall, at the most unexpected moments. This makes trekking quite difficult as the route becomes extremely slippery. You may also face some difficulty in finding shelter. Moreover, you could also run the risk of being hit by landslides and other such natural disasters. In the monsoon and winter season, it’s important to plan this trip under the guidance of a Kedarkantha trek guide or tour operator.
Overall Cost of the Trip
The average cost of Kedarkantha trekking depends on several factors including the level of comfort you would want. The average cost of a Kedarkantha trek from Dehradun falls between INR 7,000 Per Person to INR 15,000 Per Person. Do keep in mind that this price is calculated Dehradun onwards, and you may have to add to it your air/train fare. The package cost that you receive from any operator will depend on the type of accommodation they are offering, along with the inclusions, and transfers.
How to Cut Down Cost?
In this Kedarkantha trek guide, we will try to tell you ways in which you can cut down your overall trek cost. To begin with, you can cut down on your transportation cost from your starting point to Dehradun. You could travel by Volvo, or you can book your train/air tickets, well in advance. Once you’re in Dehradun, you can either book a package for the entire journey, or book a package from Sankri onwards. If you’re a beginner, you should opt for a tour that begins from Dehradun itself.
To get to Sankri from Dehradun, you can opt for public transport rather than private. There are many buses available, and you can get a ticket for Sankri for as low as INR 300. In Sankri, you can opt to stay in a budget hotel. On your trek tour, you can opt for shared accommodation. This will help you cut down cost. However, whenever you plan a trek, you should not cut down drastically on your comfort and clothes. You should invest in good quality clothes, thermals, and trekking shoes so that you have an enjoyable experience.
You could also save quite a bit of money if you decide to book a pre-arranged tour in a group instead of trekking alone. It will help you share expenses with fellow trekkers. There are multiple tour operators that take group tours to Kedarkantha. They are run by experienced trekkers who ensure that all the important aspects of the trek are covered so that you don’t have to face any problems.
Perfect Opportunity to Trek Solo
If you’re fit and healthy, you could decide to plan a solo trekking tour. However, if you’re a beginner or a first-time visitor of Kedarkantha, you should always take help from an experienced Kedarkantha trek guide. You can hire a tour guide who will take you all the way to the peak. This will ensure that you are safe and protected throughout the journey. An experienced Kedarkantha trek guide will also give you insights about the culture and tradition of the region. Kedarkantha trek route is open throughout the year, so you have ample opportunities to trek to this destination, solo.
Things You Must Carry
If you’re trekking in Kedarkantha during the winter season, you must be sure that you are well-clothed and well-protected against the chilly weather. The temperature tends to dip sharply and unexpectedly at night. The weather during the day will be pretty cold but the nights might go below the freezing point.
In order to have a comfortable trek experience, you must ensure that you carry with yourself thermal innerwear, special snow boots, special jackets, fleece, raincoat, windcheaters, gloves, and caps. You should also carry a good trekking stick, first-aid kit, torch, sunglasses, and other accessories. Mobile communication will be very erratic, and you should be prepared to be without any network on the higher altitudes of the trek. It’s important that you keep this in mind and make arrangements accordingly.
Kedarkantha Trek Guide – Some Fascinating Takeaways
Kedarkantha trekking is special in multiple ways. The landscape during winters as well as summers looks right out of a travel postcard. It is a paradise for experienced trekkers and a starting point for beginner trekkers. It’s a place where you can learn the ropes of trekking. The variety of seasons make the same route vary in difficulty, making it a trek that you can visit and explore multiple times.
If you’re a lover of nature – whether it’s greenery or snow, you should definitely visit and explore Kedarkantha. There are many tour operators that will be planning Kedarkantha trek 2019, so if you’re interested, you will have multiple options to choose from. Do use this Kedarkantha trek guide while planning your trek. We’re sure that this trek guide will be able to provide you with all the necessary details. If you’re looking for more information about Kedarkantha or want to discuss your requirements, please click here.