The North Indian States are full of natural surprises, such as high mountain peaks, lush meadows, dense forests, various beautiful flora and fauna, and multiple Himalayan ranges. Among them, there is one such state which comprises everything an explorer needs, and that is Uttarakhand. This is truly a very beautiful and wonderful place for people who love travelling, for people who love to explore nature, for people who want adventure.
Uttarakhand is very popular for the trails it provides to trekkers. Most of the tourists visit this state to experience an amazing trekking journey. It provides numerous options for trekking and all kinds of trails, from beginner to the expedition. Some of the treks are religious and some are for adventure & exploration purposes. However, the experience of a climb to a peak of the mountain is indescribable. Because it is very special and always stays with you. The feeling when you reach the summit where everything lies below you is AWESOME. It magically builts internal confidence & faith in you which is very hard to shake after that moment.
Usually, this kind of feeling and experience can only be experienced by hardcore trekkers and mountaineers. But, there is something else which can give you everything, literally everything, from great feeling to high adventure, we're talking about the Kedarkantha Trek. It is one of the finest and stunning treks in India. No wonder a lot of trekkers and travellers have a soft spot for this trek. Because, with Kedarkantha, however, you'll get to experience the thrills and adventures even if you're entirely new or a beginner in trekking. The trek is recommended for all adventure lovers, it is more likely a fun trekking experience.
This trek has some mythological beliefs related to the Ancient script - "The Mahabharata". After the war of Kurukshetra, the Pandavas were looking for Lord Shiva for the atonement of the mistakes they made during the war. First, they went to Varanasi looking for the famous temple "Vishwanath" which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Shiva wanted to avoid the Pandavas as he was infuriated by the deaths and dishonesty at the Kurukshetra war. So, he took a disguise of a bull (Nandi) and misled the Pandavas. Bheem spotted the bull and recognized it as Lord Shiva. He held on to the bull and didn't let it go. In the resultant struggle, the bull was torn into 5 pieces which takes place at 5 different locations. Later, Pandavas constructed temples of Shiva to worship where these pieces fell down. These locations are today known as,
Locals of that time believe that the throat of Lord Shiva fell down at the Peak of this mountain which is known as Kedarkantha. That's how this mountain got its name after, the word Kedar means Lord Shiva and Kantha means Throat. A small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is also situated at the summit.
In winter season : -10°C to 2°C
In spring season : 6°C to 17°C
In autumn season : 0°C to 14°C
A thrilling adventurous journey begins from Dehradun which is a beautiful city. The drive to Sankri through Mussoorie and some of the scenic beauty of that region is amazing. It is almost 10 hours of driving but didn't feel so. That is because it is a remote route having exotic and fascinating beauty all around. You'll pass through Govind National Park which is famous for its avid collection of flora & fauna of this region and you'll never get to see these species anywhere else in India. You'll also come across some of the majestic sights of the snow-capped mountains, lush landscapes, stunning meadows. The entire route is so curvy that it makes you feel the vibes of the Himalayas already. This drive will be the most exotic drive in the Himalayas. After this thrilling drive, you reach your Base Camp which is Sankri.
Sankri is a scenic hamlet of this region situated at an altitude of 6,455 ft. which is nestled deep in the mountains. Here, you'll get to see the 360-degree glimpses of the well known & popular peaks of the mountains. The views are absolutely stunning. Sankri is also a popular trailhead in Uttarakhand as most of the treks start from here like Har Ki Dun Trek, Ruinsara Tal Trek, Bali Pass Trek, Bharadsar Lake Trek, Borasu Pass Trek. It is a very popular place amongst birdwatchers, here you'll get to see different beautiful species of birds. In the morning, you'll hear harmonious sounds of chirping of birds all around the region. However, the scenic sights of the sun setting behind the Himalayas from Sankri is undoubtedly fabulous. One can enjoy local foods and experience the cuisine of this area. The trekking commences from this region, straight towards Juda-Ka-Talab.
Juda-Ka-Talab is situated at an altitude of 9,100 ft. It is almost a 4 km trek from Sankri. The trail takes you through dense forest trees and thick carpet of maple and pine leaves. One can hear the sounds of streams clearly but can't able to see it until you close enough. As you move forward the sound gets louder. It's an exquisite vision and picturesque view that leaves all mesmerized. While trekking through the trails one can also see the Himalayan Langurs swinging from one branch of trees to another. By crossing streams and rising up through dense forests one can spot the stunning Juda-Ka-Talab. It remains frozen during winters, however, the scenario changes a lot in the summer as the lake is not frozen and the luscious meadows remain verdant green having some unique kind of hilly flowers. Though both seasons give their unique kind of beauty and charm but winter still remains on top. Due to the sharp contrast & unique beauty of Juda-Ka-Talab, any trekker can't forget the moments which are spent here. It is a perfect destination for nature lovers as the lake is surrounded by the pine trees and remains frozen during winter. You can easily walk on it or try gliding on it. One can indulge in activities like photography or hang around the mother nature. It is undoubtedly an ideal destination for camping. As the camping night is so magnificent because of the aura created by bright and shining stars in the sky, however, it's become a treat to the eyes and an enjoyable night for all the trekkers.
Get mesmerized by the views as you continue walking through the magical paths. As you continue trekking, you come across a snow bed full of pine trees around it. Feel the thrill and walk through it as you witness some of the beautiful views of the region. As you cross the oak and pine forest a wide meadow comes across your sight just below the summit of Kedarkantha. It is an elevation of 11,250 ft. As you move forward you take a challenging uphill climbing of about 6 km. It is an absolutely thrilling experience. By conquering these challenges you finally reach the summit of Kedarkantha which is situated at an elevation of about 12,500 ft. The 360-degree view of the amazing mighty mountain ranges from the Kedarkantha peak leaves you awestruck. You'll witness the true beautiful vista of Himalayas from the peak. The feeling when everything lies beneath you, can not be expressed in just words. It gives jaw-dropping views with a beauty so serene that you blink twice to feel if the place really exists. From the kedarkantha Summit, the famous peaks like Bandarpoonch, Kalanag, Swargarohini, Gangotri, Yamunotri, and Dhauladhar Ranges sways you off. You feel blessed when you see this picture-perfect scenery with your own eyes. Each frame is so beautiful and wonderful that it becomes one of those sights which stays with you forever. This is one trek that should not be missed by the adventure seekers who love to indulge in adventure and take some challenges. It is more than a perfect place for nature lovers to bask in the prettiness of intact nature and to enjoy blissful & heavenly moments with exhilarating experiences.
One of the best things about Kedarkantha Trek is that its campsites are so impressive and serene one could never find anywhere else. Juda-Ka-Talab campsite is literally amazing, where you get to camp near a frozen lake, covered with a dense forest of pine trees all around your camp. This feels like a wild camping night with some challenges and enjoyable moments under a stardusted sky. Another campsite is just at some distance below from the summit and it gives another level of views as before you camp in the forest and here you'll get camp on a wide land covered with a thick layer of snow. The best views are sunrise and sunsets from this campsite, however, sunrise is more dazzling when you see from the summit. In the meantime of returning you'll get to rest on another beautiful campsite which is near Hargaon village. Where one can get splendid views of Har Ki Dun Valley and also enjoy the sights of the lovely flora and fauna.
As you already know that the trail type of Kedarkantha trek is round as you start from Sankri and climb up then you return via another route but finish at the same point where you get started which is Sankri. But, the prettiest thing is that every path leads you to another level of adventure. As you go up and up, you start facing some challenges, you start walking on some snow which becomes very thick as you climb up. If you're lucky you'll get to experience snowfall which might be the prettiest thing throughout the journey. And, if you go for this trek between Mid-December to Mid-February then the chances of snowfall are very high. The entire trekking route is filled with river streams, rocky clads, rough climbings, wide meadows and forests, these things make your journey more exciting and thrilling and also it becomes a memorable one. You'll soak in the amazing beauty of the region while trekking through the lush meadows, dense forest of maple and pine trees and crossing over stunning streams. You will witness the true charm and vivid flora & fauna of the region while trekking.
As you know, exploring mountains from its summit is really incredible. And, from Kedarkantha summit which gives you an amazing 360-degree view, is really a blessing. The views can't be explained via words. Literally you may get goosebumps when you step your foot on top of the summit and the feeling you’ll get for a moment is inexpressible. The views from the peak are insanely beautiful. There are some of the popular mountains you witness with your eyes from Kedarkantha peak. These are -
Apart from these, you'll get to see Har Ki Dun valley range and Rupin range also visible from the top if you get a clear sky. Although it gives an eye-opening view and everything is so surprising that you’ll remain mesmerized for sure.
Kedarkantha trek is open for trekkers all over the year. But, the best time to plan a trek to Kedarkantha is between December to April, it means choose this trek in the winter season if you want to enjoy the complete benefits of this trek in the natural environment. Kedarkantha has its own charming winters. This is because, during the winter season, everything is covered with snow which allows trekkers to experience silence, isolation, and chance to explore the region at their own pace. During the winter season, you can experience the best moments like snowfall, clear skies and trek on the thick layer of snow. The entire route of the trek is covered with white snow. The view from the peak will be white everywhere. In fact, you'll see Juda-Ka-Talab, which is a lake that lies between the route of Kedarkantha trek, is completely frozen during winter. However, the summer season has its own benefits; one of the benefits is the ease of trekking because it becomes easier to walk on a hard path rather than in snow. In summer you'll get to see greenery all around the region. But, the winter is considered to be the best season for this marvellous trekking destination.