Explore the Himalayas on the beautiful Kedarkantha trek. Kedarkantha is a 6-days trek in the Govind Pashuvihar National Park which is popular for a lot of reasons. The first reason being the rewarding experience of the summit climb. The summit looms large right from the base camp and as you start your journey towards the peak a whole new world reveals itself to you.
Kedarkantha is not particularly an easy climb, it is steep and the closer you get to the summit, the trickier the paths become. But once you complete it, the overwhelming sense of accomplishment is going to take over your senses. A trek to Kedarkantha is also going to leave you mesmerized with its dense lush forest. Kedarkantha trek being inside a wildlife sanctuary, the aspect of nature will render you speechless with its raw Western Himalayan beauty.
Kedarkantha Trek Height: 12,500 ft
Start/ End Point of the Trek: Sankri village
Service From: Dehradun
Kedarkantha Trek Distance: 20 km
Kedarkantha Difficulty Level: Easy To Moderate
Kedarkantha Trek Temperature: Day (8°C to 15°C) and Night: (-5°C to 3°C)
Best Time to do Kedarkantha Trek: November to April
Railway Station: Dehradun is the nearest railway station
Airport: Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun
Day 1 - Dehradun to Sankri
Day 2 - Sankri to Juda ka Talab
Day 3 - Juda ka Talab to Base Camp
Day 4 - Base Camp to Kedarkantha Summit
Day 5 - Base Camp to Sankri
Day 6 - Sankri to Dehradun
Dehradun to Sankri
Duration: 8-9 hours
Sankri to Juda ka Talaab
Distance: 4 km
Duration: 3-4 hours
Start your day with a delicious breakfast and set out on the hike from Saur village.
Climb up through the picturesque trails, crossing several high-altitude suspension bridges and small villages.
As you trek, you'll reach the stunning Juda Ka Talab, a lake said to be formed by Lord Shiva's flowing hair.
Take a moment to step out of your camps and gaze at the starlit sky while you stand beside the frozen lake.
Spend the night at Juda Ka Talab, surrounded by the natural beauty.
Juda ka Talaab to Base Camp
Distance: 4 km
Duration: 4-5 hours
Start the day with breakfast at Juda Ka Talab and embark on the journey to the Kedarkantha base camp.
Take in the breathtaking beauty of the snow-lined path and patches of green that surround you.
In case of harsh weather, take refuge in the safe and equipped Gujjar huts.
The majestic view of the snow-capped Himalayan peaks of Bandarpoonch, Swargarohini, Kala Nag and Ranglana will leave you breathless.
Reach the campsite, enjoy dinner, and retire to the tents for the night. Spend the night at the Kedarkantha base camp, surrounded by the natural wonder of the Himalayas.
Base camp to Kedarkantha summit
Distance: 6 km
Duration: 6-7 hours
Begin your day with a hearty breakfast and gear up for the ultimate adventure. Set out early, around 2 am, for the summit trek.
The trek will take around 7 to 8 hours to complete. As you trek, you'll be greeted by the warm, filtered sun rays from the mountains of the Yamunotri and Gangotri range, and the Kinner Kailash ranges.
When you reach the summit, be prepared for a jaw-dropping view as you watch the sun rise from the top.
After taking in the summit's beauty, begin your descent back to base camp. Once you reach the campsite, relax and refuel with a delicious dinner to end the day.
Base camp to Sankri
Distance: 6 km
Duration: 4-5 hours
Altitude: 1900 m
Start your day with a satisfying breakfast at the base camp. As you begin your descent to Sankri village, listen to interesting local stories shared by your guide.
Take in the beautiful views of the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas along the way.
Once you arrive at the quaint Sankri village, share your trekking experiences with friends over a cup of coffee.
Spend the night in the village and rest up for the journey ahead.
Sankri to Dehradun
Distance: 187 km
Duration: 8-9 hours
The last day, you are supposed to bid adieu to the mountains.
After breakfast, drive towards Dehradun.
Return home with a bag full of memories.
Kedarkantha is a very popular trek among first timers who are indulging in some serious trekking. It can be a good way to kickstart your trekking journey. Here are some tips for the first time trekkers :
Sturdy Trekking shoes - For Kedarkantha trek, you would require sturdy, ankle gripping shoes that would be suitable to walk on snow.
Backpack - A 50-60 L backpack would suffice for Kedarkantha trek, make sure the backpack has good back support with quick access pockets.
Clothes - T shirts(wear one and pack 2), preferably long sleeves quick-dry t-shirts which have a high dollar. A t-shirt which hides your neck will prevent the neck from getting sunburnt. You can also carry thermals with you if you are susceptible to cold but keeping in mind that you have to carry them all along.
Clothing in Winters - During winters it is necessary to carry insulin jackets and a 5-layer clothing is recommended : 1 pair of thermals, 2 light fleece layers, 1 light sweater and a padded jacket. Do not carry heavy sweaters or fleece, carry which are foldable and don't take up much space. Carry 1-3 trek pants with you which are comfortable and stretchable and would not restrict your movements. Even for trek pants, go for the quick-dry ones rather than the cotton as they take the longest time to dry. Trek pants with several zips are convenient as you can keep a few essentials in your pocket.
Sunglasses - Sunglasses are mandatory in your Kedarkantha winter trek as without them you may get snow blindness from the directly reflected UV rays from the snow.
Cap - A sun cap is necessary as it prevents quick exhaustion, dehydration, headache and sunstrokes.
Hand gloves - Carry a pair of hand gloves since you will have to grip on snow on your trek if needed and they would also protect you from extreme gold. Try to get synthetic hand gloves as they would be water-proof.
Woolen cap- It is necessary that you protect your head from the extreme cold after sun down. The maximum amount of hat that our body loses is from our head so it becomes mandatory to keep our head warm.
Socks - Take at least 4 pairs of socks, out of which 3 must be sports socks and one woolen. Again it is recommended that you do not take cotton socks as they take a lot of time to dry.
Trekking Poles - you would require at least one pair of trekking poles as they enhance your stability and balance to a great extent and at the same time it reduces your energy consumption.
Rainwear - The weather in the mountains are unpredictable and can change anytime.From a bright sunny day, it might turn cloudy and start raining. So to protect yourself from such a situation, carry a very lightweight poncho or rainwear.
Raincover for your backpack - All your warm clothes will be inside your backpack so you cannot afford to get it wet. Get a raincover for your backpack or a large plastic bag to protect your clothes from getting wet.
Daypack - If you are unloading your main luggage on a mule then you must carry a daypack where you will keep your essentials.
Toiletries - Carry your toothbrush, paste, a small soap, toilet tissue roll deodorant, lip balm,moisturizer in a separate toiletry kit. Since you won’t be able to bathe in your trek, packing your bag with soaps and shampoos is pointless. For women : If you are menstruating on your trek then you can carry your sanitary napkins, tampons and menstrual cup on the trek. Carry ziplock bags to carry your menstrual waste.
Plastic covers- It is a very smart idea to carry 2-3 plastic bags to keep your dirty or wet clothes. That way you would also be reusing the plastics in a better way as well.
Medicine kit - Diamox, Dolo 650, Avomine, Combiflam, Digene, ORS, Knee brace(optional). Take these medicines only after consulting your trek leader.
By Air : Jolly Grant airport is the nearest airport in Dehradun, which is located 25 kms away from the city. Regular flights are available from Delhi to Dehradun.
By Train : There are many trains available which run till Dehradun from different parts of India. However, if you are traveling from Delhi then there are two Express trains, with an overnight journey : Nanda Devi Express and Dehradun Express.
By Bus : If you are going for Kedarkantha trek from Delhi, then Buses ply regularly from Delhi to Dehradun bus stand. Catch a bus from Kashmere gate ISBT, which is the main bus station of Delhi. Here you will find both AC and non-AC buses till Dehradun. It is recommended that you take the government bus, as it will drop you at Dehradun ISBT.
The best time to go on a Kedarkantha trek is winter, as the season offers dreamy views and amazing weather. Every season has something different to offer, however, Kedarkantha winter holds a unique place in terms of adrenaline and adventure.
Average temperature during day - 8 degree to 10 degree celsius Average temperature during night - 0 degree -5 degree celsius
Kedarkantha has gained popularity as the most sought after winter trek and that is for all the right reasons. If you are a beginner in the world of trekking and you want to venture out for something serious then Kedarkantha winter trek will give you the right adrenaline rush and sense of adventure.
Trek through the dense forest and learn how to camp on a thick heap of snow. The ultimate adventure awaits as you start ascending the summit of Kedarkantha, the path will be covered with thick layers of snow. As you reach the summit, you will be overwhelmed with a sense of fulfillment, the feeling of which will be etched in your memory for an eternity.
Average temperature during day- 15 degree to 18 degree celsiusAverage temperature during night - 0 degree to 5 degree celsius
In this time, you would still find snow in irregular patches, as reminiscent of the bygone winter season. If you want a pleasant experience with a touch of colors from nature, then spring should be the ideal time for you. Find beautiful newly bloomed Rhododendrons and fresh patches of grass set against the white washed backdrop as you ascend higher.
By the month of April, the snow completely melts away and bursting colors take over the scenery. The place wakes up from its hibernation with fresh energy. A trek to Kedarkantha becomes a must in Spring for its calming nature and it becomes an ideal time for camping.
Average temperature in day - 18 degree celsius to 24 degree celsiusAverage temperature in night - 3 degrees celsius to 8 degree celsius
Kedarkantha trekking during summers sees the dominance of sun during the day, however the evenings remain chilly. During this time you will find no snow, and in June, you might find light rainfall. Proper monsoon sets in the month of July.
If you are looking for an experience devoid of much crowd then this time should be ideal for you since during this time people go for higher altitude treks and Kedarkantha sees leser footfall.
Average temperature in day - 10 degree to 15 degree celsiusAverage temperature in night- 0 degree to -5 degree celsius
After the monsoon season, the Kedarkantha trek comes to life from the month of September. In this time you get an unparalleled view of the mighty Himalayas as the forests and meadows are at their best. Till October the trekking experience will be pleasant in terms of weather and landscape, however, from November the winter sets in.
For Kedarkantha trek, you would require documents for legal purposes and to present them to the forest department. So, carrying proper documents is of utmost importance, without them you won’t be able to do the trek. The documents that you need to carry with you are as follows :
- Original and photocopy of government photo identity card - Aadhar card/ Driver’s License/ Passport. This is required by the Forest Department for your identification.
- Medical Certificate - You must get a medical clearance by a practicing doctor, without a medical certificate, the forest department would not allow you to trek.
Trek inside a wildlife sanctuary : Kedarkantha is located in the Govind Pashuvihar Sanctuary and National Park, the area is filled with rich flora and fauna with biodiversity of Western Himalayas. In your trek to Kedarkanth you will be witnessing all three kinds of flora of Western Himalayas : Broadleaf forests, Subalpine conifer and Subalpine shrubs and bushes.
Religious and Cultural significance of Kedarkantha : According to mythology, it is believed that Lord Shiva stayed here for a few days when he was hiding from a demon. All the three significant villages, Sankri, Kotgaon and Gaichwan have a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. In terms of culture we will see a heavy influence of the Kinnaur, the people over here dress and talk in a similar fashion like the Kinnauris.
How long is the Kedarkantha Trek?
Kedarkantha trek is a 18 km long trek which takes 4 days from Sankri to complete the trek. On the first day you will cover 5 km which will take you around 4 hours approximately, on the second day you will cover 4 km over a span of 4 hours. On the third day you will trek from Juda ka talab to Base camp which is 4 kms.On the 4th day you will cover around 6 km which will take you 6-7 hours.
What is the height of Kedarkantha trek?
The height or altitude of Kedarkantha is 12500 ft, while Sankri is at an altitude of 6455 ft.
Do I get network access on the Kedarkantha trek?
Getting a network on your Kedarkantha trek is difficult, however, you might get network on the summit and some few places on your route.
Is there an ATM on the Kedarkantha Trek?
The last ATM that you will find en route to your base camp is in Mori. At Mori you will find an SBI bank which has an ATM attached to it. But please keep in mind that the machine, most of the time, is devoid of any cash. In such a case you have to go to an SBI authorized cash withdrawal center where you will swipe your card and the person present at the servicing desh will give you acash. It is recommended that you avoid this hassle and carry vash with yourself from the very beginning. Purola is a good option as it has 3 functioning ATM’s.
Is there a cloakroom facility at Kedarkantha trek?
There is a cloakroom facility at the basecamp of Kedarkantha, where you can leave your things and as the trek ends, your belongings will be brought back to you. Please keep in mind that you should not leave any valuable things in the cloakroom.
Is offloading available at Kedarkantha?
Yes, offloading is available on Kedarkantha trekking. Your bags will be kept on the back of the mule while you walk the trail hassle-free.
Is there any risk of wild animals on the Kedarkantha trek?
There is no as such risk of wild animals in Kedarkantha trek, however, it is suggested that you remain vigilant because after all Kedarkantha is inside Govind Wildlife Sanctuary. It is recommended that you do not get estranged from your group for a long period of time.
Which month is best for Kedarkantha Trek?
The best time to trek Kedarkantha is from December to April. The trek is open during this period and the weather is ideal for trekking. During this time the temperature is low, snow is present on the trek, and the trekking trail is clear. December to January is the best time to experience snow on the trek and April is the best time for wildflowers blooming. It's recommended to avoid the monsoon months of June to September as the trekking trail becomes slippery and is prone to landslides.
Which trek is better: Brahmatal or Kedarkantha Trek?
Both the Kedarkantha trek and the Brahmatal trek are beautiful and offer unique experiences. It ultimately depends on what you're looking for in a trek. If you are looking for a moderate level trek with beautiful views, Kedarkantha trek is perfect for you. If you are looking for a bit of adventure and to be immersed in nature, Brahmatal trek is perfect for you.