Kedarkantha is considered to be one of India’s best winter treks, and is still accessible in winter, even in the rare Himalayan hikes. The Kedarkantha trek offers a unique experience to walking through the ski trails and glimpses of life in the mountains even in the dead of winter. The trek will suit those who wish to begin their journey into or even experience walkers who look for a quick break.
The Kedarkantha Trek provides a perfect blend of challenge, adventure, and beautiful views with a trail dotted with thick oak and pine woods, wide-open green waters, calm lakes, perfect campsites, and panoramic views to the majestic Himalayan peaks.
Kedarkantha Trek – All You Need to Know
Kedarkantha is nothing but a mythological reference in most destinations around Uttarakhand. The Mahabarata, which claims Kedarkante to be the place Lord Shiva took shelter from the Pandavas in his bull avatar and meditated in the valley, but later he fled to Kedarnath after being disturbed by the locals. Lord Shiva’s Trishul, which is built on its summit, also protects the valley and its people.
Mythology of Kedarkantha
Kedarkantha is not different, as is the case with most Uttarakhand destinations in mythological references. In his bull avatar, Lord Shivas sought refuge from the Pandavas and meditated in the valley, but after being disturbed by local people, he fled to Kedarnath later in the process. The most popular reference to the site is the Mahabharata. It is also believed that Lord Shiva’s Trishul is built at his peak to protect the valley and its people.
Kedarkantha’s best time to
While it can be done all year long in the Kedarkantha trek, it is one of the very few Himalayan treks accessible during winters, so it’s best to watch the snow-crossing landscapes and trekking on crackling snow during the winter months between the end of December and around the end of April. The Kedarkantha Trek is not too demanding and therefore suitable for even first-time riders with the correct amount of snow and free of extreme changes in temperature.
Leave Dehradun at 6 AM in the early morning and go to Sankri at night to catch the lovely sunset from that picturesque small, naturally beautiful village. This also allows you plenty of time to prepare yourself at the last minute and have a rest before the trek starts.
The panoramic campsite of Juda Ka Talab is approximately 5 km away from the base camp via green pastures and thick oak and pine forests. As its name implies, Juda Ka Talab is a serenely frozen lake that once was two lakes but now has been united.
A 4 km walk from Ka Talab to Kedarkantha Base Camp, at 11 150 meters, first opens up to thick pine forests later on to lovely mountain views. The surrounding snowy peaks of Bandarpoonch, Swargarohini, Kala Nag, and Ranglana can be seen from here, to name a handful. From here also the Kedarkantha peak is obvious.
The summit at the Kedarkantha is about 2 hours away from a base camp and can be reached by several routes, marked by a Trishul pointing to the sky. The trek should begin before dawn (early 3 AM) to catch the hypocritical Sunrise from above (usually around 7 AM). Although the path begins with a gradual ascent, as you approach the summit, with almost 80-degree inclinations in a couple of areas it becomes more challenging.
The surrounding Himalayan ranges including Gangotri, Yamunotri, Chanshil Pass, and Kindernaur Kailash are 360 degrees from Kedarkantha’s top except for the breathtaking sunrise.
From the summit go back to the base camp of Kedarkantha and down into the camp of Hargaon.
It is well marked along a steep paved road from Hargaon to Sankri, and due to the descent, the trail takes relatively less time. Along the way, you can also get a magnificent view of the Har ki Dun Valley. Back in Sankri, you can either spend the whole day exploring the magnificent Himalayan village in Sankri or return to Dehradun on the same day, provided you came by private transport or cab.
Busses only take around 10 hours to reach Sankri to Dehradun daily from 5 AM to 7 AM.
Options of accommodation during Trek Kedarkantha
Stay at Sankri
Sankri is a remote village with only a few homestays and a few hotels. Homestays offer a more economical option while providing you with an authentic Himalayan lifestyle experience. However, prior reservations are required during the December to March winter seasons, as this is the region’s peak winter trekking window. Please note that Sankri has no ATMs and banks, so before your arrival here you have enough cash.
Except in Sankri, no homestays are available all along the Kedarkantha trail, but you can rely on existing campsites on your own, either on the trail or on campsites. You would not have to worry about the same as you stay in their designated campsites along the trail if you happen to be talking with an organization or opted for a trekking package that contains accommodation.
You have to carry all the camping facilities you want to camp on your own – tents, bags, liners, etc. Similarly, Sankri may be rented.