Uttarakhand is home to countless treks, and Har ki Dun trek is one such offbeat expedition that gives a perfect chance to capture glimpses of the unexplored Himalayas. The word ‘Har ki Dun’ literally means the Valley of Gods and features a cradle-shaped formation perched at 3566 meters in the Govind Ballabh Pant National Park. The valley offers panoramic vistas of prominent peaks, including Bandarpunch, Kalanag, and Swargarohini.
Traversing through rustic routes carved out of mountains over the ages, with the abundance of alpine vegetation, the Har ki Dun trek is a 7-8 days journey that commences from Sankri.About Har ki Dun
Famed with numerous names such as Hari ki Dhun, Har ki Doon, and more, the trek allures adventurers from across the country. It is an ideal escape to sneak peek at the impeccable terrains of the Himalayan region. The valley is in the Uttarkashi district, and the catchment area serves to be a source of the Yamuna River System.
Har ki Dun is an unconventional trek in Uttarakhand with the nearest air and rail connectivity available in Dehradun. It takes about 10 hours to drive from Dehradun to reach Sankri, which also serves to be the base point of the Har ki Dun trek. The next halt will be at Pauni Garaat, and the route goes via Taluka, a serene hamlet featuring Kumauni cultures.
From Pauni Garaat, the trek proceeds towards Kalkattiyadhar. Har ki Dun is nearly 10 km from Kalkattiyadhar, and it takes 5 hours to reach the final destination. While returning, you will cross another Himalayan village, Osla, before reaching Sankri and eventually Dehradun.Overview:
Region – Uttarakhand
Trek Duration – 7 to 8 Days
Difficulty Level – Easy To Moderate
Max Height – 12,000 ft
Trek Distance – 44 km
Trail Type – Round trail (Sankri – Har ki Dun – Sankri)
Base Camp – Sankri
Best Time to Trek – Throughout the year, except monsoon. The region experiences snowfall between December to April.
This expedition to a serene winter wonderland takes you through the ancient villages, where you can meet the residents and experience an amalgamation of local cultures and practices that helps them meet their day-to-day challenges at these rough terrains. The following is the itinerary for the Har ki Dun trek:
Day 1: Dehradun to Sankri (220 km drive)
Day 2: Sankri to Pauni Garaat via Taluka (12 km drive to Taluka, followed by 6 hours walk to Pauni Garaat)
Day 3: Pauni Garaat to Kalkattiyadhar (8 km walk that takes 6-7 hours)
Day 4: Kalkattiyadhar to Har ki Dun and return to Kalkattiyadhar (10 km walk that takes 9 hours)
Day 5: Kalkattiyadhar to Pauni Garaat via Osla (8 km walk that takes 5 hours)
Day 6: Pauni Garaat to Sankri via Taluka (10 km trek, followed by an hour drive to homestay or guest house)
Day 7: Sankri to Dehradun (220 km drive)
The following are the places that you will be exploring during your trek:1. Govind National Park
Govind Pashu Vihar Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area that covers an area of 958 sq km. The region is home to the Rupin and Supin valleys that forms a catchment for the main tributary of River Yamuna. It lies under sub-tropical, temperate, and alpine climatic zones and features diverse flora. With the abundance of Himalayan cedar, rhododendron, Himalayan yew, beech, Himalayan spruce, and spikenard, you can spot over 20 kinds of mammals and 100 species of birds.
Taluka village is nearly 10 km from Sankri. The scenic hamlet showcases a cluster of wooden houses where heart-warming locals welcome visitors for night stays and meals at a nominal price. With the sounds of the gushing river and never-ending conversations about the region, Taluka is an ideal place to halt and explore the local lifestyle of the remote Himalayan villages.3. Someshwar Mahadev Temple
Someshwar Mahadev temple in Sankri is a religious site that hosts annual festivals and fairs. The Pahadi-style architecture of the temple exhibits pure wooden art carved out of Deodars. The temple belongs to the Pandavas era, and you can spend some hours here while capturing the sights of Swargarohini peaks.
It is a hidden valley perched at 3566 meters. Covered under a thick blanket of snow between December to March, Har ki Dun valley offers spectacular vistas of Swargarohini peak, Kala Nag peak, Bandarpoonch, and more. It is amongst the offbeat valleys in the Garhwal Himalayas.Things to do during Har ki Dun Trek
The following are the things to do during your journey to Har ki Dun:1. Camping
While trekking to Har ki Dun, you will be camping beside the river amid lush greenery. Sleeping under the glittering sky, refreshing mornings with sounds of nature, and spotting some rare birds in their quarrelsome swings, camping during Har ki Dun is a unique experience, a lot more interesting than staying at a homestay or guest house.
Hiking through the rough terrains of Har ki Dun trek, you will get a chance to explore the hidden waterfalls and valleys, leading to spellbinding views of snow-covered mountains peaks. You can also take short hikes to nearby villages if you wish to share a meal with locals and plan an overnight stay to get revived for your journey ahead. Osla, Sankri, and Taluka are the best places to understand the regional culture, customs, and lifestyle.3. Bird-watching and Photography
The trek is a paradise for nature lovers. You can spot birds, including Great Pied Hornbill, Green Magpie, Cheer-Pheasant, Koklass-Pheasant, Kalij-Pheasant, Hill-Partridge, Rufous-throated Partridge, Oriental Turtle Dove, Ultramarine Flycatcher, Rufous-bellied Niltava, Verditer Flycatcher, Rufous Sibia, Great Barbet, etc. here. Capturing moments with your mobile phone or DSLR is something you can’t avoid on this journey.
Dehradun is about 220 km from the base camp in Sankri. The following are the best ways to reach the Har ki Dun trek.
Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun features regular connectivities from Delhi, Chandigarh, Shimla, etc. From the airport, you can take a taxi or board a bus to Sankri. The road journey to Sankri takes nearly 10 hours.
Dehradun Terminal railway station is well-connected by rail. It takes an overnight journey from Delhi to reach Dehradun. From the railway station, you can take a taxi or board a bus to Sankri.
Dehradun is well-connected by road. You can either board a bus or hire a cab or taxi from Delhi or other cities, including Haridwar, Rishikesh, Chandigarh, Shimla, Amritsar, etc., to reach Dehradun.
The best time to plan the Har ki Dun trek is between April to June and September to December. However, for snow trekking, you must visit in February or March. Make sure you keep adequate time to get acclimatized to the high altitudes.
The weather remains pleasant during the summer season. The sky remains clear with shiny days making the journey comfortable. The temperature might dip down to -1° C during nights, and make sure you carry warm clothes.
Avoid planning your expedition during monsoon season. The trail is prone to landslides, and roads remain blocked.
Winters at Har Ki Dun valley are immaculate. The region experiences snowfall during winters. However, the expedition gets tough as accommodation options are limited. Do carry warm clothes, jackets, raincoats, fleece jackets, thermals, etc. The temperature ranges between -15 °C to -10°C during this time.
The following are the vital tips that must be kept in mind while planning your trek:
- Start training your body for the trek at least a month before.
- Keep adequate cash as there is no ATM on the entire trekking route, including the base camp.
- Plan your journey with experienced travel partners and book the trek in advance.
- Avoid planning the Har ki Dun trek during the monsoon as the route tends to be slippery.
- 50-60 liters backpack with comfortable straps and rain cover
- Trekking pole
- Water bottle, hydration pack, and thermos flask
- Energy bars and dry fruits
- First aid kit
- Hand sanitizers and disinfectants
- Disposable bags
- The traveler shall be fit. Basic stamina of comfortably covering 5 km of distance in 30 minutes.
- The traveler would be carrying a 10-15 kg backpack. Walk with weight on shoulders shall not bother you.
- Avoid taking this journey if you have heart issues, high blood pressure, asthma, and epilepsy.
Har ki Dun trek is a lifetime experience that takes you to the pristine landscapes of the Himalayas, where serenity resides in its way. You can plan and book your future treks with TravelTriangle and have memorable escapes amid nature.
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Is Har ki Dun trek difficult?
The difficulty level of the Har ki Dun trek ranges from easy to moderate. Beginners can go for this trek, however, regular fitness would be required to complete the expedition comfortably. One must start preparing at least a month before heading for the trek.
Is Har ki Dun trek for beginners?
Yes, beginners can go for the Har ki Dun trek. However, make sure that you have appropriate gear for the trek. Check the weather forecast before heading for your journey and make sure that either you are traveling with experts or some resident is accompanying, if you are a first-timer.
Which month is best for Har ki Dun Trek?
If you are planning a winter Himalayan trek then go in February or March. However, if you wish to avoid snowy landscapes and blooming topography is in your mind then plan a visit in mid-March or April. Avoid going on this trek during monsoon season as the route tends to be quite slippery.
Is it safe to go for the Har ki Dun trek during winter?
Har ki Dun trek remains open during the winter season, however, the region experiences snowfall, and routes might get disturbed during extreme climatic conditions. It is advised to check the weather forecast before planning your trek.
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