Our team did a reccee to the Kedarkantha Peak on the 23rd and 24th of December. The Kedarkantha Trek usually takes about 4 days to complete and while our initial plan was to complete the trek in 3 days, we managed to complete the summit in 19 hours and the entire trek in about 35 hours. We started from Sankri early Monday morning and trekked to the Kedarkantha base camp.

We did the summit push early in the morning just in time for the sunrise. We also descended back to Sankri the same day. The trail was entirely carpeted in snow which made this the perfect winter trek.

About the Kedarkantha Trek:

The minute you think of snow trekking in India, one of the most gorgeous treks that come to mind is the Kedarkantha summit trek. This trek is all about introducing you to a winter wonderland unlike any other. This trek is all about exploring the fun side of trekking and is a perfect fit for anyone who’s trying their hand at Himalayan trekking for the first time.  This trek is easy and comfortable for a novice summiter and gives you every Nomad an opportunity to summit a snow-laden peak in Uttarakhand.

Treknical Details:

  • Trek Gradient: Easy-Moderate
  • Trek Distance: 25+ Km
  • Assembling Point: Mussoorie
  • Travel Distance: 200+ Km
The drive from Mussoorie to Sankri. It takes about 6-7 hours approx to reach Sankri and the temperature also starts to dip as you climb further up the mountain.
As you drive towards Sankri, you are greeted by various rivers such as Tons, Yamuna, Kedarganga gushing beside the path you take.
One of the first glimpses of Swargarohini as you drive towards Sankri from Purola. Swargarohini translates to “Stairway to Heaven” and is the same peak where Yudhishthira, the eldest of the Pandavas along with his dog reached heaven.
Sankri, is a 200 Km drive away from Mussoorie and is the base for treks like – Kedarkantha Summit, Har Ki Dun, Bali Pass, Ruinsara, Borasu etc. It is not just a scenic hamlet situated in Uttarkashi district but also a trekker’s delight. The village offers ecstatic views of the Himalayan skyline and a plethora of mountain peaks, gazing at you from a distance.
When you walk around the Sankri village, you will realise that there are mostly homestays, resorts, trekking gear shops, hotels and general stores in the 200 meter road that makes up for most part of the village
The residential part of Sankri is located down south from the main road.
The views from the open terrace of our hotel. Sankri is surrounded by mighty huge mountains giving you great views from all sides.
The locals of Sankri are extremely warmly and hospitable. This is also a great and unexplored hill station that can make for an excellent family holiday. Having said that, Sankri needs a little more development in terms of setting up infrastructure & connectivity.
As you drive to Sankri, some of the mountain ranges you see along the way are – Swargrohini, Bandarpoonch, Kalanag or Black peak, Gangotri, Yamunotri etc.
The aerial view of this hilly-village looks splendid with the house roofs looking like small umbrellas on a sloping mountain. It is a visual treat to see a hamlet with the background of majestic mountains.

 

A small scattered hamlet found peacefully sitting on the mountain edge. We saw this from our hotel in Sankri.
Some of the peaks we came across as we started walking to the starting point of the trek.
As we start the trek, we see mucky water that has turned into ice because of the freezing temperatures.

 

After a few hundred meters of trekking, you reach this scenic bridge. It also happens to be right before one of the resting stops before heading to a Dhabha.
We found this cute little doggo at the Dhabha and we were in love.
The sun seeping in through the pine trees.
The entire trail had a thick carpet of snow. We followed the layering rule of 3 layers of clothes (no thermals) with a neck warmer, a cap that covered our ears and one pair of gloves.
While the distance from the starting point to the base camp is about 25 Km, the trail is ascent entirely, making this challenging yet fun.
There are ponies that carry bags, food etc. that keep climbing the trail with you, these footprints in the muck are from the ponies.
The colourful tents that adorn the Juda ka Talab campsite. With the heavy participants in this trek around December, there were three campsites made for Juda Ka Talab. This was the first we saw.
After 3 Km of trekking, we reached Juda Ka Talab. This campsite is located at an altitude of about 2,700 m (8,858 ft).
After 3 Km of trekking, we reached Juda Ka Talab. This campsite is located at an altitude of about 2,700 m (8,858 ft).
A close up pf the Swargarohini Peak. If you look closley, you will notice that one of the peaks represent a dome structure commonly found in Hindu Temples.
The afternoon sun seeping in through the trees.
Some views we saw while climbing up to the base camp.
More sneak-peek’s from the route.
The first sneak-peak of the Kedarkantha base camp. You can see all the tents lined up.
The first view of the Kedarkantha Peak. If you look closely, you can find a small rainbow above the peak.
A closeup view of the majestic Kedakantha Peak.
A few other glimpses seen after reaching the base camp.
Sunset hues at the Kedarkantha Base Camp. A few minutes after reaching the base camp, we munched on some yum and hot maggi and tea. We were also given an early dinner of soup, dal, rice, sabzi, post which we enjoyed the sunset and went to bed at about 6.30 after prepping for the summit push that we will be doing at about 2 AM the next morning.
After trekking for about 3 hours, we reached the summit in time for this gorgeous sunrise. There is a small Shiva temple at the summit and the weather at the summit was freezing cold and to about -4 degrees. All we could do is watch the sunrise without letting our hands and toes freeze.
After spending about 1 hour 20 minutes at the summit, we decided it was time to descend back to the base. We decided to take another route as we descended down to the base camp. The views from this trail were breathtaking.
The view of the Kedarkantha peak as we descend back to the base camp.
As we descended, we could see Ski marks all through the slopes. Skiing here would be such a bliss.
The kedarkantha base camp overlooking the gorgeous Doon Valley.
We reached the base camp at about 10 Am in time for some good breakfast. Since we were continuing to Sankri on the same day, we decided to pack up our things and get ready for the long descent back to Sankri.
A pan view of the peaks seen from the Kedarkantha base camp.
Close up views of the mountains seen from base camp
Close up views of the mountains seen from base camp
After having a hearty brunch, we decided it was time to hit the trail and start our descend back to Sankri.
We decided to take the route through Haregaon campsite as we descended from Kedarkantha base camp. This route gave us some great views of the Har Ki Dun trail and pan views of other white peaks in the region.
Some flat land before we reach the Dhabha which marks about 30% completion of the trek.
A few glimpse of ranges. We reached Sankri at about 3 Pm that day. Post which we decided to unwind and chill at the hotel, we also explored the hamlet a little.
A few glimpses of ranges. We reached Sankri at about 3 Pm that day. Post which we decided to unwind and chill at the hotel, we also explored the hamlet a little.
While the initial plan was to get to Mussoorie and explore the city, we decided to take a detour and head to Tehri instead.
Tehri was a small town situated on the confluence of Bhagirathi and Bhilangna Rivers in Uttarakhand. This town got submerged in the water to create a large catchment area and this way the town of Old Tehri became The Tehri Lake, Asia’s largest man made lake. The town of Tehri was evacuated to make space for the Tehri dam, and the population has been shifted to the town of New Tehri.
Tehri was then converted into a small adventure hub. As you can see some of the adventures you can take up here are – boating, kayaking, zorbing, water skiing etc.
We decided to go speed boating here.
The floating cottages on the Tehri Lake. The cottages became extremely famous after being shown in the recent Hindi movie “War”.
A scenic sunrise at Tehri. The Tehri dam is located a little to the right in this picture and is a great place to spend time and enjoy with family.
After spedning a day in Tehri, we drove back to Mussoorie the next day. This was the Sunset we saw in Mussoorie that day and we were awestruck.
As we headed back to Mussoorie from Tehri, we decided to take a small pit stop and hike up to the Surkanda Devi Temple which is located at an altitude of 2,756 m and the hike up to the temple is about 3 Km. The view from the top is amazing.
The Surkanda Devi Temple. It is considered as one of the 51 Shakti Peeth’s in the Indian’s subcontinent and sees a lot of pilgrims all through the year. You can either hike or opt to take a pony to the temple.
The photos you can capture from the top are amazing too.

On day two in Mussoorie, we decided to check out George Everest’s House. Here’s a pan view you get on the way to house.
Sir George Everest’s House and Laboratory, also known as the Park Estate was built in 1832.
Sir George was largely responsible for completing a great section of the Great Trigonometric Survey of India along the meridian arc from South India extending North to Nepal.
The pan view of the Doon Valley from George Everest House.
We also decided to walk up to Gun point in Mussoorie and were blessed with these red peaks as the sun set on the other side.
Sunset in Mussoorie.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. I and my friends were planning to go for a trek towards the end of this year and we were really confused about which trek should we go for so I decided to do a little research on the various treks in India and I came across your article. I really like how you have mentioned a small paragraph the explains the trek along with the technical details and pictures which make it easy to understand the place. Kedarkantha is really beautiful, I would love to go on a trek here, thank you for providing this useful and informative article.

  2. I’m really impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog.
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  3. Cannot agree more! When you are at the Kedarkantha summit, you can see only Himalayas till horizon. You are purely in the mountains and snow for 4 days. Away from mobile network and only in pure nature. The drive from Purola to Kotgaon / Sankri is very beautiful. You can see mountains, rivers and greenery for hours together. 100% oxygen and Pollution free. I would say most inexpensive way to experience the most beautiful place in the world.
    Best time to trek Kedarkantha is Febraury to march. If lucky even snow fall like we got for 2 days. And you can slide in snow while descending which may not be possible late March.
    A trek everyone must do. It’s the best way to experience the snow and mountains.

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