The Kedarkantha trek is best known for its breathtaking views of some very popular mountain peaks of the Garhwal Himalayas, which include the Swargarohini peaks, Bandarpoonch, Black Peak. The Kedarkantha peak offers panoramic views of a total of 13 Himalayan peaks. A classic winter trek, the Kedarkantha trek is one of the most sought after treks in the country and quite popular among nature lovers. Each year, a significant number of trekkers and mountaineers visit the Kedarkantha trek in search of solitude and serenity in the mountains. This article gives a brief introduction to the Kedarkantha trek, and a guide to plan one.
The trek begins from a small village named Sankri, which is at a distance of about 200 kms from Dehradun and at an altitude of about 1,950 metres. A popular tourist destination, the Sankri village is also the base camp for a number of other popular Himalayan treks, like the Baraadsar lake trek, Har ki Dun trek, Dev Kyara trek etc. to name a few. One can drive to Sankri from Dehradun, passing through the beautiful Mori valley along the Tons river, the largest tributary to the Yamuna. Trek to the Kedarkantha peak consists of different routes, all having their own charm and distinctiveness.
The Kedarkantha trek will take one through several lush green meadows and valleys, forests of pine, oak and deodar, numerous streams and rivers with the snow laden mountains along the skyline, and the remote Garhwal Himalayan villages on the lap of the mountains. Adding to the appeal of the climb is the rich flora and fauna of the Himalayas. One gets to closely experience the wildlife of the Himalayas, one of the most important biodiversity hotspots in the country.
A classic winter trek, the Kedarkantha trek is mostly visited during the winter months of December to April. Unlike most of the Himalayan treks, the Kedarkantha trek can be visited almost throughout the year except the monsoons, when the trek becomes difficult due to slippery roads and frequent landslides. Different seasons have their own impact on the mountains and terrains. While one gets to witness a ravishing view of the snow covered mountains and grasslands during the winters, the summers and autumns on the other hand offer spectacular views of the meadows and valleys filled with blooming flowers with the snow capped mountains in the backdrop. While most of the Himalayan treks become completely inaccessible due to heavy snowfall during the winters, the Kedarkantha trek still lets one have a glimpse of the breathtaking beauty of the snow laden mountains and valleys. While planning for the trek, it is generally preferred to visit this trek during the winters.
The Kedarkantha trek is a moderate one in terms of difficulty, owing to the steep and narrow terrains. Still, it is favourable for both beginner trekkers as well as professionals, due to the gradual elevation. This trek is also ideal for beginner trekkers to gain some experience.The initial ascent is comparatively gradual, but the climb becomes relatively difficult due to steeper terrains as one approaches the peak. It is generally advised to take professional guidance, especially if one is an amateur trekker, as guides are more aware about the terrains and the weather conditions in the mountains. The Kedarkantha trek is quite a long and strenuous one, and requires one to be physically fit and able to endure the harsh climate at such a high altitude. Despite the challenges that the trek offers along the way, it is one of the most visited treks in the country, as the stunning views all along the way definitely compensate for all the fatigue and physical exhaustion. One of the most sought after treks in the country, the Kedarkantha trek has its admirers and visitors from all over the world. The unique and distinctive features of this trek are what inspire trekkers and mountaineers to disregard the challenges that this trek poses and set out to explore the scenic beauty of the mountains. Before one sets out on this trek, it is advised to properly inquire about the roads and weather conditions, and be prepared for the unexpected.