Ever wanted to visit Switzerland but couldn't do so for whatever reasons?
Don't worry, this place is no less than Europe if you will be visiting in winters.
Kedarkantha, ever since I heard about this place from Internet. I wanted to visit this hidden gem of Himalayas.But I was waiting as the best time to visit this place is in winters between December to March when the whole mountain will be covered in sparkling white snow.
My wait was finally over when I booked this trek from a trekking company called Moxtain.com from December 16 to December 21 in 2017. The trek was about to start from Dehradun which is the capital of an Indian state Uttarakhand.I took an overnight volvo bus from Delhi to reach Dehradun next day in the morning. I met all my fellow trekkers including trek leader and trek organizer at the Dehradun railway station.
Kedarkantha trek starts from a village called Sankri in Uttarakhand which is around 210 km from Dehradun. You have to travel a good 10 hours to reach this place.The altitude of Sankri is 6600 ft from sea level.
After meeting all my fellow trekkers at the railway station, we finally embarked on a journey of a lifetime adventure.
We traveled whole day through mountains to reach Sankri by 6pm in the evening. Rooms were booked in a hotel on sharing basis. Sankri is very small village where you will find nothing apart from few hotels,trekking gear shops and some restaurants or Dhaba to be precise which serves only vegan food.
Next day we woke up at around 9 am and had our breakfast. Trek leader briefed us about all the do's and don'ts which we must adhere to in order to make this trip safe and smooth.
Then we started climbing. Our first stop was Juda ka Talab which is at the altitude of 9000 ft and at a distance of 4 km from Sankri. I was really excited and confident that this trek would be a cake walk for me but I was wrong. After climbing only 100-200 m I was really tired. I was gasping incessantly. I also had 15 kg bag on my back which was piling on my misery.
Anyhow my trek leader came to my rescue. He gave me water and motivated me to push myself a little bit more. This time I tried harder and pushed myself.
And Voila! after climbing 1 km I became accustomed to climbing. It took us around four hours to reach our first stop Juda ka Talab. We had been welcomed by locals who had done all the arrangements. We kept our bag, had tea and then directly went on for acclimatisation.
Acclimatisation is basically the process of preparing your body for higher altitude to avoid AMS(Acute Mountain Sickness).
Juda ka Talab is basically a frozen lake on which people were actually walking and clicking pictures however I chose not to do so.
We climbed 1 km further to get our body acclimatised and then came back in our tents.We had our dinner and then slept in sleeping bag inside tents.
Our next stop was kedarkantha base camp which was at the altitude of 11200 ft. Next day we had our breakfast and left Juda ka Talab to reach our next stop. It hardly took us 2 hours to reach to the base camp.We rested for a while and then went on further to acclimatize our body.
We came back, relaxed, clicked pictures and had one of the tastiest food at the altitude of 11200 ft.
Kedarkantha summit can viewed clearly from the base camp. The whole site where tents were being laid was extremely beautiful.
Next day was the summit day. We decided to start early to get the best summit view. We woke up at 4 in the morning, had our breakfast and then headed towards the peak by 6 am.
It was the longest trekking day. But still we trekked like champion and reached to the top by 11 am in the morning. The sun was bright. Sky was clear and never ending mountains and valleys were crystal clear.
From the top of Kedarkantha, you can see several others peaks such as kala nag, bandarpooch, har ki doon valley, trishul and many others.
We clicked many pictures at the top and stayed there for almost an hour. Then started descending.In a matter of two hours, We were at the base camp again. We then had our lunch and took some much needed rest.
Around 3 pm in the afternoon we started descending further as our next stop was Hargaon, a village between base camp and Sankri.
We reached Hargaon and people there welcomed us with chocolates. I mean so sweet of them. We had our dinner and slept in tents.
Next day in the morning, we played some snow sports and clicked pictures. Then we started descending to Sankri after having breakfast. The site at Hargaon is serene and beautiful.
Finally after four hours of descending we reached Sankri, checked into hotel and took much needed shower.We had one evening left to roam around the streets of Sankri.
Next day in the morning we left for Dehradun and by 5 pm in the evening we reached there. Our trip was successful. We all reached to the summit without any causalities. And we celebrated this at a cafe in Dehradun. And finally everyone dispersed to get to their destination and I too took a bus to Delhi.
It was trip of a lifetime. I still re-live those memories and often get lost in the tranquility of those scenic beautiful mountains.