SaruTal Trek

Tripoto
16th Aug 2020
Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana
Day 1

The SaruTal Trek

For years, the great Himalayas have welcomed us with open arms, displaying their splendour in 

full glory, often leaving us awestruck. With time, there has been an exponential increase in the 

number of travellers that throng to the mountains to witness the magic of the Himalayas.

Uttarakhand, also called Devbhoomi, is the land of Gods. One visit here and you will know why 

the Gods chose this as their heavenly abode. Blessed with eternally beautiful landscapes that

weave magic on your mind and people that are simple, sweet and down to earth, Uttarakhand is 

no doubt, a favourite amongst all genres of travellers .I have spent many years in this paradise,

yet there is so much more to explore.

An avid Traveller is in constant search of new places and with this thought, I decided to check 

out the SaruTal (Tal – Lake) as not many have heard of it and it remains one of the least 

explored places in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. I had already done the Kedarkantha trek 

earlier and was looking forward to what lay beyond and so I called up Ganga Rana who is my go to 

person for any such activity in the mountains and is a local from this region. He has been 

running his company Discovery Hike and his clients cannot stop raving about how professional 

and exceptional his services are. We chalked out a plan and I patiently started to wait for the 

day I would be there. 

Day 2

God's Valley Saru Tal

Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana

On the way taloti Thach

Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana

SaruTal Trek Discoveryhike

Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana
Day 3

On the destined day, we met up in Dehradun early morning and picked up some trek essentials 

and ration and started our journey. 9 hours later, we had arrived in Sankri and called it a night 

post some chit chat and dinner. For those of you, that haven’t been here yet, Sankri is a beautiful 

village that is the base to around 20 different treks. You can walk on quaint little trails around in 

the forest or by the stream or explore the village that is made of beautiful wooden houses, 

orchards, visit the temple dedicated to the local deity – Someshwar Mahadev or talk and listen 

to stories of the area from the locals.

Sankri hotels

Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana

Discoveryhike

Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana
Day 4

The next morning we were to go up to Kedarkantha base camp so we started early and hiked up 

through dense forests of oak, cedar and birch to reach Juda Lake which is at an altitude of 2800 

mts and is a sight to behold as you can see beautiful meadows right next to it that serve as 

camping ground for Kedarkantha Trek. This lake freezes completely in the winters. We rested 

here for a while since it was not very crowded unlike winters and then continued to walk uphill, 

the birds kept us company, singing the most melodious song ever, while the forest played with 

lights and shadows. We crossed some shepherd huts on the way and could finally spot the 

summit of Kedarkantha. It took us around 3 hours to arrive at the base where we set up our 

camp and then sat down to rest, enjoying a cup of tea while witnessing a magical sunset. The 

entire valley had turned golden, and there was pin drop silence around. Next morning we were 

to go for Kedarkantha summit and from there head to our second destination – Dunda Thatch so 

we called it a night.

SaruTal

Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana

Capping side

Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana

Mouintain view

Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana
Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana
Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana

Crossing glacier

Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana
Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana
Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana

Waterfall

Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana
Day 5

Kedarkantha Ju-da-ka-Tal peak

Ju-da-ka-Tal

Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana

Ju-da-ka-Tal to Baca Camp

Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana
Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana
Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana

Another early morning, and a 3 hour steep climb from the base later, we were at Kedarkantha  summit enjoying surreal views of the surrounding mountain ranges (peaks visible are – Swargarohini,Altitude 6,252 m  Banderpunch, altitude 6,316 m )kalanag peak ( BlackPeak altitude 6,387 m ,) Gangotri and Yamunotri range). It was a very different  experience as compared to trekking in winters as there was no snow and the mountains  presented different shades of greens and browns. We spent some time here and then started to  descend towards the meadows of Dunda. 

Another early morning, and a 3 hour steep climb from the base later, we were at Kedarkantha  summit enjoying surreal views of the surrounding mountain ranges (peaks visible are – Swargarohini,Altitude 6,252 m  Banderpunch, altitude 6,316 m )kalanag peak ( BlackPeak altitude 6,387 m ,) Gangotri and Yamunotri range). It was a very different  experience as compared to trekking in winters as there was no snow and the mountains  presented different shades of greens and browns. We spent some time here and then started to  descend towards the meadows of Dunda. 

Day 6


The walk to Dunda was pleasant as we slowly made our way back to green pasture lands 

through the forests. One can view the peaks mentioned earlier from here too other than 

splendid views of the Pushtara valley. As we arrived at the huge ground of Dunda, I was taken 

aback by what I witnessed. The whole area seemed to be carpeted in flowers in all possible 

colours, shapes and sizes (around 15-20 varieties). We were lucky to have come here when the 

valley was in full bloom (June and October) and seemed like a scene out of a fairytale. All my 

tiredness vanished as I sat and continued to gaze in awe. Dunda ground is mainly used by 

shepherds for their herds as the grass that grows here is a rich source of nutrition. Other than 

these shepherds, there were a few cows here as well that were left by their owners to graze here

for three months and would be taken back in September (common practice in the 

mountains).We walked around more and then after setting up our camps and dinner we all lay 

down on the ground watching a million stars in the sky and talked about how good it had been 

so far. Next on our itinerary was Taloti Thacha

Summit kedarkantha peak

Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana
Day 7

It was day 4 and we finished packing up our camp and had a quick breakfast. I didn’t want to 

leave Dunda yet, but curiosity got me hiking to our next destination. We again walked through 

dense pine forests and crossed several meadows and there was a high possibility of spotting 

birds/animals specific to this region on this trail so we kept our eyes and ears open. As we 

continued, we came across our first glacier to cross followed by two more and then a valley that 

sprawled in front of us. While we were lost in the views, we spotted a Monal that just flew past 

us. We also met a couple of shepherds on the way with their herd lazying around in the sun 

while their dogs looked out for any predators that might be around (Leopard, Bears). Arrived at 

Taloti couple of hours later and called it a day 

SaruTal temple

Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana

On the way saru

Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana
Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana
Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana

Pusatara valley

Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana
Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana
Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana
Day 8

Everyone was super energised and stoked, brimming with excitement that was hard to contain.

We had left the greenery behind and were now amidst barren and rocky terrain with a few 

patches of green scattered all over. The climb ahead was pretty steep however the trail was well 

defined and broad as the villagers maintain this route. The air was cold and crisp and was 

piercing through the skin. We noticed another trail that leads up to the Fachu Kandi pass on this 

route as we continued to approach the lake. As we neared our destination I noticed that my co-

hikers took off their shoes and asked me to do the same. The lake is considered holy and is 

worshipped by the locals. It was finally here. The Saru Taal stood right in front of me, 

magnificent and majestic and all I can say is that pictures don’t do justice to the real beauty of it. 

One has to see it with naked eyes to believe that something so beautiful exists in the world. 

There were three temples next to the lake and a small shepherd hut that is used as emergency 

shelter for people that come here. We all paid homage to the deity and worshipped the lake and 

then sat down to soak in the view that surrounded us. Magical indeed. A couple of hours later 

we headed back in the direction of Taloti to set up our camp as it is prohibited to stay next to the 

lake. We were all tired after the climb and content that our wish to see the lake was fulfilled. 

Next morning we headed back to Taloti and stayed overnight again, and then hiked to the 

nearest village Taluka the next day which was the end point of our trek. The car waited to pick 

us up and with fond memories we bid farewell to this magical land. I can’t wait to be back there 

again. Until next time..... 

Few points to remember when visiting the Lake : 

>>The lake is Holy. Camping next to the lake is not allowed (need to camp minimum 2 kms 

away)

>>No shoes allowed near the lake.

>>Bathing in the lake is not allowed, nor is taking off your clothes. Please refrain from trashing 

the area or throwing pebbles in the lake. One needs to maintain silence when here. 

>>Menstruating girls are not allowed near the lake or temples.

Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana
Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana
Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana
Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana
Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana

Waterfall cam2

Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana
Photo of SaruTal Trek by Ganga Rana
Day 9

SHORT ITINERARY : 

DAY 1 : Dehradun – Sankri (8-9 hrs drive)

DAY 2 :Trek from Sankri – Juda Lake – Kedarkantha base (8 kms /6-7 hrs)

DAY 3 : Trek from Base – Kedarkantha Summit – Dunda Thach (10.4 kms 6-7 hrs)

DAY 4 : Trek from Dunda Thach – Taloti Thach (11 kms /5-6 hrs)

DAY 5 : Trek from Taloti Thach – Saru Tal (10 kms/5-6 hrs)

DAY 6 : Trek from SaruTal – Taloti Thach (10 kms/5-6 hrs)

DAY 7 : Trek from Taloti Thach to Taluka (13 kms/6-7 hrs) and then drive to Sankri (11kms/0.5 

hrs)

DAY 8: Drive from Sankri to Ddun (210 kms/8-9 hrs)