Har Ki Dun valley, situated in the lap of Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, is a winter wonderland for trekkers and climbers. This valley is a stairway to heaven that will bring you to the beauty of nature. The journey of this valley, situated at an elevation of 3556 m above sea level, takes you amidst the lush plains of alpine grass and dense pine forests. Here you will be able to see the confluence of the heavenly Gharwal mountain range and the Rupin, Supin rivers.
Camping amidst river flowing in the forest full of flora and birds gives you a delightful experience. It is wonderful to take thrilling photos among flocks of birds of different species. The Har ki dun trek is a true paradise for nature and adventure tourism lovers.
Some places that you must visit during Har Ki Dun Trek
You can see one of the oldest treks of the Himalayas, 21000 feet high, the three peaks of the Gharwal mountain range namely Swargarohi, Bandarpoonch, and Black peak. People sometimes refer to this place as “Valley of the Gods“. It is believed that during the Mahabharata period, the Pandavas went to heaven through these peaks and it is the main attraction of this valley.
The Har Ki Dun trek takes you among the ancient villages which are 2000 years old, where you will be introduced to the lifestyle and culture of the local people.
You can experience a close look at various species of animals such as snow leopard, black bear, and monal in Govind National Park spread over 950 square KM and you will be passing through Govind National Park during the Har Ki Dun Trek. Govind Pashu Vihar National Park can be reached by road from Sankri which is a 3 hours drive.
Govind National Park
This park gets its name from Govind Ballab Pant, a well known freedom fighter. The altitude of the park ranges from 4500 to 21000 ft. above sea level making it a unique wild life habitat. Har ki dun valley is situated inside the park. If you are lucky, you may get a chance to see rare and endangered species of birds like different varieties of eagle, Himalayan Snowcock, Pheasants and so on.
Trekking Difficulties and Fitness of the Person
Har ki dun trek, Uttarkashi is one of the biggest treks in Uttrakhand with the 7-day journey, and most of the time, it is raining. It is better to choose summer rain than winter rain. It is a beautiful and memorable experience to pass through the green leaves and dripping pearls of the rain, yet the trekkers must go well equipped for this journey. No, I do not want to disappoint you, but the information is always good. Whatever the circumstances, I can definitely say that this is a real wonderland for nature lovers.
Some Tips for First Time Trekkers
- It is always recommended to have a local guide with you or an experienced person, especially if it is your first trek.
- For Har ki Dun trek, you should have good stamina to cover without much stress.
- You should have the ability to carry a bag of at least 10 KG with you.
- People with heart disease, high blood pressure, asthma, epilepsy, or any medical conditions should avoid this trek.
- Be aware that mild headache, nausea, and general discomfort (acute mountain sickness) are common during trekking.
- Himalayan weather keeps changing, so make a fair estimate of snowfall, rain, and sunshine and prepare accordingly.
- There is less chance of injury or fracture while climbing the hills, yet there can be sprains and minor injuries in the feet. Take good care and some stretching exercises while preparing for this trek will help.
- Keep emergency medicines handy.
- Communication is not proper in Himalayan regions, cellular networks generally face connectivity issues, so take your responsibility and proceed with caution.
- Bag pack with shoulder straps, rain cover- 1, water bottle – 2, people using hydration pack (1 Pkt of 1 Ltr.).
- Snacks, Energy Bars, Dry Fruits, one Thermos Flask. I do carry dates with me on treks, as they are natural energy boosters and don’t occupy much space.
- Electrol / ORS, Personalized Medical Kit.
- Full Sleeve T-Shirt (2), Woolen T-Shirt (1), Woolen Jacket (1), Water & Windcheater Jacket-Pants (1), Thermal Inner (1).
- Track pants, Synthetic and long ones are better
- Pouches (1), sunscreen, sanitizer, moisturizing lotions, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, vaseline, dry towel.
- Cap (covering the neck, woolen cap, u / v with protected side cover Sunglasses. People wearing glasses better use contact lenses, or photo colored glasses during the trek.
- Trekking shoes – high ankle with good grip, floaters (1 flip-flap), cotton socks (5), woolen socks (3), waterproof gloves (1), woolen hand gloves (1).
Route & Budget of Har Ki Dun Trek (Maximum 5,000-7,000 for Solo & Between 10,000-15,000 with Friends)
By Air- You can take daily flights from Delhi to Dehradun. Jolly Grant Airport is 25 KM from the city.
By Train:- Dehradun is well connected with all major Indian cities and there are many trains from New Delhi.
Nandadevi Express – T. N12205, Departure 11:50 pm, Arrival 5:40 am.
Dehradun Express – T. 12687 Departure 9:10 pm , Arrival 5:00 am.
These two are night trains. Other day trains are also available. Check ….
By Bus:- I would suggest you take a government bus from ISBT Kashmiri Gate, private buses run outside ISBT are expensive and not trustworthy. Bus fare is INR 250-300 Person Departure 7 PM Arrival 1:30 and 2:00 AM. ……
There are only 1 or 2 buses from Dehradun to Sankri which you will get at 5:30 AM at Mussoorie bus stand and charges are INR 250-300 per person. Better to take a bus as the private car will cost more. Desire / Indigo 5500, Innova 8000, Xylo 7000, Tempo Traveler 12-15 seater 9500 Inr approx. which can be hired from Railway station or bus stand
Detailed Itinerary for Har ki Dun trek
Day 1: – Dehradun to Sankri
The first day’s journey starts from Dehradun by about 10 hours drive. You can leave at 6 AM. This journey will take you from Queen of Hills – Mussoorie to Uttarkashi. The road passes through the villages of Naugaon, Purola, Mori, which is bordered by the River Tyne and is amidst beautiful pine forests of himalayas on either side.
By noon you will reach the Saray, where you can stop and have a meal. Finish your necessary calls, as the cellular network is not good after this point. Only BSNL provides somewhat better service than others. By about 6 in the evening you will reach Sankri. You can rest here and stay in a guest house ranging from INR 400 to 4000. If you want to buy the trekking essentials, clothing, and equipment, they are available in the market.
For accommodation I suggest
- Himalayan Homestay which is reasonably good and costs about INR 1000 per night.
- For Accommodation, I suggest the Swargarohini Hotel which offers double and triple sharing rooms at INR 1200 to 1500. Budget rooms are also available which costs INR 700 per night.
- Trekkers lodge, Sankri, charges are INR 500 without a meal and INR 1000 with meals. The menu they serve here is designed for the best care of trekkers, prepared by there local chef. Check the local recipes like red rice rajma, chaulai ki kheer, bethu ki soup, and sidku which are exceptional here.
Day 2 – Sankri to Pauni Gherat
At 7 am, you can start the trek from Sankri to Taluka. From here, you will be able to guess the track ahead through the dense forests and paths. After reaching Taluka, you must enjoy the hot tea and dumplings here. You will be able to go to the other side with a cement bridge built on the banks of the river. This track is not very steep but be prepared to cover 7-8 kms before it is dark. Going a little further, you will get a soft water edge from where you can fill bottles of water.
You can take excellent photos of the trails made of green grass and stones along the banks of the river. There is a Dhaba in the hills at a distance from where you can get delicious food packed for the journey. The road ahead leads through potato, millet, and cornfields. Pauni Gherat is a prosperous village situated on the banks of the Supin River, whose beauty is incomparable due to the river and the lush fields. The sun rises quickly in the mountains, so you can set up your first camp here.
Day 3 – Pauni Gherat to Kalkatiadhar
This trek is about 7 KM. While passing through this track, you can see the hydroelectric machines working made by the local people. It is used to separate maize and millet husk from the flour and has a truly unique texture. The entire trek will take you through a beautiful view of cropland, cattle grazing, and sloping roof huts where you can see the life of the mountain people. You can see their struggle and their love for nature and despite the struggle, they are happy.
To reach some distance, you reach Oslo village. Here you will be able to see cashew and walnut trees everywhere. This village is also called the preacher of Duryodhana of Mahabharata, with the stories here you can see the ancient temple of 2000 years old, whose texture and beauty is unmatched. From the slope ahead you will have a great view of the Dhauladhar Range. Treks for Borsu Pass and Baspa Valley start from here. After climbing a bit, you will reach Kalkatiadhar where you can have a 2-day camp. Eateries are not available here, either you have to cook your food and eat packed food.
Day 4 – Kalkatiadhar to Har ki Dun
On 4th day we will have to start a little early. Although the previous scenes were mesmerizing, what comes next will make all your fatigue disappear in seconds. The trail in front of you will be long plains filled with glaciers and alpine. The tall cedar trees welcome you at every step. The Har Ki Dun trek is a steep and moderate climb.
I suggest you to start by 4 am in the morning so that you can reach Har Ki dun by 10-10.30. Spend few hours there and start return journey. This is not the place where you can camp so enjoy nature and return on the same day.
As you go up, you can see huge pieces of ice, frozen waterfalls. This valley is a heavenly place that displays immense beauty at a sight. Huge peaks such as the Swargrohini, Hata peak, Black peak, give you a glimpse of the wonderful view of mother nature. An incomparable amalgamation of the backdrop of Har Ki Dun Valley, filled with grasslands, frozen rivers, coniferous forests, Maureen glaciers, and other huge peaks. Try to absorb everything, in the eyes, in the pictures, and in the soul. After encapsulating these moments for a lifetime, one can set up the last camp at Kalkatiadhar. Here you can find some localites and camping should be done in safe areas only.
Day 5 – Kalkatiadhar to Pauni Gharat
This trek will be the return journey. Reach back to Pauni Gharat and spend time with the rural people peacefully, e-pass the passing moments and camp back in Pauni Great, and enjoy the last moments of your last nightlife in the mountains.
Day 6 – Taluka to Sankri
It is a 5-hour journey back after a wonderful Har Ki Dun Trek. By the evening, you will reach the appropriate time for tea and breakfast.
Day 7 – Sankri to Dehradun
The journey will end with a 10-hour drive from Sankri to Dehradun. By 6 pm you will reach Dehradun station, after which you can take a night trip to Delhi at your convenience.
Important places to visit around Har ki Dun
There are many beautiful places around Har Ki Dun Valley and I suggest you visit these places also. It may not be possible to visit these places again and again, so when you are there feast your eyes. My suggestion is to visit Morinda Tal also which is just 2 kms. and also Ruinsara Tal during Har ki Dun trek. If you have energy and can trek another 4 kms. you can see Jamdhar Glaciers.
Ruinsara lake is considerably large and is located amidst snow-capped mountains making it most picturesque. It is not just the destination that is unique, the trek also walks you through the roads of heaven. My suggestion is not to miss the Ruinsara valley.
After this natural and spiritual journey, I can affirm that the most beautiful view of life or nature is found only after a heavy climb. Har Ki Dun trek is one of the places in Uttarakhand whose unique beauty will give your eyes and soul an unlimited relief, where every worry of yours will disappear in an instant and every door of life will be opened automatically. The spiritual power here transports to wonderful energy in you, energy to understand yourself, and energy to fight through the difficulties of life, fight the darkness and lead, life to unlimited light. You can carry memories for the lifetime from Har Ki Dun Valley.