A land like no other with a superabundance of attractions to visit and fabulous landscapes, amazing people and culture, Uttarakhand is truly a heaven on Earth. And to put the icing on the cake, nothing else can match the alluring Kedarkantha trek. It is one of the best-known winter treks in the whole country with an impeccable trail to the summit.
Kedarkantha turns visitors into a storyteller. You can remember it all in a very vivid manner. The mountains in their massiveness, their snow-capped peaks, and steep, rugged composition. The ever-flowing of water, and water so pure and clean that you literally drink it directly from the water bodies themselves. The modest charm of the place enamours you the minute you reach here. The sky grows darker, painted blue on blue, one stroke at a time, into deeper and deeper specks of night. None of us knows how heaven looks like but it is certain that you will find a taste of it here.
Kedarkantha summit stands tall at a height of 12,500 ft above sea level. You will have to trek for 4 days and walk around 20 kilometres in order to successfully overcome the trek. The difficulty grade of this trek is contemplated to be easy and hence beginners are greeted with both hands.
The optimum time to take up this challenge is during the winter months of December and January when the snow starts to engrave a blanket for the trekkers. The temperature during these months falls down as low as -10 degrees centigrade. Kedarkantha is dubbed as a snowy wonderland by the visitors. It is among one of the few treks that are operational during the month of January.
Kedarkantha trek commences from Dehradun Railway Station since it has the nearest railway station and airport which makes it a well-connected city that takes you to Sankri. The Jolly Grant Airport is well connected to New Delhi and all the major cities in India and so is the railway station. Since our base camp is Sankri, from Dehradun we will need to take a three hours’ drive to this Uttarakhand village. This 210 km distance between Sankri and Dehradun can be bridged by hiring cabs, jeeps or public buses. This drive is extremely picturesque with the most gorgeous ranges and valleys pursuing you through the ride. You will witness small villages which beautifully carry their culture and history within the simple architecture of their houses and surroundings. The captivating villages of Sankri calm your mind and make you ready for the even prettier landscapes and people.
The next step is the journey from Sankri to Juda Ka Talab. Juda Ka Talab is at an elevation of 9,100 and it demands a trek of 4 hours to reach this campsite. The trail lets you pass through the assorted wilderness of maple and dense pine. The beautiful forest is rich in greenery and its floor is covered with grass that has long leaves. The fauna will keep you engaged till you are actually out of the forest area. The sprawling trees, the alluring blanket of snow and the juggernaut snow-laden peaks will compel you to move forward irrespective of the ordeal that your body will go through.
Following the trail to the top of the summit, you will make way to the Kedarkantha base camp from the previous campsite. After a trek of 3 hours, covering a distance of 4 kilometres, you will finally reach the base camp. This campsite offers stellar views of the night sky. You can try out long exposure shots of the milky way if you are interested in photography.
The final and the ultimate step is a trek from the base camp to the top of the Kedarkantha summit. This is definitely the day you have been so eagerly waiting for. Make sure you get up early and don’t miss the sunrise. These mornings are going to be nothing like the mornings in a city. The highest point of the trek which is 12,500 feet will be traced and your objective will be accomplished. You will have to pass through forests and continue on the trail. A few hours into the trail, you will come across a small Shiva and Parvati temple which is followed by a shrine of Lord Ganesh. A few moments later, following the beautiful trail, finally, after crossing the ridge, you will taste the sweetness conquering the might Kedarkantha peak. Here, you will be on your own, away from people and city life, all alone, being disconnected with no network connection or any other connection. That will be amazing and to be precise: magical, To be lost in nature, and in mind, it will act as a sweet escape from the monotonous life.
Even though surging mountains are considered to be painful, complicated, and sometimes deathly dangerous, mountains enlighten us that there is no summit without a struggle. Life would be excruciatingly boring without challenges and thrill. And without pain, how could we know bliss? Without struggle, how could we know happiness?