Har Ki Dun Trek - A beginner's delight
My application for content writer internship with Bikatadventures was approved and the thought of spending coming months trekking in the Himalayas was keeping me awake for most of the nights. My fingers were crossed and my heart burst in joy when I received the trekking calendar plan. Har Ki Doon trek was going to be my first trek as a content writer. I feared nothing because I knew that now; the much-awaited journey has begun.
I arrived at Dehradun meeting point and met other trek mates at 7:00 in the morning and started the road journey to Sankri Village that was going to be my first homestay experience. Within the first few minutes, we all got to know what amazing people we were having in our group. As we passed Mussoorie and gained the elevation, the breeze became chill and the roads were decorated with the dried pine needles. The view was already amazing and the travel time was spent getting to know each other better. Arrival at Sankri was another heartwarming experience where we got to spend the night at such a cozy homestay.
Sunset at Sankri
One night at Sankri homestay was definitely not enough but the excitement of reaching Har Ki Dun gave us the motivation to keep moving ahead. We covered the first 12 km by road until Taluka after which the real trekking started to Har Ki Dun. The ride until Taluka was very bumpy and only 4-wheel-drive vehicles could make it to Taluka. Taluka took me back by its rustic touch with its wooden shops and small huts, but I had a 12 km long journey to cover before sunset. Bidding adieu to the roads at Taluka we made our way across the Tons River into the dark forest of coniferous trees. Everything seemed so magical, far away from any connectivity. We were walking amidst the dense forest and listening to the mighty flow of river Tons. The gradient was a mixture of ascents and descents and it took us nearly 7 hours to complete the journey of 12 km.
On the way to Seema
Our morning started with a brief session of yoga that channelized our energy and boosted our morale. Our day’s destination was Kalkattiyadhar, named after the sharp ridge-like structure of this mountain. Unlike yesterday we did not have forest shades along the way but we did enjoy the view of a lot of waterfalls and small wooden bridges. Right after crossing Seema village, there was a bridge crossing, followed by a steep ascent, followed by the beautiful view of a waterfall. We also crossed a 300-year-old temple dedicated to Devi Kandhara. A part of the trail lies through the rice farms of Osla villagers. We reached Kalkattiyadhar at 2:30 in the afternoon, right after which there were heavy rainfall and storm- the weather in the mountains is very unpredictable. Soon after the torrential rains, the weather cleared up and we got the window to play in the meadows.
Bridge crossing on the way to Kalkattiyadhar
Rice fields of Osla Villagers
Kalkattiyadhar camp site
The trail started with a steep descent and ended with steep ascent only to give us the best view of the valley. Hata Peak, Swargrohini I, II and III were clearly visible from our campsite. The campsite couldn’t have been more beautiful. Tents pitched at the foot of green valley along the stream surrounded by trees and mesmerizing view of snow clad mountains. We reached our campsite at 11 in the morning and after lunch headed out to see the valley. The floral bed at Har Ki Dun valley took me by surprise. That night the whole valley was painted in the silver light of full moon.
Har Ki Dun camp site
Har Ki Dun Valley
Watching the sunrise from behind the Swargrohini peak was the best morning view of all the days. We all had successfully completed our trek and now was the time to start the return journey. The thought of it made all of us a bit nostalgic, but there was an excitement to visit village Osla on the way back to Seema. Osla village is famous for having a temple dedicated to Duryodhana, eldest of the Kauravas in Hindu mythology ‘Mahabharat’ but villagers denied the theories and state that it belongs to Lord Shiva.
Sunrise at Swargrohini Peak
Someshwar Temple at Osla Village
We descended down to the base with a nostalgic feeling in our heart. The relief of sleeping in a cozy homestay was there but the ache of the trip coming to an end was more overpowering. We reached Sankri at 5:00 in the evening as soon as a downpour began. No one was talking, or managing their stuff .. everyone was just staring at the rainfall and the torrential winds holding on to their hot tea cups. Everyone knew they won’t find this view back in their city lives, hence everyone stayed out a little longer knitting their memories of Har Ki Dun in their mind's diary.