Har ki Dun vs. Dev Kyara Trek
The popular Har ki Dun trek in the Sankri region of Uttarakhand has hosted thousands of avid trekkers over the years making it one of the most crowded trails in the Indian Himalayas.
Just like every other thronged trek in the Himalayas, the Har ki Dun trek has lost its charm and has failed to retain its pristine beauty which had made it one of the most sought after treks once upon a time.
Looking for a strong contender to give a healthy competition to Har ki Dun trek, we came across this out-of-the-world trail, known as the Dev Kyara Trek and have opened this trek especially for you.
Dev Kyara is a high altitude meadow at a height of 4100M at the base of the mighty Ranglana Peak. The trek being parallel to the Har ki Dun valley is certainly more beautiful than the same. Easily one of the best valley treks in the Indian Himalayas, the Dev Kyara trek is an extremely unspoiled trail retaining its supreme bio-diversity due to zero foot traffic.
Did you know this off-beat trek to Dev Kyara is dubbed as the “Trek of the year 2019” by Times of India?
Simply because this easy grade trek of 36km takes you through the unexplored region of the Sankri range in Western Garhwal region of Uttarakhand blessed with dense pine and maple forests, rare flora and fauna, meandering streams, massive meadows, numerous waterfalls, picture perfect campsites, towering snow-capped peaks and the roaring Dibra Gad river kissing the trail as it flows.
Here we tell you why you must shift your focus from the crowded Har ki Dun trail and try out the newly explored Dev Kyara trek to witness something incomprehensible in beauty and grandeur.
The Har ki Dun trail is crowded beyond imagination. The trail is truly beautiful, however, it has lost its charm over time due to the heavy influx of trekkers.
GMVN resthouses on the Har ki Dun trail shows the over-commercialization of the trek
You will see plenty of trekking companies organizing Har ki Dun trek which has led to overcrowded trails and campsites. More so, there are government built rest houses on the trail which serve as a resting spot, so this shows the commercialization of the trek. At some point, you will see more of people and less of the scenic beauty of this trail. This is truly disappointing.
Dev Kyara trail - You and your world only
Dev Kyara Trail, on the other hand, is one of the most pristine trails in this region of Uttarakhand and runs parallel to the Har ki Dun valley. With zero foot traffic, you will be the only group in this trail which is the best part of this trek since you get to take your sweet time to enjoy and explore the valley and its astounding campsites. With unobstructed views of the scenic Dev Kyara trek, your experience will be sublime, significantly, compared to other crowded trails. This is why it is the best idea to explore the unexplored.
Har ki Dun trek has its fair share of amazing campsites such as Kalkattiyadhaar and the campsite of Har ki Dun itself. With gorgeous views of Hata peak and Swargarohini Massif and the Thamsa River accompanying you throughout the trek, the campsites of Har ki Dun are definitely charming but they feel squeezed in a valley which limits its full glory.
Har ki Dun campsites by the river
This combined with the fact that there will be multiple tour operators pitching tents in the same campsite alongside yours makes it a bit confined.
This is where the Dev Kyara trek steals the thunder. The campsites of Bhawa and Dev Kyara itself are ginormous and truly breathtaking. They are spread wide open with towering mountains on one side and the wonderful Dibra Gad River on the other. One can easily spend a day exploring the campsites and you being the only ones there will make it all the more magical.
Bhawa campsite of Dev Kyara - Too huge to even fit in the camera frame
The campsite of Bhawa is a huge meadow spread wide with a gorgeous waterfall that only adds to the beauty of this place. This is also the place from where you get the first glimpse of the towering Ranglana peak. The glades of grass shining through brings the inner child out of you and carves a smile on your face as you move around clicking photos at different spots. With clouds hovering over the campsite and the surrounding mountains peeking through the same, the Bhawa campsite is what dreams are made of.
Picture perfect Dev Kyara campsite
The Dev Kyara campsite is a 4km long massive grassland located at the base of the Ranglana Peak. With the towering Ranglana Peak standing tall behind and the meandering Dibra gad river to the front, the Dev Kyara campsite is jaw-dropping. One of the rarest opportunities to camp at the base of a mountain which otherwise usually happens only in case of mountaineering expeditions. The campsite is surrounded by snow-capped mountains on three sides along with several unnamed passes and peaks which shows the relatively unexplored condition of this region.
3. VALLEY VIEWS
Peaks are the only reason the Har ki Dun Trek is glorious
The Har ki Dun valley is comparatively narrower which restricts its chance to showcase its actual beauty. This is the reason for the campsites to be less wide and cramped up in whatever space is available to them.
Because of the narrow valley, the views and scenic beauty of the Har ki Dun trek depend entirely on Hata Peak, Swargarohini Peak and several other peaks in the trek. In the absence of these giants and along with the Thamsa River, there is nothing special about this trek apart from the mythological aspect associated with this trek. Without the surrounding mountains, there is nothing that stands out in this valley trek and thus looks bleak in comparison to the Dev Kyara trek.
The Dev Kyara valley opens up to the fullest extent
Dev Kyara Trek, on the other hand, has massive valley views as they open up like the doors to heaven with the grandest views possible. You will be left awe-struck and it takes a while to process the breathtaking scenery around you. This trek does not need to depend on any peak or pass to glorify its beauty. In spite of having some of the most attractive vistas surrounding the same, the trail and the campsites have a charm of their own.
Charming trail of Dev Kyara
Once you undertake this trek you get to realize that most valley treks in the Himalayas are not as aesthetically pleasing as the Dev Kyara trek, after all this trail is something you could have never imagined.
Both the Har ki Dun trek and the Dev Kyara trek are loaded with waterfalls that add a totally different character to the trail.
However, in the Har ki Dun trek, only the first day of the trek presents you with several waterfalls along with ancient villages which is a sight to cherish.
One of the many waterfalls you encounter on the Dev Kyara Trek
In the Dev Kyara trail, there is not only one or two but close to twenty waterfalls from day two onwards. These waterfalls cut their way through jagged mountains and make themselves available at regular intervals when least expected. They only intensify the natural scenery along with snow-capped peaks and passes. Every turn takes you to another waterfall which is more beautiful than the one before. The Dev Kyara trek can be rightly labeled as a Valley of Waterfalls. Certainly uncountable and inexhaustible.
5. VARIATION IN TRAIL
Simple yet stunning Har ki Dun trail (Winters)
The trail of Har ki Dun is pretty basic in terms of terrain and variations. With the initial passage through ancient villages and dense forests of walnuts, chestnuts and pine; the trail takes you across decent-sized meadows as the valley opens up to reach Har ki Dun. There is nothing else to look forward to in terms of topography or landscape.
The Dev Kyara trek takes you across boulders and snow slides
However, in the Dev Kyara trek, the trail takes you through pine and birch forests, and wide expanses of meadows, numerous stream crossings, multiple boulder sections, snow slides, huge grasslands laded with red, yellow and purple flowers, and a small stretch of what seems to resemble a river basin. These changes in topography make the trail more exciting and versatile yet easy with no challenges.
Purple flower-laden grasslands en route to Dev Kyara
The only two things these two lovely treks have in common is the fact that they both are easy treks perfect for beginners and experienced trekkers alike, and they both start from Sankri in Uttarakhand.
With people venturing into the unknown day by day, this is the right time to do the Dev Kyara trek and move away from frequented and populous trails like Har ki Dun.
In a group of trekkers who are talking about all the popular treks they have done, you will be the only one who has something different to say and show. An experience that only you are aware of.
Don’t lose yourself in the crowd and settle for something ordinary.
Undertake the Dev Kyara Trek now.