Best time to do Har Ki Dun Trek
While Har ki Dun- the valley of Gods is all about changing landscapes, the views from Kedarkantha Top should not be undermined. Both these treks are utterly beautiful and provide unique experiences to the trekkers.
But which one to go with?
The only way to find a solution around this pickle is to draw a competitive analysis of both the treks.
Here it is:
Kedarkantha is a trek which can be done all round the year. Sure, you will get the most scenic views in January when it is loaded with snow. The temperatures rise up in Kedarkantha in the months of March and April.
Har ki Doon is a seasonal trek. In December, it gets inundated with 5 feet deep snow that authorities have to close its gates. Come March, the gates reopen for trekkers. The weather is pleasant and perfect for camping and trekking.
While the snow on Kedarkantha melts away in March, Har ki Dun is one of the treks where you can find abundant snow in months of March and April.
The trail to Kedarkantha is all about steep ascent. You climb the mountains to finally reach the top from where you get the breathtaking vistas. The trail is short and mostly straight up.
The trails of Har ki Dun takes you through valleys, forests, meadows, and local villages. You even walk by the side of Supin River. Each day is a surprise for you in terms of landscapes and views.
Kedarkantha gives you a 360 degrees view from the top of peaks like Swargarohini, Black Peak, and Bandarpunch. The sight from the top is ah-mazing!
Har ki Dun is the base of Fateh Parbat which soars at an altitude of 3556 meters. You get the remarkable views of Swargarohini, that led Pandavas to heaven. The mighty Jaundar Glacier lies southeast of Har ki Dun.
Kedarkantha is a popular choice among beginners, kids, and families which is why you will find crowd rushing to the top. Due to scarcity of resource, the campsites are fixed, and hence, cramped up.
Whereas, in Har ki Dun trek, the serenity and isolation due to lack of crowd will blow your minds away. Har ki Dun, the name itself means the Valley of Gods. So there must be a special reason why Gods chose those place as their humble abode.
Flora and fauna
Both Har ki Dun and Kedarkantha treks lie in Govind Wildlife Sanctuary which is why there are good chances you will get to see a variety of flora and fauna on the trail. But since the trail of Har ki Dun goes through forests and meadows for longer stretches, there are better chances to spot more species of birds and medicinal plants.
Rosefinch, Redstart, Monal, and bearded vulture are just some of the many species you might spot on the way. Stay away from the brown beers and musk deers that you may find in the thick forests of chestnuts, walnuts, willows, and a variety of conifer trees.
Did you know?
It is believed that Osla village on har ki Dun trail has a Duryodhan (the eldest of Kauravas) temple. The locals however deny such stories today but many old blogs and travel write ups claim to have heard this story from the villages.
The temple is right there but whether it is devoted to Lord Shiva or Duryodhan, is a mystery. The place is rich in history and mythology. You may find more interesting folktales. The geography here compliments the mythology.
The houses in these villages will take you back in the ancient time. Even the village of Gangarh will sway you away with its vibrant people, neatly placed huts, beautiful temples.
Har ki Dun trek is slightly difficult in comparison to Kedarkantha. While Kedarkantha is a good option for beginners, Har ki Dun is mostly apt for slightly experienced hikers at moderate difficulty level. WIth good preparation and fitness, even beginners can attempt Har ki Dun though it would be an ambitious start for them.
Even though Har ki Dun and Kedarkantha lie in the same region of Uttarakhand and have the same base point - Sankri, they do not have equivalent beauty or provide equivalent experience in the month of April.
If you want to go trekking in late March or April, Har ki Dun should be you clear choice!