ABOUT THE TREK
Region: Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand
Maximum Altitude: 4912 mts
Grade: Moderate to tough
Duration: 09 Days
Season: Mid May-June & Mid August –October
TREKKING ROUTE TO KEDARTAL— Delhi – Haridwar – Rishikesh – Uttarkashi – Gangotri – Bhoj Kharak – Kedar Kharak – Kedar Tal – Bhoj Kharak – Gangotri – Rishikesh – Haridwar – Delhi.
One of the glacial lakes that is located at an altitude of 4,750 meters, Kedartal with its sprinkling and pristine waters is a popular trekking destination in the Garhwal Himalayan region. The lake, which is fed by the snowfall over Thalay Sagar at 6,904 meters, Meru at 6,672 meters, Bhrigupanth at 6,772 meters and other surrounding peaks, is the source of River Kedar Ganga, one of the major tributaries of River Bhagirathi.
The Kedartal Trek, which is one of the spiritual treks in the Indian Himalayan region, is also a spellbound journey for the travellers’ from all over the world. The route passes through the scenic Himalayan birch forests, alpine meadows, bubbling streams and glaciers, thus making the journey beautiful, adventurous and strenuous. All though the trek to Kedartal stretches about 17 kilometers, but the steepness of the trail and gradual ascent over 3 days as well as the altitude makes it one of the moderate treks in the Garhwal Himalayan region.
The Kedartal trek commences from Gangotri at 3,415 meters. Gangotri is one of the popular Hindu pilgrimage sites and also one of the four sites in the Chota Char Dham pilgrimage circuit. The shrine that is dedicated to Goddess Gangotri is the major attraction.
The trek to Kedarnath from Gangotri turns to Bhoj Kharak at 3,989 meters. Thereafter, the route follows a strenuous walk uphill that leads to Kedar Tal. For the campers it is the most unforgettable experience. From the vicinity one can capture the spectacular view of the massive Himalayan peaks that flank the lake from all sides. Being in its vicinity one will surely talk about it as a part of heaven.
The Kedar tal trek, being one of the moderate treks in the Garhwal Himalayan region, is recommended for trekkers having prior trekking experiences. The best time to hit the trailing tracks to Kedar tal is from the month of May to early November.
There are many tour operators. You may travel under their arrangement, or can travel with your own group of people. Tentative tour plan can be like this—
Day 01: Delhi – Haridwar – Rishikesh
Journey by train from New Delhi railway station to Haridwar.. Drive from Haridwar to Rishikesh — 45 mins. You can explore the local market and temples in Rishikesh or lie near the Parmarth Ghat to attend the aarti ceremony of holy Ganga River. A night stay in the hotel.
Day 02: Rishikesh – Uttarkashi (165 Km/ 6-7 Hrs)
After breakfast in Rishikesh , leave by road for Uttarkashi, which is about 165 kms away and will take around 6 to 7 hours to reach Uttarkashi , you will pass by the narrow Bhagirathi valley. You will see in the way stunning hill towns such as Tehri, Chamba and Chiniyalisaur.
On reaching Uttarkashi, check in at the hotel and rest for some time.. you may visit the renowned Kashi Vishwanaath temple or stay back in your hotel . For the night, stay in the hotel in Uttarkashi.
Day 03: Uttarkashi – Gangotri (3048 M/ 10,000 Ft) Drive (95 Kms)
From Uttarkashi leave by road for Gangotri, a famous holy place among Hindu devotee. It is one of the four Dhams of Chota Char Dhams of Uttarakhand. According to the legend, it is believed to be the birth place of Ganga on earth. . Overnight stay in the hotel in Gangotri.
Day 04: Gangotri – Bhoj Kharak (3989 M) Trek 4 – 5 Hrs
After breakfast in the morning, check out from the hotel in Gangotri and trek to Bhoj Kharak, which is about 8 kms away and takes around 4 to 5 hours. The track will take you through the banks of Kedar Ganga River.
There wll be a dense Cedar and Birch (Bhoj Patra) forests in the way. This trekking route is a little difficult, but keeps trekkers amazed with scenic natural beauty and waterfalls that come on the way. On reaching Bhoj Kharak, have your dinner and overnight stay.
Day 05: Bhoj Kharak – Kedar Kharak (4,270 M)
After breakfast in the morning, you will trek to Kedar Kharak, which is about 4 kms away. However, the route is little exhausting due to various steep climbs that will come on the way. You will be crossing through the forest of birch trees and reach the stunning meadows. Relax, have meal and have a comfortable overnight stay.
Day 06: Kedar Kharak – Kedar Tal (4750 M) Trek 4 – 5 Hrs
In the morning after breakfast, trek from Kedar Kharak to Kedar Tal, which is one of the difficult trecks and require, 4 to 5 hours. The route goes through the path with scattered loose rocks and boulders. Trekkers need to boost their morale because the end result of the trekking will fill them with many lifetime memories.
They will get an opportunity to witness the most excellent works of nature. On reaching Kedar Tal, you will explore the beautiful glacial lake with magnificent Thalay Sagar Peak located behind it. Enjoy an overnight stay in the tents at Kedar Tal.
Day 07: Kedar Tal – Bhoj Kharak Trek 3 – 4 Hrs.
Start the day a little early in the morning to see the changing shades of the rays over the Thalay Sagar as the sun rise. Keep the day free at leisure till lunch, to explore the scenic beauty of the place. After lunch, walk back on the trail to Bhoj Kharak. Take pleasure of camping stay in tents in Bhoj Kharak.
Day 08: Bhoj Kharak – Gangotri Trek (3-4 Hrs) – Uttarkashi
After early morning breakfast walk down to Gangotri town, which will take about 3 to 4 hours. From Gangotri town, drive to Uttarkashi via Harsil. Relax and overnight stay in hotel..
Day 09: Uttarkashi – Haridwar – Delhi
Check out from the hotel, and drive to Haridwar railway station, to catch train for Delhi
POINTS TO NOTE BY THE TREKKAR
It is always good to travel a place duly equipped with all information available because information is your power. Make a thorough study of those information beforehand. While you can collect your information on the net; as additional source, I can recommend one Sri Rudra Mondal living in Andheri west for last 30 years, for your consultation and guidance– he is an experienced mountaineer and made several difficult treks in Uttarkhanda Garwal region, Assam and North East India.
As he is a prolific photographer, caught every step of his journey/ travelling/trekking in his camera. Those are educative by any standard. Seeing these photos is sheer joy, and ring in your mind long after you stopped seeing those. You may see those photos by clicking his albums at — https://www.facebook.com/rudra.mandal/media_set?set=a.340281019379388.78682.100001924772821&type=3
Presently, he is spreading a culture towards educating general public, that tourists should be armed with scientific route plans/charts, that will help them travel effectively/ efficiently, so that with less time, money and energy , they can travel more places with the same resources.
This practice on the part of common men will save them from colossal losses they usually undergo as at present. The tour program for Kedar Tal as shown above by me, is usually the practice generally adopted by tour operators in the country.
Please look up the map. According to Sri Rudra Mondal, a person trekking to Kedartal, can cover trekking to Gomukh also in the same trip, just by spending three more days, and little more money and time, because both for Gomukh and kedartal, journey up to Gongotri from Delhi, is common. Therefore, visiting separately Kedartal and Gomukh, we have to journey up to Gongroti, twice whereas covering both in the same trip, would save one.
Although it is common sense, but this mistake is commonly done by commercial tour operators, and deeply embedded in the psyche of common man, people do not see beyond.
General culture can be improved by collecting information towards making scientific route plan so that one do not have to walk the same path more than once. Following this concept the improved route plan should cover both Gomukh and Kedartal in the same trip.
The above text is only an illustration. Route plan as above should be prepared by the informed people and published in face book, blog or other social net working sites, so that tourists can easily make access to those developed route plans for every sector of India. This will be a service to the nation, for tourism has a tremendous job potential for youth of India and so far only a very little part of that potential has been exploited. JAI HIND, LET US MAKE INDIA STRONG.