About Har Ki Dun Valley:
The Har Ki Dun Valley is nestled in the most beautiful Garhwal Himalayas and is a most preferred trekking destination. This is also called the “Hanging Valley” or “Valley of God” with a splendid and exotic flora and fauna, which trekkers can experience some of the most amazing scenes of natural beauty. Har Ki Dun Trek is also referred as a beginners’ trek where trekkers can witness fertile greenery and the majestic beauty of the mountains and just relish the beautiful alpine forests. This valley has strong road connections with the Borasu pass. Trekkers can just explore the unexplored areas of the Garhwal region where civilization has not been disturbed and the lifestyles and cultures of the nomadic hill tribe are mostly preserved.
Forests of this region are filled with wildlife and is a haven for nature lovers and ornithologists. Har Ki Dun trek is accessible thru Govind National park and can be done in both summers and winters. This trek takes trekkers through thick bushes, hillside fields, glaciers, aromatic orchids and rambling meadows. Trekkers get a chance to see different kinds of birds, mammals and also many langoors near Puani Garaat. This valley is cradle shaped and is 3,000 years old. Trekkers get a chance to interact with the local people and learn about their lifestyle and culture. Trekkers also get to witness many horses and cows grazing in the lush meadows of the region. In short, this trek is a paradise for trekkers, adventure seekers, and shutterbugs. Every morning, travelers can refresh themselves with a hot cup of tea before heading out for the trek.
b) About the Har Ki Dun Trek:
Har Ki Dun trek is a surprise package for enthusiastic trekkers to discover the Har Ki Dun Valley and make the trekking expedition a pleasant and memorable one. The trek towards Osla gives trekkers some of the most awesome views. The Har Ki Dun trek is the most favorite destination for summer trekking where trekkers can explore some of the most beautiful and attractive views. The dense forest in the valley has plenty of chestnuts, deodar, and sycamore. Travelers can pass through meadows, green patches with a variety of wild orchids, pine forests, blue poppies, rhododendrons (woody plants), thick forests and jungles all of which are constant companions through this fascinating journey.
Trekkers trek 5 hours each day and cover 47 km hovering at an altitude of 11,675ft that starts from the Sankri base camp. Can enjoy the beautiful picturesque view of the evening sun while trekkers are in the village. The exciting drive through Sankri will make travelers see wild orchids, Himalayan wildlife – barking deer, bores, and leopards. The ascend to Har Ki Dun gives an exquisite view of the orchid fields at 6,200m and have a glimpse of the attractive views of Swaragarohini and Juandar glaciers. The 5th day of the trek is at Osla and travelers spend that night in the tents and rest house. During the trek, the climb is steep but travelers get thrilled and stunned by the exquisite landscape. On the 7th day, travelers trek back to Sankri and embark on a journey to their destinations. The trek is sure to provide a perfect trekking expedition that trekkers are waiting for!
c) Trek Highlights:
Some of the highlights of the Har Ki Dun Trek are:
- Ranks as one of the most beautiful treks to explore the unexplored regions of the Himalayas.
- The Swaragarohini peak is supposed to be the celebrated pathway to heaven as in mythological references.
- Visit famous Duryodhana temple when visiting a small village, Osla.
- Camp under the night sky with a bonfire.
- Witness the small rivulets and grazing grounds with lots of cows and horses.
- Meet the local people of the village to understand their culture.
- View the majestic sunrise especially at Sankri.
- Jaundhar Glacier and Morinda Lake are some of the most charming attractions.
- Main attractions of the trek include- Har Ki Dun valley and villages of Sankri, Saud, Taluka, Osla, and Seema.
d) Key Facts About The Har Ki Dun Trek:
- Region: Garhwal, Uttarakhand.
- Starting Point: Sankri
- Base Camp:Sankri (10 hrs drive from Dehradun).
- Ending Point: Sankri.
- Nearest Railway station: Dehradun.
- Airport: Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun.
- Duration: 7 days and 6 nights.
- Temperature: 10 -15*C in the morning and 2 – 5*C at night.
- Ideal Time: April- June, and September- November.
- Level: Easy-Moderate. Recommended both for beginners as well as experienced trekkers. Not much of mountaineering expertise is required.
- Total Distance: 47 km.
- Maximum Elevation: 11,675 ft
- Weather: Snowfall from December- April. Post monsoon the best time to visit Har Ki Dun is September- December and most summers are pleasant with clear skies.
- Communication: After crossing Sankri trekkers experience uneven phone connectivity and both Sankri and Purola have only BSNL phone connectivity that works
- ATM Point: The last ATM point is Mori/ Purola.
SANKRI (1950 m) Drive - 200 Kms – 6 -7 Hrs
SANKRI (1950 m) – TALUKA Drive – 12 Kms – 45 Minutes / TALUKA – OSLA (2560 m) – Trek - 15 Kms – 5 - 6 Hrs
OSLA (2560 m) – HAR-KI-DUN (3566 m) - 11 Kms - 5-7 Hrs)
HAR-KI-DUN (3566 m) – JAUNDHAR GLACIER (4300m) – HAR-KI-DUN CAMP 15 Kms – 7 - 8 Hrs
HAR-KI-DUN - OSLA (2560 m) 11 Kms - 3-4 Hrs
SLA(2560 m) – SANKRI (1950 m) - 26 km – 6 – 7 Hrs
SANKRI – DEHRADUN – Drive - 200 Kms – 6 – 7 Hrs
Some of the inclusions that trekkers are provided during the Har Ki Dun Trek are as follows:
Type of accommodation during the Har Ki Dun trek are :
- Guest House.
Travelers should book through e-Uttaranchal some popular hotels like:
- Meraki Sankri homestay– 2 stars deluxe
- GMVN Har Ki Dun– Rest House ( 1 star)
- GMVN Osla– Tourist rest house (1-star budget)
- GMVN Sankri– (1-star budget)
- Jaypee Residency Manor – 14 km from Mussoorie
- Country Inn and Suites by Carlson Mussoorie– 12.3 km to camp Har Ki Dun
- Roke by Manor– 17.2 km to camp Har Ki Dun
- Sheraton Dehradun– 6.6 km from Har Ki Dun
- Hotel Madhuban– 3.5 km from Har Ki Dun
- Fortune Resort Grace– 15.6 km from Har Ki Dun
- Honeymoon Inn Mussoorie– 16 km from Har Ki Dun.
- Ibert manor Mussoorie– 16.5 km from Har Ki Dun.
Travelers have plenty of options to choose varied types of accommodation from luxury to star hotels, which are available across price bands from low-cost economical hotels to luxury, homestays, heritage hotels and resorts. Discounts on hotel room packages will be available if booked early. The GMVN ( Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam) is situated 34 km from Sankri in the interiors of Uttarkashi district. By far GMVN offers economy accommodation in dormitories with basic facilities ie. clean linen, hot water supply, and attached bathroom.
Healthy and nutritious vegetarian meals are provided – Optionally, egg supplement is provided. Travelers are given welcome tea/ coffee with light snacks, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. During the Har Ki Dun trek, refreshments are also given to keep them energized and refreshed through the trek.
Some activities that are most popular during the trek are:
- Scuba diving
- Kids adventure camp
- Village tourism.
The other inclusions are:
- Equipment gave during trekking- Sleeping bags, Mattress, Kitchen and Dining Tents, Utensils, Crampon.
- All the necessary permits are given to travelers.
- First aid, medical kits, stretcher and oxygen cylinder.
- Professional and qualified trek leader, guide and supporting staff.
One can reach Sankri which is the starting point of the Har Ki Dun trek, either by bus, train or can go through various destinations like Dehradun, Mussoorie, Purola, and Mori.
The Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun is the nearest airport to Sankri which is at a distance of about 220 Kms with a travel time of around 10 Hours. There are many taxis available from the airport to Sankri. Besides, limited bus services are available directly to Sankri.
Sankri is well be connected with major destinations of Garhwal like Dehradun, Mussoorie, Purola, and Mori. Dehradun is well connected to Delhi. Daily bus services are available from Kashmiri ISBT Gate. Most of the buses are early morning buses that ply directly travel from Dehradun and takes about 10 hours to reach Sankri. Shared jeeps are also available from Dehradun to Purola – Mori – Naitwar and finally to Sankri. However, since the shared jeeps usually wait until the jeeps are full it takes a longer time to reach Sankri while traveling thru shared jeeps in various sectors.
Dehradun is the nearest railway station which is well connected to many Indian cities. This is the gateway to Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. From Dehradun to Delhi travelers can take overnight trains – ie. Nandadevi and Dehradun express. By train Har Ki Dun is 220 km from Dehradun via Sankri.
Some of the basic essentials to carry while going for the Har Ki Dun trek are as follows:
- Trekking shoes: Since this trek is a long and tough, trekkers need proper and tough resistant trekking shoes for a good muscle and ankle support in addition to being water resistant.
- Carry a good backpack that has sturdy straps with a supporting frame. The rain cover is essential in addition to carry.
- Excluding monsoons, this trek happens throughout the year, so travelers have to make sure that they carry appropriate clothing as per that specific season.
- Two trek pants- Travelers should carry at least 2 pants with them in case the first one gets wet the second can be used as a spare.
- Since this is a high altitude trekking travelers make to make sure to carry proper clothes for the appropriate climatic conditions to protect them from extreme cold.
- Adequate collared shirts: Travelers should change t-shirts often, and take only full sleeve shirts as this gives protection from the sun on arms and neck. A lot of trekkers will sweat a lot as they will have some physical activity to be performed.
- Changing of clothes is must, most of the trekkers fall sick due to being in wet clothes.
- To protect the travelers from cold travelers have to carry thermals for the night.
- Since there is a lot of snowfall trekkers must carry sunglasses in order to prevent them from blindness.
- As travelers trek on high altitude should carry a sun cap to protect their face and neck.
- Carry a pair of waterproof/ resistant, windproof gloves and one pair of woolen hand gloves.
- Woolen scarf.
- Trekking pole
- First aid kit
- Woolen socks
- LED torch/ headlight
- Daypack – preferably with a capacity of 20 liters- Travelers who are offloading their backpack should carry a small one with water, medical kit, and some light snacks.
- Toiletries: ex- sunscreen, moisturizes, light towel, lip balm, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitizer.
- Wet wipes (tissues, wipes) in the mountains is not advisable since it is not biodegradable, for sanitary pads carry them in a Ziploc bag and after using them dispose of them after coming to the city.
- Travelers should carry a spoon, coffee mug and a lunchbox with them. May prefer to bring own cutlery for hygienic reasons.
- Carry few extra plastic bags for wet clothes.
- Medications for common ailments – ie
- Diamox ( 10 tablets) – To prevent Acute Mountain sickness.
- Dexamethasone – one strip
- BP Tablets as necessary
- Crocin – 6 tablets (fever)
- Avomine – 4 tablets (motion sickness)
- Avil 25mg – 4 tablets (allergies)
- Combiflam – 4 tablets (Painkiller)
- Disprin – 6 tablets (a headache)
- Norflox TZ & Lomofen– 6 tablets each (diarrhea)
- Digene – 10 tablets (acidity)
- Omez/ Rantadine – 10 tablets (antacids)
- Crepe bandage – 3 to 5 meters
- Gauze – 1 small roll
- Band-aid – 10 strips
- Cotton – 1 small roll
- Oral Rehydration Solution – 10 packets
- Moov spray (aches, & sprains)
- Betadine or any antiseptic cream
- How To Reach:
There are plenty of buses that ply every half an hour from the ISBT Kashmiri gate in New Delhi and take approximately 6 – 8 hours to reach Dehradun. From Dehradun, buses / shared jeeps/taxis are available to travel to Sankri which is at a distance of around 220 Kms with a travel time of around 10 Hours. There are also Volvo state buses from Shimla and Mussoorie, travelers can pre-book luxury buses or if they prefer, take a road trip through the NH72 highway. The base camp of Har Ki Dun taluka is only a 10-minute drive from Sankri. Har Ki Dun can be reached via Delhi- Meerut- Roorkee- Dehradun- Mussoorie- Naugaon- Purola- Mori- Sankri- Taluka- Har Ki Dun. Dehradun is around 250 Kms from Delhi and is the rendezvous point for the trek. Travelers usually assemble here and then proceed to Sankri which is the starting point of the trek.
The following are some of the guidelines that travelers should follow:
- This package has two variations, one with a transport that has to pick up and drop facilities from Dehradun to Sankri and back to Dehradun, Sankri that is the starting point of the trek. Those not preferring to take transport have to reach Sankri on their own. Travelers need to decide the options preferred and accordingly book travel/accommodation arrangements in advance.
- To avoid frostbites from extreme freezing temperatures, wear good trekking boots to keep warm.
- Avoid wearing thick socks or more than one pair of socks, to have proper blood circulation.
- Wear track pants instead of denim jeans.
- Avoid carrying any junk foods or snacks.
- Do not use any disposable plastic water bottles or plastic wrapped items.
- Prefer less luggage and carry only essentials for a pleasant trekking experience.
- Carry photo-id proofs/copies (Eg. Aadhaar, PAN, Voter-Id). These will be useful for establishing an identity with any authorities if needed.
- Have comprehensive pre-trek medical tests done and carry any medications that are suggested by the Physician during the Har Ki Dun trek.
The appropriate time to visit Har Ki Dun is in Summer – ie. April- June and post-monsoon – ie. September – December for the trek. Snow trekking is suitable for the winter season. Climatic conditions are very much different in the high altitudes from those in the plains, so trekkers need enough time to get acclimatized to the high altitudes.
Weather is pleasant and warm with clear skies with no dense fog. However, trekkers should carry light woolen clothes as temperatures can drop a little during the night. The temperature at Sankri is usually around 5*C, Seema and Har Ki Dun both have around 1-2*C.
In monsoon, this region is prone to landslides, and roads are closed but the scenic beauty is an attraction to trekkers who are willing to venture out and take risks. In short, this is a season if one is not risk averse!
The Har Ki Dun valley is a solitude and calm environment during winters. The region sees the beauty of a snowfall and the accommodation may be difficult to get as travelers throng this place for skiing. However, they must carry enough clothing such as fleece jackets, raincoats, warm clothes, thermals and long jackets. The temperature ranges in various places as follows – ie. Sankri – -1 °C, Seema – -3 °C and Har Ki Dun – -15 °C to -10 °C.
To conclude, Har Ki Dun trek is sure to provide delightful and WoW experience to all trekkers. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to witness the sheer beauty of Himalayas to the fullest accompanied by exquisite views of lush green meadows, forests, wildlife and everything that pleases one’s senses and eyes! In addition, the place is full of melodramatic peace and tranquility. With so much on offer, the place is a paradise on earth, which helps to re-charge positive energies to the fullest. Why wait? Grab the opportunity and undertake Har Ki Dun trek for a heady experience!!!!!!!