ABOUT THE KEDARTAL (SHIVA’S LAKE):
The destination of Kedartal is also called “Shiva’s Lake”. The glacial lake is situated at an altitude of 4750 m in the Garhwal region of the Himalayas. The lake has inflows from Thalay Sagar (6,904 m), Meru ( 6,672 m) and Bhrigupanth ( 6,772 m) and other peaks encompassing the region and is a source of ” Kedar Ganga” which according to Hindu Mythology is considered as Lord’s Shiva’s contribution to Bhagirathi. The place is situated 17 km from Gangotri. Starting from here Kedartal Trek route goes through Bhojkarak which is 8 km away. This is a steep and rocky climb along the narrow Kedar Ganga Gorge. The route from here is 4 km to the next camping site of Kedarkharak and 5 km down to Kedartal. The place is filled with the beauty of alpine and the Himalayan forest, bubbling streams and glaciers, but it is a little dangerous one because of falling rocks, high altitude, and segments of sharp and narrow ascent.
The Kedartal trek starts from Gangotri which is at an altitude of 3,415 m. It is one of the most revered Hindu pilgrimage spots, and one of small pilgrimage site in the Chota Char Dham Pilgrimage Circuit. Goddess Gangotri is the presiding deity of the shrine. Here, the Kedar Tal Trek takes a diversion to Bhoj Kharak at 3,989 m. From here it is a tough and arduous walk to Kedartal. At the backdrop, one can see the massive Himalayas that surround the lakes from all the sides. The surrounding environs provide a heavenly experience to the travelers. This Kedartal trek is considered to be moderate which is more suitable for trekkers having prior experience.
KEDARTAL TREK HIGHLIGHTS:
- Region: Garhwal, Uttarakhand
- Starting Point: Uttarkashi
- Ending Point: Uttarkashi
- Duration: 6 days and 5 nights
- Ideal Time: Mid May-Mid
- Level: A challenging and hard 6-day long trek requires perfect mountaineering expertise.
- Total Distance: 60 Km
- Maximum elevation: 16,000 Ft.
- Weather: Summers are pleasant and cool winds blowing thru the Himalayas. Winters are very cold with heavy snowfall.
- Communication: Emergency communication becomes difficult after Sankri as connectivity will be In case trekkers are with a group walkie-talkies will be there to communicate with the base camp.
- ATM Point: Uttarkashi is the last point where travelers can find ATM’s.
KEY FACTS ABOUT KEDARTAL TREK:
- Also called as Shiva’s lake it is one of the most splendid and spectacular glacial lakes in Uttarakhand. It can be called a trek of “Serenity with Variety“.
- The surrounding peaks are snow-capped mountains of Thalaysagar, Bhrigupanth, Meru, Jogin. It is a sheer beauty to watch melting snow in summer from these peaks!.
- On a clear day, travelers can watch the enchanting view of the reflection of Thalaysagar peak on the ‘Tal’ lake bed.
- Trekkers usually need about 3 days to acclimatize to the weather conditions considering the steep ascent of the trek.
- The thick foliage, forests and flora, and fauna besides posing tough conditions teaches the trekkers the need to be patient and skillful to surmount the challenges on the way.
- Proper mental and physical fitness are
- Camping overnight after every thousand meters is recommended.
- An experienced trekking guide is a must, for providing valuable insights and guidance during the whole Kedartal trek.
Check Out: Roopkund Trek 2018 & Valley of Flowers Trek
Dehradun – Uttarkashi – Gangotri: 10 Hours - Drive 258 Kms
Gangotri- Bhoj Kharak (12,400 Ft) - 8 Hours - 8 Kms
Bhoj Kharak – Kedar Kharak: - 5 Hours - 5 Kms
Kedar Kharak – Kedar Tal – Jogin ABC – Kedar Tal - 5 Hours - 10 Kms
Kedar Tal – Gangotri - 9 Hours - 17 Kms
Gangotri – Uttarkashi – Dehradun - 10 Hours - 258 Kms
Gangotri is the final point where travelers can find comfortable accommodation when traveling to Kedartal Trek. Trekkers must carry their own camping tents for accommodation.
In this trek meals are provided from snacks, the trekkers get a variety of foods ( tasty and healthy) that range from Indian, Chinese and also some Western foods with plenty of fruits and vegetables on the platter.
The various activities include the following:
The Kedartal Trek has some other inclusions like:
- All important permits, environmental charges, and forest camping.
- All essential trekking equipment- sleeping bags, tents, inner mattress, dining and toilet tents.
- Porter for food items, cook, and a mule kitchen and various equipment.
- A certified mountaineering guide throughout the Kedar Tal trek.
- Services of a well-experienced trek leader.
By Train- Haridwar is the closest railway station from the base of the camp. It is located at a distance of 248 km from Uttarkashi with a travel time of around 9 Hours. A bus or a cab can be hired to reach Kedartal which is 55 Kms away with a travel time of around 2 Hours.
By Air- Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is the closest airport which located around 150 km from Uttarkashi with a travel time of around 5 Hours. A bus or a cab can be hired to reach Kedartal which is 55 Kms away with a travel time of around 2 Hours.
By Road- Dehradun is well connected by road with all Indian cities. Kedartal is around 205 Kms away with a travel time of around 7 Hours.
One can reach Kedartal by two routes:
- Delhi – Haridwar – Rishikesh – Uttarkashi – Gangotri – Bhoj Kharak – Kedar and Kharak –
- Kedar Tal – Bhoj Kharak – Gangotri – Rishikesh – Haridwar – Delhi.
- There are a lot of a/c Volvo buses available to Kedartal it gives an enjoyable ride to the base camp at Mt. Thalaysagar and Mt. Bhrigupant. Taxis are available in plenty from Rishikesh, Haridwar, Dehradun. From Dehradun, the journey time from Rishikesh is about 12 hours and can be reached by SUV’s, other vehicles, and privately operated jeeps. Some important road distances are Yamunotri (224 km), Dharasu ( 129 km), Tehri (172 km) and Mussoorie ( 247 km).
- Health insurance documents- Health insurance cards and copies of claim forms
- Proof of yellow fever vaccination- If in case the trip needs travelers to take the completed International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis card or medical waiver.
- Copies of all prescriptions- Be sure to get copies of all prescriptions that have generic drug names. Also bring prescriptions for eyeglasses/ contacts, and other medical supplies.
- Photo Identity ID Card – Aadhaar, PAN, Driving Licence, Voter Id (Better to carry copies for submission to any agencies)
- Contact details:
- For handling any emergencies, it is suggested to carry cards having contact numbers, email
Summer is the right time to visit Kedartal ( May – June) when the climatic conditions are pleasant and wholesome and the temperature is 5*C- 15*C. In the winter the temperature is -3*C – -5*C. and completely covered with snow. In summer, the Himalayas are clearly visible, and the cool breeze gives more beauty and charisma to the vacation.
This is yet another trek which provides travelers a lifetime experience to witness nature at its best and be among them free from all normal routines. This is an exotic destination and a paradise on the earth for trekkers to relax, enjoy, refresh and rejuvenate themselves.