Home to lush green pastures in silent valleys and breathtaking white snow-covered peaks of the Himalayas, Uttarakhand offers some of the best mountain treks out there. Perhaps one of the most famous treks of Garhwal Himalayas is the Har-Ki-Doon trek. Situated at the base of Fateh Parvat, the Har-Ki-Doon valley stands at an elevation of 3556m, and offers moderate difficulty. The name ‘Har-Ki-Doon’ loosely translates to ‘The valley of gods’.
The valley itself is home to a diverse array of hilly forest flora, including trees of Pine, Chinar, Chestnut, Oak and conifers of all types. It is a prime spot for bird-watching too!
Don’t worry, we’ve got the itinerary planned for you!
Day-1 : Dehradun to Sankri
It is easy to reach Dehradun as Dehradun railway station is a major Indian railways stop. From the railway station, one can take a bus that runs from Dehradun to Sankri in the morning (alternatively, one may take a bus to Purola, form where, one can easily take a taxi to Sankri). Sankri is about 160 Km from Dehradun. It is located in the Tons valley of the Uttarkashi district. Accomodation is available at Sankri in the form of Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam guest houses. (After recent increase in tourist activity, roads are motorable till Taluka. Thus, as an alternative one may start the trek from Taluka instead of Sankri.) Sankri is a quiet little village.Nestled in the natural landscape of the hills, this village is a beautiful place with abundant flowering vegetation.
(image : sankri village)
Day-2 :Sankri to Taluka
The first part of the trek is a 12-km trek from Sankri to Taluka. It used to be a rough forest road, but due to recent development in tourist activity in the area, its condition has improved a lot. A prime location for bird-watching, nature lovers will love this trek as it offers a sneak peek into the rich biodiversity of the Himalayan foothills. Situated 200m above the Tons river, on the left bank, Taluka village comprises of a handful of houses, a few shops and a Forest rest house. This area has a very open meadow which is full of wild flower blossoms that have a very sweet smell in the spring season.
(image: taluka village)
Day-3 :Taluka to Osla
The next destination stands at an altitude of 2560m. The 10-12km walk from Taluka to Osla is a bit exerting, especially because of the sharp cold mornings, bu the scenic beauty makes up for it. The region is colourful all through the year, virtue of the blooming orchid flowers that grow here. Dotted along the fields and lining the trails, it is a beautiful sight to behold. Crossing the Siyan Gad bridge, one arrives at the Dhatmir village. From here, you will need to cross the river Ton and reach the other bank. This phase of the trek does not have any steep climbs, and there is a steady increase in the altitude. One may even encounter some wildlife on this trail like boars and deer.
(image: river tons)
Day-4 :Osla to Har-ki-doon
The next step of the journey is a 10-15Km walk from Osla to Har-Ki-Doon. Vast spread, beautiful, lush green meadows await you on this trail. The trail ascends quite rapidly and might become a bit steep here. As is common to secluded spots of natural beauty, the peace and calm in the lap of nature is unparalleled. The beauty of wild orchids and other types of flowers is like no other scene in the world. The crisp, fresh air reathes life back into your lungs as you climb up to Har-Ki-Doon, greeted with spectacular scenic views of Swargarohini and Juandhar glaciers. This is truly one of the most amazing scenes in the world, and is worth adding to the picture album. The night can be spent camping out in the lap of nature.
(image: Jaundhar glacier)
Day-5 : Roundabout trip from Har-Ki-Doon to Jaundhar glacier
2Km away from the base of Swargarohini Mountain is the Jaundhar glacier which lines the base of the mountain itself. 55Km of pure white glistening snow covers the glacier stretch and is a wonderful sight of beauty to marvel at.
It is possible to visit the glacier and then return to the camp at Har-Ki-Doon on the same day.
Day-6-7-8: Return trek to Osla, Taluka and Sankri, finally back to Dehradun
The return trek mostly follows the same trail and the trek finally ends back at Dehradun.
The Har-Ki-Doon valley is truly a remarkable trek that will provide a soul-enriching experience to all who embark upon it. It is best visited in spring-time when the flowers are in bloom and natural beauty is at its peak.
Be sure to carry ample water and energy food with you.
And finally, enjoy the serenity of unexplored wildlife and open fields of the Himalayan foothills.