Uttarakhand state is a treat for trekkers. The state has so many beautiful trekking destinations that attract a lot of trekkers and backpackers every year. Traveling gives inner peace. Exploring and experiencing the beauty of nature by taking a walk in a soothing environment is something that everyone desires.
Two scenic and classic treks of Uttarakhand are- Kedarkantha and Har ki Doon.
A great question arises and creates confusion that which trek to do in March as both Har ki Doon and Kedarkantha are the most scenic treks and gives a wonderful experience. A small analysis of both the treks will make it clear and help to choose one.
By dividing into some important points the analysis goes like this:
- Altitude / Distance
- Kedarkantha: 12,500ft/ 23KM
- Har ki Doon:11,768ft/ 47KM
- Views or Peaks visible
Har ki Doon offers splendid views of Swargarohini, Bandarpooch, and Black Peak. Jaundhar glacier lies at a distance of 5km.
Kedarkantha offers majestic 360-degree views of 13 Himalayan peaks from the top like Swargarohini, Black Peak, Bandarpooch and other mighty peaks.
- Best time to visit
The best time to visit Kedarkantha is in the months of October to February. The trek is covered with ankle-deep pristine white snow. From March the snow starts melting and the temperature rises up.
Har ki Doon is best to visit in the summer months from May till October. The weather remains pleasant and calm. The valley gets covered in snow in winter months.
Avoid trekking in monsoons, as it becomes risky to trek on the muddy and slippery trail.
- Trek grade or trail
Kedarkantha is an easy to slightly moderate trek and perfect for beginners. The trail is straight up and of steep ascent. The trek will pass through dense pines, lakes, and beautiful campsites.
While Har ki Doon is a moderate to difficult grade trek. It is preferred to seasoned trekkers. The trail will take you to lush meadows, dense forests, lakes, and tiny villages.
As Kedarkantha is a beginner trek, you will spot a lot of trekkers and travelers.
In winter months or in monsoon season you will spot a less crowd.
Har ki Doon is a seasonal trek and a difficult one. The serenity and tranquility due to lack of the crowd will leave you awestruck. It is often called the valley of gods which offer peaceful surroundings.
- Village tourism or local experience
Both the trek starts from Sankri village, near Dehradun. Kedarkantha trek only passes through three beautiful and scenic campsites Juda ka Talab, Kedarkantha basecamp, and Hargaon.
Har ki Doon passes through tiny hamlets and villages like Osla, Taluka, Seema, etc. All these villages are untouched by civilization and great ancient stories are associated with each place. As the mythological facts say that, Pandavas took this path (Har ki Doon) to reach Swargrohini Peak and went to heaven. Like the quaint village, Osla has a Duryodhana temple. It is still a mystery that the temple is devoted to Lord Shiva or Duryodhana. The trek offers a great opportunity to explore the villages and know about their culture and hardships. Hear a lot of old stories from the locals and visit the old monuments and temples in the villages. The architecture of these villages is unique and attractive. The locals are self-sufficient here and they sell rajma, rice, charas, to earn for their living.
- Flora and fauna
Both the treks come under the belt of Govind Wildlife Sanctuary. A good chance to explore the flora and fauna. A great variety of medicinal plants are found in Har ki Doon valley. Whereas, Kedarkantha has only pines and rhododendrons and lush meadows. One can spot a lot of Himalayan birds like Redstart, Rosefinch, Monal, and bearded vulture. Animals like black bears, snow leopards, wild boars, musk deers can be easily spotted.
The basecamp of both the treks is Sankri village which is around 200 km from Dehradun. You can reach Dehradun by taking a direct flight, bus, or train. Then a local bus or cab to reach Sankri village. If you have couple of days more then you can explore Dehradun as well. Uttarakhand is full of beautiful and religious places.
I think this short analysis will clear your confusion and help you to choose better. Both the adventures are great and offer amazing experiences. Plan and take a scenic walk in the tranquil environment and get close to nature.
Live. Travel. Explore!!