Located in the Garhwal region of the Himalayas, there is a hanging valley which is shaped like a cradle. This is the Har Ki Doon Valley, also known as the ‘Valley of Gods’. There is a legend based on this valley that the Pandavas took the trail here to reach paradise.
The Har Ki Doon trek is a beautiful one where the trail runs through mesmerizing alpine meadows and forests having pine trees. You will be taken to the Govind National Park. The scenery will be a treat to your soul. This scenic trek takes place in Uttarakhand’s Sankri range, which is why people also call it the Sankri trek. You have to reach Dehradun in order to start this trek.
The difficulty level of this trek is medium and will give you an opportunity to get a look at hypnotic peaks like the Black peak, Swargarohini and Bandarpoonch. An interesting fact is that the Har ki Doon is the river Yamuna’s biggest water source.
You will be going through some very old villages during the trek. You will be able to gain some knowledge about the livelihood and style of living that the villagers here have.
The Osla temple which will fall on the trekking route is a wondrous point as it was built 2000 years ago. It was built with wood by the worshippers of Duryodhan and lived on Saur.
Once you reach Dehradun, you can book a room at a hotel to stay the night. The next morning you have to wake up really really so that you can get on the 5 am bus which runs daily between Dehradun to Sankri. To reach the Sankri base camp, this is the only bus that is available and it is a private bus. There are no government buses. This bus is available in front of the railway station.
There are budget hotels on the main road in the main Sankri market where you can stay for a day. If your hotel cannot provide you with meals, getting food from the locality will not be a problem. There are shops selling things which are based on daily needs and basic necessities.
In the next morning, you can use a jeep to reach the Taluka village which is about ten or eleven kilometers from Sankri. Sankri serves as Har ki dun’s main entrance. Govind National Pashu Vihar starts from the Taluka village and the Har ki Dun trek falls inside this beautiful national park.
You will reach the Taluka village from Sankri in about 30 minutes. You can start the trek after having some refreshments in Taluka.
Till Taluka, which is the last village before the trek starts, the roads are motorable. If you hire a car, it can only take you till this point. You will have to start trekking from Taluka and the distance from Taluka to Har ki Dun is 27 kilometers! You will not be able to reach your destination from Taluka in less than three days.
This trek is a trek to the Valley of Gods. If you are a nature lover or someone who has not gone on any treks, the Har Ki Dun trek is going to be an absolute treat for you. The trek will take you to less exploited territories of Uttarakhand’s Garhwal region. It is an ideal trek for those who will be trekking in the Himalayas for the first time as it is a moderate trek. It will be equally enjoyable for anyone who has been on multiple treks in other places of the Himalayas. The Sankri base camp not only serves the Har ki Dun trek but also other treks like the Ruinsara Lake Trek, the Kedarkantha trek and so on.
The words ‘Har ki Dun’ means ‘Valley of Gods’. In the Himalayan region, this is the best trek that a first-timer can attempt. Uttarakhand’s Har ki Dun trek will take you through remote places of Garhwal region which has been very less explored. The trek is located amidst Govind Pashu Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park and there are other treks like the Kedarkantha trek which is famous and done in winters. You will get glimpses of glorious peaks like the Kala Nag or Black Peak, Swargarohini and Bandar Poonch. We will be going to Har ki Doon from Sankri via Taluka, Pauni Garaat and Kalkattiyadhaar.
How fit do you have to be for the Har ki Dun trek?
At high altitudes, oxygen is not available very abundantly as the air becomes thin and this affects the oxygen level in our blood. Once you climb or reach at 7000 feet above sea level which is 2100 meter, the level of oxygen in haemoglobin begins to climb down. The human body though is partially capable of adapting to the lack of oxygen, both for short and long terms when on a high altitude.
First time trekkers can go on this moderately hard Har ki Dun trek. It is better to have an above fitness level and one must have a basic fitness level. It is not necessary to have any prior trekking experience but having one will definitely be helpful.
It is categorised as a moderate level trek because there are not many steep areas which you have to climb up or down. The path of the trail is nicely laid out and one will not have any difficulty getting drinking water, if required. If this is going to be your first trekking experience, that too in the Himalayas, being prepared is going to be the best idea.
Generally on this trek, by six hours trekkers cover approximately nine kilometers which means crossing 1.5 kilometers in one hour. But this is on hilly and mountainous terrain. You must keep in mind that this means you should be able to walk six kilometers in an hour when walking on plain land!
We have provided a schedule below which can train you to run three kilometers in half-an-hour. Don’t forget to incorporate a warm-up routine to this. You can start with some stretching exercises.
Training schedule for improving fitness before trekking:
1st week – Start with walking briskly for the first ten minutes. For the next ten minutes, you will have to jog. Get to easy walking for the last ten minutes.
2nd week – Do brisk walking for the first five minutes only. You have to go jogging for the next fifteen minutes. Follow it with an easy walk for the next five minutes.
3rd week – Continue with the schedule given for the second week.
4th week – Start with brisk walking for five minutes. Jog for the next twenty-five minutes. Do your cool down routine.
By road – There are many bus services which are available from Delhi for going to Dehradun or Rishikesh. You will get all types of buses – Semi-sleeper, sleeper, non-AC and AC buses.
By train – The Haridwar and Dehradun are the two closest railway junctions. Our representatives will be there to meet you at the Dehradun railway station. There is a connecting train from Haridwar to Dehradun which you can take after arriving at the Haridwar junction from your hometown.
By flight – The Dehradun airport is the nearest one for this trek. Most of the country’s metro cities have flights connecting to Dehradun. Our representatives will be there at the airport too to greet you and pick you up.
Reach Dehradun airport by 8 am or Dehradun Railway Station by 9
Leave for Sankri
The drive will be through thick pine forests on winding roads. The mountains and the rivers Yamuna and Tons make the traverse scenic and beautiful.
You will be briefed about the next trekking plan in the next five days by the trek leaders once we reach Sankri. The rentals you have applied for will be given.
Have a good sleep after a hearty dinner.
The distance covered will be 200 kms in 8 to 9 hours
The altitude climbed will be 2087 feet at Dehradun to 6455 feet in Sankri.
Stay will be at a hotel in Sankri on a 3-4 sharing basis.
Go to Taluka from Sankri in a car after having a nice breakfast.
The trek to Pauni Garaat will be started from Taluka. The river on your right will be the Rupin river.
The trail has gradual ascents mostly making the hike an easy walk. You will be seeing wild roses, chestnut trees, iris plants, deodar and bamboo trees.
Relax after reaching Pauni Garaat.
The distance covered by car will be 12 kms and in one hour
The trekking distance of 10 kms will be covered in 6 to 7 hours
The altitude climbed will be from 6455 feet at Sankri to 7000 feet at Taluka to 8200 feet at Paini Garaat
Stay will be at camps in Taluka on a sharing basis.
The trek will start early in the morning. You will be crossing Garat huts, cattle-grazing fields and trek through farms and fields.
You will be going to Osla village after this section. The village is surrounded by forests having cashew nut and walnut trees.
Throughout your trek, you will be mesmerised by the sight of Himalayan flowers and wild orchids.
The wooden architecture found in Osla village is famous due to its excellence. We will also visit a temple dedicated to Duryodhana which is 2000 years old.
We will start ascending towards Kalkattiyadhaar after spending some time at Osla.
In the background of the valley, we will get glimpses of the Dhauladhar range.
We will reach a green stretch of land after some time where we will set up our camps.
The trekking distance covered will be 8 kms in 7 to 8 hours.
The altitude climbed will be from 8200 feet at Pauni Garaat to 9800 feet at Kalkattiyadhaar.
Camp stay at Kalkattiyadhaar on a sharing basis
Start the most scenic trekking day early in the morning.
We will enter the valley after a hanging bridge over the Rupin river. The view of the valley with the snow-capped peaks in the background will make your jaw drop.
Lush green meadows, tall pine trees and freshwater streams will be greeting you during the valley trek.
This is the day when you will be able to see tall peaks like Black Peak, Swargarohini and Hata peak.
After we explore this magnificent valley to our heart’s content, we will go back to our Kalkattiyadhaar’s campsite.
The trekking distance covered will be 10 kms in 8 to 9 hours.
The altitude climbed will be from 9800 feet at Kalkattiyadhar to 11800 feet at Har KI Doon.
Camp-stay at Kalkattiyadhaar on a sharing basis again
This is the beginning of our return journey.
We will go to Pauni Garaat taking the same route which we used while coming.
Enjoy the breathtaking views for one last time and store them in our memories.
Relax after reaching Pauni Garaat.
The distance covered will be 8 kms in 7 to 8 hours.
The altitude descended from 9800 feet at Kalkattiyadhaar to 8200 feet at Pauni Garaat.
Camp stay at Pauni Garaat on a sharing basis.
Following the 2nd day’s route, we will reach Taluka by noon.
We will cover the 12 kms distance from Taluka in Sankri by car.
The trek distance covered will be 10 km in 6 to 7 hours.
The driving distance covered will be 12 kms, done in one hour.
The altitude descended from 8200 feet at Pauni Garaat to 7000 feet at Taluka to 6455 feet at Sankri.
Stay will be at a hotel in Sankri on 3-4 sharing basis as usual.
Head back to Dehradun after capturing a few clicks at the homestay.
Reach the Dehradun airport by 6pm
A distance of 200 kms will be covered in 7 to 8 hours.
For people who want to do rafting, accommodation will be provided by us.
Stay will be at a homestay in Rishikesh on a sharing basis.
For people who has not opted for rafting, you will be dropped at airport or railway station by 6 pm.
A 16km rafting at Rishikesh will cost rs. 2500 extra
By 9 am, the rafting instructor will reach our hotel.
The rafting area will be adjacent to the hotel.
After giving instructions, the instructor will start the river-rafting.
River rafting will be completed by 1 pm.
We will check-out from our hotel by 2 pm.
You will be dropped at the airport by 4 in the afternoon.
Add-ons for River Rafting:
Staying at hotel on 7th day
16 km rafting
Go Pro shoot
Pick up and drop facilities