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For years now, I've been an avid trekker. From the Shivaliks of Uttarakhand or the Stok Himalayas of Ladakh, I've explored almost all. Being born in Uttarakhand, I never bothered exploring little more than what was easily accessible for me living in Nainital and Pithoragarh (Kumaon) and thus started exploring and trekking in Himachal. Only but recently, I and a group of my friends decided to go for the KEDARKANTHA TREK.
We left for Dehradun and then to Sankri to start our trek. I was thrilled to explore this part of Uttarakhand but wasn't hoping to see much that I had not seen already. "I am from Uttarakhand I thought, how much more can this be different".
I couldn't have been more wrong in my life. Having seen so much, I was mesmerized by what this trek had to offer and therefore, this is perhaps one of the best winter treks in India. Here's why:
1. The Landscape
This trek offers a very diverse landscape and to add to its beauty are the surrounding peaks of Swargarohini and Black peak. You enter a forest and soon meet the snow. As you go up, the level of snow keeps on increasing and amidst the forest, you see the breathtaking view. The hike to the summit is a bit tiring but the view from the top is worth it.
2. Easily accessible
Getting to this trek is the easiest. It's a decent journey from Dehradun to Sankri but a lot of options are available which includes both private and public transport. The roads are open throughout the year and upon reaching Sankri, the places to stay are innumerable. The trek starts right from Sankri and that makes it a very accessible option for winter treks.
3. Juda ka Talab
About 4/5kms (approx) from the trek point, this place is a gem. This place will surely take you by surprise. A frozen pond out of nowhere. It gives you a tinge of European lakes in the winters. This place is a real shocker and adds points to why Kedarkantha is one of the best winter treks.
4. Easy to moderate
This is an easy to moderate level trek and almost everyone can do it. Young or old, Experienced or not, Kedarkantha is there for all.
5. The people
The last and perhaps the final nail in the coffin is that the people you'd come across are phenomenal. The locals were extremely helpful and whether you are with them or not, they'll be there to help you out anyway. A few of the locals I met went out of their way to help me and my team with some food and help with the basic equipment that we needed for the night.
Overall, you can't miss this trek. It has something to offer everyone out there and perhaps that makes this the best winter trek there is in India.
“The sun knocks at my door and I start another day where everything will be new, a day that will not be repeated. I am not certain about what I will find but I am certain about everything else that I am free and completely free”