Har Ki Dun Ruinsara Tal Trek

01 Aug

Har Ki Dun Ruinsara Tal Trek

One of the most gorgeous among Uttarakhand’s trekking destinations, Har Ki Doon in the Garhwal Himalayas at. is a hanging valley famed for exquisite beauty. The trek route offers a variety of interesting features—forests rich in flora and fauna, a series of quaint villages on the cliffs, the delightful experience of camping by a sprightly mountain river, and vista of snow peaks. The trail is age old and steeped in legends. Some say, it is the same route taken by the Pandavas in the Mahabharata on their ascent to heaven. Swargarohini—the snow peak, the vision of which dominates this trek bears legacy of the mythical stairway to heaven. Among other relics of an interesting past, the Duryodhana Temple in village Osla on this trail deserves a mention.

Har Ki Doon trek is a favorite in summers and post-monsoon owing to the vibrant greens patched with orchids, rhododendrons, and other blossoms. The trail in most parts running through a deep forest cover, keeps away risks of altitude adaptation marking the trek safe for beginners and young trekkers. On an average, the trek will have 5 hours of hiking per day but thanks to thorough connection with localities, the route is full of simple facilities like little refreshing eateries on the way.

The challenge of Har Ki Doon, besides the long hours of trek for 6 long days is trekking in the rains. The peak time of the year for this trek is not winter after snowfall but in summer frequented by rain. Proceeding through green foliages dripping with pearls of rain is a beautiful experience but trekkers must be well equipped for it. Rain trekking essential like poncho, waterproof covers, anti-diarrhea medicines, and water resistant trekking boots has to be ticked boxed first when packing for this journey.

Who can go

First timer can apply, should have some interest in trekking and mountaineering.
The climber must be fit and have sufficient stamina to cover 5 km of distance in 30 minutes without a stress.
The climber should be able to carry a 10-15 kg backpack.
Heart problem, high blood pressure, asthma, and epilepsy cannot be reconciled on this mission. The climber must not have the conditions mentioned above.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1: Dehradun to Sankri
220 km drive by NH 507 – approx 10 hours.
Altitude: 6,400 feet.
Last ATM- Purola
Small shops available for trekking gears and miscellany
BSNL network erratic
Guest House Stay
Breakfast and lunch excluded, dinner included
Trekkers will be picked from Dehradun at 6:30am in a Tata Sumo or a similar vehicle.
Expected arrival time at Sankri – 5:00 pm .

Day 2: Sankri to Pauni Garaat via Taluka
Sankri to Taluka (Drive 12 km) (1 hour)
Altitude of Taluka- 7,000 ft
Taluka to Pauni Garaat
Altitude-8,200 ft
Trek Distance: 10km
Trek Time: 6 hours approx.
Trek Level: Easy level walk and gradual ascent in most parts
Packed lunch
Spring water points
Riverside camping in Govind National Park forests

Day 3: Pauni Garaat to Kalkattiyadhaar
Altitude- 9,800 ft
Trek Distance: 7 km
Trek Time: 6 hour
Packed lunch
Spring water points
Trek Level: Steeper ascent than last day, but well distributed in level walks and inclines
Camp stay in meadows overlooking mountains near a food stall

Day 4: Kalkattiyadhar to Har Ki Doon
Altitude: 11, 768 ft.
Trek Distance- 5 km
Trek Time- 3.5 hour
Hot lunch
Spring water points
Trek Level: Relaxed forest walk combined with boulder walk. Mixed gradient with gradual incline.
Riverside camping in the valley
Snow Peaks in View: Swargarohini, Hata Peak, Black Peak etc.

Day 5: Har Ki Doon to Pauni Garaat via Osla
Trek Distance – 13.5 km
Total Trek Time- 8 hour
Har Ki Doon – Kalkattiyadhar: 5 km; Kalkattiyadhar – Osla: 5.5 km; Osla – Pauni Garaat: 1 ½ km
Packed lunch
Spring water points
Riverside camping in Govind National Park forests

Day 6: Pauni Garaat to Sankri via Taluka
Trek Time-5 hour
Trek Distance-10 km;
Packed Lunch
Spring water points
Drive from Taluka to Sankri- 12 km
Driving Time- 1 hour
Guest house stay

Day 7: Sankri to Dehradun
Distance: 220 km drive, approx 10 hours.
Driving Time-10 hour;
Driving Time- 7 am-6 pm
Breakfast and lunch excluded
You will be dropped at Dehradun station in a Tata Sumo or a similar vehicle
Note: On Day 7, you’ll reach Dehradun by 6 pm. You can book your travel any time after 8 pm.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Dehradun to Sankri
The first day begins with a 10 hour drive from Dehradun to Sankri. You are expected to reach Dehradun railway station by 6:30 in the morning. To reach on time, you can book an overnight bus ride from Delhi to Dehradun ISBT.

Passing through Mussoorie- the “Queen of the Hills” on to Uttarkashi district, we will cross Naugaon, Purola, Mori, and Netwar before finally reaching village Sankri- the first stop on the trek. The road is through and through picturesque with pine tree forests starting on both sides of a road that catches up on a parallel to the course of the river Tons. Stopping at a favorable hour, we will have lunch somewhere by the road at an inn. Reaching Purola, you should get done with important calls and internet usage because hereafter, connection will get fuzzy. BSNL is the only efficient service available in this zone with limited providers.

A short way before Sankri, we will cross the Govind National Park checkpoint and at about 6 in the evening, the drive will end at Sankri. After freshening up at the guest house, you will get sufficient time to explore the market close by. Trekking essentials, garments, and equipments are available at the bazaar in Sankri, in case you need last minute shopping for the venture ahead.

Day 2: Sankri to Pauni Garaat 
On day 2, we start on our drive from Sankri to Taluka at 7 in the morning. This short drive through gradually thickening forests and streams cutting through the path over boulders will introduce us to the terrain of our trek closely.

Reaching Taluka, another village of the same lineage found on this trek, trekkers will be invited to collect refreshments before getting started on the hike. The first lapse is a descent to the banks of the beautiful Tons and keeping the river on the right, the trail enters a level walk through forests of conifers until reaching the first cemented bridge.

Crossing the stream, the trail leads up to a wooden bridge where a gentle slope goes down to the waters. Here you can fill your bottle and move ahead. The whole way along the river is ideal for photo compositions and provides shade too. We approach the rest point for lunch by the Supin tributary that we crossed before at around 1 in the noon. At a rocky height from the banks of the rivulet is a food shack, one of the many that we are going to find on our trek to the valley. These stores are with packaged food and beverage along with delightful hot snacks. In addition to our packed lunch, this will add a different twang of delight to outdoor meals on the move.

Progressing ahead, harvest fields of potato, millet, and maize will fall on the way giving the whole stretch a ranch house feel. Pauni Garaat, a green clearing on the banks of Supin at its sprightly best is arrived at late in the afternoon as the Sun begins to dip—welcome to the first camp!

Day 3: Pauni Garaat to Kalkattiyadhaar
Pauni Garaat to Kalkattiyadhar is a distance of 7 km over 6 hours which we start early morning at 6. The trail crosses 3 “garaat” or hydroelectricity run chaffing units which are used by the villagers for separating husks of millet and maize followed by grounding to flour. The idyllic vibe retained in the surrounding, the trek proceeds through harvest lands, cattle grazing, and slant roofed huts used as granary and storages. After crossing a log bridge, the trail turns for an ascent. On this incline, you will get fabulous viewpoints to steal glimpses of the Dhauladhar Range out front. Snaky trails to Borasu Pass and Baspa Valley can also be made out from here.
The high trail winds further down reaching a tabletop green stretch—Kalkattiyadhar. This is the campsite for day 2.

Day 4: Kalkattiyadhar to Har Ki Doon
A shorter distance of 5 km is reserved for the summit day, spanning over 3.5 hour of trekking time. Moving through a thick forest of conifers—chestnut, bhojpatra or papyrus bark, pines, and cedar, the trail is an intense experience of nature. There are several log bridges to be crossed over cool flowing streams concluded by the final ascent lap. The last landmark on the stretch to the valley is a waterfall, after which the ascent is unrelenting till the destination is reached.

About after 40 minutes on the uphill trail from the waterfall, you will reach the Valley cradled in greenery at the feet of the Har Ki Doon peak. The silvery waters of Supin streams through the heart of the valley and at the end of the vale there shows green roofed cottages of the forest department. The camps are made with a view of the majestic Swargarohini visible in front and the Hatha peak peeking from a corner. You will reach the valley in time to take a walk up to the cluster of green-roofed cottages. From here, you can treat your eyes to a different side of Swargarohini. A Shiva temple with a trident raised in the sky marks this glorious spot.
Remember to keep your cameras on stand-by to capture that beautiful essence of alpine glow when the sun sets.

Day 5: Har Ki Doon to Pauni Garaat via Osla
On day 5, we start off with a packed lunch towards Osla via Kalkattiyadhar. Down by the same trail, we break towards the village after crossing a cemented bridge. The village is reached by afternoon to be greeted with a host of smiling faces. The exceptional architecture of Osla’s houses invokes a different time and a different world altogether, the most striking structure being the Durtodhana temple topped with a pair of carved peacocks.

Multihued ethnic garments, bronze and silver hand whittled jewelry, and typical headgears define the cultural richness of the people here. After soaking in the rustic charm of Osla for an hour or two, wind down the narrow hilly lanes back to the expansive riverbed and followed by a few hours of mixed descent, you will reach Pauni Garaat camp by the gusty Supin flowing by.
The hum of the river will keep you company through the night.

Day 6: Pauni Garaat to Sankri
A 5 hour trek to Taluka sets off this morning, climbing down by the familiar trail, stopping at familiar rest points. The car waits at the end of the dirt road to drive back base camp-wards. Pay special attention to descending tactic. Though climbing down accounts for lesser exhaustion, stressing out your soles with bold steps is unadvisable.
Sankri will be reached just in time for tea.

Day 7: Sankri to Dehradun
The journey concludes with the 10 hour drive from Sankri to Dehradun. Breakfast and lunch will be on the way. Reaching time at Dehradun station will be 6pm, suitable for an overnight journey to Delhi.

How to Reach

By Air :- 
Jolly Grant Airport is the airport serving Dehradun, located about 25 km from the city. There is a daily flight from Delhi to Dehradun. Come one day early if planning to come by flight.

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