At an altitude of 11,700ft, the Har ki Dun trek is in all senses, a gateway to heaven. A snow-specked paradise for winter fanatics on one hand and adorned by alpine meadows, and pine forests for all those who seek solace in the embrace of nature on the other, it is a paradise for trekkers, be it beginners or experienced ones.
Nestled on the western edge of Garhwal in Uttarkashi district, the Har ki Dun trek isn't just a trek consisting of picturesque views but also has rich cultural and mythological significance. Many locals believe that the land belongs to none other than Duryodhana from the epic Mahabharata. The legend goes that a clan devoted to the Kauravas lived close to the village of Osla and built a temple to pay their respects to him. That temple exists even today.
On the other hand, this trek is one of the oldest Himalayan trekking trails. The name Har ki Dun translates to “Valley of Gods” signifying its other spiritual significance regarding the myth. It is believed that this was the route that was taken by the Pandavas on their ascend to heaven, which is why it earns its name as the stairway to heaven trek. It also provides a major source for the Yamuna River System.
The diverse flora and fauna that you get to spend time listening to is a magical experience in itself and camping by the flowing riverside, listening to the relentless streams of water gives you the kind of peace that makes you forget all about the hustling and bustling noises of metropolitan cities. The people, places, and the whole trail capture an insight into a different world as compared to what we’ve seen in our daily lives.
The trek provides a spectacular view of Swargrohini peaks, Bandarpoonch, as well as Black peak. The trail leads you to villages that have been here since 2000 years ago and meeting the locals gives you a glimpse into their lives. A perfect spot for nature lovers, adventure enthusiasts as well as people who love to indulge in photography from time to time, the Har ki Dun trek is truly a blessing. Some of the best attractions of the Har ki Dun trek are the above-mentioned temple in the village of Osla, a 5000-year-old structure carved out from wood.
Har ki Dun trek is suitable for any beginner and proves to be exciting for even an experienced trekker. The Har ki Dun trek difficulty is rated from easy to moderate and provides a good overall experience. The best time to visit Har ki Dun is during the summer and post-monsoon season.
The Har ki Dun valley is famous for its orchids and especially rhododendrons, which are specially grown in this region. The flora and fauna mixed with rich culture and immense historical importance secure its position among top contenders in the list of best treks in Uttarakhand.
Trek to Har ki Dun takes a total of 7 days and starts from a small village named Sankri situated in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand.
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