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KEDARTAL

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KEDARTAL 6N/7D

In mountain terminology, water bodies formed by the melting of glaciers are called glacial lakes. The mighty Himalayas are home to several beautiful icy blue and emerald green glacial lakes, most of which are not even accessible to humans. The ones that are accessible, become famous trekking destinations.

One such popular glacial lake of Himalayas is the magnificent Kedartal (Shiva’s Lake). Situated 17 kms from the holy city of Gangotri at an impressive height of around 16000 feet, Kedartal makes for an extremely popular trek. The lake is the source of the Kedar Ganga, an important tributary of the Bhagirathi river.

The trek overall is considered difficult because of the altitude as well as the challenging route. A little bit of prior trekking experience and good physical fitness is advised if you want to opt for this trek.

Your journey will begin with the sight-seeing of one of the most popular pilgrimages in the country, Gangotri. This will be followed by an exciting hike through dense pine forests, high altitude meadows, rocky glacial terrain and finally to your summit, the divine Kedartal.

The highlight of the summit point is the panoramic view of the formidable Himalayan seven thousand plus height peaks and massifs like Mt. Bhrigupanth, Mt. Thalay Sagar, Mt. Manda, Mt. Bhagirathi, Mt. Gangotri, Mt. Meru and Mt. Jogin! Another highlight is the guaranteed spotting of exotic wildlife including the Blue Sheep or ‘Bharal’, the Himalayan Black Bear and Goral.

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Day 1

Dehradun to Gangotri (10,171 feet)

   
6:30 AM - Meet Himalayan Freaks representative @Dehradun Railway Station 8 hrs drive (240km)
   
  Breakfast and Lunch en route
   
4:00 PM - Reach Gangotri and check in (guest house) followed by Tea and Snacks and team introduction
   
5:00 PM - Prep Talk by HF trek leaders
   
6:00 PM - Market Time
   
8:00 PM Dinner
   
9:00 PM Lights Out

Day 2

Day 2- A day at Gangotri (10,171 feet)

6:00 AM - Wake up and Morning Tea
   
6:30 AM - Morning Rise and Shine session
   
7:00 AM - Breakfast
   
8:00 AM - Explore the town of Gangotri and acclimatise a bit
   
10:00 AM - Visit the Gangotri temple
   
2:00 PM - Lunch
   
3:00 PM - Trek preparation and brief by HF leaders
   
5:00 PM - Tea and Snacks
   
6:00 PM - Market time/Leisure
   
7:00 PM - Soup
   
8:00 PM - Dinner
   

Day 3

Gangotri (10171 ft) to Bhojkharak (12,450 ft)

5:30 AM - Wake up and Morning Tea
   
6:00 AM - Rise and Shine Warm up session
   
7:00 AM - Breakfast
   
8:00 AM - Leave for Bhojkharak (8kms, 5hrs)
   
1:00 PM - Reach Bhojkharak and Hot lunch
   
3:00 PM - Tent Pitching session
   
4:00 PM - Acclimatisation walk
   
5:00 PM - Evening Tea and Snacks
   
6:00 PM - Leisure and photography time
   
7:00 PM - Soup and Reflection time
   
8:00 PM - Dinner
   
9:00 PM - Back to tents
   

Day 4

Bhojkharak (12,450 ft) to Kedarkharak (14,000 ft)

5:00 AM - Wake up and Morning Tea
   
6:00 AM - Morning Rise and Shine session
   
7:00 AM - Breakfast
   
8:00 AM - Leave for Kedarkharak (5kms, 3 hrs)
   
11:00 AM - Reach campsite and pitch tents
   
1:00 PM - Lunch
   
3:00 PM - Acclimatization walk
   
5:00 PM - Evening snacks and Tea
   
6:00 PM - Leisure and photography time
   
7:00 PM - Soup and Reflection
   
8:00 PM - Dinner
   
9:00 PM - Back to tents
   

Day 5

Kedarkharak (12450 ft) to Kedartal (16115 ft) and back to Kedar Kharak

5:00 AM - Wake up and Morning Tea
   
6:00 AM - Rise and Shine session
   
7:00 AM - Breakfast
   
8:00 AM - Trek to Kedartal (5kms)
   
11:00 AM - Packed lunch on the way and rest
   
1:00 PM - Reach Kedartal
   
3:00 PM - Trek back to Kedarkharak
   
5:00 PM - Tea and Snacks
   
6:00 PM - Fun Games with leaders
   
7:00 PM Soup
   
8:00 PM - Dinner
   
9:00 PM - Back to tents
   

Day 6

Kedarkharak (14,000ft) to Gangotri (10,171 ft)

6:00 AM - Wake up and Morning Tea
   
7:00 AM - Rise and Shine session
   
8:00 AM - Breakfast
   
9:00 AM - Trek downhill to Gangotri (14km,6hours)
   
12:00 PM - Packed Lunch on the way
   
2:00 PM - Reach Gangotri
   
4:00 PM - Evening Tea and Snacks
   
5:00 PM - Debrief session with trek leaders
   
7:00 PM - Soup and Reflection
   
8:00 PM - Bonfire and celebration
   
9:00 PM - Dinner and Lights Out
   

Day 7

Gangotri to Dehradun

6:00 AM - Wake Up
   
7:00 AM - Leave for Dehradun
   
4:00 PM - reach Dehradun
   

Dehradun to Gangotri (10,171 feet.)

6:30 am – Meet Himalayan Freaks representative @Dehradun Railway Station (8 hrs drive (240 km)

This drive through the Mussourie bypass road has the most stunning views to offer. Stop at Chiniyalisaur to see the famous Tehri Dam, one of the biggest dams of India. This road trip will take you through some of holiest cities of the northern India like Rishikesh, Hardwar, Uttarkashi and finally to your destination Gangotri.
The route gets more interesting post Uttrakashi as the forests get denser and the mountains get higher.
The main highlight of this journey will be the beautiful town of Harshil also known as the Kashmir of Uttarakhand. The landscapes and vegetation of Harshil truly resemble that of Himachal and Kashmir. It is famous for its apple orchards. Harshil is the perfect phot spot to begin your exciting journey to the mountains.

Breakfast and Lunch En route.

4:00 pm – Reach Gangotri

The drive from Harshil to Gagotri is mesmerising. The temperature will drop low suddenly but your spirits will be high as you enjoy the heavenly sight of coniferous trees and massive mountain peaks. You will reach Gangotri by evening and will simply fall in love with the positive vibes of this sacred site. The market will be crowded will trekkers and pilgrims running their errands and chit chatting.

You will check in to Himalayan Freaks Guest House followed by Tea and Snacks and Team Introduction

You will meet the rest of the team members joining you for the trek. Here we will have a round of introduction with the Himalayan Freaks trek leaders, managers, guides and the kitchen staff so that the entire team is familiar with each other and their respective roles before the trek begins

5:30 pm – Prep Talk by HF trek leaders

This will be more like an introduction to the place, the trek in general and a brief about the following day. You can ask the leaders and guides to share with you the interesting myths and stories associated with the holy town of Gangotri and Uttarakhand.

6:00 pm – Market/Leisure

You can either explore the market or take rest depending on your preference as you have an entire day to spend in Gangotri. This is a good opportunity to interact will fellow trekkers, tourists and pilgrims.

8:00 pm – Dinner

9:00 pm – Lights Out

Day 2- A day at Gangotri (10,171 feet)

6:00 am – Wake up and Morning Rise and Shine session

Rise and Shine session basically is a combination of warm up, energisers, team building and fun games that will be conducted by the HF leaders. It is created and conducted keeping in mind the importance of exercising and physical workout before starting a trek and acclimatising participants with the climate of the mountains. It also works as a great ice breaker and helps participants relax and come out of their comfort zone both physically and mentally.

7:00 am – Breakfast

8:00 am – Exploring Gangotri and acclimatisation

This day is mainly dedicated to not only exploring the mystical land of Gangotri but also acclimatising the participants to higher altitude and a new environment.

Gangotri is one place that needs an entire day to be explored and enjoyed. A small hill town surrounded by gigantic mountains, next to the voluminous river is nothing less than a magical sight!
The colourful and buzzing market full of religious trinkets, warm clothing, jewellery as well as trekking essentials is a beautiful and surprising contrast.
You will come across several trekkers, hermits, tourists and backpackers exploring the place and relishing local cuisine in small eateries.

10:00 am – Visit to Gangotri Temple

This temple is flocked with pilgrims and tourists, especially at the time of the “Arti”. One of the oldest and the most important temples of the country, the Gangotri temple was built in the 18th century. It is not exactly humungous but the sacred vibes it gives out is huge. You will spot people filling the holy water of Ganga or ‘Ganga Jal’ right below the temple where the river flows in all its glory.

Apart from the main temple, our leaders will also take you to other lesser known tourist attractions of Gangotri like the Pandav Gufa, Bhagirath Shila, Gauri Kund and Suraj Kun etc.

The legend of the Pandava Gufa- As per the Indian epic Mahabharata, the Pandavas (five Pandav brothers) along with their wife Draupadi were exiled in the Himalayas. This is one of the reasons why several treks and distant locations in Himalayas are riddled with mythological stories related with the Mahabharata. This cave is believed to be the spot where they rested for a while hiding from their enemies. Even today thousands of tourists and pilgrims flock here to catch a glimpse of this legendary cave.

Bhagirath Shila- In another Indian legend that revolves around the great Himalayas, King Bhagirath prayed to Lord Shiva, demanding the salvation of his sixty thousand sons. Lord Shiva had then asked the Holy Ganga to release its sacred water in the form of several tributaries to purge the sins of his sons thus giving them Moksha or ‘ultimate freedom’. The rock where King Bhagirath worshipped is one such sacred site situated in Gangotri

2:00 pm – Lunch

4:00 pm – Short acclimatisation walk

To acclimatise means to physically and mentally get used to the surroundings, climate, temperature as well as atmosphere of a new environment. It is mandatory at HF to undertake a short acclimatization trek with the leaders upon reaching a new altitude every day. You will also get familiar with the flora and fauna of the place. You will be given time to rest later.

5:00 pm – Tea and Snacks

6:00 pm – Trek preparation and brief by HF leaders

This will be your first introductory lesson of Mountain Manners and Customs so you know how to conduct yourself for the rest of the trek. The session will include

  • Mountain Hazards and Do’s and Don’ts
  • Mountain Customs
  • Leave No Trace Principles

5:00 pm – Tea and Snacks

6:00 pm – Market time/Leisure

7:00 pm – Soup

9:00 pm – Dinner and Lights out

Day 3 – Gangotri (10171 ft) to Bhojkharak (12,450 ft)

5:00 am – Wake up and Morning Tea

6:00 am – Rise and Shine Warm up session

7:00 am – Breakfast

8:00 am – Leave for Bhojkharak (9kms, 5hrs)

The trek to Bhojkarak, your first campsite will begin in Gangotri itself. After crossing the Bhairav Ghati bridge and crossing the Bhagirathi river, you will finally reach the starting point of the day’s trail.
The trail leading to Bhojkhrak has an old-world charm because of the Birch trees. The leaves of the Birch tree, called the Bhojpatra are known for their strong texture and used as paper. Many sacred ancient books are said to have been written on birch leaves. As the trail steepens and gets rockier it also becomes challenging but fun nonetheless.

1:00 pm – Reach Bhojkharak and Hot lunch

Bhojkharak is a rather unique camping spot for many reasons. It is reached after crossing the Spider Wall or a rather narrow valley. The campsite is not very spacious and tents have to pitched in the narrow space with wild grass growing everywhere. It is not utterly scenic but makes for a highly adventurous experience that no other trek offers.
You will be delighted to spot the formidable Bhagirathi Massif along with Manda Peak and Brighu Parbat. The sound of the serene Kedar Ganga flowing nearby can be heard.

3:00 pm – Tent Pitching session

This will be your first and most important lesson on the trek as the tent is your “home” in outdoors. Listen to the instructions carefully and watch as our expert trek leaders give you a demonstration of pitching the perfect tent in the mountains for the perfect experience.

4:00 pm – Acclimatisation walk

5:00 pm – Evening Tea and Snacks

6:00 pm – Leisure and photography time

7:00 pm – Soup and Reflection time

8:00 pm – Dinner

9:00 pm – Back to tents

Day 4 – Bhojkharak (12,450) to Kedarkharak (14,000ft)

5:00 am – Wake up and Morning Tea

6:00 am – Morning Rise and Shine session

7:00 am – Breakfast

8:00 am – Leave for Kedarkharak (5kms, 3 hrs)

The beautiful Kedarganga follows you throughout the trek. Surprisingly the rocky patches will end and you will enter easier and smoother terrain full of wildflowers and more birch trees. This trail is easier and much more enjoyable.
Depending on the conditions, HF leaders will decide to either take the route via Gila Pahar or cross the Kedar Ganga to go further.

11:00 am – Reach campsite and pitch tents

Kedarkharak is a beautiful campsite inside the vicinity of Gangotri National Park. It is cited as one of the most beautiful campsites in Himalayas and a favourite of trek enthusiasts. In comparison to the Bhojkharak campsite it is much more spacious, uniform and picturesque. It will be chillier but the beauty will blow you mind. The combined hues of wildflowers and sunrays make it a picture -perfect photography location. A spellbinding view of Mt. Bhrigupanth is like icing on cake.

1:00 pm – Lunch

3:00 pm – Acclimatization walk

5:00 pm – Evening snacks and Tea

6:00 pm – Leisure and photography time

7:00 pm – Soup and Reflection

8:00 pm – Dinner

9:00 pm – Back to tents

Day 5 – Kedarkharak (14,000 ft) to Kedartal (16,115 ft) and back to Kedar Kharak

5:00 am – Wake up and Morning Tea

6:00 am – Rise and Shine session

7:00 am – Breakfast

8:00 am – Trek to Kedartal (5kms)

In contrast to the rather smooth trek of the day before, this again will be a rocky and challenging route. The contrast in landscape in also sharp as the lush greenery and colourful hues will transform into complete barrenness as you gain height.

Keep your spirits high and follow your leaders in a rhythmic motion. You will spot several ‘cairns’ or piles of stones placed at various points as route markers by other trekkers and climbers

The route can be confusing and it is very important that everyone sticks together.

11:00 am – Packed lunch on the way and rest

1:00 pm – Reach Kedartal

A final ascend on a steep ridge will open to the view of the Kedar Bamuk glacier wherein is situated your summit point, the emerald Kedartal! The reflection of the massive Mt. Thalaysagar in the crystal-clear water of the lake is going to be your reward for the all the hard work and effort that you had been putting so far. It truly is a magical moment to reach a summit point and be welcomed by such outlandish scenery. Apart from Thalaysagar you also get to see the magnificent Jogin massif.

You will be overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the place and all your weariness will disappear!
Click pictures and make precious memories and enjoy your summit victory to the fullest.

3:00 pm – Trek back to Kedarkharak

After a successful summit, probably the only challenge left remains the task of descending. Please note that descending in the mountains looks easier but it also needs guidance and requires being careful. Do not be overconfident, stick with the group, walk in a trail behind the leader and do not take risky routes or short cuts.

5:00 pm – Tea and Snacks

6:00 pm – Fun Games with leaders

7:00 pm – Soup

8:00 pm – Dinner

9:00 pm – Back to tents

Day 6 – Kedarkharak (14,000 ft) to Gangotri (10,171 ft)

6:00 am – Wake up and Morning Tea

7:00 am – Rise and Shine session

8:00 am – Breakfast

9:00 am – Trek downhill to Gangotri (14km, 6hours)

12:00 pm – Packed Lunch on the way

2:00 pm – Reach Gangotri

4:00 pm – Evening Tea and Snacks

5:00 pm – Debrief session with trek leaders

The final debrief session with the leaders will be basically an interactive session where you can share your overall experience, highlights, lows and highs and feedback with the trainers. This will be followed by count and return of company equipment in case it was used and a final medical health check of all participants.

7:00 pm – Soup and Reflection

8:00 pm – Bonfire and celebration

9:00 pm – Dinner and Lights Out

Day 7: Gangotri to Dehradun

6:00 am – Wake Up

7:00 am – Leave for Dehradun (240 km drive, 8 hours)

Breakfast and Lunch En Route

6:00 pm – Reach Dehradun

Dehradun is well connected via road, train and airways with all major cities of India.

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