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Har Ki Dun Trek - Encounter with the classy river valley

Upcoming Spring treks to Har Ki Dun: 

Trek Code HKD17S1 – 7th May (Day 1) to 13th May’17
Trek Code HKD17S1 – 28th May (Day 1) to 3rd Jun’17

Brief Itinerary:
Day 1: Dehradun to Sankri drive – 200Km – 9/10 hrs
Day 2: Sankri to Taluka by Car – 1 hour – Trek to Seema – 14 Km – 6/7 hours
Day 3: Trek from Seema to Har Ki Dun – 11 Km – 5/6 hours
Day 4: Exploring Jaundar (Jamdar) glacier / Maninda Tal area – 10/4 hours
Day 5: Trek to Seema via Osla village – 12 Km – 6 hours
Day 6: Trek to Taluka – 14 Km – 6/7 hours – By car to Sankri – 1 hour
Day 7: Drive from Sankri to Dehradun – 200 Km – 8/9 hours

*** Trekkers need to reach on their own to Dehradun on Day 1 early morning (by 8 am) or the previous night. Return to Dehradun on Day 7 evening (by 7 pm). Arrange your tickets for inward journey and back to home from Dehradun accordingly ***

Cost : Rs 9800 (Sankri to Sankri) + 9% service tax

(Book for 3 persons and get a discount of 5%; Book for 5 or more to get a 10% Group Discount)



Customised Trek: If the dates above don’t match or you want a separate private tour for your group then fill up the Customise Your Trip form with correct details.

The Trek Highlights:

Length: 5 days of trekking; Walking from Taluka to Har Ki Dun and back around 50 Km. Dehradun to Dehradun in 7 days.

Access: Dehradun is well connected by train from New Delhi and Kolkata. There are several overnight trains and buses from Delhi. Nearest airport Jolly Grant is 20 Km from Dehradun. The trek base Sankri is 200 Km from Dehradun. 

Highest Point: Har Ki Dun valley ~ 3500m/11500 ft.

Grade: Easy; Fresh snow in winter

Seasons: April/June and September to end of December

Further Option: Exploring Jaundar (Jamdar) glacier and a side trip to Maninda Tal. 

About Har Ki Dun Trek: Har Ki Dun valley, situated at the western flank of Garhwal in the Uttarkashi district is very popular to the trekkers as well as the climbers. It is a lovely walk to the Har Ki Dun valley with fascinating views of Jaundar (Jamdar) Glacier and surrounding Swargarohini group of peaks. Har Ki Dun catchment area is a  major source of Yamuna River System and a main source of the largest tributary of Yamuna, the Tons river. (Har Ki Dun and Ruinsara Nallah forms the beautiful Tamosa river near Osla. Tamosa flowing beside Taluka and below Sankri merges with Supin river near Jakhol. Rupin and Supin combined together at Netwar forms the Tons river). This glacier carved spectacular valley is an amphitheatre ringed up by high spurs of rocky Himalayan range. Summer and monsoon bring life to this National park area and remains snow covered in winter. Accessible for a longer duration of the year and Tea-Houses at Taluka, Seema and Har Ki Dun are compelling factors for many beginners to explore this route. The  views of Banderpunch and Swargarohini group, Black peak (Kalanag) are captivating. This trail offers a chance to get an insight of  interior villages of Himalaya, its people and culture. Fresh snow in winter is a bonus.

Temperatures & Clothing: A trekker needs to be careful while selecting the proper clothing in winter as the campsite temperatures are sub zero in winter.

Summer & Fall: Day time weather remains warm. Night temp at Har Ki Dun can be around 10 deg to 2 deg C.

Winter: In Dec the daytime temp remains cool and nights are cold. Night temp at Sankri, Seema and Har Ki Dun can be around 2, -2 and -5/-10 deg C.

Three layers of clothing is mandatory in the campsite while outside tent or FRH/TRH.

a) A base layer, can be a thermal layer.

b) A heavy jacket (Double layer or Fleece jacket ) as middle layer.

c) A windproof with hood as the outer layer.

Access to Sankri (The trek base):  We will arrange a pickup from Dehradun to Sankri and drop from Sankri to Dehradun. This will be shared by the team members on actual basis. One side cost for a Ta Ta Sumo/Mahindra Maxx is Rs 6000.
Otherwise if a trekker wants to reach Sankri by public vehicle then here is how:
1) There are 2/3 privately operated buses from Dehradun (near DDN railway station on Gandhi road) To Sankri. The 200 Km journey will take around 12 hours. The buses start at  5:30/6/7 am.
2) While returning from Sankri take the morning bus to Dehradun/Vikasnagar and reach by 7 pm.

Click here for detailed information on how to reach Dehradun. 

The trip itinerary:

Day 1:  Drive from Dehradun to Sankri – 200 Km – 10 hours

Pickup in the morning from Dehradun and reach Sankri (~ 1900m, 6230 ft) . Distance around 200 Km and can take 9/10 hours. The road is one of the most scenic in Garhwal region while we go up to the classy hill station of Mussorie at the beginning, turquoise Yamuna river in the middle and conifer forests of blue pine and meandering Tons river at the later half of the journey. The major points are Mussorie, Yamuna Pool, Damta, Nawgaon, Purola, Mori and Netwar. Mori is the last place from where one can get a confirmed mobile phone network and also has a SBI ATM. Though Sankri has a BSNL tower but network doesn’t remain most of the time! After crossing Netwar we reach the check post of Govind Vanya Jibh Vihar (Govind National Park) from where the permits need to be obtained. Sankri has few private lodges and a GMVN (Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam) Tourist Rest House and couple of basic restaurant to serve food. Night stay in lodge/TRH.

Tons River

Pine forest en route Sankri

Day 2: Drive to Taluka – 11 Km/45 mins – Trek to Seema – 14 Km – 6/7 hours

Wake up early in the morning to see the first sun light on Swargarohini. Sankri is a small stretch of Bazaar and the adjacent village on the ridge doing down.. After breakfast we prepare to start our trek. There is a motor able Kaccha road from Sankri to Taluka heading up the valley. The bumpy 11 Km ride takes around 45 minutes to reach Taluka (~2100m, 6900ft). Our walk starts from Taluka. The camping ground is adjacent to the Forest Rest House. There is a small tea shop at the end of the road and 2/3 very small provision stores. We directly take the stony stair cases to get down almost to the river bed and start walking along the Tamosa river, keeping it on our left (“True Left” of the river). It is an easy gently walk gradually moving up the valley. Snow is encountered at patches where sun doesn’t get a chance to enter for longer duration. After walking for an hour we cross a side stream and move on to an flat opening on the left hand of the trail. Local people are seen in an interval with heavy loads on their back aiming to stock provisions for long winters. There are few villages in this valley like Datmir, Gangar, Powani and Osla, the last one being the farthest. Walking along the valley in the shades of conifer and occasional snow patches for 9 Km, we reach a side stream and cross the bridge to get on the main valley again. This place has also a bridge on the Tamosa river and the Village named “Gangar” is mostly on the other side of the river. From here we continue our gradual walk for another hour to reach an opening with a new concrete construction for a proposed school. A bridge on Tamosa is built here to reach the village of Osla. We keep our track while the river is on our left and walk another hour inside a sun shed thick forest to reach Seema (~2500m, 8200ft). The last stretch remains snowy in winter and avoid slush. One GMVN TRH and a Forest Rest House along with a solitary private Dhaba (Opens from Jun till Oct) to serve food. Prior booking of the any of these is highly recommended for trekkers who don’t have camping setup. Camping ground is also nearby. Seema is not a village but only a tourist shelter point. The village Osla is on the other side of the river, almost ~ 215m/700 ft above the river bed. Total distance is 14 Km and may take 6/7 hours. Night stay in tent/FRH.


Saur village from Sankri

Starting trail from Taluka

Gangar village camouflaging on the slope

Day 3: Trek to Har Ki Dun – 11 Km – 5/6 hours 

We start in the morning on the stoned trail and reach the suspension bridge at Seema. The trail straight ahead goes to Ruinsara Tal and further to Bali Pass or Dhumdharkandi Pass. Cross the Tamosa river and climb up to reach the trail which is going along the river upstream. From now onward the river will be on our right (“True Right” of the river) and we gradually go up to reach a vast green expanse which is a huge clearing for farming by the people of Osla. From here the peaks facing north and north east opens up and the views of Banderpunch group and Swargarohini group are breathtaking along with Black Peak (Kalanag). We gradually skirt the mountain for another hour to reach the base of the steady climb to Kalkatti Dhar. From here we can see the Ruinsara valley takes a right turn , while we take a left turn. Har Ki Dun Nallah and Ruinsara Nallah meets below Kalkatti Dhar to form Tamosa river. It is normally windy while we climb to Kalkatti Dhar. After reaching the the highest point on the shoulder of the mountain we turn left and gradually go down. First time after Seema we again enter into the forest and descend steadily to a side stream. In winter the waterfall remains frozen. This is a good place to have lunch. From here we gradually climb in to a forest canopy of Silver Fir , Cedar and Oak. Crossing the forest we enter in to the wider valley with occasional Birch ( Bhurja Patra in Hindi) and Rhododendrons. The valley is teemed with bird life. Buntings, Flycatchers and Mountain Fiches are abundant. Himalayan Langur and Blue Sheep are common in this valley. There are reported sightings of elusive Snow Leopard in this region. Now the river bed is almost at the same level and Har Ki Dun valley approaches. The camping ground is near the river and several tents can be pitched. Walk another 10 mins to cross the Har Ki Dun Nallah over a small wooden bridge. Forest Rest house is a minutes walk from here. GMVN TRH is another 10 mins ahead. It is mandatory in winter to book in advance for any of these huts. Caretaker only comes along with the keys for a prior booking. During summer food is available in GMVN TRH. There are two rooms at FRH and one dormitory at GMVN which can be booked. It is better to come with own tent and provisions in season to avoid any hassle. Total distance is 11 Km and may take 5/6 hours. Average height of the valley is ~ 3500m/11500ft. Camp or FRH for night stay.

Valley during summer

Suspension bridge at Seema

Frozen waterfall after Kalkatti Dhar

Swargarohini group before Kalkatti Dhar

Har Ki Dun campsite and FRH in centre behind

Trail through Conifer forest

Day 4: Exploration Day at Har Ki Dun – Towards Jaundar/Jamdar Glacier/Maninda Tal – 3/4 hours

Wake up early in the morning to see the sunrise on Swargarohini group of peaks. Changing colour is magnificent to watch and unforgettable. The Forest Rest House (FRH) is located some what centrally in this vast expanse of the valley.  Heading straight from FRH is Har Ki Dun peak. On the right towering Swargarohini and to the left is Hata peak. Two streams are coming from two different directions, one from Jaundar glacier and other from Borasu pass watershed to Har Ki Dun and forming the Har Ki Dun Nallah. Har Ki Dun is a big enough valley sitting in the middle with forking of trails in different directions. Treeline recedes here in all directions. Today is an exploration day amidst snow or simply one can sit back at the campsite and relax while sipping a cup of coffee. After breakfast one can either go to explore the Jaundar glacier or to Maninda Tal area, which are on different directions. The snout of Janudar glacier is 8 Km from Har Ki Dun. The trail is not defined and on snow, boulder and moraine, involving descent and ascent. It is pretty difficult to reach the snout of the glacier and return to the campsite in a single push. A camping is required in between. It is advisable to venture and advance in this direction only till noon and retrace back by 3 pm. On the other hand, Maninda Tal is about 2 hours walk from Har Ki Dun and is in the route towards Borasu Pass trail which connects this valley to Baspa valley in Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh. The area is a shallow formation of clogged water resulting from a flattened bed of the stream. The valley heading upward looks splendid from here. Lammergeier and Himalayan Griffons encircle the valley surrounded by rocky cliffs. Pug marks of Snow Leopard following a flock of Bharal (Blue Sheep) is common. Return to Har Ki Dun by lunch time and take the hot lunch prepared freshly. From the FRH cross the wooden bridge on the Har Ki Dun Nallah walk toward the camping ground in the afternoon. Kedarkanta peak is clearly visible and the highest point in this direction. Sunset is mesmerising , reflecting the last rays of sun on Har Ki Dun Nallah and peak. Changing golden hue makes any trekker a spellbound spectator. It is a good idea to collect firewood to setup a fire in the night. This is already a fragile ecosystem, so ONLY collect branches and twigs which are already fallen from the trees. The FRH has a fireplace inside. Nights are pretty cold here and the temperature can plummet to -10 deg C outside in the night. Night stay in tent or FRH.

Sunrise on Swargarohini

Har Ki Dun (R) and Hata (L) peak

Towards Jamdar glacier

Maninda Tal area

Kedarkantha peak as seen from Har Ki Dun

Inside FRH

Day 5: Trek down to Seema via Osla village – 12 Km – 6/7 hours

Today after breakfast we start our return journey toward Seema. It is a gentle descent along downstream till we reach the waterfall which remains frozen in winter. From here we climb up to Kalkatti Dhar and descend gradually to the vast crop field. Approaching the Seema bridge, we take the trail straight heading toward the village Osla, instead of directly going down to Seema. It is a memorable experience to visit a village like Osla, nestled on the lap of mountain. The houses are mostly build of wooden structure with slate as the roof. Houses are two storied, lower being the cattle shelter and firewood/fodder store, upper being the residence of the family. Though few satellite TV dishes  are present on top of few houses but the village lacks  very basic facilities.  A satellite phone is available to connect to the outer world. One can make a phone call to home by paying nominal charge, if a connection is available. The village is spread along the slope of the mountain and a temple is the heart of the village. Wood crafted temple is more than a century old. It is a legend that Duryodhan, the eldest brother of the Kauravas is worshiped in this temple. The deity of the temple resides at different temples of the villages of this valley, turn by turn. The rule being same across the Himalaya, summer is higher, and winter is lower. It is a chance to meet local children and people, knowing their livelihood, custom and culture, social structure. It is worthwhile to spend some time with joyful kids in the village. After spending some time in the village we take the trail down toward the Seema bridge and by crossing the suspension bridge we reach Seema. Night stay in tent or FRH/TRH.

Farming stretch on the way to Osla

Someshwar Temple at Osla

Seema as seen from Osla in Fall

Seema as seen from Osla in winter

Day 6: We retrace our trail to Taluka. This should take around 6/7 hours. From here take the car to reach Sankri which is just 11 Km away. Night stay in lodge/TRH.

Day 7: Today morning we start our journey back to Dehradun. Reach by 7 pm. Our trip ends here.

P.S. : The distances and altitudes are indicative and may not be exact.