Kedartal Trek Guide 2023: Highlights, History, Best Time, How to Reach and Itinerary
“Lord Shiva’s Lake”, as the name suggests for the trek to Kedar Tal, is one of the trek in Gangotri National Park, which is otherwise known for the most “famous and difficult” trek of the pass of Auden and Kalindi Khal.
The Kedartal Trek is located in the state of Uttarakhand. It begins and ends in the pilgrimage town of Gangotri. It is a trek of 50 km covered in 9 days in the Himalayas. This is a tough hike that should only be attempted by experienced hikers. It is located in the Great Himalayas and is known for its beautiful views of the great mountains of peaks such as Mount Thalay Sagar, Mount Bhrigupanth, Manda Parvat, Mount Jogin, and Mount Gangotri.
The trek to Kedar Tal begins in Gangotri, one of the four sacred shrines of the Hindus, not to mention the colorful and winding journey to Uttarkashi and Gangotri which begins to give you a rich experience of the hills, its people, the terrain, and beauty.
This trek takes place on high altitude moraines, along a river that emerges from a glacial lake, and therefore offers a unique experience to understand the geographical characteristics of the Himalayas. Trekking in Gangotri National Park also offers the opportunity to observe wildlife as it is home to many protected species.
History of Kedartal Trek
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the ancient temple has exquisite architecture and is built with extremely large but uniformly shaped gray stone slabs. A conical rock formation inside the temple is worshiped as Lord Shiva in his “Sadashiva” form.
The historical name of this region is “Kedar Khand” and legend has it that the Pandavas of the Epic Mahabharata, after defeating the Kauravas, felt guilty for killing so many people and sought the blessings of Lord Shiva for redemption.
The Lord escaped them several times and took refuge in Kedarnath in the form of a bull. The Lord dove into the ground, leaving his hump on the surface in Kedarnath. Portions of Lord Shiva appeared in four other places and are worshiped there as his manifestations. The Lord’s arms appeared to Tungnath, his face to Rudranath, his belly to Madmaheshwar, and his curls (hair) to Kalpeshwar.
|AREA||Garhwal Region, Uttarakhand|
|BEST SEASON||May – June – September – mid – October|
|APPROX TREKKING KM||60 K.M|
Highlights of Kedartal Trek
- One of India’s most revered temple towns.
- The home of the sacred temple of Kedarnath.
- A scenic destination in the Himalayas.
- A hiker’s paradise.
- Famous for Rudra Cave, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi used to meditate.
Location of Kedartal Trek
Perched at an altitude of 4,750 m, Kedartal (commonly known as Lake Shiva), is a glacial lake in the Garhwal region of the Himalayas. Three important peaks i.e. Thalay Sagar (6,904 m), Meru (6,672 m), Bhrigupanth (6,772 m) are at the origin of the original lakes.
How to Reach Kedartal Trek
Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is the closest to Rishikesh. So, after landing at the airport, you need to book a car in the direction of Rishikesh, to finally arrive in Gangotri in Uttarkashi.
Hiking to Kedartal Lake often requires arriving in Rishikesh, the starting point of the trip. To do this, you need to take a train to Haridwar Railway Station, which is well connected to the rest of India. From there you need to book a car or take a bus to Rishikesh and then go to Uttarkashi and continue to Gangotri, the base camp on Lake Kedartal.
If you are traveling by car you can drive towards Haridwar, then to Rishikesh, then through Uttarkashi to finally reach Gangotri. It will take several days to walk this path because it is time-consuming. The drive from Uttarkashi to Gangotri is 95 km and offers breathtaking views. If you are traveling from Delhi to Kedartal, a trip to Haridwar is also a good option.
Best Time to Visit Kedartal Trek
The best time to travel to Kedar Tal Trek is in Summer (May – June) and after Monsoon (September – mid-October)
The climate of Kedar Tal Trek remains healthy and pleasant during summers. The Himalayas are visible and the cool breeze adds charm to the vacation.
Serenity and seclusion are at their best during the post-monsoon season at Kedar Tal Trek. The area is blessed with snowfall during winters and accommodation options also remain scarce. But you can see the best of Kedar Tal Trek during the monsoon because it looks like heaven on earth
Itinerary of Kedartal Trek
Day 01: Delhi – Haridwar – Rishikesh
In the morning, take a train to Haridwar at 6:50 am from New Delhi Station. After arriving in Haridwar, drive to Rishikesh, which will take 45 minutes, and check into a hotel. The evening is free for recreational activities. Stay overnight at the hotel.
Day 02: Rishikesh – Uttarkashi (165 km/ 6-7 hrs)
Take a trip to Uttarkashi along the narrow valley of Bhagirathi. Today you will pass through beautiful mountain towns such as Chamba, Tehri, and Chniyalisaur. There is a Gangotri temple where the goddess Ganga is worshiped. The river has its source in the Gangotri Glacier at Gaumukh, about 18 km from Gangotri town, at this point it is known as Bhagirathi. A day of trekking can lead to Gomukh. Night in the hotel.
Day 03: Uttarkashi – Gangotri (3048 m/ 10,000 ft) Drive (95 kms)
Drive to Gangotri. Gangotri is one of the Chota Char Dhams of Uttarakhand. It holds a great place in the Hindu religion. It is the birthplace of Ganga on earth. There is a Gangotri temple where the goddess Ganga is worshiped. The river has its source in the Gangotri Glacier at Gaumukh, about 18 km from Gangotri town, at this point it is known as Bhagirathi. A day of trekking will lead you to Gomukh. Night at the hotel.
Day 04: Gangotri – Bhoj Kharak (3989 m) Trek 4 – 5 Hrs
In the morning, the trek to Bhoj Kharak begins. The 8 km trail runs along the banks of the Kedar Ganga River and consists of a dense cover of cedar and birch forests (Bhoj Patra). It’s a bit of a tough hike, but the respite keeps coming in the form of picturesque waterfalls and beautiful nature views. Go to Bhoj Kharak (named after the trees of Bhoj Patra), set up your tents, and stay overnight.
Day 05: Bhoj Kharak – Kedar Kharak (4,270 m)
As you ascend, you’ll encounter a pleasant forest of birch trees. You will find beautiful meadows as you cross the tree line. Standing in the background, Bhrigupanth Peak makes the whole landscape come to life. Near the lake, set up your tents and spend the night.
Day 06: Kedar Kharak – Kedar Tal (4750 m) Trek 4 – 5 Hrs
The trail that leads to Kedar Tal is difficult due to loose rocks and boulders scattered along the way. Continuing the trek will require a lot of determination. One of nature’s most marvelous creations awaits you at the end of the trek. It is an enchanting glacial lake framed perfectly by the breathtaking Thalay Sagar Peak. Spend the night in the tents near the lake.
Day 07: Kedar Kharak – Bhoj Kharak Trek 3 – 4 Hrs.
Experience the sunrise early in the morning. Thalay Sagar and its reflection in the lake are stunning when the sun rises over the lake! Till lunch, explore the area; you might happen to see the Himalayan Ibexes here. Return to Bhoj Kharak via the previous route. Spend the night at Bhoj Kharak in a tent.
Day 08: Bhoj Kharak – Gangotri Trek (3-4 Hrs) – Uttarkashi
Early in the morning hike down to Gangotri town and then drive to Uttarkashi via Harsil. Check into a hotel once you arrive. Spend your night in Uttarkashi at a hotel.
Read more: Nandi Kund Trek
Day 09: Uttarkashi – Haridwar – Delhi
In the morning drive to Haridwar and from there catch a train for Delhi. Arrival in Delhi.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) for Kedartal Trek
Can an amateur do the Kedartal trek?
Kedartal is suitable for experienced hikers and those who have done moderate trekking before.
How lengthy is the trek to Kedar Tal?
The trek to Kedar Tal lasts for 9 days covering 60 km.
How tall is Kedar Tal lake in Uttarakhand?
This immaculate glacial lake is perched at an elevation of 4,750m above sea level
When will there be snow on this trek?
You are likely to experience snow till May
What will the temperatures be like throughout this trek?
During the day the temperature of the Kedartal trek is around 5°C to 10°C and during the night the temperature comes down to 6 °C to – 3 °C .
What are the best months to go on this trek?
The best season to try this trek is withinside May – June – September – mid-October
What is the level of difficulty of the Kedartal trek?
Kedartal trek falls under the difficult stage of trekking
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