Har ki Dun is a hanging valley situated in the Garhwal Himalayas in Uttarakhand. It is located within the confines of Govind Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttarkashi district in Northwest Uttrakhand. It lies 3566 meters above sea level.
Har ki dun, a cradle-shaped valley, is visited widely by trekking enthusiasts. The trail takes you through dense forests, walnut and willow forests, and humbling valleys. The total length of the trail is 47 kilometers making it an easy to moderately difficult trek to undertake.
Duration: 7-9 days
Being situated at an altitude of 3566 meters above sea level and stretching over a distance of 47 km Har ki dun is rated as a moderately difficult trek. However, the trail is not markedly difficult. It is a long and often traversed one, hence well laid. The ascent is not steep for most of the trail and gets steep only for the last 5 km in addition to some other sections.
With that being said, it is suggested for intermediate trekkers. However, since nothing is making it technically difficult other than the distance, it can easily be undertaken by beginners with some preparation.
Beginner’s preparation for the trek
If you’re completely new to trekking and you’re choosing this as your first trek, kudos to your spirit. Understand that this trek is nothing that a beginner cannot finish.
However, before setting forth for this arduous trek you must prepare yourself mentally and physically. For starters, begin walking for a few kilometers to increase your stamina. Besides, complement your exercise with cardio exercise and yoga to increase your physical strength.
Weather and best season to visit Har ki Dun
Har ki dun trek can be undertaken from May to October.
Har ki dun trek opens in Spring (march-april). However, at this time, it is difficult to tread since the trail is still covered with ice layers until the first week of April which makes the trek slippery. The effect of snow only starts to vanish from mid-April and the sight of fresh flora is visible.
Summers (May to June) is the peak season for trekking in Har Ki Dun since the trail is clear, the weather pleasant with warm days, and comfortably pleasant evenings. However, the peaks are still capped with snow. One may expect showers during summers.
From the months of monsoon (July-August) the trail remains closed due to heavy rains that make the trail slippery and dangerous.
Autumn: Autumn witnesses the maximum bloom owing to the preceding season of monsoon rains and September is a brilliant time to visit Har Ki Dun. Towards October, the region grows cold and the evenings are quite chilly.
During winters the trail is open for two months, November-December since snow cover reaches dangerous levels at peak months which makes it unsuitable for trekking. During the first two months, the trial is surreal. The landscape is dominated by vast expanses of snow-covered trails, mountains, and trees.
The journey to Har ki Dun starts from Dehradun which is the nearest city with a railway station. From Dehradun, the journey is a 10 hr long drive on the road to Sankri.
Sankri is the base for Har ki Dun. From Sankri you take another 12 km drive to taluka which is the starting point of the trek.
The trek begins from Taluka with a descent to the bank of the ton. The trek is 10 km long and takes you to the village of osla and ganged, 300 years old villages. Osla is the last village on the route.
From Osla the trail gets higher and steeper. From here, the trekkers travel 8 km to kalkatiyadhar. After trekking from this campsite and passing through Seema village one enters Har ki Dun valley. The valley is a surreal and entirely different world.
Attractions near Har Ki Dun
1. Marinda Tal
A small pond located Northwest of Har ki dun, Marinda Tal is a beautiful site to visit. Located at an altitude of 3800 meters it is surrounded by mountains and an alpine meadow. It can be reached by trekking for 3 km from Har ki dun.
2. Jaundhar Glacier
A glacier at the base of Swargrohini, Jaundhar Glacier is around 7 km away from Har ki dun.
Har ki dun is one of the most admired and visited treks in Uttarakhand, which allows trekkers to cherish favor of almost all seasons and landscapes.