21 real photos of Kedarkantha that show you how the trek looks in Janu...

21 real photos of Kedarkantha that show you how the trek looks in January and February

Category Photo Story

By Manasa N L

2024-01-12

Kedarkantha is hands down the most popular winter trek in our country. Every year, in the last week of December alone, thousands of trekkers flock to the Kedarkantha peak.

What trekkers are missing out on is that the winter continues in January and February as well. In fact, the trek looks more beautiful and dreamy in these months compared to December. The trekkers who venture in the months of January and February not only get to experience more snow but also less crowd. 

Kedarkantha, as a trek, is known for the thrilling summit climb. In addition, the Indiahikes Kotgaon route offers a variety of forests, serene campsites, stunning sunrises and sunsets, and an immersive cultural experience of the remote Himalayan village. 

This specially curated photo story gives you the real picture of Kedarkantha in January and February. Without further delay, let’s get started with it.  

A red coloured traditional Uttarakhandi house seen nestled among fields of mustard and forest

The ambience of the Indiahikes community campus at Kotgaon, surrounded by vegetation on all sides, makes it very special for all of us at Indiahikes. Photo by Jothiranjan

A trail in a small village, Kotgaon as seen through a canopy of trees with mountains in the background

The location of the Kotgaon campus marks the entrance to the village. Just by sitting outside the campus, you can get a glimpse into the culture of a remote Himalayan village. You get to witness stunning sunsets and sunrises right out of the campus, too. Picture by Caroline Mathews.

Indiahikes Kotgaon campus building made using traditional architecture and bright colours.

Indiahikes campus is isolated from the hustle-bustle of civilization, creating a peaceful environment for trekkers to bond with each other. The wooden structure of the campus gives you the taste of local architecture. Photo by Dhaval Jajal

Two trekkers walking under the shade of trees at Kedarkantha forest

Soon after you start the trek from Kotgaon, you enter a dense mixed forest filled with oak, rhododendrons, maple, and chestnut trees. Only a few winter treks have forests filled with such variety. Photo by Jothiranjan

A traditional Uttarakhandi woman making yarn from sheep wool while sitting in the verandah of her house in the morning

When in Kotgaon, make it a point to take a stroll across the village. Today, as most of the villages are getting influenced by modernization, Kotgaon is one of those few villages where you still see the age old traditions being preserved and followed with pride. It’s seen in the architecture, occupation, and attire of the villagers. Here is a picture of a lady happily making threads out of cotton. Photo by Jothiranjan.

A trekker on Kedarkantha Trek walking on a path with snow laden trees besides him

A clearing amidst brown oak trees on the way to Khujaai. In winter, the presence of snow reflects the sunlight, bringing out the colours of brown oak leaves strongly. This gives the whole clearing an orangish shade, making it a beautiful experience to soak in. Photo by Rajesh Akkidhasri.

Kedarkantha is known for it’s clearings. No other trek comes close to Kedarkantha when it comes to beauty and the sheer number of clearings. But have you ever wondered how are these clearings formed? These are the patches in the forest where the soil lacks the strength to support the growth of vegetation. Photo by Miraj Jungi.

Snow-capped Mount Swargarohini and her sister mountains as seen from Dhoka campsite of Indiahikes

Let me spill a little secret over here. When you are at Dhoka, the second campsite on your trek, climb up a small distance to witness this view of Mt Swargarohini and other ranges. Photo by Jothiranjan.

A lone trekker entering the thick jungles of Kedarkantha

The settings of Kedarkantha are so unique that you can clearly see the distinction between the treeline and clearings. In peak winter, the high amount of snow makes it a fairy tale setting to trek in. Photo by Bappaditya Chandra

A group of trekkers enjoying a dramatic sunset from the Khujaai campsite

The sunsets are one of the highlights of the Kedarkantha trek. This is because all the campsites on the trek are located in a clearing opening up to the western side of the sky. After a long day’s trek, when it’s freezing cold outside, all you need is a cup of chai and a view to die for. Khujaai campsite offers you exactly that. Photo by Gaurab Nandy

One of the rare times where you can look directly at the sun, a rare picture of sun setting in the horizon

The sunset views make this trek a photographer’s delight. “As the sun was setting in the horizon, I noticed beautiful layers created by nature, with oak trees in the foreground, the sun in the centre, and the golden sky in the background. I couldn't help but quickly grab my telephoto lens to capture this beauty,” says our inhouse photographer, Jothiranjan.

Four high quality yellow tents nestled together under the night sky just besides Kedarkantha forest

The location of campsites also makes up for stunning views of the night sky. Make sure you do not miss it. Photo by Jai Pandya.

A group of trekkers going for the challenging Kedarkantha summit climb in the dark using torches and lights

The summit climb to Kedarkantha is nothing short of a winter expedition. You start the climb as early as 4 am to be able to make it in time for the sunrise. Photo by Jothiranjan

Few trekkers coming to the summit with huge mountain ranges in the background

The summit climb is steep and adventurous. This photo taken from the Kedarkantha base gives you an idea of the steepness. Photo by Gurkeet Bagga

Mountains like Mount Bandarpoonch, Kala Nag, Swargarohini and 20 other prominent peaks seen in the far distance from the Kedarkantha summit

The sunrise view from the summit. This makes all your struggles worth it. Photo by Srihari M

Two trekkers overwhelmed by their effort of reaching the summit of the trek after a long and hard climg

The climb to the summit tests your willpower and mental strength. The sense of achievement upon reaching the summit often leaves trekkers teary eyed. Photo by Jothiranjan.

Gangotri ranges, and other important mountain peaks in the background as three trekkers enjoy the view

At the summit, you’re surrounded by mountain ranges and valleys. You see the Rupin and Har ki Dun valleys. You see Mt Swargarohini, Mt Bandarpoonch, and Mt Kalanag predominantly, and Jaonli, Gangotri, Draupadi Ka Danda, and Jorkanden peaks at a distance. It’s a view worth spending some time. Photo by Gaurab Nandy

A trekker descending from the summit in snow with mountains in the background

The descent from the summit is as challenging as the ascent. The steepness, verglas, and amount of snow add to the challenge. On the brighter side, Mt Swargarohini accompanies you until the treeline, motivating you all through the tricky sections. Photo by Jothiranjan.

A group of trekkers walking under oak and silver pine trees which dominate the forests of Kedarkantha trek in this region

The descent to Kotgaon is a relaxing one. Soak in the woods to the fullest, as this is your last day of the trek. Photo by Jothiranjan

A close-up view of Mount Swargarohini from the Kotgaon suspension bridge

The stunning view of Mt Swargarohini from the suspension bridge at Kotgaon just before you end the trek. It is captured using a telephoto lens by our chief photographer, Jothiranjan.

Someshwar Mahadev temple at Kotgaon under clear skies

The Someshwar Mahadev temple at Kotgaon is located right in the middle of the village. This is of utmost significance to the locals. Every monsoon, a big mela is celebrated in 22 Himalayan villages, including Kotgaon. The deity travels to all these villages during the mela. Photo by Jothiranjan.

I hope this photo story helped you get an idea of how the trek looks in winter. This is just a glimpse. There is a lot more to this trek than what I could share here. I hope you get to experience the trek yourself this winter.

If you have any questions, please comment on this article. I’ll help you out.

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Manasa N L

Content Team Member

About the author

Manasa is a key content team member at Indiahikes. She ensures that our trek pages are credible, updated and are the last stop for trek information.

Born & brought up in a place close to the western belt of Karnataka, trekking has been a huge part of her life. She has done quite a few treks in the western ghats of Karnataka. Having experienced the impact of trekking on mind, body and spirit herself, she strongly resonates with the vision of Indiahikes - Everyone must trek. She wants everyone to experience this and wishes to impact people's lives through her work.

Manasa holds a bachelor's degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering and worked as an Embedded Software Engineer before joining Indiahikes.

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