Moderate | Level 3
8 to 62 years
8 to 62 years
Moderate | Level 3
Har Ki Dun - Ruinsara Valley Trek
The Best Mix of Ancient Culture and Mountain Beauty on a Trek
Trekkers think when it comes to great treks you can’t beat treks like Rupin Pass or Buran Ghati. And when we talk about Har Ki Dun with Ruinsara, they think it is a poor cousin. That’s making a big mistake.
The Har Ki Dun trek with Ruinsara is one of the best complete treks that we have seen.
It has a terrific ancient culture, mountain views, forests, grasslands, meadows, rivers, streams and even an alpine lake. This trail is not difficult on the legs which makes it just the right adventure, especially when compared to other summer treks.
With Ruinsara added to Har Ki Dun, a good trek becomes great. One of the most complete treks that you will possibly do.
“It’s like doing a whole new trek by just adding two days”, says Arjun Majumdar, our founder.
Har Ki Dun - Ruinsara Valley Videos
Watch these videos to prepare for your Har Ki Dun - Ruinsara Valley trek.
A trek map of the Har Ki Dun - Ruinsara Valley trek
Drive from Dehradun to Kotgaon
Transport will be organised from Hotel Grand Legacy, near Laal Pull, Dehradun at 6.30 AM. Cost of the cab – Rs 6,500 per vehicle for an SUV (shared among 5-6 trekkers) and Rs 10,000 for Tempo Traveller (shared among 11-12 trekkers).
Drive from Kotgaon to Taluka. Trek from Taluka to Gangaad
Drive Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours | Trek Distance: 8.50 km | Trek Duration: 5-6 hours | Altitude Gain: 6,520 ft to 7,667 ft
Flat gradient for first 3 km. After Bhida ka Thatch, it is a gradual ascent and descent all through the trail. You can refill your water bottles from the river along the trail.
Trek from Gangaad to Kalkatiyadhar
Trek Distance: 7.50 km | Trek Duration: 4-5 hours | Altitude Gain: 7,667 ft to 9,960 ft
Easy. Initial descent of 15 minutes followed by a mostly level walk for about 90 minutes. Steep climb for 15 minutes followed by a level walk and boulder section finishing off with a gradually ascending trail. You can refill your water bottles from the river along the trail.
Trek from Kalkatiyadhar to Boslo via Har Ki Dun
Trek Distance: 9 km | Trek Duration: 5-6 hours | Altitude Gain and Loss: 9,960 ft to 10,430 ft via 11,600 ft
Trek from Boslo to Swarnadhara
Trek Distance: 6.20 km | Trek Duration: 6-7 hours | Altitude Gain: 10,430 ft to 10,540 ft
Immediate climb after the Boslo campsite later it’s a gradual ascent till the Har Ki Dun. No water source for the initial 4 km. Later, water sources are at regular intervals. One litre of water is sufficient for the day.
Trek from Swarnadhara to Devsu Thatch via Ruinsara Valley
Trek Distance: 13.70 km | Trek Duration: 7-8 hours | Altitude Gain and Loss: 10,540 ft to 9,930 ft via 11,850 ft
Gradual ascent to the lake. Continuous gradual descent till the river crossing of Devsu. Finally, a steep ascent to reach Devsu. Water sources are regular along the way.
Trek from Devsu Thatch to Taluka. Drive back to Kotgaon
Trek Distance: 18.9 km | Trek Duration: 9-10 hours | Altitude Loss: 9,930 ft to 6,520 ft
Continuous gradual descend till Gangaad. After Gangaad, gradual descend till Taluka. Vehicle transfer to Kotgaon. Regular water sources along the trail. Carry sufficient water.
Drive back from Kotgaon to Dehradun
Drive Distance: 196 km | Drive Duration: 9-10 hours | Drop off point for Indiahikes trekkers: Grand Legacy Hotel, near Laal Pull, Dehradun
This transport cost has to be borne by trekkers and paid directly to the driver. Cost of the cab – Rs.6,500 per vehicle for an SUV, shared among 5-6 trekkers, or Rs.10,000 per vehicle for a Tempo Traveler, shared among 11-12 trekkers.
Please note: The distance between campsites may vary by 100 meters depending the weather conditions and the route you take. The altitude may also vary by 100 feet for similar reasons.
- It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo ID for entry at forest check posts on the trek.
- At the base camp, your stay will be arranged in lodges.
- On the trek, you will be staying 3 in a tent.
- We have a cloakroom facility at the base camp for excess luggage. Do not leave behind any valuables in the cloakroom.
A trek map of the Har Ki Dun - Ruinsara Valley trek
If you're planning your travel, choose to travel by bus instead of train. They're usually on time compared to trains. If you're travelling by train, choose the Jan Shatabdi Express and reach Dehradun a day before Day 1 of the trek.
While returning, you will reach Dehradun between 6.00 PM and 7.00 PM. Plan your travel any time after 9.00 PM from Dehradun. The Nanda Devi Express will suit your schedule well.
The towering Mt Swargarohini during sunrise on the Har Ki Dun - Ruinsara Valley trek.
Picture by: Mohit Dev
Campsites at a Glance
At Indiahikes, we are very particular about choosing terrific campsites. For the Har Ki Dun - Ruinsara Valley trek too, after a lot of back and forth, we have settled on these terrific campsites, which trekkers have come to love.
Gangaad Homestay with Gangaad village in the background. Picture by the Jothiranjan
The Kalkathiyadhar campsite comes in as a surprise. It is an open meadow set high up the valley. It is covered by the pine forests of Devsu Thatch at the back. Picture by Jothiranjan
Boslo Campsite is one of the most beautiful campsites on the Har Ki Dun - Ruinsara Valley trek. Picture by Jothiranjan
What I Like and Don't Like About Har Ki Dun-Ruinsara Valley Trek
What I Like About Har Ki Dun-Ruinsara Valley Trek
Know Your Trek
We have always wanted trekkers to be well-informed before they go on a Himalayan trek. Knowledge is the difference between a safe trek and a dangerous one. It’s also the difference between a wholesome experience and a superficial experience.
Use this section to learn about the Har Ki Dun-Ruinsara Valley trek. It has in-depth information about each day of the trek, what to expect, and how you need to prepare for it. Many years of expertise have gone into this content. Trekkers find that extremely useful.
The day-wise section of Har Ki Dun-Ruinsara Valley has been documented in detail by our trekker Shakti Nirmal.
Why Fitness Matters on Har Ki Dun-Ruinsara Valley Trek
On Moderate treks, you walk for about 6-8 km each day. The ascents and descents could get steep. The maximum altitude will range between 13,000 ft to 14,000 ft. You’ll come across tricky patches frequently (like snow or scree), which require you to navigate with a certain amount of caution. There might also be small stream/river crossings.
Your goal is to 5 km with an intention to finish within 35 minutes.
Note: If you are above the age of 58 years, you'll also need to submit your Treadmill Test within 7 days of registration.
Things Nobody Tells You About Har Ki Dun - Ruinsara Valley
A rare temple dedicated to Duryodhana-King of Kauravas
All along the trek route, in the villages as well as on the trail, you will come across many temples dedicated to the local gods and goddesses. You will learn that the people here deeply revere the Mahabharata. But what will take you completely by surprise is that they not only worship the Pandavas, but they also pray to the Kauravas!
While trekking to Osla, you come across a shrine dedicated entirely to Duryodhana — the king of the Kauravas, the only other known temple being Poruvazhy Peruviruthy Malanada located in Kerala.
Ancient architecture and carvings
The beauty begins right at Kotgaon, Indiahikes’ base camp for the Har Ki Dun trek. Kotgaon has ancient wooden houses, some dating back to even 300 years. The houses are built of wood and stone. You’ll notice smooth carvings of flowers, leaves, and sometimes tigers on the façade and the pillars. Run your hand over them. It’s an ancient art. Smell it and you will inhale the sweet woody fragrance of Deodar. It is a strong-hardy specimen, perfect for building sturdy homes.
The silver oak, as the name suggests, assumes a subtle hue of silver at the touch of the sunbeams. Several leaves will be strewn on the ground. When observed closely, one face of the leaf will be coloured a lush green while the other a pale white that shines under sun and water.
Gangaad is an ancient hamlet with a primary school and a temple of Someshwar Maharaj. The temple only remains open in a certain season since the residents believe that the Gods move from one temple to another through different seasons. One of the practices they perform has to do with the sacrificial goat. Every time an individual is leaving the village in pursuit of better prospects and opportunities or when a special occasion arises, a goat is sacrificed and cooked, which is then shared among all the villagers.
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