How Har Ki Dun Matches Up To Summer Treks Like Buran Ghati & Rupin Pass

Trekkers are missing out on a fabulous trek. It has bothered me enough that I want to dedicate an entire email to this. 

I want to talk to you about the Har Ki Dun with Ruinsara Tal and not without. It has to be one of the most underrated treks in our country. 

You know trekkers in our country think when it comes to great treks in summer 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. 

I want to remove that thought from everyone’s mind. 

The Har-Ki-Dun trek with Ruinsara is one of the best complete treks that I’ve seen. It has terrific ancient culture, mountain views, forests, grasslands, meadows, rivers, streams and even an alpine lake. The trek is not difficult on the legs which makes it just the right adventure for the summer.

If you notice I am constantly tagging Ruinsara along with Har-Ki-Dun. There is a reason for it. 

Without Ruinsara, Har-Ki-Dun is a very good trek. But with Ruinsara added on Har-Ki-Dun is a great trek, one of the best that you will do. 

Now, Har Ki Dun is a trek that needs no introduction. It’s been around for many many years, and trekkers have always loved it. 

Last year, we extended the Har Ki Dun trek to Ruinsara Tal. It has almost become unimaginable that we weren’t taking this route earlier. 

“It’s like doing a whole new trek by just adding two days,” says Arjun Majumdar, our founder, who was deeply taken in by the trek.

“Earlier we would enter only the Har-Kearlii-Dun valley and return. With the added extension we not only do the HKD valley but we also take in the new Ruinsara valley,” he says.

Har Ki Dun - Route Map

What we love about the Har Ki Dun Ruinsara Tal Trek

This new valley has stunned trekkers. For one, the Ruinsara lake in itself is stunning. An alpine lake surrounded by snow-covered mountains is not something that you see everyday. It is not a small lake either.

Ruinsara Tal in the month of May. Picture by Arjun Majumdar

Then the trail to Ruinsara is splendid. Carving its way up a gradually ascending valley, the trail has a riot of colours and textures that has enthralled trekkers — especially early in the morning when the sun slants into the valley in an intriguing angle, the whole valley has a charm very few treks can give. 

Devsu Thatch is one of our favourite spots on the trek. It takes you back to the meadows of Kashmir. Picture by Sandhya UC

Then the mind blowing Devsu thatch. Our founders brazenly admit that this meadow is their favourite section on the trek. “Devsu Thatch is the closest I’ve come to feeling like I’m in Kashmir, when I’m not in Kashmir. I almost felt like I was at Lidderwat (from the Tarsar Marsar trek). If you are going to Har Ki Dun, and if you haven’t seen Devsu Thatch, you might as well not go on the trek,” says Arjun.

To this, Sandhya adds, “Devsu Thatch is surrounded by thick pine trees, it is almost impossible to even guess that such a meadow exists here. But when you are returning from Ruinsara Tal, you suddenly get ushered into this wonderland. The meadow flows on multiple levels. Each level exposes different scenery on the horizon. Some show the Ruinsara mountains, some show HKD valley, Kalkathiadhar, and the Osla side. The possibility of camping here (if the forest dept. permits) will definitely bring a big smile on your face.”

Speaking of camping, the camps of Kalkatiyadhar and Boslo are definitely something to watch out for. I’ll safely say if there are better campsites on our trekking trails, I am yet to see them!”

The Kalkatiyadhar campsite on this trek is one of the prettiest campsites. Picture by Sandhya UC

Finally, the Har-Ki-Dun valley with its villages hanging out of the sky — each one of them over three centuries old. The fact that we get to stay and experience these villages makes this a high cultural experience. I am not sure how many years longer the villages will stay this way. Civilisation and modernity is bound to touch them soon. 

The ancient village of Osla in the Har Ki Dun valley. Picture by Reni

I think you should watch this video of Arjun taking us through the trek. He has a gift of speaking beautifully about trekking trails, and we made this just after he returned from Har Ki Dun-Ruinsara Tal. 

 

Additionally, you must read this article that Sandhya wrote after coming back from the trek. She has a very honest straightforward take on the trek

Since March-April is one of the best seasons to do it, I’m writing to you in a bit of a hurry. I thought I’d send you a timely reminder so you can plan your trek now. 

The only thing to keep in mind is that this trek requires good fitness levels. It’s good for a fit first-timer. It might actually spoil you on your first trek, making you think every Himalayan trek has this much variety. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. 🙂

If you have been thinking of the Rupin Pass or the Buran Ghati this summer, I would suggest giving them a miss. Plan for the Har-Ki-Dun with Ruinsara instead. But do plan soon. Many dates are already full / waitlisted. 

We have dates throughout March, April, May and June. And it’s a 9 day trek.

Click on this link to find all the trek details, trek itinerary, and trek dates available.

By the way, if you have already done the Har Ki Dun trek with the older itinerary, you’re welcome to repeat this new route. We won’t charge you if you’re repeating it.

Drop in a comment on below if you have any questions. We have many experts on this trek who can answer questions for you. 🙂 

Swathi Chatrapathy

Swathi Chatrapathy

Swathi heads the digital content team at Indiahikes. She is also the face behind India's popular trekking video channel, Trek With Swathi. Unknown to many Swathi also writes a weekly column at Indiahikes which has more than 100,000 followers. Swathi is known for her expertise in digital content, which has made her a much sought after resource in many events. Before joining Indiahikes, she worked as a reporter and sub-editor at a daily newspaper. She holds a Masters in Digital Journalism and continues to contribute to publications. Trekking, to her, is a sport that liberates the mind more than anything else. Through trekking, Swathi hopes to impact a person's mind, body and spirit. Read Swathi's other articles. Watch Swathi's video series here.

3 thoughts on “How Har Ki Dun Matches Up To Summer Treks Like Buran Ghati & Rupin Pass

  1. Swati,
    Wonderful to know about Ruinsara Lake. Har Ki Dun remains one of my best trek and was done in the year 2003. Did you say that if I wish to do it again with you, you wouldnt charge??
    Cool!!!

  2. I very recently learned about Indiahikes from a friend, and prior to that I used to trek with another trekking company, but after doing the Har Ki Dun – Ruinsara trek with you guys last summer, one thing was clear to me – when it comes to trekking, Indiahikes is the way to go!
    On that note, never have I seen so many options for trekking in one place. It’s almost surprising how your team has been able to successfully keep so many locations- and to keep adding more is just impressive.
    That is the reason I am writing to you today. I live in the United States and do my studies here, and I only go back to visit India maybe once a year, usually in the summer; and I make it a point to go trekking when I’m there.
    This summer, my friends and I were looking to do a trek, but then again, deciding on a trek is much much more difficult than it seems, haha! I like to research the locations very thoroughly before I pick it, but I have one question that I could not seem to find the answers to, but I’m sure I’m asking the right person now.
    We want to go someplace which is popular and fascinating, but also secluded from the rest; what would your recommendations for such Summer treks be? Seclusion is very important to us because I personally love knowing that our group is one of the only groups- if not the only- on this trail. There are some treks which are absolutely beautiful but the crowdedness takes away from the vibe and energy of the place, and after that happened a couple of times on treks I decided to make sure I go to places where we can be relatively isolated with just our group. I don’t know if this is a request you hear often, but your input would really help speed up my thought process on this summer’s trek decision making, and I would be grateful for your help.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope you have a great day
    Looking forward to hearing from you!

  3. Thanks Swathi for the mail. Your itinerary seems the perfect one. I am planning this trek for end of May. Will not be rain a problem then? I am also eager to know if you can arrange a private trek for me and my wife, I know the charges will be higher, please let me know.

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