Kedarkantha – The best winter trek in the Himalayas
When it comes to trekking in India in winter, the Kedarkantha trek would be your best bet. From December to April, Kedarkantha makes for a terrific trek in virgin snow, with pretty campsites and astonishingly wide clearings in the forests.
Here are the Top 4 reasons to do the Kedarkantha trek in winter
Snow till April
Not many know that on the Kedarkantha trek, the winter snow sets in by the middle of December and lasts until the third week of April. You are likely to come across snow just as you cross the 10,000 ft mark, lying on the forest floor among the pine trees. When you reach the meadows, a huge blanket of white is likely to surround you in every direction.
This trek has the prettiest campsites in the Himalayas. Not all treks can boast of the beauty of their campsites like the Kedarkantha trek. Each campsite is unique in its beauty. The Juda-Ka-Talab campsite sits in a clearing surrounded by giant pine trees, the Kedarkantha Base campsite is on an open meadow with snow peaks all around. It is almost as if each one of them competes with the other for the beautiful setting.
Best drive in the Himalayas
The drive to Kedarkantha takes you through Mussoorie, Nowgaon, Purola and Mori before finally bringing you to Naitwar. It is a remote route so exquisite that it is one of the most beautiful drives in the Indian Himalayas. Trekkers need to especially watch out for the section after Purola until the base camp.
Snow peaks all around
This is a huge perk of trekking to Kedarkantha. Right from the Kedarkantha base camp, you’ll see stunning 360 degree views of famous mountain summits. This is jaw dropping. When you get to the Kedarkantha summit, it is as if you have touched the sky and all the summits are at your eye level!
Day 1: Getting to the base camp – Naitwar
The trek begins at Naitwar, 8-9 hours drive from Dehradun. The journey takes you past Mori and Purola. You see beautiful valleys and forest cover throughout the journey. At the Naitwar Barrier you need to take permission. A government issued ID is essential for this. After the barrier, take a right side turn to go to Gainchwan Gaon. The road that goes straight, takes you to Sankri. After taking the right turn, take another right turn after in 30 minutes. This takes you to the village Gainchwan Gaon surrounded by Shialdi, Paisar, Guradi, Sunchangaon, Dargangaon and Dewara. The guest house where you will be staying is in Shialdi.
Roam around this quiet village and be enchanted by the sound of the Rupin river.
- Altitude: 5,600 ft
- Time taken: 8 – 9 hours drive from Dehradun.
Day 2: Naitwar/Shialdi to Julota
- Altitude: 5,600 ft to 8,950 ft
- Time taken: 4.5-5 hours
- Trek gradient: Easy. Gradual ascent for 2-2.5 hours followed by a steep ascent.
- Water sources: Carry 2 litres of water. There’s one water source half way through the trek.
There’s a motorable road all the way to Altwar which is a work in progress. You will have to stick to the villager’s path that goes through apple orchards and farm lands. The Sunchangaon and Dargangaon villages are unique in their culture, in their architecture and lifestyle. Altwar is at a distance of 3 km from Gainchwan Gaon if you come through these villages and 6 km via the motorable road. Indiahikes trekkers trek on the shorter route since a cab up the motorable route takes more time.
From Altwar, you can see the Rupin valley. The trail goes into a forest and ascends gradually. After some time you see a clearing amidst the pine and oak forests. This is the first water point where you can fill water from a tap. This is also a good spot to rest and click photographs of the beautiful surroundings.
After the clearing, you enter the forest which is denser now. Soon you see a wooden bridge over a dried river bed. The trail from here on is quite steep and more like a staircase made of slabs of rock. After gaining some altitude, the incline becomes more gradual. You see the Rupin river as you traverse through fallen trees on the trail.
As you walk further, you enter a clearing with a hut. This place is Raj Odari, from where you take a route which deviates from the main trail. After some distance, you see a stream cutting through the trail. After crossing the stream, you trek up a trail that is on a gradual incline in a grassland. Less than a kilometer later, you arrive at Gainkaka. From here there is a gradual ascent till a stream at a place called Julota. This place is surrounded by pine trees. This is your campsite for the day.
Day 3: Julota to Kedarkantha Base (Pukhrola)
- Altitude: 8,950 ft to 10,800 ft
- Time taken: 4 hours
- Trek gradient: Easy. ½ km ascent to a meadow followed by ½ km of level walk. Gradual ascent which becomes steep for the last 300 metres to Pukhrola.
- Water sources: Carry sufficient water. You will find streams along the trail to refill your water bottles.
Today’s trek is quite short but there’s close to 2,000 ft of altitude gain. So remember to keep yourself hydrated well. The trail is steeper and the terrain is undulated and mixed. You see multiple clearings and meadows as you trek from Jalouta. The second such clearing is called the Siunn ka Thatch and it is at an altitude of 9,293 ft.
The trail again goes through a jungle and opens into another clearing called Mowru ka Thatch. Take a short break here to enjoy the serenity of the place. After Mowru ka Thatch, you trek through a tree covered area on steep terrain. The tree cover slowly loses density and you see Rhododendron trees. Now you’re just an hour away from Pukhrola, our new Kedarkantha Base.
After crossing a couple of streams, you enter a huge meadow and you see the Kedarkantha summit sitting right in front of you. This is Pukhrola – your campsite for the night. Take good rest and enjoy the picturesque sunset here.
[Note: The cold in the open is intense and it often gets windy. Carry enough woollen wear to protect you from the elements.]
Day 4: Pukhrola to Kedarkantha peak; descend to Hargaon via Juda ka Talab
- Altitude: 10,800 ft to 12,500 ft to 8,450 ft via 9,211 ft
- Time taken: 6 – 7 hours
- Trek gradient: Easy to moderate. 2 hour steep ascent to reach the summit. Steep decent to Hargaon
- Water sources: Carry 2 litres of water. First water source at Talkhetra, around 2 hours into the descent.
Today you make the final push towards the summit. Start from Pukhrola at 5:00 AM. Those of you carrying your rucksacks will need to pack up the previous night and take all your belongings with you. Kedarkantha summit is around 2 km from Pukhrola. You can drop off your rucksacks around ½ km before the summit and proceed with just a day pack. You can collect your rucksacks again during the descent. If you are offloading your bag, carry a day back – your rucksacks will be taken directly to Hargaon.
The route goes on the western ridge of the mountain and it gets very steep at multiple points. It takes two hours to reach the summit by this route. On the summit you are surrounded by mountain ranges and valleys. You see Dhauladhar range, Chansil Pass, Rupin valley, Har ki Dun valley. Swargarohini also comes into view along with Bandarpoonch and Kalanag. Some of the other peaks you see include Jaonti, Gangotri, Draupadi ka Danda and Jorkanden.
While descending, you first come down to the point where you can collect your bags. From here, trek down the shoulder ridge of the east face. You trek down a gradual slope to reach a meadow. After walking ahead for a few minutes, you enter a forest where the path divides into two. One goes over a log-bridge but you take the other path which goes to the left.
In 1.5-2 hours, you reach Talkhetra which is at an altitude of 10,025 ft. Stop here for lunch. You can also refill your water bottles here.
From Talkhetra, you have 2 options. If you’re feeling up to it, visit Juda ka Talab else head straight to Hargaon. Juda-ka-talab is a beautiful lake in a clearing in the forest. It will take you about an hour to get here. The trail is mostly descending, with a 10-15 minute ascent.
Descending straight to Hargaon from Talkhetra will take you about 40 minutes.
Day 5: Hargaon to Sankri
- Altitude: 8,450 ft to 6,400 ft
- Time taken: 3.5 hours
- Trek gradient: Easy. Gradual descent all the way.
- Water sources: Carry sufficient water. There is one water source, around 1.5 hours into the trek.
Although this is the last day of the trek, it gives good competition to the other days. You trek mostly through forest cover, with clearings surrounded by maple trees along the way. You get some really beautiful views of Har-ki-Dun and Swargarohini from these clearings. Start early so that you can spend some time taking in these views.
Day 6: Drive to Dehradun from Sankri
- Distance: 220 km
- Time taken: 10 – 11 hours
Start from Sankri early in the morning, preferably before 7:00 AM since the journey takes at least 10 hours. If you have time to spare at Dehradun, go to Mussoorie or Yamunotri.
To read trekkers’ blogs about the Kedarkantha trek, click here.
This trek was explored by our trek leader, Tanmay Bain.
How to get fit for the Kedarkantha trek
The Kedarkantha trek is marked as an easy-moderate trek. It starts at an altitude of 6,000 ft at Sankri and climbs to 12,500 ft at Kedarkantha peak. This means there is an altitude gain of 6,500 ft over the first three days of the trek. Consequently, all the three days leading to the Kedarkantha summit involve constant ascent.
This trek requires a good amount of cardiovascular endurance. You can begin by jogging everyday. Start jogging at a slow pace and then keep increasing your pace day by day. In order to be prepared for high altitude trek, you should have a combination of distance and speed targets.
In case you’re just starting with a regular fitness routine, you can phase out your distance targets in the following manner –
- Target completing 5 km in 45 minutes when you begin
- Gradually increase the distance to 7 km. Target completing this in 63 minutes
- Before you go on the trek, you should be able to walk at least 10 km at a stretch. Target completing this in 90 minutes
In terms of speed, make sure you’re able to jog 5 km in 35 minutes before the start of the trek. If you are 45 years old and above, your target should be completing at least 3 km within 29 minutes before you go on the trek.
Strength – Target 3 sets of squats with 20 in each
Along with endurance, you need to build your core body strength. You will be carrying your backpack all through the trek and this trek has a lot of climbs. You can do some squats to strengthen them. Start with 3 sets of squats, with 8 squats in each set and work towards reaching your target in 3 weeks.
Another aspect that will help you trek comfortably is flexibility. For this, you can do some stretching exercises – stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, lower back muscles and shoulders regularly. On your trek, it is important that you arrive on the slopes with your muscles relaxed. Carrying a backpack, however light, can become a strain after a while. These exercises will help you to be in good shape before the trek.
If you’re trekking to Kedarkantha in winter, note that the temperature drops to around -10 degree Celcius at night. During the day, the temperature will be at around 8-12 degrees. This extreme temperature could make breathing slightly difficult. Doing breathing exercises before the trek will help. Expand your lungs and learn to breathe deep. This will help you inhale more oxygen and help you breathe comfortably.
Here’s a guide to help you prepare for the trek.
Working out indoors
If you can’t go out and jog because of time and space constraints, here’s a video you can use to work out indoors.
What to take on the Kedarkantha Trek
If you’re trekking to Kedarkantha in winter, the temperature during the day will be at around 8-12 degrees and at night, the temperature will drop to -5 to -7 degrees. You will need to carry a minimum of five warm layers. Apart from this, ensure you carry your warm accessories such as synthetic (water resistant) gloves, woollen socks, balaclava and thermals. These are imperative on a winter trek.
Apart from this, there might be snowfall in winter. Ensure you carry a poncho to have a comfortable trek.
- Trekking shoes: Carry trekking shoes and not sports shoes. The trail will be slippery at several places and will require shoes with good grip and ankle support. You can watch this video to learn to choose the right trekking shoes.
- Backpack (40-60 litres): A backpack with sturdy straps and a supporting frame. Rain cover for backpack is essential.
- Five layers of warm clothes: If you’re trekking in winter, carry two sweaters, two fleece jackets and a padded jacket. If you’re trekking in summer (March/April), three warm layers will suffice.
- Three trek pants: Carry light cotton trek pants. One of your pants can be tights that you can wear as an inner layer while trekking, especially on the day of the summit climb.
- Three collared t-shirts: Carry light, full sleeved t-shirts that prevent sun burns on the neck and arms. If you’re too cold, you can wear two tshirts together for more insulation. A common mistake that trekkers make is not changing their tshirts often enough. Regardless of how cold it is, the body tends to sweat a lot. Trekkers who don’t change to fresh clothes fall ill due to wet clothes and are often unable to complete their trek.
- Thermals: Carry thermals (top and bottom) to keep yourself warm at night. Keep your thermals fresh and don’t wear them while trekking.
- Sunglasses: Sunglasses are mandatory. There will be a lot of snow in winter and can cause snow blindness.
- Suncap: At high altitude, the sun is extra harsh, as the UV rays don’t get filtered. So carry a suncap to protect yourself.
- Synthetic hand gloves: Avoid woollen gloves as they will get wet if you touch snow. You can add a fleece glove as an inner layer, and wear two gloves on each hand if you’re more susceptible to cold.
- Balaclava: You’ll need this to cover your head, as most of the heat escapes from your head.
- Socks (2 pairs) and a pair of woollen socks: Apart from two sports socks, you can take a pair of woollen socks for the night.
- Headlamp/LED torch: Mandatory
- Trekking pole: Watch this video to understand why you need a trekking pole.
- Daypack (20 litres): You will need this to carry water bottles, light snacks and medical kit in case you decide to offload your backpack.
- Toiletries: Sunscreen, moisturiser, light towel, lip balm, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitiser. If you plan to use wet wipes to clean up after a trek, make sure you do not leave the used wipes/tissues back in the mountains since these are not biodegradable. The same holds for used sanitary napkins. Carry a zip lock bag to put used tissues and napkins. Bring this ziplock bag back with you to the city and do not dispose wet tissues and sanitary napkins in the mountains.
- Cutlery: Carry a spoon, coffee mug and a lunch box. We insist on trekkers getting their own cutlery for hygiene reasons.
- Two water bottles: 1 litre each. For winter treks make sure, one of the water bottles is a thermos flask. We recommend the Lifestraw Go. Indiahikes trekkers can get it at a discount here.
- Plastic covers: While packing, use plastic bags to compartmentalise things and carry few extra plastic bags for wet clothes.
Mandatory Personal Medical Kit
- Diamox – 10 tablets (to prevent AMS)
- Dexamethasone – one strip
- Nifedipine – 5 tablets
- Crocin – 6 tablets (fever)
- Avomine – 4 tablets (motion sickness)
- Avil 25mg – 4 tablets (allergies)
- Combiflam – 4 tablets (Pain killer)
- Disprin – 6 tablets (headache)
- Norflox TZ & Lomofen– 6 tablets each (diarrhea)
- Digene – 10 tablets (acidity)
- Omez/ Rantadine – 10 tablets (antacids)
- Crepe bandage – 3 to 5 meters
- Gauze – 1 small roll
- Band aid – 10 strips
- Cotton – 1 small roll
- ORS – 10 packets
- Betadine or any antiseptic cream
- Moov spray (aches, & sprains)
- Original and photocopy of government photo identity card- (driving license, voters ID, etc.) – It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo id for entry at forest check posts on the trek. Since Sankri will have limited facilities to photo copy, do not leave this till the end.
- Medical Certificate (first part to be filled by a doctor and second part by the trekker) – Download PDF
- Disclaimer form (to be filled by the trekker) – Download PDF
Here’s a guide to help you pack for the trek –
What you need to know about the trek fee
The trek fee of Rs. 8,450 + 5% GST covers all costs of the trek from Raithal to Barsu.
Here is what the trek fee includes:
- Accommodation – Stay is included from Day 1 to Day 5 (Naitwar to Sankri). You will be staying in lodges at Naitwar and Sankri and camping on remaining days of the trek (3 per tent).
- Meals – All meals from dinner at Naitwar on Day 1 to breakfast at Sankri on Day 6 are included. We provide simple, nutritious vegetarian food on all days of the trek.
- Camping charges – All trekking permits and forest camping charges are included.
- Trekking equipment – You will stay in high quality tents and sleeping bags in all the camps. Our high altitude sleeping bags can withstand temperatures as low as -10 ºC. We provide ice axes, roped, micro spikes, gaiters etc. as required.
- Safety equipment – First aid, medical kit, oxygen cylinders, stretchers etc. will be available at all campsites to deal with emergencies.
- Services of an expert Trek Leader – All our trek leaders are qualified in basic / advanced mountaineering courses.
- Services of an expert Trek Team – The mountain staff on this trek consists of well trained guides, cooks, helpers and porters.
Here is what the trek fee excludes:
- Transport to and from the base camp – We will arrange shared taxis for trekkers to pick you up from Dehradun and drop you back from Sankri. This will cost approx. Rs. 5,500 per 5-6 seater vehicle one way. You will have to share this cost with the other trekkers
- Food during transit to and from the base camp – The trek fee does not include meals purchased during the journey to Naitwar and the return drive from Sankri.
- Backpack offloading charges – If you wish to offload your backpack, there will be an additional charge of Rs. 1,000 + 5% GST. The backpack cannot weigh more than 9 kg. Suitcases/strolleys/duffel bags will not be allowed. Please note that charges will vary for last minute offloading in case you decide to offload your bag after reaching Naitwar (Rs.335 per day + 5% GST).
- Stay at Dehradun on the last day
- Personal expenses of any kind
- Anything apart from inclusions
Terms & Conditions:
1. Cancellation: If a trek is called off at the last moment due to a natural calamity/unforseen circumstances (like rains, earthquake, landslides, strike, bandh etc), Indiahikes will issue a trek voucher for the full amount. The voucher can be redeemed for the same trek or another trek in the next one year.
In case, you wish to cancel your trek, please e-mail us at email@example.com. Cancellation requests are not taken over phone.
The cancellation charges are as under:
Cancellations prior to 30 days from the start of the trek — full refund.
Cancellation between 30 days and 20 days to the start of the trek — 50% refund.
Cancellation less than 20 days to the start of the trek — no refund.
Please note: In case of refund, there will be a deduction of 4% (bank charges) from the total fee you have paid. Also, if you have opted for a trek insurance, the amount will not be refunded.
2. The trek fee includes all costs of the trek from the start at the Sankri base camp to the end at Sankri.
3. Pick up: Trekkers are picked up from Dehradun railway station at 6:30 am. Usually, trekkers are clubbed together with other participants to make a group. The group travels together to Sankri in shared cabs.
4. Transport:Transport from Dehradun to Sankri and return from Sankri to Dehradun can be arranged by us at an extra cost. Participants are expected to share the cost of the cab (approximate cost Rs. 5,500 per vehicle one way). The amount is to be paid directly to our transporter. No service tax is applicable on transport cost. Indiahikes only arranges the vehicle pick up and is not responsible for any issues during transport.
5. Backpack offloading: Indiahikes expects all trekkers to carry their own backpacks. All common gear will be carried by the support team. If for some reason a trekker is unable to carry his or her backpack, he/she can offload the same by paying an additional charge.
6. Backpack offloading charge for the entire trek duration is Rs. 1,000/- plus GST of 5%. Partial offloading is not allowed. Charges for last minute offloading during the trek will be Rs. 335 per day plus GST of 5%. The backpack cannot weigh more than 9 kg. No suitcases/strolleys/duffel bags will be allowed.
7. Emergency during trek: In a trek a medical emergency or any other emergency may arise. If for any reason you are sent down from the trek then Indiahikes will make arrangements for your return to the base camp or nearest road head. A staff will accompany you. He may not be a trained personnel.
Evacuation or dealing with emergencies is extremely difficult in the mountains. It is time consuming as well. A normal trek of 2 hours may take 6 hours in an emergency (a sick person is not easy to evacuate). Doctors do not go along with a team. Doctors are not available at the base camp or nearest road head either. Indiahikes trek leaders are trained to administer first aid and know how to deal with issues related to the mountains. However, they are not doctors.
Registering for this trek is an understanding that you have read up on the difficulties of high altitude trekking and understand the risks. You have also understood what AMS, HAPE and HACE are. You have taken efforts to educate yourself and you are in a position to manage your own altitude related emergency.
8. Fitness: A high altitude trek in the Himalayas requires considerable fitness. Your body needs to train itself to process more work with lower levels of oxygen. Therefore, on treks, cardiovascular training is critically important. You need to be able to jog a distance of 4.5 km in 30 mins before start of the trek. Unable to do so can make your trek difficult. In addition, preparation of trek needs to include strength and flexibility training. Registering for the trek is an understanding that you will undertake the mandated fitness training. Trekkers who have not adequately prepared may be asked to discontinue the trek at any point. Indiahikes has the right to reject candidates who do not meet our eligibility requirement at the base camp.
9. Non-liability: Indiahikes is not responsible for any loss/damage of your gears/equipment or other belongings on the trek.
10. Payment: Payment for the trek can be done online through credit/debit card or net banking. Cheque/draft or cash is not accepted.
11. Route changes, postponement, delay or finishing the trek a day earlier: Under some extraordinary circumstance, your trek may end a day earlier or start a day later. This may become necessary due to inclement weather, snow and ice conditions, political restrictions or any other cause. In the event of a change, postponement or delay, participants have no right to refund of the trek (in whole or in part) or other compensation for any injury, loss or damage. Trek fee is not charged broken down in terms of days but is a composite fee for the whole trek.
12. Drinking and smoking during the trek is strictly prohibited. If found flouting the rules, your participation on the trek will be cancelled with immediate effect.
13. Safety Protocol:
a. While our itineraries are designed to allow for adequate acclimatisation, most treks in Indian Himalayas climb quickly, which is called forced accents. Unavailability of camp sites and the Indian Himalayan terrain are the reason for this. There are chances that you will feel the effects of altitude sickness and oxygen deprivation while on this trek. Please be aware that your trek leader may deem it unsafe for you to continue trekking at any time, and arrange for you to descend to a lower attitude.
b. Our trek leaders will conduct routine health checks at all camps to measure oxygen saturation, pulse and blood pressure. Indiahikes reserves the right to exclude any trekker from climbing higher on the trek without refund if the trekker’s vital readings are below accepted norms for that altitude. These norms are available with Indiahikes trek leaders.
c. This is a high altitude trek with rough, rocky and snowy terrain. It is important that you are a fit and confident walker in mountain terrain, able to manage ascents and descents by yourself within a reasonable time. Indiahikes reserves the right to turn around a trekker if in the opinion of our trek leader they are unable to complete the itinerary without requiring exclusive assistance. Please realistically self-assess your fitness and suitability for this trek before registering.
What are the risks on the Kedarkantha Trek?
Kedarkantha is an easy to moderate trek in terms of difficulty but it goes up to an altitude of 12,500 ft. Which means it’s still a high altitude trek. As with every high altitude trek, the Kedarkantha trek comes with certain risks.
At Indiahikes, we pay utmost importance to safety of trekkers. While we do our bit to ensure your life is safe, we also expect you as a trekker to know what could go wrong, and if it does, how to tackle it.
What Indiahikes does to ensure your safety
Our philosophy is simple. We ingrain safety aspects in the people we work with, in the processes that we follow and in the equipment we carry. All our trek leaders are trained repeatedly on safety issues and protocols. Most issues are resolved with their intervention.
From the time you register for a trek, we will keep you informed of safety procedures on high altitude treks. We have listed a few of them below.
1. Fitness criteria before registration
Over the years, we have come to notice that safety issues are widespread among unfit, unaware and ill-prepared trekkers. Therefore we have brought in an eligibility criteria for the Kedarkantha trek.
Before registration, you need to meet the fitness requirements. The primary measure for fitness is BMI or Body Mass Index. An ideal BMI is a minimum requirement to register for this trek. You can take a look here.
2. Monitoring health on a trek
Every trekker will be given a Health Card at the beginning of the trek. The Health Card is issued to monitor the trekker’s daily health. It contains details of symptoms he should look out for and what action he should take during emergencies as well. These Health Cards will be taken back at the end of the trek.
On the Kedarkantha trek, your Trek Leader will be monitoring your Oxygen levels and Pulse rate twice a day. Your blood pressure is measured once every day. Any abnormal reading will be paid special attention to and immediate action will be taken.
3. High Altitude Medical Kit
Your trek leader will also be carrying a full-fledged high altitude medical kit. This will include basic medicines and specific medicines catering to altitude sickness – Diamox, Dexamethasone (tablets and injections) and Nifedipine.
Your Trek Leader will also be carrying a portable oxygen cylinder throughout the trek. In addition to that, there are oxygen cylinders installed at all high campsites for any emergency situations.
4. High Altitude Trek Equipment
Kedarkantha is popular for its snowy terrain. If you go on this trek in the months from December to mid-April, you will be trekking on snow. To ensure safe trekking on snowy terrain, Indiahikes will provide you with micro-spikes.
These are attached to your shoes and will give you good traction on hard snow. To avoid snow from entering your shoes, Indiahikes will provide you with gaiters that you can wear over your shoes. You will have qualified technical guides with you. They lead the way on difficult terrain, where there might be too much snow.
All our sleeping bags and tents are custom-made for high altitude. If it is cold outside, it will be around 10 degrees warmer inside the tent. Our sleeping bags can withstand temperatures as low as -10 degree Celcius.
5. Being hydrated and well nourished on the trek
You need to drink a minimum of 4 litres of water every day during the trek to ensure that you’re well hydrated. De-hydration on a trek can make you lose energy very quickly and intensify the effects of AMS. Your trek leader will brief you about the amount of water that you need to carry with you at the start of each day as well as water sources on the trail.
We provide trekkers with nutritious meals to ensure that they are energized to complete the trail each day. Apart from this, snacks or packed lunch is provided wherever the trail before a meal break is likely to be long. Make sure that you do not skip any meal as this can lead to serious health emergencies on high altitudes.
With all these processes and equipment in place, you can be rest assured that you will have a safe trek with Indiahikes.
What you need to know if you’re going on the Kedarkantha trek
If you have registered for this trek, then here is some information that you must know in order to have a safe trek. At Indiahikes, we believe that as long as you are well-informed and well-prepared, you can survive easily at high altitude.
Like in every winter trek, a common risk factor on the Kedarkantha trek is slippery snow. You will be provided with micro spikes to help you walk better. But if you fall, no need to panic.
Even the smallest wound takes longer to heal at higher altitude. Reasons for this are increasing stress hormones and lower overall oxygen delivery to the tissues. Keeping your wounds clean and covered will prevent infection. To prevent the bruise from festering, apply a triple antibiotic ointment regularly.
Where on the Kedarkantha trek is Acute Mountain Sickness likely to affect you:
Any campsite above 11,000 ft poses a risk of AMS. On the Kedarkantha trek, the Kedarkantha Base camp is at 11,250 ft. It is the only campsite on this trek where you could be affected by Acute Mountain Sickness. From here and while going up to the summit is when you should watch out for symptoms.
AMS occurs when your body isn’t acclimatising to its surroundings. It can accelerate very rapidly, so it is important to identify the symptoms as soon as you see them. Before you read further, watch this video to understand the symptoms of AMS.
We cannot stress enough on how important it is for you to communicate any symptom to your Trek Leader.Only then will he be able to take steps at the right time.
What to do if you feel symptoms of AMS at Kedarkantha Base Camp
Very few cases of AMS have been recorded on the Kedarkantha trek. Nevertheless, don’t let your guard down. If you feel any symptoms of AMS on the trek, report to the Trek Leader immediately. Do not wait till the end of the day’s trek. Do not try to handle it yourself either. Our Trek Leaders are well-trained and experienced to handle any cases and they will be the decision makers in any such cases.
Watch the video below to understand how to treat and prevent AMS. The information in this video is rare to find. With this knowledge, you can probably save your own life or another’s trekkers life.
As a first step, your trek leader will run you through the Triple One Test – One Disprin, One litre of water and One hour of rest. If you’re suffering from dehydration, this will solve the problem and you will be fine in one hour.
If the symptoms don’t go away, then he’ll begin to treat you for AMS, perhaps with a course of Diamox. If you’re already on a course of Diamox, your trek leader is likely to increase the dosage. The increased dosage of Diamox usually takes care of the Acute Mountain Sickness. Evacuation will be done if no improvement is shown. You will be taken down to Sankri as descent is the sure cure for AMS.
Exit points on the Kedarkantha trek:
There is just one exit point on the Kedarkantha trek – the base camp, Sankri. It takes around 5 hours top descend to Sankri from the highest campsite of the trek. Sankri is at an altitude of around 6,500 ft. So any symptoms of AMS will stop showing there.
For advanced treatments, the closest hospital from Sankri is in Purola which is around 54 km away. Please note that these are mountain roads and usually takes around 2-3 hours to cover this distance. It takes longer after nightfall.
Why you should personally know about the risks and precautions of high altitude treks
If you cannot find your fellow trekkers or anyone else while trekking independently or with another organisation, there are some life-saving steps you can take.
Firstly, you should be able to recognise symptoms of altitude sickness. So acquaint yourself with the symptoms.
Secondly, there might be instances when you have to administer medicines to yourself or to a fellow trekker.
If you are trekking independently, you need to know when exactly to administer these medicines and in what dosage.
Here, Sandhya UC, partner at Indiahikes, explains in detail about HAPE and HACE. Here, you can learn about the advanced symptoms are and how to tackle them.
It is a myth that fit and experienced people are not affected by Acute Mountain Sickness
If you’re of the opinion that fit people don’t get AMS, please get rid of that notion right away. AMS can affect anyone without paying heed to their fitness and prior experience at high altitude! Altitude sickness does not distinguish between a first timer and an experienced trekker.
For more detailed information about Acute Mountain Sickness, you can download and study the manual below.
1. What is the style of accommodation in this trek?
Stay in Naitwar and Sankri on Days 1 and 5 of the trek will be in guest houses, where you will share a room with fellow trekkers. Stay on all other days will be in tents. Each tent accommodates 3 people.
2. Will you provide us with tents and sleeping bags?
Yes, Indiahikes trekkers will be provided with tents and high altitude sleeping bags that can withstand temperatures as low as -10 ºC.
3. What will the temperatures be like during this trek?
Day time temperatures will range from 13-18ºC and night time temperature will range from 0-6ºC in summer. In winter, temperatures will range from 8-15ºC during the day and can drop down to -7ºC at night.
4. Will there be snow on this trek?
Yes, there will be snow on this trek from December to April.
5. What will we do if it rains?
If it starts raining while you’re trekking, we will continue on the trail as planned. Your poncho should protect you from the rain. Carry a backpack cover for extra protection from rain for your belongings. When it rains at the campsite, we usually get together in the dining tent and play games. The tents that you will be staying in, the dining tent, kitchen and toilet tents are all water proof, so you will stay dry inside.
6. How do we reach Naitwar?
Indiahikes will arrange pick – up vehicles/shared cabs from Dehradun railway station and to Naitwar, the base camp. This transport cost is to be borne by the trekkers and will amount to approximately Rs.5,500 per vehicle. You will have to pay the driver directly. The drive to Naitwar will take 8-9 hours. Pick up from Dehradun will be at 6.30 am.
7. How do we get back after the trek?
Indiahikes will arrange for shared cabs from Sankri to Dehradun railway station. This cost is to be borne by the trekkers and is not included in the trek fee.
8. Which are the best seasons for the Kedarkantha trek?
Kedarkantha is a great trek to do in winter because of the crystal clear views and snow filled campsites. Each camp site turns into a fairyland in the snow. Spring is also a good time, because the forests come alive in this season, and the snow stays in parts all the way till April.
9. Are backpacks, raincoats and other equipment available for rent from Indiahikes?
No. There are several websites that rent out trekking equipment. Indiahikes does not rent any equipment. You may purchase trekking poles and other equipment from the Indiahikes store.
10. Is this a good trek for a first timer?
Kedarkantha is suitable for beginners and experienced trekkers alike. This is an easy trek. However, you still need to be physically fit to do this.
11. If not the Kedarkantha trek, what is a good alternative trek to do?
Deoriatal Chandrashila and Kuari Pass are other treks that you could explore. These are both easy treks, have beautiful forest trails and have mind blowing mountain view. You can find snow on both these treks till March.
12. Is there an option to offload my backpack on this trek?
Yes, there is an option to offload your backpack. This will cost Rs.1,000 + 5% GST if you inform us in advance. If you decide to offload once you reach Naitwar, the amount will be Rs.335 per day + 5% GST. The offloaded bag should not weigh more than 9 kg. Strolleys, duffel bags, suitcases etc. are not allowed. We suggest you read “5 Tips to make Carrying your Trekking Backpack Easy” before making a decision.
13. Can I take my child along on this trek? What is the age limit?
Kedarkantha is suitable for anyone above the age of 7 years. However, you need to ensure that your child is physically fit for the trek.
14. Who will be with us on the trek from Indiahikes?
An Indiahikes team consisting of a qualified Trek leader, trek guides, porters and cooks will be with you throughout the trek.
15. What are washroom/toilet facilities like on the trek?
The guest houses at Naitwar and Sankri will have concrete toilets. On the other days, toilet tents will be set up along each campsite. There will be 2 or 4 of these toilet tents depending on the size of the group. A toilet tent will have a deep pit, where one can answer nature’s call. There will be a mound of soil and a shovel to cover it up. These are dry toilets, where you’ll have to use toilet paper. There will be a room freshener as well. It’s the most hygienic and convenient way to answer nature’s call in the wild. Please use plain toilet paper and refrain from using wet wipes since these are not bio-degradable.
16. What kind of food is served on the trek? Should we carry any food?
Indiahikes uses a well planned menu suitable for high altitude treks. Breakfast varies from bread and butter, semia, poha to sandwiches and cornflakes. Lunch mainly comprises of roti or puri with sabzi. Dinner is complete with Dal, rice, roti and dessert. Dry ration of biscuits and chikki will be provided as well. You may carry nuts and dry fruits if necessary.
17. Will there be water sources on the way? Will two litres of water be enough?
Our campsites are pitched near water sources. For your day’s trek, two litres of water should be enough. You will find 1 or 2 water sources on the trail on all days of the trek.
18. Is there mobile network on this trek? Are there any electricity charging points on this trek?
Purola, on the way to Naitwar, is the last place that you will receive mobile network. Make sure you finish all your important phone calls before reaching Naitwar and also inform anxious family members about poor connectivity on the trek. You will receive signal again after reaching Sankri. Electricity charging points will be present at the guest houses.
19. Do I need special snow shoes on this trek?
You don’t need special snow shoes. A good trekking shoe is sufficient for the trek. We recommend a pair of water resistant shoes. When there is snow, we provide micro spikes and gaiters.
20. Why is the trekking pole necessary?
We suggest you watch this video to for a better understanding of why a trekking pole is necessary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=LXezaCVjEao
21. When it gets really cold can I consume alcohol?
Alcohol is dangerous in extreme cold, especially on high altitudes. Contrary to what people believe, alcohol does not make you warmer. Instead it opens your pores making your body colder. Moreover, it dehydrates you very quickly. Hence consumption of alcohol is absolutely prohibited on all Indiahikes treks. Anyone found with alcohol is quickly removed from the trek. Smoking, similarly, is not allowed on Indiahikes treks.
22. How long do we trek every day? What is the distance covered?
Day 1 – You will be picked up from Dehradun for the 8-9 hours drive to Naitwar
Day 2 – The trek from Naitwar to Jalouta will take you about 4 hours
Day 3 – Jalouta to Pukhrola is also a 4 hours trek
Day 4 – This is longest day of the trek. Going from Pukhrola to KK summit and descending to Hargaon will take you 6-7 hours
Day 5 – This is a 4 hour trek from Hargaon to Sankri
23. How do I manage the negative temperatures on the trek? Do I need special jackets?
At high altitudes, temperatures are sure to dip into negative at nights.. For these extreme cold temperatures, you need to keep the rule of 3 in mind. The rule of 3 usually takes care of cold that dip to -10°C. It is a simple formula of wearing 3 layers of woolen, inners and lower wear.
Follow this guide:
Wear one thermal and two T-shirts, three layers of woolens (two sweaters and a jacket). For your lowers wear a thermal inner with two layers of track suit. If you are prone to more cold, just add a layer.
The temperatures dip only late in the evening and early mornings. During the day if the sun is out, then you may even be trekking in your T-shirts. Make sure you use your thermal wear only at night and not while trekking.
A woolen cap/balaclava and gloves are a must.
24. What all do I need to carry on the trek?
Click here to get the list of all the things you need to carry on the trek.
25. Is it safe to trek with Indiahikes?
All high altitude treks come with their share of risks. At Indiahikes, we pay utmost importance to safety of trekkers. While we do our bit to ensure a trekker’s life is safe, we also expect any trekker who is enrolling with us to know what could go wrong, and if it does, how to tackle it. Before you go on the trek, make sure you’re thoroughly acquainted with the safety procedures followed on a trek.
How to get to the basecamp – Naitwar
Delhi → Dehradun → Naitwar
The Kedarkantha trek starts from Naitwar, around 182 km from Dehradun.
Indiahikes organises transport from Dehradun to Naitwar. The pick up is at 6.30 am from Dehradun Railway Station on Day 1. The cab fare is Rs.5,500 per vehicle. This is not included in the trek fee. It is to be shared amongst trekkers and paid directly to the driver.
The drive to Naitwar is beautiful, beside the River Tons. You pass through Mussoorie, which is a popular hill station. Stop for breakfast at Kempty Waterfalls, which is a popular tourist destination. You can stop at Purola for lunch. The Dhabas here serve delicious Aloo Parathas. You will reach Naitwar around 4.00 pm.
To reach Dehradun
The best way to reach Dehradun is to take an overnight train from Delhi. There are two trains available from Delhi to Dehradun. We recommend that you take this one –
- 12205 Nandadevi Express – 23.50 – 5.40
- 12055 DDN Jan Shatabdi – 15.20 – 21.10 (reach the previous night)
If you cannot find a train, then take a bus. To stay on the safe side, book buses online in advance. Book such that you have some buffer time to make it to Dehradun on time for the pick-up; buses usually get delayed.
Sankri → Dehradun → Delhi
The Kedarkantha trek ends at Sankri. From Sankri, you’ll be retracing your route back to Dehradun. It takes around 8 hours to drive back to Dehradun. Indiahikes organises this transport for a fare of Rs.5,500 per cab. This is to be shared amongst trekkers and paid to the driver directly. You will reach Dehradun by 6.00 pm.
If you are travelling further from Dehradun, keep a couple of hours as buffer time in case of delay. Book your onward travel from Dehradun post 8.00 pm. If you are travelling to Delhi, you can choose to go back by Mussoorie Express (21.20) or Nanda Devi Express (23.30).
If you want to get to the basecamp by yourself
Take a bus headed towards Sankri from Dehradun – Naitwar is on the way. It leaves at 6.00 am from Dehradun Railway station. Be there by 5.40 am to get a seat.
If you are reaching Dehradun late, you can take a bus to Purola/Naugaon and then a connecting bus to Sankri. The last bus leaves from Dehradun Railway Station at 12 noon. If you reach Purola late, you can stay there overnight.
If you are taking a hired taxi, the route is pretty straightforward. First, head to Mussoorie, then move down to Yamuna Bridge, via Kempty falls. Then follow the Yamuna on your left until you reach Damta and further on to Naugaon. Cross the Yamuna at Naugaon and head towards Purola. The route immediately turns scenic, with pine trees overlooking the road.
At Purola break for lunch. From Purola, the route gets more mesmerising with the road climbing up and descending through thick pine forests until you get to Mori along the Tons River. 5 km out of Purola try to locate the south face of the Kedarkantha peak on your left. The highest peak, it is not difficult to spot.
From Mori, follow the Tons to Naitwar, again through some breathtaking mountain scenery.
Here’s what trekkers have to say about trekking with Indiahikes
“I had a fantastic experience on the Kedarkantha trek (1st jan 2017 batch). Vishal- our trek leader is a great leader. He speaks an impeccable English and his GK is very good. He is exactly how a trek-leader should be. Prahlad and Avtar(appu) are equally good-natured and were always very helpful. The food was delicious as always on all Indiahikes treks. Untill now I thought that my Har-ki-dun trek with Indiahikes done last year (1st jan 2016 batch) was the best trek ever. But the Kedarkantha Trek exceeded all expectations and was definitely better! Indiahikes have done more than enough to leave the trekking trail in a better condition with the Green Trail Project unlike others as I have traveled with others too before and can clearly notice the difference. I would strongly recommend Indiahikes as the best organized team and has great trek leaders and staff and of-course the best food.” – Hemant Jhaveri, Batch of Jan 1st, 2017
“Everything was managed perfectly. We had enough stops in between to refuel. Moreover, the trek leader kept us in high spirits throughout. This trek would not have been the same without Vishal, Prahlad and Appu. They were approachable and very helpful. The entire trail was clean and since it was late enough in the trekking season, a lot of waste stuffs found its way directly to the eco bag as part of IH Green Trails initiative. The entire experience from booking till the ground experience has been wonderful. Good food and clean washrooms throughout the trek is worth appreciating.” – Sanjay Dahar, Batch of Jan 1st, 2017
“The Kedarkantha trek was amazing. It was my first winter trek and second overall with Indiahikes. The amazing views which I experienced were just mesmerising. Experienced snow fall for the first time. The camp sites were very beautiful, specially at the Kedarkantha base. The food provided by IH was yummy. Overall it was a good experience and the staff was very supportive and co-operative. Green Trail is an amazing initiative by Indiahikes. It teaches me a lot that it’s necessary to respect nature and mountains and we should do it. My experience with IH has been amazing. The way Indiahikes arranged each and everything was superb. I recommend my friends & family members to at least do one trek with Indiahikes. And I remember there were 3 Jain trekkers in our Kedarkantha trek and the staff prepared Jain food for them. This shows the care for the trekkers. And my upcoming treks will definitely be with IH only.” – Navin Sachdev, Batch of Jan 1st, 2017.
“I enjoyed and cherished each and every minute. A very Professional Team.” – Sathya narayanan, Batch of Jan 1st, 2017
“I really don’t know how to put this into words but i’ll try;) . The trek was really awesome. This being my first snow trek and though there wasn’t much snow but still loved it. The best part was the peak climb and while descending we played a lot in the fresh snow. I think Indiahikes are doing a great job by giving Eco-bags to every trekker as part of Green Trail Project. And I would definitely recommend Indiahikes for the small groups and clean tents.” – Vineet Kumar, Batch of Jan 26th, 2017
“It was my first Himalayan trek and I must say ‘ The best trek ever’. The Indiahikes staff were very caring. They made sure that we were very comfortable. And I had personal problems during trek which was taken care by the IH team promptly and made sure that I completed my trek successfully. I will definitely trek with India Hikes again for sure.” – Suhas Varna B, Batch of Dec 25th, 2017
“The trek was beautiful and can never forget in my whole life. Indiahikes arrangement and the team was flawless. Well, every candidate participated in making the trail cleaner with the “Green Trails Initiative” which in itself is a big thing. Best management of anything and everything.” – Anish Mittal, Batch of Dec 31st, 2016
“It was an amazing experience. Very well organized. Green trails were an excellent initiative and I feel everything was perfect. My next trek with Indiahikes would be Hampta Pass as I heard the trek is magical. Indiahikes is an amazing team with great food and safety on priority. Over all a Super Experience.” – Vinitha Jose, Batch of Dec 31st, 2016
”It was a brilliant experience with Indiahikes. No doubt, IH is a flawless organization with a great team bonding, excellent trek lead and guides, best hospitality. Overall, a priceless experience. The Green Trail initiative is awesome and inspiring. And I believe that it’s being implemented efficiently and is also influencing non IH trekkers to do the same. I have Trekked Har ki dun before, but would like to experience it again, the IH way.” – Meghna Achar, Batch of 30th Dec, 2016
“Being my first trek, it was definitely a very special experience. The Trek lead was very friendly. The guides were transparent during the briefing session about the toughness and nature of the upcoming trek, about the facilities provided, each and every detail was well explained. A very well managed and carefully planned trek and I really loved the experience that Indiahikes provided us. Definitely a memory to cherish. Also Its a beautiful initiative by IH, to play a major role in keeping the trails clean. Talking about the Safety (hands down) – We were briefed precisely about the nature of the trek, micro-spikes. The presence of two technical staff in addition to the three member guide was something I really appreciate in Indiahikes compared to the other trek groups around. It was seen that other trekking group (YHI to be precise) had less guides for the number of trekkers, and were unable to help everyone. Indiahikes team assisted the other trekker groups during some precarious situation and maintained the true spirit of trekking. After looking at their ordeal, I will definitely recommend IH to everyone.” – Eeshaan Achar, Dec 30th, 2016
“I loved it to the core. The best thing I loved about the trek was Tanmay Sir’s decision to start the final summit hike at 2.00am which was amazing. The food was great. The trek leader and the Guides were brilliant and played a huge role in making this trek a successful one for us. Specially to name Mangal – the guide who kept the mood of the entire trek group always going and jolly. Oh yes! I must not forget to mention about the awareness and the eco bags initiative by IH which greatly helped to keep the trail cleaner. Indiahikes is extremely careful with regards to health. And I loved the idea of having a health card and regular readings to monitor the fitness condition throughout.” – Harsh Chhadva, Batch of Dec 29th, 2016
“I loved It.! It was a lifetime experience which I will cherish for the rest of my life and I would definitely be trekking a lot of time to come in future. Indiahikes made it really fun and worth It.! Hospitality, Passion, Fun and Friendliness was the key of the entire trek. You guys ( the IH team) really make a group full of strangers as one family by the end of trek.” – Arpit Shah, Batch of Dec 28th, 2016
“I totally loved it! This was my second trek with IH and the experience was amazing once again. It’s just the way you guys( the IH team) take care of each and every one of us, that makes you so special. We were a very lucky batch I must say because as we got to the summit to get a glimpse of the first sunrise of the New Year with a clear view and also experienced the snow fall as soon as we reached the base camp. It was just the most perfect way to start the year. Tanmay is a great Trek Leader, his experience, passion and love for mountains kept us motivated. The chefs were at their best as usual. We were in fact the fortunate batch that got an “unlimited supply of gulab jamuns” and two New Year cakes. The tents were clean and well managed and so were the toilet arrangements. I missed seeing flowers on this trek however snow fall on the 1st of January left no scope to whine. The trail was surprisingly very clean too. It was difficult to spot any litter and it’s a great thought to educate what the plastic (magi, toffee wrappers) does to the mountains through the Green Trail Initiative by IH and I hope this great move creates awareness amongst us and we make a conscious effort to make a change in order to protect the environment. Because they really do care for each and every one of us. They personally try to help you. Indiahikes is much organized and doesn’t organize these treks to earn money, but to give the best experience for those who love nature.” – Meghna Rawat, Dec 29th 2016
“This was my first experience on a high altitude trek. My friends recommended me to go with India hikes as they had a great time on the Rupin pass trek with Indiahikes. I would like to take the opportunity to thank Vishal for taking care of us from day one till the final day. It was an amazing opportunity to be one among, with the nature and to make friends with people from all walks of life. While there was no snow at the summit, but we still got enough time to click some really good pictures which made up for the amazing experience. I would recommend Indiahikes to every trek lovers for the reason being – Personal attention to each trekker from the trek leader, very good safety measures and medical protocols. Of course not to forget the amazing food, advocating awareness pertaining to preservation of natural beauty of the mountains.” – Prakhar Soni, Dec 27th, 2016
“Absolutely loved it. This was a wonderful experience that I will remember and cherish all my life. And it’s not just about the natural beauty of the mountains but also about Indiahikes approaches trekking and the mountain way of life. Any my last word for our trek leader Vishal Negi who was really great and exceptional. India Hikes symbolizes the true spirit of trekking and they are the most professional, transparent and technically sound trek organizers in India.” – Sangramsinh Parmar, Dec 27th, 2016
“Amazing! A Commendable and very well organized trek. The food was indeed appetizing and delicious. I greatly appreciate the Green trails initiative from Indiahikes and their priority to safety measures for the trekkers. And the Campsites were commodious and beautifully arranged.
Indiahikes is always known for their friendly, approachable and wonderful staff. My special kudos to our Trek Leader Vishal Negi.” – Devansh Khaitan, Batch of Dec 12th, 2016
“This was my first experience of northern snow trek and also with India hikes. I and my family just loved this trek. I, my hubby and my 13yrs old son did this trek together. This has been one of our best trek experiences till date. It was a real adventure to start trek at 4.30am to reach the KK Summit.
I was extremely happy for the reward, of a voucher for the true trekking spirit. In fact I was jumping with joy when I received it from Vishal, our Trek leader. It was a great motivation for me.
Vishal Negi is a very dynamic person and proved to be one of a kind among the trek leaders. He was very clear with the instructions.He always stayed connected with each and every member in the group including the kids. He is an extremely caring, compassionate and super active person. He shared knowledge and details about everything one needs to know while trekking and also about the general information. He definitely carries a great aura because wherever he was, there has always been a positive vibes around. We were truly fortunate to know him and connect with him.
And all the arrangements were just apt and fantastic, specifically spreading awareness about not leaving your mark behind, green trails initiative, the eco bags, the health card, oxy meter readings was really impressive. Indeed the clean toilets and kitchen, serving hot water for drinking and brushing were actually a luxury in the mountains. Couldn’t have asked for more on the mountains. The food was very tasty and was served with love, hence we were bound to eat more :).
Sandeep and Mahavir were truly rocking. Just loved them for what they are. We really appreciate the efforts and necessary steps taken by Gurdeep and Vishal in assisting and closely monitoring the BP issues of my Husband while on trek and making required arrangements for him to settle down by health and then continue the trek in the next batch without risking unnecessarily.
I would definitely like to recommend Indiahikes to all I know as the entire Indiahikes team are truly caring and compassionate, be it trek leader or the trek coordinator or the locals who are leading the group. All of you are just amazing. The whole trek was very well organized right from the time we did the booking to our arrival at Dehradun and Sankri village till we returned back.
Felt extremely safe with Indiahikes because the whole Kedarkantha trek was thoughtfully planned and implemented.
Keep up with the awesome work. Love you Indiahikes. Thanks a ton for everything. You guys deserve 5 stars, one of the best in India.” – Bijal Chandaria, Batch of Dec 27th, 2016
“The Kedarkantha trek with Indiahikes was truly amazing. I think we did everything possible to leave the mountains in a better condition, from picking up trash to not using wet wipes, a clear ‘No’ to bonfires, etc. I wish the other trekking groups had also followed the same.
I’m trekking since my young age which has changed my outlook towards life and made me appreciate and value things a lot more, which is why I try to introduce others to trekking Community. Having said that, the first group that comes to my mind is Indiahikes because of its love for the mountains and I believe IH team understands the true essence of trekking and this helps the trekkers to have the best life time experience. And IH is more professional comparatively and has good safety measures on priority which is very important for beginners.
It couldn’t possibly have been better without the Indihikes team. I got to meet some amazing people and especially Vishal, our trek leader was Inspirational.” – Uditi Khaitan, Batch of Dec 27th, 2016
“It’s so enthralling to share my own personal experience of Kedarkantha trek with Indiahikes. It was an easy trek to do. The beauty of the nature throughout the trek is simply commendable. My Special mention to our trek leader Shravan and also the lead guide Santhosh.They were extremely supportive and encouraging to reach the summit.
My next objective would be to educate or collaborate with other Trekking communities to start following Indiahikes for their Green trails Initiative which is amazing and unique from other groups. The Campsites and stay was perfectly arranged and well managed and that was the best places for one to stay and experience on mountains. The entire trek was very well organized and well equipped. Kudos to Indiahikes team for making it happen. Hurray!” – Sajith P M, Batch of Dec 26th, 2016
“To just say in one word ‘fabulous’. The wholesome Kedarkantha trek went on very well from the organizing point of view. Indiahikes had the best campsites, best guides and best preparation requisites and alertness to trek on the mountain. The guides ensured that all of us summit together and were very inspiring to everyone throughout the journey.
The Eco Bags is indeed a great introduction. The trail was already super clean. And if we continue this way with Indiahikes on their great Green Trail initiative, the mountains would remain clean forever retaining the beauty of nature – The Mother Earth. Have just one trek experience with Indiahikes. But it was the best experience I must say. Indiahikes team are well aware on what they are doing and have the positive mentality. Trekking with Indiahikes is very safe and reliable is what I inferred.” – Arnab Chatterjee, Batch of Dec 26th, 2016
“Wow! It was an Exhilarating experience to cherish for the whole life. As a first time high altitude trekker, I was quite skeptical about few things that may happen whilst trekking. However all that thoughts were put to rest when I successfully completed Kedarkantha trek.
The ‘Health card strategy’ invented by Indiahikes to track blood, oxygen and pulse is an Incredible Initiative. And the constant emails to overlook on our fitness left nothing unplanned. You guys ( Indiahikes team) leave nothing to chance. The meticulous planning involved in every stage, made the entire trek look very organized.
Especially the quality of food that was served to the trekkers in the high altitude environment was phenomenal and superfluous considering the conditions.
The Eco bag initiative as part of Green Trail initative by Indiahikes is worth appreciating. It indeed compelled me to ensure all the waste materials made way directly to the Eco bag rather than littering the environment. Let’s keep going with this practice. A small step could go a long way to perpetuate the beauty of our Himalayas.
Also on the summit day we had a technical leader around, who was very sound in mountaineering and kept up the morale of the group. I would definitely recommend an experience with indiahikes to all.” – Bhavish, Batch of Dec 26th, 2016
“To enumerate the entire Kedarkantha Trek experience-it was amazing!. I really appreciate the Indiahikes Trek leading team namely, Shravan, Santosh and Roopmohan. I think they were an integral part of our wonderful experience. My first brush with Garhwali people and they were absolutely warm, homely and gracious.
Their efforts to even serve food for us firstly and eat later themselves is truly appreciable. I’m definitely looking forward to trek Har ki dun with Indiahikes team and meet these wonderful folks again. There was enough freedom for adults and entertainment in store for children. Lovely trek with Indiahikes. Almost clean in all respects.” – Aarti Bhonsle, Batch of Dec 26th, 2016
“Kedarkantha -What a brilliant trek it was! The trek had so much to offer for the trekkers. The stroll through the pine forests, and then some patches of meadows, some steep ascent to the summit through snow covers, all in all breathtaking trek trails especially on the day of summit.
All the campsites were located at such beautiful spots, Juda Ka Talab had a beautiful backdrop of pine forest, a frozen lake and snow capped fields around was a WOW! Day of summit was great fun! Thanks to Indiahikes for their efforts and their brilliant staff (Shravan, Santhosh, Deepak and others). The trek was a fun and memorable episode to end 2016. And it was a great effort to leave the trail in a better condition as part of the Green Trail initiative. Indiahikes is by far a better organization than the one which I had gone earlier with. Indiahikes conducts better, safe and responsible treks at an equal price as others – but worth it.” – Sujay S, Batch of Dec 26th, 2016
“Simply Awesome!. The Kedarkantha trek was organized and executed in a much planned manner. Even the minutest, of the details were taken care by our trek leader Abhirup Paul. He stood a symbol of motivation to all trekkers, especially to those who were slow and everyone was able to safely complete the trek. He showed great hospitality to all the trekkers in the group and also led the group like a true leader. The back end staffs to mention – the cooks, guides and coordination team namely – Anuja/ Rashmi) also contributed greatly for our accomplishment with their strenuous and scrupulous attitude. A delicious cake was baked for couple of trek-mates on account of their birthday celebration at such high altitude. This effort and thought was so special to the ones.
This was my first trek with Indiahikes and for the love and care shown visibly by the team, I would definitely love to do more treks with Indiahikes. It was almost perfect. Can’t think of any flaw with Indiahikes plan at all.
They prioritize safety measures and I believe that with Indiahikes the purpose of trek is not just trekking but to leave the trail green and clean and to develop the livelihood of people staying along the trails. I’m greatly impressed with the vision of Indiahikes.” – Sunnith Veerla, Batch of Dec 25th, 2016
“Kedarkantha being my first trek, everything went on so smooth, effortlessly gracious and tactful in social manner, posing no difficulty at all. For this particular winter trek, the campsites were amazing and fairly organized. I made few good friends during the course. The food was unexpectedly delicious and not to forget to mention, the trek leaders were so helpful and friendly. They ensured that there was no chance to face any problem in the entire trekking. The fact that there is regular health checkup to monitor the fitness status of the trekkers and was tracked on the Health Card which is so thoughtful of Indiahikes. Hence there was no room for any health issues at all, because the Trek leaders were so vigilant on the minutest details during the entire trail.” – Shradha Rungta, Batch of Dec 26th, 2016
“I just loved the trek!!! Simply loved it! I have no words to describe the entire experience. India Hikes has done a fabulous job in organizing such a wonderful trek. Our trek leader Abhirup along with Praveen bhai and Jairam Bhai always made sure that our medical aspects, food requirements and other arrangements were well taken care of. Kudos to the entire team of India Hikes!!! Hats off!
I greatly appreciate the Green trails initiative by India Hikes. Very thoughtful. I have observed that almost all fellow trekkers in my team were keen to collect and segregate waste we came across throughout the trail. India Hikes should in fact continue with this good deed forever and the Himalayas will be cleaner and greener always for future trekking as well. And I would definitely like to trek Kedarkantha again and Chandrashilla too, shortly!
The fact that India Hikes cares about each and every trekkers by monitoring their BP levels regularly, Oxy-meter readings, delicious and sumptuous food despite the cold and unfavorable conditions. Excellently organized schedule!
Most importantly, India Hikes has proved their care and love for Mountains and efforts to protect the beauty of nature with their Green trail initiative which is exemplary.” – Manasa M, Batch of Dec 25th, 2016
“My first snow trek at Kedarkantha and I was so lucky for the snow showers just before our trek began. Overall the experience was great with breathtaking views from summit and beautiful campsites. Though I discovered a bit of cold and throat pain, nevertheless I enjoyed every bit of the trek. I was a solo trekker but the trek offered me such good friends within my trekking group who will always stay in my memory. They were all so caring and affectionate.
I thank the India hikes staff for taking all the efforts just to make us comfortable in such harsh weather – providing hot water, yummy food with even a surprise cake and guiding us perfectly at every step.
The difference in management and care for the trekkers was quite evident between India hikes and other trekking agencies. That extra mile in making the trek a pleasant,memorable and comfortable experience is noteworthy. The IH team is so informative and provides so much guidance, each day throughout the trek. So Kudos to the entire Indiahikes team for this commendable effort.
Also it’s an appreciable initiative of – Green Trails. I haven’t seen any other trek group with so much concern towards nature conservation and blending with nature leaving behind least possible carbon footprint.
So far I have done 2 treks with indiahikes and I have no intention to opt for any other groups in future as well. In fact we came across trekkers from other Trekking communities during the journey, which applauded the way indiahikes was functioning. We could visibly feel the difference in the pattern and motive and Indiahikes is definitely the best.” – Sunitha shetty, Batch of Dec 25th, 2016
“I personally loved the Kedarkantha trek. Our batch was the luckiest ones to experience season’s first snowfall on Christmas and that was just marvelous! In fact I was very happy with my experience with Indihikes for their professionalism, accountability, sense of ownership, environment friendly practices, well qualified and experienced staff.” – Neha Pant, Batch of Dec 24th, 2016
“It was magical! Great team of Indiahikes to mention, Venkat, the trek leader – Prahlad, Avtar/Appu, the cooking team and the ground co ordination by Rashmi .We moved through the camps and experienced the first snowfall. It was just a DREAM COME TRUE! Thanks to Indiahikes for the wonderful moment in life. Just keep going. Indiahikes is the best.” – Varma Datla, Batch of Dec 23rd, 2016
“To say in one word, the Kedarkantha Trek has left me – Spellbound! We experienced the first snow of the season and it was more than beautiful. It was really cold and freezing however that’s something expected as it’s a ‘Snow Trek’. I would give full marks to the Trek leader, the Operations staff and the logistics team for being vigilant to even the smallest details and their continuous efforts for keeping up the Indiahikes benchmark high.” – Snigdha Singh, Batch of Dec 23rd, 2016
“I absolutely enjoyed the Kedarkantha trek! My intent for the trek was to get away from the normal and monotonous routine. I achieved that and much more. Staying colse to nature is a mesmerizing experience. Kudos to the entire Indiahikes team. Food was a highlight as was the dynamic of the entire group. Keep rocking Indiahikes!” –Saumeil Shah, batch of May 2016
“I am glad that I decided on embarking upon this wonderful trek. It was one experience I will definitely cherish. I will have to make a special mention of all the beautiful local souls who helped us unconditionally. I really adored their unabashed honesty and simplicity. The food was brilliant. How they kept up with minutes of the clock to such perfection with delicious, piping hot food was interesting to witness.” –Chaitrali Lachyan, batch of May 2016
“Kedarkantha trek was an exhilarating experience for the following reasons:
1. The trail was super clean – I could hardly see any plastics/litter on my way. I have been on several treks before, but haven’t seen a trail as clean as this. Our trek leader told that Indiahikes team has worked a lot on this, which is amazing effort to preserve nature!
2. Patience and care of the Indiahikes team towards trekkers. A particular experience to share is – one of my trek mates was injured (ligament tear) while coming down from the summit; our trek leaders carried her all the way from the summit to the base camp!
3. Snowfall on the summit – We were skeptical of getting snow at the peak, and guess what, we were welcomed over there with snowfall!
4. Awesome team with playful spirit – We would have cricket and guitar sessions after trek for the day was over.” –Nirmit Chetwani, batch of May 2016
“Lets keep it simple. I loved the trek. Would be coming for more treks like this. It was well organized and the entire 5 days were well planned and executed. Starting with the landscape (as we Indians are in selfie mode these days), the terrain is beautiful. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains, walking through the forest covered pine trees, crossing alpine meadows all along the trek is just exhilarating. Add to it the professionalism and semi all-time enjoyable nature of the trek leaders! The food, hospitality and company was just outstanding. We stayed at one of the finest places, shared tents with one of the best people, conversed on about all the topics we could think of. The food was amazing as was expected. The cook’s show that even in the harsh conditions without a proper kitchen, food is something we Indians never compromise on. Delicious food was served every day. And it became more delicious every passing day. I am really looking forward to trek with Indiahikes again. Now trekking means so much more to me.” –Jitesh Motwani, batch of April 2016
“The trek was excellent. It was very well organized and co-ordinated. The camp sites and the scenic beauty was out of world. The surroundings were intoxicating and was like I was living in a picture postcard. This was my first Himalayan trek and I can’t want to go to the next one. My friends and relatives are going crazy seeing the pictures and hearing the stories. Everybody wants to join me on my next trek. A very big thank you to Indiahikes.” –Neelaanjana Paul, batch of April 2016
“It was an amazing trek. Every sight was exquisite and had its own beauty. Especially the peak and Hargaon campsite. What made this trek even better was our group members from across states. An experience worth to be revived given an opportunity.” –Manish Goyal, batch of April 2016
“No doubt about the splendid beauty and views of the Kedarkantha trek. But what amazed me each day was Indiahikes. I may not have enjoyed the way I did if it wasn’t for Indiahikes. Starting from the accommodation at Sankri to the way we reached the summit, everything was never less than perfect.
1) Best part that kept me moving was food! I’m still missing the trek food. The chefs are just amazing!
2) There was a spark in the eyes of each and every person associated with the organizing team. They were fully dedicated to serve us with whatever possible including the zest to make it memorable.
3) We were surprised with a cak at our campsite at 10,500 feet! I was left awestruck! Hats off to the intention of making the memories special!
4) The Trek leader and the guides had their own charm that never let us down.” –Nupur Jain, batch of April 2016
“It was my first high altitude Himalaya trek & it was fascinating. The camp sites were beautiful, especially Juda ka Talab & Hargaon. We also experienced snowfall on our summit day which was an exhilarating experience. The indiahikes team was the best, right from helping us with our preparations, serving hot food at those high altitudes, creating awareness about trekking & care for our nature, they have been the best bunch I have met. Looking forward to many more treks with Indiahikes.” –Rohit Vaidya, batch of April 2016
“I experienced snow capped mountains for the first time, played with snow, trekked in knee-deep snow and made a million memories because of Indiahikes, the way it has been arranged. I would definitely go with Indiahikes for my next trek and would definitely recommend them to all my friends.” –Sridhar Salian, batch of April 2016
“The overall experience is beyond imagination, loved all the terrain, meadows, forests, snow covered mountains. Kudos to the Trek leader. He never let the spirit of the group go down and amazing trek guides, their dedication to make us happy in all challenging situations and the cooks who made our life so much easier and comfortable by providing 5-star food.Everyone on the trek had a lot of fun playing Uno, singing songs, Dumb Charades and generally bonded very well. A lifetime experience which was made memorable by excellent service and care taken by Indiahikes team. Looking forward to more treks with team Indiahikes.” –Divya Aggarwal, batch of April 2016
“Kedarkantha was my second trek in the Himalayas. The trails and the campsites are absolutely stunning. For a solo traveler it was the perfect time to de-stress, listen to your favourite songs and just think. The Trek leader was phenomenal in guiding and motivating all the trekkers when they fell behind. The food is to die for. Kudos to Indiahikes for providing scrumptious food at such inhospitable places.” –Aparna, batch of April 2016
“It was my first trek and first time with Indiahikes. Trek was well organized from every perspective, be it food, stay or trekking. Our Trek leader and the guides were awesome. The way they encouraged everyone was very impressive. I loved the food provided at every campsite. It was so delicious and hygienic. Eating Ghajar ka halwa, Gulab jamun and cake at such high altitude was an amazing experience. I got injured at KK bascamp however I kept my moral high. Waking up at 2 o’ clock, having breakfast at 2:30 and leaving for the summit at 3 o’ clock in totally dark with pain in my foot was again a wonderful and different experience for me. I thank Indiahikes and all my batch-mates as they were amazing. I would love to do more treks in future with Indiahikes.” –Rohit Chhabra, batch of April 2016
“Being a first time experience for me, I just loved it. A city tour gives a different feel with many people, stalls, malls and traffic. The mountains cut us off from our always ringing phones, it takes us above all and shows us life from a different perspective. Sometimes I suppose we should take a break from this rat race and take a trek to the mountains for the commitment and passion you guys have on conquering the mountains. Huge thanks to the local guides for their moral support and the energy that they had, had a positive effect on us. Thanks a ton IndiaHikes for the wonderful experience that you gave and a chance to meet different people.” –Arun Sandeep, batch of April 2016
“Choosing Indiahikes and this trek will be one of the best decisions in my life. The trek leaders were perfect for the trek. All leaders had the knowledge and experience to help people trekking here for the first time. They were serious when they had to be. They were playful when they could be. The cooks ensured the food is clean, tasty, healthy and was best for the weather conditions. This was my first trek at snow cap mountains. Indiahikes ensured we were informed of things beforehand.” – Basavaraju, batch of March 2016
“This was my first trek and an unforgettable experience too. The trek leaders are really good and they never failed to motivate us all the time. Trekking for 4 continuous days in an extreme weather condition is really challenging without a prior trek experience. Indiahikes really made this job easier for us.” – Magesh Pandian, batch of March 2016
“This was my first high altitude trek and it totally surpassed all my imagination. It was a very well planned one, keeping the trekkers comfortable and making the trek very enjoyable which was more than perfect for many of us, first time trekkers. The mighty mountains and the snow were breathtakingly beautiful. They will never be forgotten. More than everything, my trek mates were all lovely and friendly people which made this even more memorable. Hats off to the cooks who made really delicious and healthy food in such tough conditions. The trek leader and the guide made sure that everything was fine and we enjoyed the trek.” – Bhuvanan K, batch of March 2016
“It was my first serious trek and I absolutely loved the experience. Indiahikes has a major role to play in making this so memorable. Right from the start, our trek leaders (Gurdit Singh sir and Chetan sir) were kind and friendly. They made us feel at home. It is surprising how soon all of us got comfortable with them. Their kind words of motivation really helped us push ourselves to the campsites. They took really good care of us. Secondly, I really really loved the idea of eco bags and the pledge to leave the mountains cleaner than before. We saw other groups littering the mountains and it made me happy that I chose Indiahikes. I would highly recommend Indiahikes to people who want to go for treks.” Kamakshi Balasubramanian, batch of March 2016
“The first trek of my life, never thought it would turn out to be this amazing, made friends for life. Had fun moments, had difficult moments, but we as a team pulled it through. A big thanks to Indiahikes for doing something like this. It was very well managed, coordinated and handled by a team of super people. The food was amazing and so was the place. The mountains were so beautiful, gave me memories which I can cherish all my life. To sum it up, if you have Indiahikes, then all boxes are checked, you don’t need to do anything else.” – Umesh Bhasin, batch of March 2016
“I loved the Kedarkantha trek, my first high altitude one. It was well organized, food was amazing and the trek leads were encouraging and approachable yet maintaining the required discipline. I was doing this by myself without any known company but by the end of it, we were one big family with memories for a lifetime! Everything was well organized with really nothing much to complain about.” – Anuradha Doraiswamy, batch of March 2016
“This was my first trekking experience with Indiahikes and my first Himalayan Trek. The experience was wonderful. The team at Indiahikes is really fantastic. From the trek leader, coordinator, to the most important the kitchen staff who served us hot food even at the Kedarknatha base. They all made it a memorable experience. I was also fortunate to be part of this batch. Almost everyone was forthcoming and ready to help. Made a lot of friends and yes more importantly the memories that comes with them.” – Anil Vesvikar, batch of March 2016
“Treks in the Himalayas have been so much easier by Indiahikes. There are always people accompanying you. You will always feel safe.” – Natarajan, batch of March 2016
“I simply loved the trek, the ground coordinator,the management, the trek leader,the kitchen staff I loved them all. The trek went far better than I expected! Indiahikes is, I believe, a very well managed community & the best part is the staff there is so good like you will feel like you are in your friend circle.” – Naresh Poonia, batch of March 2016
“My experience cannot be penned in words because the moments spent with the mountains, the trees, the snow, the stay, the delicious food, the people and self was blissful, heart warming and intoxicating. Every step and moment of this trek has transformed me and my outlook towards life. IndiaHikes deserves to be applauded, admired and acknowledged for creating a reliable bridge between man and nature. The professionalism, the ethical nature of the team, the delicious hygienic food, medical attention, and green trail initiative are what stood out the most!” – Priti Pillai, Batch of March 2016
“The Kedarkantha Trek was amazing. I would qualify this as a moderate trek in terms of difficulty, but at the same time SUPERLATIVE in terms of Beauty. I have never SUMMITED before, and the feeling was unmatched. Had a lot of fun with the group. The food (especially for me, as I am Jain) was out of the world. To get such customization in food in such difficult areas, just wow! Hats off! This was made a Luxurious Trek by the Indiahikes Team. The overall experience was very good. Looking forward to trekking again with Indiahikes.” – Sagar Satra, Batch of March 2016
“This was my first trek with Indiahikes and the team made it memorable for me. I loved the way it was organised, humility of our trek leader and coordinator -Hrishikesh and Dashod (my special thanks to both). They were so kind enough to support us in every way they could (right from time to time checking correctness of our bagpacks, helping us with our snow gators and spikes etc). I loved the trek route, camp sites, food and the summit celebration cake! Looking forward for many more treks with IH :)” – Neha Khanna, batch of March 2016
“Indiahikes initiative to protect the mother nature is at its best. Also, their service, the fees and facilities. Everything is so friendly. I feel at home with them!” – Vinit N, batch of March 2016
“Perfectionists in the way everything is organized. Punctual and helpful, and I love that you don’t overcharge.” – Kavya Joseph, batch of March 2016
“People at Indiahikes made us feel like a family, it was very close-knit one at that. Everyone of us was treated well. You guys are the best.” – Salim Malik, batch of March 2016
“Indiahikes’ treks are well organised with passionate & well informed teams. Their Green Trails is a superb initiative to create awareness, love & respect for the mountains. Besides, the food arrangements are amazing, given the fact that the provisions & expedition loads are carried by mules & porters crossing difficult terrains.” – Deepali Rathod, batch of March 2016