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Kedartal Trek is one of the most popular treks in Uttarakhand, located just 17 km away from Gangotri, the main pilgrimage site of Uttarakhand’s main Chhota Chardham Yatra. Situated at an altitude of 4900 m (16075 ft) above sea level, Kedartal is a glacial lake whose main source of water is Mount Thalayasagar (6904 m), Mount Bhrigupanth (6,772 m) and Mount Meru (6,672 m) located in the vicinity of the lake.
The Himalayas are huge mountains. Apart from this, Kedartal is also considered to be the origin of the holy Kedarganga river. Kedarganga further merges with the Bhagirathi River which is one of the 12 tributaries of the holy river Ganga. The Kedartal trek starting from Gangotri is considered to be a difficult category because during this entire trek you have to climb up to 45 degrees vertically at times and apart from this, the possibility of landslides at this place is also there at all times.
Because of this, the entire trek is considered in the difficult category of the trek. The total duration to complete the Gangotri to Kedartal trek is considered to be 4-5 days. And during this entire trek, you can reach Kedartal from Gangotri via Bhojkharak and Kedarkharak. During the entire trek, you reach Kedartal by crossing the dense forests and cliffs located in the Himalayan mountains, which makes your trip even more exciting and memorable.
Apart from being a famous trek, Kedartal is also the base camp of Mount Thalayasagar, Mount Bhrigupanth and Mount Jogin. To complete all these treks starting from Kedartal, it becomes very important for you to have a lot of trekking experience and an experienced trek guide. Doing any of these treks without any experienced trek guide or any good trekking agency can be very dangerous.
Kedartal is one of the few treks in the Himalayas from where you can see the largest mountains of the Himalayas together such as Mount Manda, Mount Gangotri, and Mount Thalayasagar, Mount Jogin and Mount Bhrigupanth. Of all the treks in Uttarakhand, you get the most crowd on this trek because only experienced trekkers like to go on this trek.
So if you want to do the Kedartal trek, then make yourself physically capable as much as you can and if possible, before doing this trek, do 2-4 medium-range treks so that you can complete this trek easily. Kedartal trek is considered to be a difficult category of the trek, so in today’s blog post I will try to answer as many questions as you can related to the Kedartal trek……
01 Where does the Kedartal trek start?
02 How long does the Kedartal trek take?
03 What are the facilities available during the Kedartal trek?
04 Is the Kedartal trek safe?
05 How much does the Kedartal trek cost?
06 What is the best time to trek Kedartal?
07 What is the history of Kedartal?
08 How difficult is the Kedartal trek?
Along with being a famous trek in Uttarakhand, Kedartal is also known as the lake of Lord Shiva in the Hindu religion, as a legend has it that Lord Shiva himself drank the water of this lake. And for this reason, the religious importance of Kedartal also increases in Hinduism.
The legend associated with Kedartal is related to the time of churning of the ocean by the gods and demons for nectar. It is believed that when the gods and the demons together churned the ocean, then a Halahala poison (Kalakuta poison) was also included in the 14 gems that came out of the churning of the ocean.
According to the legend, there was so much heat in the Halahal poison that all the gods and demons present at the time of churning of the ocean started burning, apart from this it is also believed that this poison could destroy the entire universe. The gods and demons prayed to Lord Shiva to drink this to avoid the effects of the Halahal poison.
After accepting the prayers of the gods and the demons, when Lord Shiva drank the Halahal poison, his throat started burning very intensely because of this. It is believed that Lord Shiva drank water from a pool located some distance away from Gangotri, which we all know today as Kedartal, to pacify the burning sensation caused by Halahal poison.
And it is also believed that the Kedar Ganga river was formed from Kedartal at the same time.
Kedartal Trek is counted among the most famous treks of Uttarakhand. The Kedartal trek starting from Gangotri (the base camp of the Kedartal trek is Gangotri) located in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand is for those trekkers who have done many other treks before this trek.
Kedartal is a glacial lake which is situated on the foothills of many major Himalayan mountains like Mount Bhrigupanth, Mount Thalaysagar, Mount Jogin, and Manda Parvat and Mount Gangotri. And this is the reason why trekkers are very excited to trek Kedartal because from this place you can see many huge mountains of the Himalayas together.
Starting from an altitude of about 3415 m (11204 ft), this trek goes up to 4900 m (16075 ft) at sea level, which takes about 4-5 days to complete. Apart from this, the distance of the Kedartal trek starting from Gangotri is 17 kilometres (a total of 34 kilometres).
To complete the trek, you have to pass through many inaccessible paths and you do not find any kind of human population along the way which makes this trek even more difficult. Before starting the Kedartal trek, you need to be physically and mentally fit. For this, you should start walking, running and some other exercise several months in advance so that you do not face any kind of problem during the trek.
During this trek starting from Gangotri, you reach Kedartal, passing through the beautiful Bhoj forest and meadows of great height. There is one more thing that is worth noting whenever you do this trek, then either do this trek with an experienced trekker or a good trekking agency at that time. Doing this trek alone can be very dangerous.
Kedartal Trek - Day 1 - Dehradun to Gangotri (distance 237 km)
Although the base camp of Kedartal is Gangotri, this trek starts from Dehradun itself. With almost all trekking agencies you have to go from Dehradun to Gangotri. Apart from this, if you do this trek with an experienced trekker, then you can reach Gangotri from Dehradun with the help of a bus and cab.
After reaching Gangotri, you should check the backpacks and all the things related to the trek with you properly so that you do not face any kind of trouble when you start the trek the next day.
Kedartal Trek - Day 2 - Gangotri to Bhojkharak (8 km trek)
From Gangotri, you can start the trek to Kedartal early in the morning. The total distance of your first-day trek is 08 km. The very first day of the trek to Kedartal is the most tiring because on the very first day of the trek you have to trek for 08 km to reach Bhojkharak. One has to cross the Spider Wall on the very first day of the trek.
The Spider Wall is a 45-degree steep climb that you might have trouble traversing. After crossing the Spider Wall, you can camp and relax. If you are doing this trek with a trekking agency, then they keep camping and food arrangements for you. And if you do this trek with a guide, then you will have to do all this work by yourself.
Kedartal Trek - Day 3 - Bhojkharak to Kedarkharak (4 km trek)
On the third day of the Kedartal trek, the destination is Kedarkharak, it is also considered the second base camp of the Kedartal trek. Next day morning you have to trek only for 04 km. The distance from Bhojkharak to Kedarkharak is only 4 kilometres.
During this 04 kilometre trek, you reach Kedarkharak by crossing rough roads and cliffs. Kedarkharak is a meadow and you can see huge mountains like Mount Bhrigupanth and Mount Thalaisagar from here.
Kedartal Trek - Day 4 - Kedarkharak to Kedartal (5 km trek)
The fourth day of the trek is considered your summit day. On this day you reach Kedartal from Kedarkharak by trekking for 5 km. It takes you only 2-3 hours to complete the 05 km distance from Kedarkharak to Kedartal. Therefore, if you want, you can come back to Kedarkharak after completing the Kedartal Summit on this day.
And if you want, you can also do camping in Kedartal. If you come back from Kedartal to Kedarkharak on this day, then you have to trek only 12 km the next day. And if you do camping in Kedartal, then you will have to trek the entire 17 km to Gangotri the next day.
Kedartal Trek - Day 5 - Kedartal - Bhojkharak - Kedarkharak - Gangotri (17 kms back)
On the fifth day of the Kedartal trek, you can start the trek back to Gangotri after breakfast early in the morning. This time the journey from Kedartal to Gangotri has to be completed in a single day. Due to this, you can be very tired.
It is worth noting here that the trek route to and from Kedartal is the same. Therefore, in the same way, you go to Kedartal, you will have to come back to Gangotri.
Kedartal Trek - Day 6 - Gangotri-Dehradun (237 kms)
After taking an overnight stay in Gangotri, you can reach back to Dehradun the next day with the help of a bus and cab. Apart from this, if you are doing this trek with any trekking agency, then it will be their responsibility to drop you till Dehradun.
Best Time for Kedartal Trek
The Kedartal trek is open only for a few months in a year due to its maximum altitude and is situated at the foothills of the huge Himalayas mountains. Now that we are talking about the best time to do the Kedartal trek, I would like to tell you that there are only 04 months in a whole year when the Kedartal trek is considered to be the best time.
Firstly the Kedartal trek can be done from the middle part of May to the end of June. You can also find melting snow at many places while trekking to Kedartal around the middle of May or a little earlier. And apart from this, it starts raining here in July, due to which Kedartal trek is closed for trekkers in the monsoon season because at this time the chances of landslides increase a lot and the whole trek becomes slippery.
Due to this the difficulty level of the trek increases manifold. After the monsoon, you can trek Kedartal from mid-September to the end of October. If you are doing this trek around the last week of October, then you may have to face snowfall here or you may also get snow during the trek. In November, there would be very heavy snowfall, due to which this trek is again closed for trekkers at this time of the year.
Note: – During the trek to Kedartal, you have to keep in mind that the weather at this place can change at any time during the entire trek. In summer, where the average daytime temperature ranges from 15° to 20°C, the night temperature drops to 0°. Apart from this, snowfall can happen here at any time.
Temperature of Kedartal
01 Kedartal Temperature in Summer
May to June month – Max: approx 15℃ / Min: approx 0℃
02 Kedartal temperature in Autumn
September to October month – Max: approx 10℃ / Min: approx -5℃
Kedartal Trek Cost
Many such trekking agencies in our country get the Kedartal trek done safely. Almost all the trekking agencies get you to complete the Kedartal trek at the cost of 12000 – 15000 rupees now it depends on you how much money you want to spend for the Kedartal trek.
Since almost all the trekking agencies have experienced trek guides, there may be slight variation in the facilities you get during the trek. Now here I will tell you about the facilities available during the trek, which you will get during the entire Kedartal trek. Apart from this, I will try it here, how much more money may cost you apart from the trek coast.
Kedartal trek included in the Fee
01 Arrangement to stay from the first day of the trek till the last day.
02 Arrangements for food from the first day of the trek to the last day. (Most trekking agencies provide only vegetarian food)
03 Camping Fees – All types of trekking permits and forest camping charges are included in the trek package.
04 Tracking Equipment – High-quality camping tents and sleeping bags are provided by the tracking agency for you guys during the trek. Apart from this, you are also given a rope, ice axe, garter and microspikes if needed.
05 Safety Equipments – The Tracking Agency makes arrangements for medical kits, stretchers, first aid and oxygen cylinders in advance in all the camps to deal with any emergency during the trek.
Not included in the Kedartal trek Fee
01 Transport to and from Base Camp – We assume that the trekking agency arranges to take you from Dehradun to Gangotri by shared taxi. Now all the trekkers have to bear the same cost of a taxi to go from Dehradun to Gangotri.
02 The tracking agency does not include the charges for the food purchased during the trek in the trek cost.
03 If you have a backpack, you will have to pay an additional fee for the same.
Note:- 01 Before trekking Kedartal with any kind of tracking agency, know about all the conditions.
02 Get to know about all the facilities available during the Kedartal trek before starting the trek.
03 The cost of the Kedartal trek is different for almost all the trekking agencies.
04 All the costs mentioned above are approximate, on which we are not liable in any way.
05 The terms and conditions of all trekking agencies and the facilities offered during the trek may vary.
Tips for Kedartal Trek
01 Identity Card
03 water bottle ( 3-5 litres)
04 Dry Fruits and Packet Food
05 Warm Clothes ( Sweater / Jacket / Pull Over )
06 Poncho / Rain Coat ( For Rainy Season )
08 Extra Battery for Flashlight / Power Bank / Camera
09 Camping supplies if possible. ( Mat / Sleeping Bag )
10 Waterproof bags to protect electronic items from rain.
11 lemon and salt or electrolyte powder/drink (Electoral/Gatorade/Glucon D)
12 Tracking Shoes / Tracking Pant / Quick Dry Tshirt / Cape
13 whistle (for emergency)
14 First Aid Kit:- Scissors, Sunscreen (SPF 50+), Band-Aids (Water Proof), Analgesic Spray (Relispray, Volini), Antiseptic Liquid (Sevlon, Dettol), Antiseptic Powder (Povidone-Iodine Based Powders like Cipladine, Savlon), bandage, cotton, crepe bandage etc.
15 medicines:- Fever, headache, motion sickness, loose motion, vomiting and acidity etc.
16 Be sure to check the weather before starting the Kedartal trek.
17 If you do not have experience of trekking in the mountains, then you can take a local guide with you.
18 Before starting the trek, the trekking agency with which you are doing this trek, then you must first take the information about the itinerary.
19 Before starting the trek, definitely take information about the rules related to the Kedartal trek.
20 If you are not doing this trek with any trekking agency, then you must take a local trek guide with you. (Take this trek as far as possible with a good tracking agency)
21 During the Kedartal trek, it would be better if you ask the trekking agency about the things you have to carry with you during the trek.
22 If you are not an experienced trekker, then do not forget to do this trek alone.
23 You do not get any kind of mobile network during the trek. Also, you will not have the facility to charge your electronic equipment, so you must carry a spare battery and power bank during the trek.
24 The trek gets slippery during the monsoon season so be a little extra careful during this time.
25 Before going on the trek, do check the weather once and keep clothes and belongings with you accordingly.
(Note:- Before taking any kind of medicine, please consult your doctor.)
Hotels in Kedartal
Gangotri is believed to be the base camp of Kedartal. And Gangotri is considered to be the most important part of the Chardham Yatra of Uttarakhand, that is why whenever you go to the Kedartal trek, you can book a room in Gangotri for yourself in a hotel or Dharamshala. By the way, if you are doing this trek with a tracking agency, then those people have already booked a room in a hotel for you.
How To Reach kedartal
How to reach Kedartal by Air
Kedartal is not directly connected by air. The nearest airport to Kedartal is Jolly Grant Airport of Dehradun. From Dehradun, you have to first come to Gangotri by road. And from Gangotri, you can reach Kedartal by trekking. The distance of Gangotri from Jolly Grant Airport of Dehradun is just 265 km.
This airport is well connected to the major airports in the country. From Dehradun, you can easily reach Gangotri by taxi and cab service. Apart from this, helicopter service is also available from Dehradun to Gangotri.
How to reach Kedartal by Rail
Haridwar and Rishikesh railway station is the nearest railway station to Kedartal. You can easily reach Gangotri from Haridwar and Rishikesh and after that, you can start the Kedartal trek from here.
The distance from Rishikesh to Gangotri is just 267 km. Haridwar railway station is very well connected to major cities of India by rail. You will get regular bus, taxi and cab services to Gangotri from both these cities Rishikesh and Haridwar.
How to reach Kedartal by Road
Gangotri, the nearest city to Kedartal, is well connected by road to the major cities of Uttarakhand. You can easily reach Gangotri from Haridwar, Rishikesh, Dehradun Tehri Garhwal and Uttarkashi by bus, taxi and cab service.
If you want, with the help of your vehicle, you can reach Gangotri very easily by road. After reaching Gangotri by road, you can start the trek to Kedartal.
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