Trekking can be such an eye-opening experience for someone trying it for the first time. That feeling of finally reaching the top, that vibe of the cold mountain air or that experience of making new friends along the way. The whole thing really teaches us something about going on adventures and trying new things. Also, the added fun of discovering new places and understanding new cultures really adds more the experience. But deciding your first can be quite the difficult task. Especially if you want to go in winters selecting a place can be tough due to the problems snowfall brings with it.
So, we are here to tell everything about why, how and to where your first winter trek should be. Kedarkantha trek should be your first winter trek. It is situated in the Himalayas and is one of the most popular and easy treks in Uttarakhand. Starting from a village called Sankri aka the base camp of the Kedarkantha Trek; this trek will take you across various natural enigmas before you reach your destination at the top of the Kedarkantha peak. Snow-capped peaks, frozen lakes and a variety of flora and fauna will greet you at every step of the way, making your journey beautiful and memorable. Every little trail of Kedarkatha is something to write home about. But even apart fom that here are the major reasons why you should choose the Kedarkantha trek as your first winter trek.
- Kedarkantha is known for being one of the easiest treks in India. The reason being you are only expected to trek about 4 hours every day, leaving the rest of your time free. You can take rest and discover the place around you in this time or simply eat and spend time with fellow travelers. The campsites will not only give you a beautiful view of the mountains, you can also start a bonfire and play games and spend your time leisurely. Standing at a height of 12,500 ft, this trek might sound like a lot, but due to how slowly you’ll be going about it; it won’t feel tedious or tiring.
- If driving though the mountains is one of your dreams but the idea itself scares you, Kedarkantha can be a great first trial. It is beautiful to look at and the path is quite clear making the journey easier. You will also cross various popular places like Mussoorie, Nowgaon, Purola, Mori and Naitwar along the way. Driving through the Himalayas, you will see the striking greenery on one side and the river of tons on the other. With a view like that and your favorite songs playing in the background, you can finally tick this one thing off your bucket list.
- What makes the Kedarkantha trekking trip so different from the other treks is the fact that it’s a summit climb. Which means that unlike other treks that end on a random mountain, the Kedarkantha trek actually ends on the Kedarkanthapeak making the journey taken worthwhile. As you will take a turn standing on the peak, you will notice the snow-capped mountains on every single side. The feeling of finally completing the journey and reaching to the top will only add to the whole experience. You can simply sit on the top of the world and enjoy the view before starting the descend.
- If we talk about the Kedarkantha campsites they are a whole other topic in itself. None of the other treks offer the kind of variety or beauty that Kedarkantha trek does when it comes to campsites. Unlike other treks, these camping options are proper resting places instead of just stopping wherever you find some space. One of them is the Juda Ka Talab campsite which is located next to the popular place. Surrounded by walnut and pine trees, you can enjoy the wonders of the nature all around. Since the lake is frozen at this point of the year, you can even walk on it after checking if its strong enough. On the other hand, there is also Hargaon campsite, a meadow giving you an open glimpse into the top of Kedarkantha; the Kedarkantha peak.
- As you are travelling, you will realise that every little place you cross during this trek has a religious connotation and an interesting story behind it. While nobody expects you to believe in them, just the fact that there’s a story behind it makes the place more meaningful and interesting to look at. Like the Kedarkantha temple that you’ll see standing on the peak was built by Lord Shiva when he wanted a peaceful place to meditate. It is also believed that the temple was only half-built because some villagers passing by interrupted his meditation. Since the temple was only built up to his neck, the place came to be known as Kedarkantha. The Juda Ka Talab Lake was formed when a droplet from Lord Shiva’s hair fell onto the Earth.
- Several Himalayan Peaks such as Black Peak, Swargarohini peaks, Bandarponch, Gangotri ranges, and Draupadi ka Danda are visible while you trek you way up to the Kedarkantha peak. With an altitude of 6,387 m, Black Peak is the highest peak in Garhwal Himalayas and you might not visit, but just looking at it will give you a sense of elation. These snow-covered peaks are beautiful to look at and every single one is a marvel in itself. The forests, the lake, the various trails and the snow-covered land will all keep you wide eyed during your journey. Of course the sunrise and sunsets from the top are a marvelous view in itself. And the night sky at the end of the day will have you sleeping with a smile on your face.
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