Though the mountains have great significance in the mythical world, the Kedarkantha Peak has a great connection with the Lord of the Lords, Lord Shiva. And I was on Kedarkantha Trek for my quest of Lord Shiva. The journey to the top of this peak provided all the answers and also it welcomed me in the same way that should be depicting the home of such great deity.
From the very road that leads to tall pine trees, you will be greeted by fresh winter snow and dark brown leaves at the entrance of this peak. And the moment you step on the trail, leaving behind that concrete road, we enter in the enchanting tales of the Mountains. In lieu of that, they take us in the world where we can actually give meaning to our life.
Kedarkantha Trek is not that much difficult or I am saying this because I have done Bali Pass Trek (one of the most difficult passes in Uttarakhand), Mount Rudugaira Expedition, and some other small treks in Uttarakhand only. Honestly, I just love Uttarakhand. I think that I have a great connection with the mountains or their calmness.
Get to the point!
After doing two, above 17000 feet treks, I was meant to push my limits. But this bloody covid-19 washed out all my plans and goals for that so-called 2020. So, I quenched my thirst by having this Kedarkantha Trip.
Legend Behind Kedarkantha Peak
Locals and the Internet say that once Lord Shiva perched on this peak for meditation. And believe me, I sat there for just 5 minutes, the minutes in which I was lost from the world, searching for the power and trying to get connected with it. The scene was so meditating, having a 360 view of Snowcapped Himalayan Peaks. And Found out why Lord Shiva chose this place.
But from the disturbances created by the locals, Lord Shiva couldn’t be able to complete his penance. So, he moved towards Kedarnath Temple. At the top of the Kedarkantha Peak, there is a temple dedicated to the presence of Lord Shiva at that peak.
Now My Story of This Kedarkantha Peak Started as |||
After being captured in my own house for almost 7 months, the mountaineer inside me was at its all rage. One day I was sitting at a place in my house (see I haven’t specified my couch) and planning for a remarkable trek. Then got this picture while browsing. And it blows my mind. Before that, I heard about Kedarkantha trek but never been to there. And the internet has its name as Kedarkantha the Winter Trek.
So, from that very moment, the universe conspired to provide me with the experience of this peak. And more of it, a peak wholly covered in SNOW. I made my arrangements and left my home only having a desire that this part of my life should be more productive and more enjoyable.
I called the owner of Trek and Fly Himalayas, Suman Dey and asked if any group to this peak. He next spat out the date, 19 December. And asked me to join with himself as he himself going on those dates. He confirmed him asking about the group and he said you come, “I knew that you are not going to bother anyone”.
I packed the things that I love to have on mountains with me and embarked on my next travelling tales which are made in the pure and untouched nature. And honestly for me travelling solo is a myth. Because even I left home alone, there is the power which tries to connect with me in just different flesh and blood.
Itinerary of My Kedarkantha Trek
On the night of 18th December
Having all my world packed into my rucksack, I boarded a government bus from Aligarh to Dehradun. Because our trek was going to start from Dehradun.
Those days were supposed to be the colder days and my mom keeps on enchanting the lore of cold-days so that I could drop out my plan. But soon she realized that it is his passion and no one can stop him.
Thanks to UP Government, the bus was semi-deluxe and more importantly it had working electric sockets. That whole night I watched Everest as I do before the treks. Then a web series The Last Ship and had a sleep of 3 hours.
19th December – Dehradun to Sankri
Early morning reached Dehradun and got rid of from the things that I ate last night. Then Suman Sir, I, and with other thirteen ‘about-to-be trekkers’ moved into a van and left Dehradun to reach Sankri.
Sankri is a small village in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. This small village is situated beside the Tons River, the main tributary of Yamuna. Sankri is considered as the hub of trekking adventure. From this village, there are many small and big treks like Har ki Dun trek, Saru Tal Trek, Bali Pass Trek, Auden’s col and some other.
By the evening, after having a journey of nine hours, we reached in the upper Himalayas. We started seeing snowcapped and some renowned peaks. From the morning tea to the evening’s snack, we have done everything en route to Sankri. There we got our allotted rooms in the Hotel Surya Retreat.
As we have to start our trek from the very next morning, trek leader provided us all the equipment like Snow Spikes, Leg Gators, and he briefed us about the things that we are going to do on this Kedarkantha Trek. And after dinner, I literally had an unconscious sleep.
20th December – Sankri to First Camp Site at Kedarkantha Trek
So the day came the day on which we left that tech-civilization and moved into the mountain trails. The trails which lead to the very salvation. I put my rucksack on my back, hailing the chants of Har Har Mahadev, started the trek to reach Juda Ka Talab. Our very first campsite on this trek.
That Morning in Sankri was very freezing and I got up very early around 5:30 AM. And outside the room just watched that glorious greeting the Sun was giving Mountains. At Around 8 we escaped into the woods from those concrete roads. There were many other groups of people who also came to summit this Kedarkantha Peak. And we chased those half-snowy trails.
It took us to reach the campsite around 7 hours as from Sankri, the campsite is about 4.5 kilometres. We tracked down the trails chanting songs, sharing calories, telling stories and having full fun.
There were pre-pitched tents and camps, we reached there and had our evening tea. From the campsite, Juda Ka Talab is at 500 meters I wanted to visit that this first but it was evening and the Sun started making its way towards below the horizon.
Juda Ka Talab: This is a lake somewhat about 5 kilometres above Sankri village. The name Juda it had from the hair-locks of Lord Shiva. As Lord Shiva perched on this peak to meditate, a droplet from his hair fell down and formed this lake. I had a great connection with Lord Shiva, at that time, I had a great will to see this lake and to feel it bathing hands in the waters of that holy lake.
Till that time we, our group of 15 people tried to catch up with the vibes of others. And to make that bonding more strong our trek leader, Suman Dey wanted us to play Mafia. We all were in a single kitchen tent. Basically, we all were sitting and fighting with that freezing cold altogether. We played Antakshari and sang some ear-soothing songs then we had dinner and left for our sleeping tents.
21 December Juda Ka Talab to Kedarkantha Base Camp
This journey is of 4 Kilometers and it took us to reach Kedarkantha Base Camp complete 6 hours, even after enjoying some pleasant moments at the Lake. The lake was frozen as everything was covered in the Snow. People were simply standing on frozen waters of Lake. Literally, till that period of time, I have never seen such a thing. Like a lake awesomely froze and people were having fun on it.
I paid my homage to such a great thing and sat beside the lake for some couple of minutes. We put our cramp-on because that was a clear day. The Sun was at its top which making the snow slippery. From the Base Camp, the peak gives a very charismatic view of its shoulder. And honestly, when I reached the campsite, I loved it the most. Because from our Kitchen Tent, I can able to have a panoramic view of the Himalayan Range.
I clicked some pictures and had my tea in front of those gigantic peaks. Now those moments are in the list of Great-Moments of my life. While standing there I had a thought in my mind, my mom keeps on telling me the extra-ordinary work of God. But for me, those huge mountains are the extra-ordinary work of God.
That night was very crucial for me and I think for everyone who was supposed to summit the Kedarkantha Peak next morning. I had the dinner at its fullest and just went to sleep. The nights of mine went with beautiful dreams in the mountains and so that night was. The dreams that I don’t remember only knew that it was with the person to whom I rely upon much.
The Summit Day – 22 December and Back to Base Camp
We all were instructed to get up at 3 AM so that we could leave Campsite by 3:30. And we did the same. I really much admire that owner of Trek and Fly Himalayas, Suman Dey and after his calculation of time that at which time we should leave our camps so that we reach the summit at the time of Sunrise. Made me admire him more.
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I must tell you that in my group not a single person aborted the trek. Everybody reached the top of the Peak and descended safely. I have seen many people who were returning to their camps without doing that final push.
We put our head torches and started making our way into that fresh snow. In that dark, walking on the snow, in the freezing temperature gave me many thoughts. We all slowly moved and reach the ridge of the mountains just at the time of Sunrise and we had a great view of Sun casting its first rays on the mountains. I found myself in love with this peak because it gave me an expedition-like experience.
The Top of Kedarkantha Trek
The speed of the air was like tearing the flesh, it simply makes us not standing somewhere quietly. I clicked some photographs of the renowned peaks Swargrohini, Bander Pooch, and other Peaks Visible from Kedarkantha Peak. Kedarkantha Trek is capable enough to give you some views that you can’t be able to image or think. I just captured them in heart and also in my camera.
I did the rituals that I have done on the other peaks which I have summited till now. Hosted our National Flag, then the prayers to that majestic power. And while descending, there comes my favourite thing, Snow Skid. For a second, I gave a thought that this thing can only be cherished by those to dared to climb. On that day, the Sun was very happy and was in our favour.
I just enjoyed that arena very much and I knew it was the time that I have to live at its fullest. We reached back at Kedarkantha Base Camp at 1. I brought the mattress outside the camp and laid there to get some rest and that pure sunshine. Me, Jayashree (one of the companions on the trek), and that young girl Iram played Hang Man till the evening and passed that night.
23 December Back to Sankri – End of Memorable Kedarkantha Trek
We left the tents to reach Sankri by our time. I was feeling like I was leaving my home in order to reach somewhere in that profound-civilization. With having a great bunch of memories and made some strangers a good friend of mine. I was not much happy because I knew that this is going to be the end of this epic Kedarkantha Trek story of mine.