Tuesday, 29 March 2016

In search of Lord Shiva- Kedarkantha Summit Trek.

Lord shiva wanted peace, for which he started his journey towards Kedarkantha summit from vishvanath temple (UTTARKASHI). He came to Kedarkantha summit, started meditation and coutinued the same for some weeks. One day while meditating  early morning on Kedarkantha summit, he heard a sound of a cow that came from a small village called Sirga (one can see Sirga village from Kedarkantha summit). Lord shiva realized that the place is not peaceful. He ran away immediately to Kedarnath through Swargarohini and Bandarpoonch range in search of peace. A temple was made on Kedarkantha summit after this.
                                                                                                                           Source: TrekUp India

At an altitude of 1920mt above the sea level, Sankri is a beautiful village in Uttarkashi distt. of Uttarakhand. Sankri lies around 210km away from Dehradun. This challenging 9km climb towards Kedarkantha Summit starts from Sankri village.

Village Sankri, 1920mt.

First day of our trek started with a pleasantly sunny day at Sankri. Preetam (one of my cousins) and I packed our rucksacs with every possible thing that could have made our trek a bit easier. An extra water bottle is mandatory here as this trek won't provide you with many water streams to fill your bottles.

All set to start the adventure!!

Our trek started with a gradual climb through dense pine forests. A trail that was dominated by dry brown leaves, soon turned into a path full of snow. As we climbed up, we reached our first campsite "Juda-ka-Talab" at an altitude of 2590mt. Juda-ka-Talab is a perfect place to set a camp, with a beautiful lake on our left, dense pine forest on our right and provides a scenic view of entire Himalayan range dominated by Swargarohini (6252m) massif.

Keep pushing hard!!

A trekker's eye!!

Swargarohini Massif from Juda-ka-Talab campsite.

The Juda-ka-Talab gets frozen in winters and the nights get extremely cold at this altitude with snow all around. The tiredness after an exhausting afternoon was completely lost at night as we all sang the local music with sheer enthusiasms during bonfire.

Bone-Chilling Winters!!

The second day of our trek was supposed to be an easy one, with a  2km walk up towards Lohasu (our second campsite). One should keep in mind about the slippery icy trail towards Lohasu. A pair of trekking shoes with handy grip is a must during this season.

Trekkers having a great time at frozen juda lake!!

Perfect shot!!

Traffic Jam ahead!!

As we started climbing up from Juda-ka-Talab, we met some other trekkers (around 50) and decided to move at a slow pace with the group. Following the footsteps on the snow, the trail took us to Lohasu base camp at an altitude of 3245mt above sea level.

Kedarkantha base camp- Lohasu.

Kedarkantha Peak in front, Stunning views all around and wide space for camping - Lohasu base camp has it all. A trekkers delight!!

The whole evening was spent planning about the summit day as we were supposed to start our summit push early morning at 3am. We couldn't even sleep in excitement!! I pulled the chain of our tent and looked up towards the clear sky with shooting stars. Praying for the weather to stay clear was the only thing we could have done at that point of time.

Finally at 2:30 in the morning, we came out of our tents. All the other trekkers were preparing for the climb as well. We all started our climb at 3am. Preetam and I decided to lead the group. The excitement of walking on pristine snow under the moonlight was at it's peak.

A few metres short of the summit, we reached a platform with a jaw dropping view all around us. The entire Himalayan range consisting of Swargarohini, Bandarpoonch and Kalanag (Black Peak) were visible.

And the sun was about to mark it's stamp!!

We were just few steps away from the summit and could feel the altitude. Dehydration was playing it's part as well. One thing you don't want to miss on this trek is the early morning sunrise view from the summit. Keeping that thing in mind, we started to move as quickly as possible.

Just a few more steps!!

Finally at 7am, we were on the summit of Kedarkantha peak. The darkness of the sky got replaced by magnificent orange and red shades all over. The sun kissed the mountains and greeted us with a breathtaking view. Even after a hard steep climb, the effort for that view felt like nothing. That was a sight to behold!!

Friends that travel together, last forever!!

Being trekker!!

Lord Shiva's trident looked untroubled even in the worst of conditions!!

Swargarohini, kalanag (black peak) and bandarpoonch peaks viewed from the summit.

Himalayan range of Himachal Pradesh!!

One thing I've learnt from this trek: "THE BEST VIEW COMES AFTER THE HARDEST CLIMB"!!

The trekkers!!

As we looked back at the summit!!

Many more trekking stories to come.
Book your Kedarkantha Snow Trek here.
More high altitude Himalayan treks.

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