Har Ki Doon – A Trek Report
Har ki Doon, or the Valley of Gods is supposedly the most picturesque trek in Uttarakhand. Located at a height of 11800 ft above the sea level, it is surrounded by snow-capped peaks. River Supin (locally called Tamosha) cuts through the vast green valley which is overlooked by Swargarohini Peak towards its west. Unlike other treks in The Himalayas, this particular trek is mention worthy because of the magnificent vista it offers. It is a delight to those who are keen to see the Himalayan flora and fauna.
The walk through the evergreen forest of the Garhwal Himalayas is captivating and extremely rejuvenating, especially after getting sick and tired of the city life. The trail through the forest of Maple trees, the Chestnut trees, the Pine trees, innumerable ferns and orchids is simply breathtaking. River Supin flows obediently keeping the left. The gushing sound of the burbling water, cutting through the rocks and boulders keeps pouring into the ears of the mesmerized trekkers as a continuous melody.
Our journey started from Dehra Dun from where we hired a bus to Sankri, a small scenic village on the hillside and the starting point to many other treks of Uttarakhand. The actual trek starts 11 Kms ahead from Taluka via Gangaad, Seema, Osla and Kalkattiya Dhar before reaching Har ki Doon. This is a long trail of 27 kms through the alpine forests and meadows. This trek falls in the category of ‘moderate’, and is an enjoyable trek even for the first timers. The trekkers can stay in the tent at night and enjoy a magnificent starry night if the weather is clear.
There is a mythological dimension to this trail and the story goes that there was a clan which was faithful towards the Kaurava’s (Duryodhan) and they lived close to the currently existing village of Osla. They were so loyal to Duryodhan that they built a temple and you would be surprised that the remains of the temple actually exists even now. The peak, Swargarohini, is believed to have lured the Pandavas, in The Mahabharatas, in choosing this trail for their journey towards heaven at the end of the Kurukshetra battle.
From Har ki Doon one can advance further towards Jaundhar Glacier which is 7 Kms, ahead or else enjoy the solitude of the valley. A small 3 kms trek can also take one to the beautiful Morinda Lake. On reaching the lake one can see the trail leading to Borasu Pass which culminates at Chitkul, in Himachal Pradesh.