Har-ki-Dun Trek (Valley of Gods) 

A 6-Day, 78Km trek to the remote Har-Ki-Dun Valley (near Swargarohini Peak) in Western Uttarakhand


Day-0: Mussoorie to Sakri

 The GMVN-TRH .... at Sankri 

 

 View from the GMVN - you can see the Sankri School. below the cloud at  center-bottom of the picture.

 

Day-1: Sankri to Taluka 12 Kms  

We could not start at 7:00 AM as planned, as it was raining heavily. As it was an easy trek to Taluka we decided to wait for the rain to stop. So we had a breakfast in Sakri Dhaba and just killed time. Finally, it stopped raining and we started our trek at 11:30AM.

 

The first 3-4 Kms of trail to Taluka was thru this beautiful pine forest .. and the trail was a jeepable path.


     The first big landslide 3 Kms out of Sakri ....  so the jeeps from Sakri to Taluka, run no more.

   

 After a Trek of 3.5 hrs, we are nearing Taluka, at 3:00 PM


Looking back at Taluka 7:30am as we start 2nd day trek to Seema 

Day-2:  Taluka to Seema 14Kms  


The 2nd day's trek from Taluka to Seema of 14Kms, turned out to be a bit tough and a strenuous one. And in certain spots,  even dangerous due to recent rains. Having, Tikkam Singh was a big help, as he seemed to know every such stretch well.  Without him I would have turned back. Some landslides and log-crossings were so scary, I forgot to take pictures! But then remembered to do that on the return trek.  So look out for those on Day-5.

 Supin River was raoring along all the way from Taluka to Seema

 At 2:45PM ..... Seema appears  


Day-3 : Seema to HKD - 12 Kms  

The Seema GMVN ... next day...  a sunny morning ... so the breakfast table set up in the garden! 

 After the steep half-hour climb at Seema ....  looking down back at the bridge and the GMVN to the right.

 

 View up the valley towards the  Ruinsera confluence

Looking back towards Seema, after 3 hrs trek ... in the (original) picture, I could zoom-in and see the 2 concrete piers, of the bridge (5 kms away) near Seema GMVN.  


An island in the HKD stream near GMVN 

 The front view of GMVN at HKD

Day-4 : HKD Local trek - 4 Kms

Today,  early morning from 6AM to 8AM we hiked up the HKD valley...  and saw plenty of wildflowers and sunny views of Swargarohini


Wildflowers on way to HKD

 

 

 Swargarohini I, II, III 
    

Har-Ki-Dun Valley and stream

 

Day-4 : HKD to Seema 12 Kms

Though we had planned an extra night stay at HKD, but Tikkam and I decided, to leave for Seema today itself, as the food-rations at HKD GMVN was running low. So we started back for Seema at 8:30AM after a quick breakfast of 2 chapattis and s sabzi from local "palak".

 The confluence of HKD river (from bottom lfft) and Ruinsera (from top) seen from trail at the top of valley. 

 

 1:15PM ... Back at Seema, last 30 mins trek down the steep climb to bridge, through water stream seen in picture above.

Day-5 : Seema to Taluka 14 Kms

We left Seema at 6:00AM and reached Taluka at 2PM ..... a tough & difficult trek of 14 kms; crossing a few dangerous spots that I remembered to take pictures of on this return journey.

 

This is scary 6 inch wide ledge (all that remained of the trail fallen down), that you to cross, clinging to the rocks on the one side.

 

A scary, shaky, bridge of loosly tied trees ... if you lose balance, you have a 15ft fall & broken bones.

 

Taluka's PWD resthouse seen in the mist from GMVN verandah.

 Day-6 : Seema to Taluka 12 Kms

The trek back from Taluka to Sakri was easy downhill; just a 3 hr trek from 6:00 AM to 9:00AM with only 2-3 landslides to cross.

Looking back at Taluka as we leave

One of the landslides that we crossed


Can you see the rainbow in this picture? ..... It seems to bridge the Har-Ki-Dun (Valley of Gods) and the Swargarohini mountain!

I reached Sankri at 4:00PM on 7th July 2007  (yes on 07/07/07 !) after a long, multi-stage ride starting from Mussorie - first a Bus from Library Chowk to Naugaon (6:00am - 10:45am) and then a Share-Jeep from Naugaon to Purola (10:45 - 11:45am), another Share-Jeep from Purola to Mori (11:40-1:30pm), another Share-Jeep from Mori to Naitwar (1:40-2:30) and finally yet another Share-Sumo from Naitwar to Sankri (3:00-4:00pm). Tired, I checked into the GMVN TRH, situated on the hillside above the taxi-stand. The Sankri GMVN caretaker, was a chain-smoking and garrulous Kedar Singh Rana. He talked continuously to me for next 1 hour (while I was captive, drinking Tea on his TRH porch) about Politics of 80's - 90's.  Kedar is pro-Congress, says he knew late-PM Indira Gandhi personally, her late son Sanjay Gandhi even more personally and is now a great admirer of Menaka Gandhi and her son Varun! This was a GMVN Caretaker .... with a Difference!

Kedar helped me hire a Porter-Guide for my trek to HKD - Tikkam Singh- who he said, was an experienced  guide and actually a resident of Osla village on the route. Caretaker Kedar also decided the Guide's  daily rate at Rs 250/- per day without asking me or consulting Tikkam Singh! He said Tikkam was a frequent trekker on that trail and I could travel and return safe under his care. Over the next 6 days,  I was able to confirm for myself that Tikkam Singh, indeed, was an excellent guide and very knowledgeable about every aspect of the trail and the local villages, the people, their customs and their struggles for survival. He knew every one of the 30-40 local villagers, we met on the trail or in the villages, over the next 6 days and stopped to chat with most of them, for 3-4 minutes over a Beedi.   

 Tikkam Singh, of Osla village, my porter-guide and an expert on this trail to HKD. Tikkam is pretty knowledgable about the people of this valley, their occupations, customs and struggles.

 Morning view of Taluka .... from GMVN-TRH balcony.

Around Noon we passed the Gangor Village ... seen from the trail.

 

The suspension Bridge to cross to true right .. just as we leave Seema.

Immediately after crossing the bridge a half-hour vertical climb up the hill is waiting; quite a bit of bit of that trail in water flowing from a waterfall that can be seen in the picture below. Pic left looking down after climbing.  

 

 

Finally, at 2:30PM we were nearing the HKD GMVN the green-white hut on left, next to PWD RH to right.  Tikkam Singh ahead on the trail.

 

  In the evening a drizzle produced  rainbow that appeared to bridge the HKD Valley and Swargarohini (6252M) range.

This beautiful view of Swargarohini and the HKD valley....  next morning framed in the the GMVN's porch doorway.

 

Dhaula Dhar range to the north of Har-Ki-Dun

  

 

View from top of HKD valley... looking down toward GMVN

 

This waterfall on way back to seema .... some 2 hrs from HKD 

 

The point where the trail from HKD turns west (see pillar, pic left) and Seema becomes visible, still 6 Kms ways .... in fact, in my orginal picture, I could zoom this pic all the way and see the bridge piers & GMVN

This is a Log (bridge) we had to cross .... if you lose balance you got a 30 feet fall into a ravine below!

This is one end of that log... it doesnt end on firm ground! ...  you have to make 2 feet jump! Not too bad from Log to Ground ... but Ground to Log?

   This village girl we passed on the trail ...... as we near Taluka.  

After reaching Sakri at 9:00am we found that the share-jeeps are not going to Netwar as there the road had collapsed 3 kms from Sankri. We had to take a booking-jeep, for Rs 100, to that landslide point. Tikkam came along and helped me cross that landslide on foot. And then we got another share jeep that took us to Mori. I arrived at Mori at 10:30am. There I said bye to Tikkam Singh .... paying him Rs 1500 i.e.  his 6 days wage at 250 per day plus a bonus of Rs 300.

Then I caught a bus going to Uttarkashi via Barkot; I got off at Barkot at 4:00PM.  My plan was to go to Yamunotri next day after a night' s rest. Luckily I got a nice double-room at GMVN-Barkot, for Rs 300 per day. The Manager there was helpful; he explained how if I started early, I could make a day trip to Yamunotri and get back to stay the night at his GMVN. 

******  End Har-Ki-Dun Trek  ******