Har Ki Doon Valley is a cradle shaped hanging valley in the Garhwal Himalayas. It is surrounded by snow-covered peaks and alpine vegetation. It is connected to Baspa Valley by the Borasu Pass This valley is at an altitude of approx. 3500m above mean sea level and is snow-covered during October to March.
Arrive early at Dehradun railway station (6:30am) and drive to Sankri (transportation included) which will take approximately 9 to 10 hours. The drive from Dehradun to Sankri is a beautiful one. The route passes through Mussoorie- the “Queen of the Hills” and many mesmerizing views and drive goes along hugging the mountain side and you see the forests and valleys of Garhwal below you. Breakfast and Lunch will be on the way at a roadside inn, exclusive of charges.
After an early breakfast we will drive to Takula which is around 12 km from Sankri. Taluka is a small village with concrete houses. After collecting refreshments start trekking to reach Pauni Garat (8,200ft/ 10 km Trek) with packed lunch. The first lapse is a descent to the banks of the beautiful Tons and keeping the river on the right, the trail enters a level walk through forests of conifers until reaching the first cemented bridge. Crossing the stream, the trail leads up to a wooden bridge where a gentle slope goes down to the waters. Here you can fill your bottle and move ahead. We approach the rest point for lunch by the Supin tributary that we crossed before at around 1 in the noon. Progressing ahead, harvest fields of potato, millet, and maize will fall on the way giving the whole stretch a ranch house feel. Pauni Garaat, a green clearing on the banks of Supin at its sprightly best is arrived at late in the afternoon as the Sun begins to dip.
Pauni Garaat to Kalkattiyadhar is a distance of 7 km over 6 hours which we start early morning at 6. The trail crosses 3 “Garaat” or hydroelectricity run chaffing units which are used by the villagers for separating husks of millet and maize followed by grounding to flour. The trek proceeds through harvest lands, cattle grazing, and slant roofed huts used as granary and storages. After crossing a log bridge, the trail turns for an ascent. On this incline, you will get fabulous viewpoints to steal glimpses of the Dhauladhar Range out front. The high trail winds further down reaching a table top green stretch—Kalkattiyadhar.
Kalkattiyadhar to Har Ki Doon is a distance of 5 km spanning over 3.5 hour of trekking time. Moving through a thick forest of conifers—chestnut, bhojpatra or papyrus bark, pines, and cedar, the trail is an intense experience of nature. There are several log bridges to be crossed over cool flowing streams concluded by the final ascent lap. The last landmark on the stretch to the valley is a waterfall, after which the ascent is unrelenting till the destination is reached. About after 40 minutes on the uphill trail from the waterfall, you will reach the Valley cradled in greenery at the feet of the Har Ki Doon peak. You will reach the valley in time to take a walk up to the cluster of green-roofed cottages.
Today we’ll start off with a packed lunch towards Osla via Kalkattiyadhar. Down by the same trail, we break towards the village after crossing a cemented bridge. The village is reached by afternoon to be greeted with a host of smiling faces. The exceptional architecture of Osla’s houses invokes a different time and a different world altogether, the most striking structure being the Durtodhana temple topped with a pair of carved peacocks. Multihued ethnic garments, bronze and silver hand whittled jewellery, and typical headgears define the cultural richness of the people here. You will reach Pauni Garaat camp by the gusty Supin flowing by. The hum of the river will keep you company through the night.
A 5-hour trek to Taluka sets off this morning, climbing down by the familiar trail, stopping at familiar rest points. The car waits at the end of the dirt road to drive back base camp-wards. Pay special attention to descending tactic. Though climbing down accounts for lesser exhaustion, stressing out your soles with bold steps is unadvisable. Sankri will be reached just in time for tea.
The journey concludes with the 10-hour drive from Sankri to Dehradun. Breakfast and Lunch will be on the way at a roadside inn, exclusive of charges. Reaching time at Dehradun station will be 6pm, suitable for an overnight journey to Delhi.