“I will come back. I know, I decided I won’t repeat the treks, but I will come back to this one”, I said, at the end of the journey.

Trekking is something very close to my heart. The views that you see when you trek, are views that you have earned. Doing a trek is not just about reaching the peak, but about experiencing the entire journey. It’s about when your legs want to give up, but you just want to continue because the views are worth it. It’s about that new confidence that you have once you come back, realizing if I could do this, I could do a lot more in my life too.

Trekking is not only for athletes, experienced mountaineers, or other physically fit people but anyone who has the will to say that ‘Yes I can, and I will do it’. Being physically fit might not have been my motivation to go on treks but to do more treks and experience vivid views is certainly my motivation for keeping myself physically fit.

I have done five treks to date. Amongst them, Kedarkantha (let’s not confuse it with Kedarnath) is the closest to my heart. At a time like this, when we are in lockdown, if asked what I miss the most, I would undoubtedly say travelling. So, I decided to start a travel blog and share my travel trips to date. There’s no one particular thing that makes them all memorable. So, let’s start with my journey to Kedarkantha, a 20 km trek in the suburbs of Uttarakhand.

The trek started at Sankri Village (10 hours from Dehradun) at 10 am with my trek partner and trek leader. It was Holi on that day, my favourite festival. As the trek began, passing by, we met a lot of content villagers who played Holi with us making the trek colourful within the first 15 minutes itself. We reached our first camping site, which was called Juda ka Talab campsite, around 2 pm. It was a beautiful 5 hours journey where we had started experiencing around 1-1.5 feet of snow. This campsite was about 400 meters away from the talab. Since the talab was fully covered with snow, we were not allowed to camp there. It was a crowded campsite. Both of us wanted to be in a secluded place surrounded by nature. So, after having our lunch, we thought of going around the campsite to explore more. Our trek leader was not very thrilled with the idea of us going farther without him and the spikes (equipment used to have a grip on snow). But rebellious as we were, we went anyway. We went up, and roaming around, luckily found the Juda Ka Talab.

mountain view with trees

Juda Ka Talab – the frozen pond, was beautiful. I can indeed call it one of the most captivating places I have ever seen. There, I experienced my first snowfall. Fast as the rain, the first one was, but the second one, it was so slow, like a movie in time-lapse. I just stood there, staring at the beautiful sight, trees covered in snow seeming as if it were Christmas all over again. The silence was such that we could hear the birds chirping. The lake was entirely frozen. I just sat there for a while, looking around and taking the serene sights in. It felt like being in a movie.

We stayed there for over an hour and left only when we realized our trek leader would be searching for us. The return journey is something I wouldn’t forget in my lifetime. My trek partner explained to me that we must slide and go down. With the excellent balancing skills that he had, he just stood straight and skid to the end. Me, thinking I would be better at sitting and sliding started thus. A few seconds later, I realized that I had no control and I am going to cross the end and fall. My trek partner sat at the edge and with his full weight anchored towards me, caught me and stopped us both from falling. Can’t imagine what would have happened if he wouldn’t have been able to do so.

After this mind-blowing experience (and potentially life-threatening), we reached back to our campsite, had dinner, and were sent back to our tents to sleep since we had to start the trek at 3 am the next day. With all the shivering that I always experience in such cold weather in tents (the temperature was between 0 to -5 degrees Celsius), I couldn’t sleep at all. It was around 9 pm when we came out to take a stroll. We realized at that moment that it was a full moon night, and what a view it was! The moonlight had lit the entire place as if it were sunshine. It was exactly how the picture portrays, no filter at all.

The next day, we started the trek at 3:30 am. I was in terrible shape because I hadn’t slept for two nights straight. The climb was getting steeper and the speed was getting slower. But stopping wasn’t an option because we were told that we would have to head back if we don’t make it to the peak by approximately 10-11 am. After that time, the snow would start melting because of the sun, and it would be too slippery to climb up. As much a struggle the journey was, the scenic beauty far eclipsed it. There was snow as far as the eye could see and only three of us to devour the view of the snow-clad mountains of Uttarakhand. It was indeed a beauty.

After about 2.5 hours, and 4 km, we reached the Kedarkantha Base Camp, where another beautiful sight awaited us. On one side the sun was rising, and on the other, the moon was setting, both amongst the snow-covered mountains, like a magical scenery. It was a site we could only marvel at. It offered the perfect view of the peaks in distance. All we wanted to do was sit and enjoy this beauty, and that’s all we did for about an hour. Then we started again. I was so tired, and the lack of sleep was killing my energy. “Just 2 kilometers to go,” I told myself.

After about 1.5 km, came the Maggi point. The 7 feet tall stall that was supposed to be there was beneath our legs, immersed in snow, because of the snowfalls that had been happening throughout the winter season. A steep climb of about 0.5 km was left, but there was no energy left in my body. My eyes couldn’t keep open any longer, and I decided to sleep then and there. So, I asked my trek partner to continue the trek, took off my jacket, spread it, just laid down, and slept hugging the snow beneath the unfiltered cloud.

What is the craziest place you have slept at? I have slept on a footpath on campus, on a terrace while stargazing and on a beach in Goa too, but this was something even I hadn’t expected from myself. I slept at the height of 12,000 ft in between nowhere, above 7 feet of hard snow, in the blazing sun, all alone, wondering if I fall asleep will I end up rolling down from one mountain to the next one but still too sleepy to care and thus ending up falling asleep then and there. But that was not the craziest part of the trek.

When my trek partner came back after an hour or so and woke me up, I was all charged up again. We mingled with a large group, and we all decided to slide down the mountains. From top to bottom, we just slid through them one by one. The path from Juda ka Talab to the point where I slept which took us probably 6 hours to climb, just took 2.5 hours to come back because we just slid half the way and ran the rest of it like an Olympic marathon.

After reaching Juda ka Talab, I thought why not save another day. It was just 2 pm, and I was prepared to trek more. So, after having lunch, we came down, back to Sankri Village by 7 pm. So, we ended up completing a 4-day trek in just 2 days. I guess that’s what happens when two enthusiastic trekkers get together and do not listen to their trek leader. And there we were, back to the homestay, then back to Dehradun, headed back home.Another beautiful travel journey completed, another trek ticked off, another Holi celebration done, just with snow and mountains this time. Even though I covered most of the things, I can’t wait to go back again, and this time reach the top too.

Some other crucial details in case someone wants to go to this trek:

Cost Break-up

Total Cost (From Delhi to Delhi): 9000 (approximately)

Trek, Sankri to Sankri (including stay, food, trek gear and everything else): 6000

Train (Delhi to Dehradun): 800

Bus (Dehradun to Delhi): 800

Local transportation from Dehradun to Sankri and back to Dehradun (Local buses and Jeep, both sides): 1200

Food & others: 200

Travel Agency

The Trail Himalayas (found them through Instagram)


Day 0: Overnight train from Delhi to Dehradun

Day 1: Bus from Dehradun to Sankri via Purola (220km, 10hrs)

Day 2: Sankri to Juda ka Talab (4 km trek)

Day 3: Juda ka Talab to Kedarkantha Base Camp to Kedarkantha Peak and back to Juda ka Talab and then to Sankri Village (16 km trek)

Day 4 – Jeep from Sankri to Purola, further bus to Dehradun and then overnight bus to Delhi