Serenity of Har-ki-Dun
Snuggling amidst the cradle shaped Fateh Parvat, the valley of Har-ki-Dun is located at an altitude of 3566 meters and is one of the most gorgeous mountain valleys of Western Himalayas. It is situated in the district of Uttarkashi of Garhwal in Uttarakhand State. It is surrounded by densely populated endless forests and snow-clad mountain peaks. With abundant flora and fauna at a close range, the valley has caught attention of many bird watchers and nature lovers since decades.
Har-ki-Dun is popularly known as “Valley of Gods”. ‘Har’ is another name of the Hindu God, Lord Krishna and this mesmerising valley is widely known to be the Valley of Lord Krishna. It is also called as the valley where fairies meet. The valley holds of tremendous value according to the Hindu Epic of Mahabharata. The Swargarohini peak which is located at an altitude of 6096 metres is believed to be the place from where Pandavas proceeded to heaven. Har-ki-Dun is the only place in the country which has temples of the Kaurava Prince Duryodhana and his allies Karna. Local residents and communities of this region worship Duryodhana as their God.
The beautiful alpine meadows along the glacier basins and spectacular moraine ridges surrounded by medicinal herbs and shrubs of Ayurveda have enchanted trekkers and holiday makers from all around the globe. The picture perfect location is best suited for photography and bird watching. The houses of the region have carvings depicting tales from Mahabharata. Rice, Rajma, and Potatoes farm are seen every-which-where and they can be found in local delicacies as well.
The trekking trail to the valley of Har-ki-Dun was found by Jack Gibson, a teacher at Doon School in 1940’s. He often brought his students on trekking and camping expeditions in this location and has been given the credit for the inception of Indian Mountaineering. Even till date, school kids can be found in a large number especially during summer vacations. Trekkers of all age can handle the difficulty level of this trek as the trails are well defined and are not very steep. Wooden bridges are constructed at water stream crossings and the average distance to be covered does not exceed 12 to 14 kilometres per day. Camps set up by the forest department come in handy for campers and trekkers.
The valley of Har-ki-Dun is situated within the jurisdiction of Govind National Park which gives an insight into the stunning variety of wildlife present in Himalayas. You may spot Musk Deer, Indian Porcupine, Himalayan Brown Bear, Himalayan Snow Cock, Golden Eagle, Parakeets, Minivets, Himalayan Palm, Snow Leopards, Common Otter, Cuckoos, Hodgson’s Fly Squirrel, Steppe Eagle, Black Eagle, Tits, Warblers, Sikkim Vole, Finches, Goral, Civet, Buntings, Himalayan Rat, Wild Boar, Bearded Vulture, Thrushes, Koklas Pheasant, Western Tragopan, spot Hedgehog and Monal Pheasant. If you plan your trek during the month of April and May, the Rhododendron trees and wild Himalayan flowers are a delightful sight. Large number of flowers including Lilies, Primulas, Orchids, Blue Poppy, Anemonies and Potentillas are found during the stunning summers. The high altitude flower Brahma Kamal or Saussurea obvallata can be found close to Har-ki-Dun.
Har-ki-Dun is an abode to many of the purest streams and rivers. During the trek, you will witness the source of Karmanasha stream which graciously flows to meet the Obragaad stream beneath the village of Sankri. The stream forms into River Supine which proceeds to merge with the sparkling Rupin River which flows from the state of Himachal Pradesh. At Netwar, River Rupin combines to emerge as Tons River which is a major tributary of the legendary River Yamuna.
Taking a stroll in most breath-taking landscapes surrounded by Mount Swaragrohini, Kalanag, Fateh Parvat and Bandarpoonch will be a life-altering experience for every visitor.