Hiking to Har-Ki-Dun (Uttarakhand)

Beautiful Gharwal Himalayas

Har-Ki-Dun in Pictures

Due to unfavorable weather, and extreme cold, we decided to stay in Har-Ki-Dun for only one night. Initially, Bahadur was against this idea, and also a little angry with us. He had paid the GMVN manager for two nights, and cutting short our stay meant that his money was gone for good. At around 5 pm, a storm hit us, and Bahadur realized that staying back was risky. His men wouldn’t be able to go out to collect firewood, and that meant more money to GMVN to use existing firewood stocked inside the guest house. GMVN has a good stock of supplies – maggi, firewood, bisleri and other ration. This could have easily kept us alive for a week, should we have stayed back. But we weren’t prepared for the cold weather. The only warm clothes that we had was insufficient. Hence, we all decided it was best for us to return the following day. The dorm room in GMVN had about 10 beds, and we used up two quilts each to keep ourselves warm at night. The porters and Bahadur occupied the deluxe room, but don’t ask me how they managed without a toilet 🙂

We left the next day by 10 am, and reached Seema by 3 pm. The descend was fairly easy, although the threat of rainfall (and subsequent danger of landslides) was constantly troubling us. Luckily, we never caught any rain until we reached Seema. We met small groups that were trekking to Har-ki-dun while we were returning. We heard that some of them couldn’t reach their destination because of the rains in the upper Himalayas. We were not only lucky to finish our trek to Har-ki-Dun the earlier day, but also wise enough to return before the rains. We interacted with a couple from France near the bend. They had grand plans of camping out in the Himalayas for a week, and eventually descending via Yamunothri. Bahadur indicated that this was an extremely difficult trek at this time of the year. A third member from their group returned with us to Seema as he was unable to proceed further. The French couple had several years of mountaineering experience, and their confidence was as mighty as the mountains. I don’t know what happened to them eventually, but I am sure they had a whale of time tackling the Himalayas.

Two months after we finished the Har-Ki-Dun trek, Uttarakhand was battered by floods. The official death count ran into several thousands. Our prayers go out to the people of the Himalayas, who are at the mercy of nature. A lot of visitors come unprepared, and our prayers go out to the Lord to give them some basic common sense.

The beauty of Har-Ki-Dun is best expressed in photographs.

View in front of the GMVN guest house in Har-Ki-Dun

View in front of the GMVN guest house. Glaciers far and beyond Har-ki-Dun.

Har-Ki-Dun in day and at night

On the left is a night shot and on the right is a morning shot of the same mountains in Har-Ki- Dun

View of fresh snow around the GMVN guest house at Har-Ki-Dun

GMVN guest house at Har-Ki- Dun in the middle of snow.

River near the Har-Ki-Dun guest house

The beautiful snow clad surrounding with a flowing river – our only source of water at Har-ki-Dun.

View of the dorm beds at the GMVN guest house in Har-Ki-Dun

View of the dorm beds at the GMVN guest house in Har-Ki-Dun

Entrance of the GMVN guest house at Har-Ki-Dun

The lobby of our guest house 🙂 The fireplace is multipurpose. Used for cooking, keeping warm and drying wet clothes 🙂

Glaciers beyond Har-Ki-Dun.

Glaciers beyond Har-Ki-Dun. Bahadur led a group of scientists to these parts on his last trip to this part of the Gharwals.

Forest Guest House at Har-ki-Dun

Forest Guest House at Har-ki-Dun

Another view of the Gharwal glaciers.

Another view of the Gharwal glaciers.

Repairing a broken shoe

Dusk at Seema

Dusk at Seema.

River flowing near Seema

Back at Seema

A beautiful sunset at Osla on the Har-Ki-Dun trek

A beautiful sunset at Osla

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  1. M S Gupta
    September 10, 2014 @ 5:25 am

    Dear Friend,

    Could you please give me the phone number of Bal Bahadur since I am planning a trip to Har-Ki-Dun next year in April or May. I will appreciate very much. Also, any special tips or advice would be most welcome.


    • Pratap J
      September 10, 2014 @ 8:27 am

      Balbahadur: 9411399316

      I don’t have any special tips, but I would request you to respect the Himalayas and keep it as pristine as possible. Have a good trip!


  2. Pankaj Samel
    February 22, 2015 @ 12:17 pm

    Nice Blog

    I am planning to visit HKD in December 2015. Can you please tell me things to carry for this trek?

    Thanks in advance.


    • Pratap J
      February 26, 2015 @ 10:01 am

      Pankaj, do carry warm clothes and good trekking shoes. Also carry a walking stick or get one locally. I am not sure if the GMVN facilities have been rebuilt after the floods, so please check current situation before planning the trip.


  3. femida
    April 6, 2015 @ 5:15 am

    would like to know if the climb is steep or gradual.


    • Pratap J
      April 6, 2015 @ 2:47 pm

      Not a very difficult trek. Suitable for beginners too.


  4. bhawna
    May 13, 2015 @ 2:40 am

    can children of 4 yrs go on the trek?


    • Manu Khandelwal
      September 19, 2016 @ 11:21 am

      It would be better, if you wait for some years.


  5. lalit
    December 4, 2015 @ 3:35 am

    Hi, me and more friends are going for kedarkanth trek and if possiblenhar ki doon as well, i want to know whether i need a guide or not for this trek. And of anyboy wanna join. Us can contact us @7838158278 before 5 dec


    • Pratap J
      December 14, 2015 @ 8:50 am

      I have not done the Kedarnath trek. So I don’t have any useful information.


  6. Bijeta
    December 24, 2015 @ 9:28 am

    Pratap, it was wonderful to see your pictures. Which month did you do this trek? Can you recommend a trekking agency? We are planning to do this trek in the first week of March.


    • Pratap J
      December 28, 2015 @ 5:53 am

      Hi Bijeta, you can contact India Hikes for trekking to Har-Ki-Dun.


  7. Manu Khandelwal
    September 19, 2016 @ 11:22 am

    You have captures amazing pictures. Great!


  8. Arpit Jaiswal
    November 24, 2016 @ 11:16 pm

    Can i get tents on rent at har ki dun trek? and if yes what is the price? or should i carry one ?
    What will be suitable tent camping out in snow ? do i need good expensive tents?


  9. Har Ki Dun Trek
    November 12, 2017 @ 5:16 pm

    Har ki Dun is one of the snow treks in winter. I recommend everyone to do this trek.


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