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Kedar Tal - High Altitude Lake of Shiva

Kedartal also known as ‘Shiva’s Lake’ is one of the highest lakes in Uttarakhand. This immaculate glacial lake is seated at an elevation of 4,912 metres above sea level in the Uttarkashi district. Kedar Tal lake is formed by the melting of Kedar glacier, thereby giving birth to Kedar Ganga River which is an important tributary of Bhagirathi River. 

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The 18 kms trek to Kedartal from Gangotri is arduous but the beauty and experience is worth giving a try. Kedartal trek requires previous trekking experience in the mountains due to its moderate to difficult terrain. The trekking trail goes along with Kedar Ganga, sliding zones, rugged and rock terrains.  

Kedar Tal is a popular trek in Uttarakhand and is known for its challenging trek route as well as the breathtaking views of snow-clad peaks, lush green valleys and cascading river streams and waterfalls. No wonder Kedar Tal trek is one of the most rewarding treks in Uttarakhand.

Kedartal is surrounded by Thalay Sagar, Bhrigupanth, Jogin 1, Jogin 2 and other Himalayan peaks. Since the region is naturally diverse, the lucky ones can spot Bharal (Blue Sheep), Goral, Himalayan black bear and varied species of birds during the trek. 

Kedartal lake holds crystal clear water, is situated at the base of the Thalaysagar Peak (6904 mts) and Brigupanth Peak (6772 mts). The view of the reflections of Thalay Sagar peak on Kedartal is truly enchanting. 

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How to reach Kedar Tal?

The trek to KedarTal commences from Gangotri. You can easily reach by any means of road transport to Gangotri from Dehradun, Haridwar and Rishikesh. From Gangotri, this 18 km trek is advised to complete in three days so that you can acclimatize well at high altitude. But you can also complete this trek in two days. The camping points of the trek are Bhoj Kharak, Kedar Kharak and Kedartal.

Kedar Tal Trekking Route: Dehradun– Uttarkashi – Gangotri – Bhoj Kharak – Kedar Kharak – Kedar Tal – Bhoj Kharak – Gangotri – Dehradun

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Places to See in Kedartal

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Activities in Kedartal

  • Local Sightseeing: Visit Gangotri Dham before starting journey to Kedartal. Gangotri is one of the char dhams of Uttarakhand state. While coming back from Kedar Tal one nights halt at Harsil is recommended.   
  • Trekking – The trek to Kedartal is one of the most enthralling and rewarding trek in the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand. At an elevation of 4,900 meters, Kedartal is one of the highest lakes in Uttarakhand.
  • Camping – Camping in clear blue sky, under the imposing peaks of Mt. Thalaysagar and Brighupanth is always a memorable experience. A bonfire could be lit and stories and laughter could be shared among the fellow adventurers.
  • Photography – The emerald lake of Kedartal with imposing Mt. Thalay Sagar in the background makes up for a perfect shot with the lens. Amateur as well as professional photographers could click some breathtaking photos during this trek.

Kedartal Travel Tips

  • Kedartal trek is a little strenuous trek as compared to others and thus a perfect trek for experienced trekkers. Proper fitness physically and mentally is required.
  • Since this Kedar Tal trek requires one to travel to a height of 5,000 meters in few days, acclimatization is necessary to avoid high-altitude sickness. Camping overnight after every few thousands metres is advisable.
  • Hire an experienced trekking guide to accompany for Kedartal trek. 
  • Trekking in monsoon season should be generally avoided, especially by novice trekkers, as the region sees incessant rains which could lead to cloudbursts, landslides and roadblocks. Check with local authorities before you plan your journey.

Staying in Kedartal

Kedartal is a popular winter trek which attracts adventurous souls to this place. There are no hotels, resorts or guesthouses en route to Kedartal. The trekkers usually take camping equipments along with them and camp along the trail when they halt at night. Tents can also be rented from the town close to the base camp. The tour operators generally provide the camping equipments. 

Kedartal Trekking Itinerary (Suggested)

Day 01: Dehradun – Uttarkashi – Gangotri (Drive 258 kms, 10 hrs)
Take the morning bus to Uttarkashi from Dehradun or you can also take the shared cabs to Uttarkashi from Rispana Pul in Dehradun. The swift 5-6 hours drive will pass through Mussoorie Bypass Road, offering stunning views. As you will proceed towards Chilyanisaur, a gorgeous view of the massive Tehri Dam will reveal itself in front of your eyes.

Take a short break and continue another 4 hours drive to Gangotri via Harsil. If you will leave at 6 am from Dehradun then you will reach Uttarkashi by 12 pm. On reaching Uttarakashi, hire another shared cab to reach Gangotri. You can perform the auspicious evening aarti at Gangotri shrine and take the permit to enter the Gangotri National Park. For making the best possible use of time and energy, you can hike towards Surya Kund and have an overnight stay at a hotel. 

Day 02: Gangotri – Bhoj Kharak (Trek – 8 kms)
Early morning, take blessings from the Gangotri temple and buy the necessary items from the market. Start today’s expedition by crossing the bridge over Bhagirathi River and start climbing towards the right. Maintain your pace as the first few kilometres of the trek involves a steep climb. Soon this trail will open up to the forest of blue pine, fir and bhoj trees. A heart-warming sight of Kedar Ganga flowing on your left will come into your view. 

After traversing for a while, you will be blessed with the first sight of Thalaysagar. Before reaching Bhoj Kharak, you need to carefully cross the steep slant rock amidst the trail, having a little space in between. It is also known as the Spider Wall as it formidable during winters especially during early June or late October and one wrong move may drag you hundreds of feet below. So cross this section patiently and reach Bhoj Kharak seated at an elevation of 3,780 metres. Bhoj Kharak is a dwarf campsite. If you manage to reach here by noon then move towards Lower Kedar Kharak on the same day. 

Day 03: Bhoj Kharak – Kedar Kharak (Trek – 5 kms)
Start off early by taking the 5 km stretch that passes through the rugged terrains. After traversing for a couple of kilometres, you will witness a sudden change in the scenery. The sweet scent of the Himalayan flora accentuated by the essence of numerous Bhojpatra trees and the wild bushes will entice you to explore further. You will soon catch a glimpse of the Manda peaks proudly exhibiting its lustre-duster. 

As you come closer to Kedar Kharak, the stunning views of Bhrigupanth Peak will also catch up. Take each step carefully while crossing the land sliding zone of Gila Pahar. If the trail to Gila Pahar is not suitable for walking then trek all the way down to Kedar Ganga. Cross the river and hike against the river flow until you cross the Gila Pahar intersection, then cross the river again and hike back to the original trail that leads to Kedar Kharak. Soon you will come across a wide valley while proceeding towards Lower Kedar Kharak at 4,100 metres and in no time, you will reach the alpine meadows of Kedar Kharak seated at 4,280 metres. From here, you can savour a spellbinding view of Bhrigupanth and Thalaysagar peaks. Kedar Kharak is considered as one of the most beautiful campsites in the Gangotri National Park region. 

Day 04: Kedar Kharak – Kedar Tal – Jogin ABC – Kedar Tal (Trek – 10 kms)
Post breakfast, start the 5 km trek to Kedar Tal from Kedar Kharak. You have to traverse on moraines and the glaciers blanketed by moraines. If you are commencing this trek in June, then you might have to trek on snow for a few kilometres before Kedar Tal. Cross the bubbling creek carrying the glacial water and then climb the steep rocky terrain. Follow the cairn markings and climb the final ridge which will open up to the view of Kedar Bamak Glacier. Soon you will see the ravishing Kedar Tal Lake. One can see the mirror reflection of the towering Thalaysagar peak on the still waters of this lake. 

Leave Kedar Tal by noon and explore the Jogin Advance Base Camp perched at 4,900 metres. The perk of commencing this trek is that you can relish the best views of the Thalaysagar peak and from its west ridge; you can see the Thalaysagar icefall and the Jogin group of peaks. Trek back to Kedar Tal and crash in your sleeping beds. 

Day 05: Kedar Tal – Gangotri (Trek – 18 kms)
Capture the sunrise and hike back to Gangotri, which will take around 7-8 hours. If you manage to reach Bhoj Kharak by 3 pm then make your way towards Gangotri, else camp at Bhoj Kharak. 

Day 06: Gangotri – Uttarkashi – Dehradun (Drive – 258 kms, 10 hrs)
Wrap your journey and say goodbye to the hills. Take the memories of the trek with you and drive back to Dehradun

What is Kedartal famous for?

Kedartal is famous among tourist as Trekking .

Kedartal is recommended destination for Foreigners, Groups, Solo.

Kedartal is popular destination for following activities/ interests - Adventure, Lakes, Trekking.

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