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Kedarkantha Trek – Altitude and Terrain

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                         There are more than 123 trekking trails in Uttarakhand ranging  from roaring 25 thousand ft altitude to as low as 614 ft. The highest is Nanda Devi Trek which takes more than a week to complete. Kedarkantha, with its altitude of 12,500 ft lies somewhere in between the spectrum. 

Kedarkantha is situated in Singtur ranges in Uttarkashi District. Though it is located at a lower altitude than Nanda Devi, Kedarkantha offers spectacular views in winter. This trek welcomes you any day out of 365. Since the nearest village Sankri is elevated 1950 m above sea level, the temperature hardly ever seems to cross 20 degree celsius. If you are someone living near the sea level, you might experience altitude changes drastically. For Kedarkantha Trek, one needs to be healthy and physically fit. 

Since it is a short distance trek which doesn’t last more than a week, it is best suitable for budding trekkers. Kedarkantha in the summer season is painted with bright colours of trees, mountains and the sky. The area hardly ever receives rainfall in this season hence trekking here can be done smoothly. Whereas in the monsoon, the area receives a reasonable amount of rainfall making the trails slippery. It may take longer to complete the trek than expected. Due to this, one might encounter newborn waterfalls in the terrain along the way. Kindly carry your waterproof tents and appropriate trek wear. Due to its altitude, the region dries up pretty quickly and you can see lush green meadows stretching far in the valleys filled with flowers. In autumn the pine and oak trees fade to brown, the temperature again drops to freezing point. The high altitude lake of Juda Ka Talab begins to freeze again. 

In winter, the green meadows are once again draped in snow. The slopes are perfect for skiing adventures. The area receives continuous snowfall for the months till the end of April. Its altitude makes it possible to have an overlooking view of the Himalayan snow filled valleys and peaks like Bandarpoonch, Swargarohini, Kala Nag and Ranglana. 

Far from civilization, Kedarkantha offers you fresh air free from toxicity. The night sky views are even more beautiful, covered with stars and constellations making it an absolutely stunning place for stargazing. The moonlit Himalayan mountains in front you can’t help but make you feel ecstatic and content. For freshly started trekkers, it advised to travel with groups. Other solo expert travellers who are familiar with the terrains can have the time of their life here at Kedarkantha. It is not just about the trek or climb but the humble people you meet in the valleys too that add to your everlasting journey. 

⇒ Music of Uttarakhand

The state of Uttarakhand has various types of folk dances and songs one should not miss out on. The folk music that binds the people of Uttarakhand together is practiced till present day. Drums are the most distinctive hill instruments. These singers, storytellers, folk artists are commonly known as the baadi. The baadi have travelled among the hill villages for millenia, carrying folk legends from valley to valley. Baadi songs can be classified in four categories: Panwaras (songs of ancient, medieval history), Achari Geet (tales of fairies, princesses etc), Jhumailas (love songs).

There is a category of folk songs which talks about ghosts and spiritual worships named Jagars. Some are songs of separation- Khuded, Laman and Pawada. Coming to love songs, Chhopati and Bajuband talk about love and sacrifices. 

⇒ Dances of Uttarakhand

Hurka Baul, showcases the brave deeds of Bafaul brothers and the heroism of Sangram Singh Karki.  Chounphula and Jhumeila are seasonal dances in Garhwal. Jhumeila is usually restricted to women. Thali, Jadda and Jhainta, Chhapeli are dances from various regions within Uttarakhand. Each village and district has its own unique set of traditions and folk dances.  One of the renowned dance is Bhutia Dance. It is connected with death ceremonies. There are certain beliefs in the Bhutia tribe regarding a dead soul and it is connected to the animals around them. The dance is similar to the one performed by pastorals of Himachal Pradesh or the hunting dance of Nagaland. 

The rest also include Barada Nati, Pandava dance which is performed during the festivals of Dussehra and Diwali by narrating the story of Mahabharata accompanied by dance and music. Also, Langvir dance, Chancheri, Jhora etc.

Did You Know? 

Udham Singh Nagar was a part of the district Nainital before it gained the identity of a separate district in September 1995

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