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Welcome to our Guest Post Series. Our guest travel writer will share his solo trekking experience on 'Kedarnath & Vasuki Tal Trek' at Uttarakhand which is one of the most difficult treks in India.

Moreover, this post will tell us about some awesome budget backpacking hacks as well as a wonderful experience of the trip.

It would be very interesting to know about the whole trip experience that our guest travel writer has offered.

Guest Travel Writer: Sandeep Kumar Bhagat is a Financial Research professional in a US MNC by profession and also a stock trader (Financial markets). He is passionate about traveling and loves to travel as many times as he can. He is a budget traveler and a spontaneous learner who felt that traveling taught him very important lessons of life which were otherwise could never be learned from normal day to day life.

A trip to Kedarnath & Vasuki Tal

Total Trip Cost: Rs. 2400/- approx

Kedarnath Temple at Uttarakhand (INDIA), guestposts@traxplorers.com
Kedarnath Temple at Uttarakhand (INDIA)

Day 1 (5th July): Delhi I.S.B.T. to Guptkashi

The trip started at 9 PM from Kashmiri gate I.S.B.T. (Ticket cost Rs 630/-). Due to monsoon season, the bus was half empty. I could sleep in the last seat, where no one is ready to sit for long bus rides. That’s the main advantage of traveling in the non-peak season. Considering the comfort, I say - we get extra by paying less.

Day 2 (6th July): Guptkashi to Gaurikund and trek from Gaurikund to Kedarnath

Reached Guptkashi at around 12:30 PM (I was supposed to be there around 10 AM but because of a landslide near Rishikesh bus was delayed by 2:30 hrs). At 1 PM, I took a shared jeep (cost Rs 100/-) and reached Gaurikund by 2:15 PM. At 2:30 PM, I started to trek to Kedarnath from Gaurikund. The total trek path is 16 km and it is very steep. Google could give me limited information on Vasuki Tal, so I asked a few locals about it for more details. I met a middle-aged guy, who warned me about 'Vasuki Tal' trek as it is not an easy trek because, on the majority of days, trek remains covered with fog/mist and one can barely see anything. Very few travelers attempt for that trek. He thought either I was a fool or too fearless to be willing to go on such trek alone. He tried to persuade me to take a guide and drop the idea of going alone. I would have considered that but I am a budget traveler so hiring a guide was not an option for me. The guide was charging Rs. 2000/- for the trek (this was my approx. budget for the trip)! I thanked the guy for his concern and moved ahead.

Moving ahead, I was amazed to see the number of waterfalls on the trek. I could find one for every mile I crossed. On the way up, I found a group of old men, all aged above 55. These guys were on a “Char Dham Yatra”. They noticed my heavy bag pack and started questioning me on why I was traveling alone, what is in the bag, blah blah. After chit-chatting for a while, I started liking them. I finished the whole trek with the group of oldies and reached Kedarnath base camp at 8:15 PM. By this time, I become so fond of the oldies group that I decided to share a tent with them. We bargained with the local food stall owner for stay and food. Finally, I managed to get a night stay in the shared tent (Rs. 100/-) and dinner (Rs.100/-)

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Gazing at mighty mountains covered with clouds!

Day 3 (7th July): Trek from Kedarnath to Vasuki Tal and back to Kedarnath

Next day, I woke up at 5 AM and said goodbye to the oldies as they were leaving for some other destination. I had my breakfast and packed my lunch (Cost Rs.150/-).  I started to trek to Vasuki Tal at 9 AM. It is a 7 km trek out of which 6.5 km is totally steep. Initial 0.7 to 1 km trek path was completely wiped out due to heavy rainfall. This cost me some time to find the trek path but I did not give up and keep moving ahead. I did not find a single person on the trek. It was completely foggy, I guess the visibility was not even 50 Mts. I saw some sheep and dogs on the way up, which gave me hope of finding a shepherd nearby.

I got scared by the fierce winds (not too strong but more than normal), shooting stones which I couldn't see due to fog but could hear the falling sound. To calm myself, I took out my phone and started listening to 'Shiva Tandava stotra' (holy chanting) song which I usually listen when I got scared or sad. This really made me feel better and finally, I could notice the beauty around me.

The biggest disadvantage of traveling alone is there is no one to click your pictures ☹

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Got an amazing click with an awesome view!

Just before 1 km from Vasuki Tal, I sat for a couple of minutes wanted to capture the beautiful background (yeah, I get bored with taking selfies). I picked some stone and place my phone on them and set a timer. I ran just in time to come in the frame. I am good at clicking pictures that way. 😀

When I reached  Vasuki Tal, the weather cleared a bit (reached at 1:30 PM). I Stayed there for 1 hour. An hour to peaceful cloud gazing and admiration of nature’s beauty, amazing experience!

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Vasuki Tal at Uttarakhand (INDIA)

Survival hack:

Traveling solo helped me pick up a few survival tricks. When I was doing a solo trek to Dodital (Called as the birthplace of Lord Ganesha) in March, I offered biscuits to a dog that I saw on my way. This gesture made the dog follow me throughout the trek. So, when I decided to return from Vasuki Tal (at around 2.50 PM), again I saw a dog and offered him some of my biscuits. Mountain dogs are usually very smart. If they follow you on such a dangerous trek, they can get you some help if something goes wrong.

The weather was getting worse, with visibility going down to 20-25 meter. I tried to walk as fast as possible and reached Kedarnath at around 4:30 - 4:45 PM. I was exhausted. This was really not an easy trek after all. Still, I would say it is an amazing trek (Kedarnath and Vasuki Tal both).

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Some relaxed moments!

After coming back to the camp, I sat with the food stall owner discussing things in general like a business, politics (all efforts to kill time and boredom).  🙂

I stayed in the camp for that night as well. (Dinner and evening snacks Rs.100+80 and night stay Rs.100/-).

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Day 4 (8th July): Downward trek from Kedarnath to GauriKund and to Delhi

Woke up at 4:30 AM, got freshened up and started downward trek to Gaurikund. On the way down, I again met the same guy who warned me about the trek to Vasuki Tal. He asked me “Have you completed the trek?”  I don’t know why he gets so happy after knowing that I completed the trek. He said goodbye and wished me luck. I reached Gaurikund by 8:45 AM, took a shared jeep to Guptkashi (Cost: Rs 90/-). Got the bus to Rishikesh at around 10:30 AM (Cost Rs.330/-) and reached there by 5 PM. As it was not a direct bus I had to change for Delhi (Cost Rs.282/-). Finally, I reached Delhi by 11:45 PM.

There ends my one more solo trip!

Keep Smiling and keep Travelling

Jai Bhole Ki

Tips for Travelers

  • This place is suitable for two kinds of people either for devotees or for trekkers. As in the monsoon season, there will be very few people; otherwise, this place is full of devotees.
  • The trek path is narrow. So, if anyone planning then plan accordingly keeping rush in mind.
  • For budget-friendly stay, try to get accommodation at some local food stall owner's place. There you can get stay @ Rs.100-150/- per night on a sharing basis. There are also some government shelters as well, charging @ Rs.250-1000/- per person. For food, one can negotiate as well.

⇒Read more posts from our Guest Post Series.

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Budget Backpacking: Trip to kedarnath & Vasuki Tal

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64 thoughts on “Budget Backpacking: Kedarnath & Vasuki Tal Trek

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  10. Wow! What an incredible journey! The Vasuki Tal trek sounds dangerous but the view of the lake is a sight to behold. Nature has a lot to offer to those who dare. Thanks for sharing this amazing story and the breathtaking photographs!

  11. What a wonderful post. This looks like a must do trek. I am not so trekking fan but my hubby is will certainly make him read this post so that he gets inspired to go there. Thanks for sharing.

  12. What a wonderful post! I have been to Kedarnath but not Vasuki tal. You have narrated your travel itinerary so well that i exactly know when to stop, where to stay, what to eat and how much to spend! Thanks for a wonderful post once again!

  13. The trekking must have been so much fun and thrilling with such gorgeous views. Have heard alot about Kedarnath Yatra, but wasn’t aware of trekking spots there. Would love to go for the same trek sometime for sure 🙂

  14. Oh!How I wish I had come across this blog earlier. I never knew I could trek to Vasuki Taal from Kedarnath. Now I would definitely plan again for this lovely sight of an auspicious lake 😍

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