About The Har Ki Dun With Ruinsara Tal Trek
The Har Ki Dun Trek has always been a very popular name among all the trekking enthusiasts, lovers of the Himalayas and the entire trekking community. Many generations of trekkers from across India and around the world have trekked to the Har Ki Dun valley and have cherished its unique place among all the popular treks in the Himalayas. Trekkers have been coming to the Har Ki Dun valley for many decades now. There is a reason for that, isn't it?
With the Har Ki Dun, they also often trek to the Maninda Tal which is only 3KMs ahead in the same valley and to Jaundhar glacier or Jamdar Bamak glacier on the other side. All these places are well known and have always been a part of this classic Har Ki Dun Valley Trek. But trekking to the adjacent Ruinsara valley and viewing the magnificent Ruinsara Tal with Har Ki Dun Trek is a fairly new and very exciting addition to this trek.
Earlier, trekkers used to enter the Har Ki Dun valley from the Osla-Kalkati Dhar route and return from the same route. Very few people planned to visit Ruinsara Tal with Har Ki Dun valley despite it being just adjacent to Har Ki Dun. Only people going to cross Bali Pass from Ruinsara valley used to come here or some mountaineers going further ahead in this valley towards Kiarkoti and Bandarpunch glacier region camped here. But combining Ruinsara Valley and lake with Har Ki Dun Trek just elevates this old trek to a whole new level and makes the new trek much more exciting to everyone. At the same time, it gives many more trekkers a chance to visit this heavenly Ruinsara Lake with their Har Ki Dun Trek itinerary. So both these places complement each other very well and combining the two makes it a win-win situation.
The Various Elements of Har Ki Dun Valley Trek
The trek to Har Ki Dun valley is a great trek in its own right. There are good reasons behind why it has been a hugely popular Himalayan Trek for decades. There are enchanting elements associated with this valley which mesmerise everyone equally. We have also talked about the Har Ki Dun valley trek at length in our dedicated itinerary for Har Ki Dun valley with Maninda Tal Trek.
But summarising it here once again, there are 3 biggest elements of Har Ki Dun valley trek; the giant and mesmerising Himalayan peaks, the ultra-rich flora & fauna of the Govind Vihar National Park and the local culture and folklore of the 'Borasu Patti'. As soon as one starts trekking from Taluka village on the Har Ki Dun trek route, every few hundred meters, the valley takes a new sharp turn along the Supin / Har Ki Dun Gad river and the whole surrounding changes. At some places, the river is very calm and broad, while at other places it looks frighteningly rapid and violent with white water in it. The forest along the river and the trail also keep changing. You'll find an abundance of Pine, Deodar and Oak trees at the beginning. Rhododendrons also grow there in abundance. As you keep progressing ahead in the valley, these large conifer trees will give way to smaller alpine shrubs and meadows. At higher altitudes, there will be Blue Pine, Silver Fir, Spruce, Maple and Walnut trees. Apart from this, there are about 12 species of large mammals found in this area including Black Bear, Brown Bear, common Leopard, Musk Deer, Bharal etc along with a large group of smaller mammals and bird species too.
Coming to the rich local culture of this valley, there are villages here which are many centuries old and have a rich cultural history and heritage behind them. Villages like Osla, Puoni, Gangad go as far behind in history as the time of the epic of Mahabharata. There is even a famous Duryodhana temple in the village of Osla which is now known as the Someshwar Mahadev Temple of Osla. The biggest attraction of this Har Ki Dun valley trek is obviously the Himalayas. Har Ki Dun valley takes you very close to the Swargarohini group of peaks. There are a total of 6 peaks in this mountain massif and the highest one stands at 6252 meters. This is not the only mountain more than 6000 meters above sea level in this area. In fact, there are other peaks which are even taller. There are Bandarpunch West & East; higher one standing at 6316 meters and the tallest mountain of this sub-range which is Kalanag or Black Peak at 6387 meters. All these mountains reveal themselves on the Har Ki Dun trek route. From Har Ki Dun, one can also reach Kinnaur valley in Himachal Pradesh by crossing Borasu Pass.
The Beauty of Ruinsara Tal
The beauty of Ruinsara valley and Ruinsara Tal / Lake is a world apart from anything else. When you enter Ruinsara valley walking on a small trail through a dense conifer forest, you suddenly enter a wide expanse of this valley with a river stream coming from the Bandarpunch glacier region. You walk ahead deeper in the valley and you find yourself surrounded by thicker forest area and parallel mountain ranges on both sides. On your left, there is Har Ki Dun valley and on your right, there is Yamunotri valley which can be reached by crossing Bali Pass. In the beginning, the trail through Ruinsara valley is very gentle and gradually ascending. There are wide open places available for camping with fresh water nearby. There is even a permanent hut constructed at this place. This area is called 'Rain Basera' or just night shelter. We also camp here for one night before finally reaching Ruinsara Lake.
Next day in the Ruinsara valley will take you to Ruinsara Lake. There is again a gradually ascending trail through the forest and small meadows with several river crossings too. After a walk of about 3-4 hours, the valley suddenly changes and you need to climb over two steep portions on the trail. The large trees mostly get left behind and there are only smaller bushes at this altitude. After about another hour of these climbs, it culminates into a very large and flat ground which is almost like a large plateau. One permanent hut is also constructed here. Very comfortable and flat ground is available here for camping. When you walk towards the far end of this plateau, you need to climb over a small ridgeline of boulders and the Ruinsara Lake reveals itself to you.
Ruinsara Lake is a fairly large lake compared to other high altitude lakes commonly found in the Himalayas. It has crystal-clear blue water that is completely calm and transparent. The lake is almost circular and surrounded by giant peaks including the Swargarohini mountains. It is possible to take a long walk around the lake and see its beauty from all the sides and also all the surrounding mountains reflecting on its clear surface. Early morning Sunrise and Sunset in the evening also give the lake very unique hues of blue. The whole area near the lake is such a nice and amazing place for camping that once you reach here, you wouldn't want to come back for days. On our way back from the Ruinsara valley, there is also a chance to visit the Devsu Bugyal which is a beautiful high altitude alpine meadow completely hidden by thick forest cover around it. We can't camp here but it is still an amazing place to walk through.
Considering all the above things, there is no doubt that everyone must plan to visit Ruinsara Tal too when they come for Har Ki Dun Trek. This whole combined trek is also of moderate difficulty level like the Har Ki Dun trek and you need to add only 2 extra days in the standard Har Ki Dun itinerary to be able to visit Ruinsara Valley and Ruinsara Tal.
Please read more on Why shouldn't you miss Ruinsara Tal with Har Ki Dun Trek.
Covid-19 Update: Is Har Ki Dun with Ruinsara Tal Trek Open?
The Uttarakhand Government has reopened all the tourist destinations across the state and adventure tourism activities like trekking have also been resumed. It is convenient and practical for the trekkers to come and do a trek in Uttarakhand and any Covid test report is not required. Trekkers have been doing the Har Ki Dun trek from the last week of September. It is mandatory that we follow all Covid19 precautions like social distancing, wearing masks, and using sanitizers frequently. It is also advised that we do not venture into the villages and mix up too much with the local people in the villages. For more detailed guidelines issued by the government, please read Travel Rules for Uttarakhand post Covid-19 lockdowns.
Best time to do Har Ki Dun with Ruinsara Tal Trek
There are two good and long seasons to do Har Ki Dun with Ruinsara Tal Trek. In the first half of the year in the pre-monsoon season, this trek can be done from March till the end of June. In the post-monsoon season, this trek starts again from mid-September and can be enjoyed till mid-December right before the harsh winter sets in. The experience of doing this trek in all major seasons of spring, summer and autumn is different and unique in its own way.
Difficulty level of Har Ki Dun with Ruinsara Tal Trek
Har Ki Dun with Ruinsara Tal trek is a 7 days' trek of moderate difficulty level. Every day on the trek, trekkers need to cover an average of 10-12 KMs. But the trail is nowhere too difficult or too steep. Most of the time, the trail ascends or descends gradually. Beginners can also do this trek but not without preparation due to the total length of the trek route and its remoteness. In fact, every trekker coming to do Har Ki Dun with Ruinsara Tal trek must prepare physically for a minimum period of 1.5-2 months.
Required personal items for Har Ki Dun with Ruinsara Tal Trek
- 3 sets of Tshirts
- 2 set of track pants
- 4 sets of socks ( 2 cottons, 2 woollen)
- 1 set of thermal inner ( upper & lower)
- Fleece Jacket or Pullovers
- Down Jacket (provided by us if u buy the full package with rentals )
- Waterproof High Ankle Trekking Shoes (provided by us if you buy the full package with rentals )
- Headlamp (provided by us if you buy the full package with rentals )
- Water Bottle & Tiffin Box with Spoon
- Skull Cap Wollen or Fleece
- Toilet Paper Roll, Wet Tissue
- Personal Care Kit ( lip balm, moisturizer, sunscreen, etc )
- Personal Medical Kit