Saru Tal Trek

Description : Saru Tal is a high altitude Lake located at 4200m in Western Garhwal. The Lake is visited annually by local village folk who consider the Lake as sacred. This treks is predominately a ridge walk over long meadow stretches offering wide views of the Gangotri Peaks in the distance and Swaragrohini, Kalanag and Banderpunch in close proximity. The local folk refer to Saru Tal as the 5th Dham with the other’s being Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yumnotri. Another reason for referring to Saru Tal as the 5th Dham is that this is the only location from where you can see all the 4 temples in a direction sense. Which means from the Lake region one can see towards Kedarnath towards the right, Bandinath towards the middle, Gangotri towards the left and Yumnotri down below. The trek starts from Sankri and over the first 3 days of the trek the trail climbs over the peak of Kedar Kanta (3800m) which is a well known peak in the region and offers wide views of the area. Over the next 2 days the route leads to Saru Tal. After visiting the Lake rather than retracing steps back there is an option of crossing the Fachu Kandi Pass ( 4500m ) and walking to Hanuman Chetti which is the road head for pilgrims heading to the Yumnotri temple.

Grade : Moderate

Best Month : June, October.

Highlights : Scenic approach through long meadow stretches to Saru Tal. Great views from Fachu Kandi Pass. Seldom visited region by trekkers.

Trekking Days : 8

Region : Western Garhwal

Maximum Height : 4500m on Fachu Kandi Pass.

Starting out from Sankri the trek to Juda Lake is an easy walk leading to a lovely camping ground. As you trek towards Dhundi the tree line disappears and you experience the beauty of the Bugyals of Garhwal. Prior to reaching Dhundi you pass through a rhododendron forest which is a riot of colors when flowers are in bloom.
Dhundi is a massive campsite with views of the Harkidun valley in the distance towards the west. Kedar Kanta in the background as we move onwards towards Pustara. The walk to Pustara offers  great views in all directions as you are constantly walking on top of a ridge.
The ridge walk to Pustara gets prettier with each turn on the trail. Final approach to Pustara with peaks at the head of the Harkidun valley visible. Campsite at Pustara with Taluka in the distance in the valley below.
Saru Tal remains frozen for most of the year except summer months from June -September.