Private Har Ki Dun trek in Gangar and Osla Homestay:

Note: As this is a customisable and private trek, you may choose any date to start if we are able to arrange.

If you are looking for a homestay trek which also goes interior in the Himalayas, then this your trek! This variant takes the  same trail as our regular Har Ki Dun trek, yet very different from the original. Har Ki Dun (Har is Shiva/God and Dun is valley symbolising Valley Of God) is a revered sanctum for locals and at the same time it is very attractive to the hikers, globally. This is an humble attempt that you, being a traveller may observe and get connected closely to the local culture and people. If you like to stay in a simple village homestay and observe the local cultural tradition, then the trail to Har Ki Dun with the Gangar and Osla homestay options is an excellent choice in the Western Himalayas.

Har Ki Dun trek in homestay style (Photos by Uday D)
Sankri the entry point of Govind National Park
Slow paced village life

This trail is primarily a river valley walk through interior villages settled inside core national park area to a confluence of three streams at Har Ki Dun (~ 3500 m/11500 ft). It is around 10/11 Km away from Osla, which is the last village on our hiking trail. There are villages on both side of the valley, some off trail, Taluka, Gangar, Powani and Osla villages on your trail. You will stay inside village in homestay at Gangar and Osla.

The stream of Har Ki Dun valley is a major tributary of Yamuna River
Gangar village camouflaged on the left side of the valley
Gangar village: A different look in summer

Brief Itinerary for Har Ki Dun in Osla homestay trek:

Day 1: Dehradun to Sankri (~1950 m/6400 ft) – 200 Km by private car or bus at 6 am– 9 to 10 hours. Homestay or lodge accommodation
Day 2: Sankri to Taluka village  (~2100 m)– 11 Km by car – 1 hour – Trek from Taluka to Gangar village (~2350 m) – 9 Km – 4/5 hours. Homestay. Explore the village in the afternoon.
Day 3: Trek to Osla village (~2750 m/9000 ft) – 5 Km – 2 to 3 hours via Powani village. Homestay. Explore Osla village and temple in the afternoon.
Day 4: Early morning day hike to Har Ki Dun valley (~3500 m/11500 ft) – 11 Km – 5 hours – packed lunch – Explore valley and return to Osla – Total 10 to 12 hours, approximate 22 Km, a moderate day. Homestay at Osla. Carry light daypack.
Day 5: Trek to Taluka – 5 hours – drive to Sankri – 1 hour. Twin sharing homestay or lodge.
Day 6: Drive to Dehradun – 200 Km – 9 to 10 hours.
Day 7 and longer: (Additional/Optional). Possibility to stay at Har Ki Dun Forest rest house and explore any of the three valleys forking out from the cradle shaped Har Ki Dun valley. We can also connect Dhatmir and Dharkot villages which you can read here.

Important note:

  • You need to reach on your own to Dehradun on Day 1 morning (by 6 am) or the previous night. Return to Dehradun on Day 6 evening (by 7 pm).  Arrange your tickets for inward journey and return from Dehradun accordingly. We can arrange a pick up from Dehradun to Sankri if you wish so.
  • Last ATM is at Mori, 25 Km before Sankri though often cashless. Withdraw cash well in advance, best in Dehradun or latest  Naugaon or Purola.
  • Mobile connectivity: Airtel and Jio network should work at trek base Sankri. Complete any phone calls from Mori, if need be. After Sankri you will not get any steady network.

Infographic and Altitude (gain) – Distance graph:

Here you will get an idea of distance and corresponding altitude gain of the trail. From this you can also understand the general gradient.

Infographic: Har Ki Dun in Osla homestay trek

Why Har Ki Dun trek in homestay?

While you will walk on the same trail that of our regular Har Ki Dun trek, yet there are distinct advantages of this mode of trek.

Due to easy logistics, you will get adequate flexibility and advantages over our regular Har Ki Dun trek. It doesn’t require the overhead of camping logistics, so cost is suitable for small groups of 2 to 4 persons. You can literally choose any date as per your preferred window, you don’t need to wait for a fixed departure or a group to form.

You will get all views here as you will get in our Har Ki Dun camping trek. In the regular trek campsites are away from the villages. Here you will stay inside the villages, namely Gangar and Osla. This is an unique opportunity to extensively observe and meet local people. You have half a day in the each village to explore. This trek is surely a surprise than your usual Himalayan trek, even if you are visiting a popular trail. In India Himalayas, you will barely get a chance to trek on a trail, while staying in homestay. Few pictures can probably justify our claim!

At Gangar village
At Osla village
A Osla during sunset
At trek starting point Taluka
A traditional hand loom machine

You can’t camp at Har Ki Dun as per current permit by forest department, so you don’t miss this part as well. But as said earlier, you need to push extra for Har Ki Dun in this variant.

Homestay and Food:

Expect simplest of arrangements for your night accommodations. You will get a room to sleep with blankets. Food will be same as the locals eat. You may get seasonal vegetable(s) or any delicacy, if available. If you like simple local way of living, you will definitely like it.

Homestay @ Gangar village
Homestay @ Osla village

Who can opt for Har Ki Dun Osla homestay trek?

Though there are many flexibility, yet there are some factors that you need to consider as well.

This is a “Moderate grade trek, if you wish to reach Har Ki Dun and return to Osla in a day. On ground this translates to 22 Km, to and fro. While reaching so, your altitude gain is ~ 750 m/2460 ft. Due to longer distance the climb is not steep, and so is the descent. Nevertheless, this is NOT an easy trekking day, rather can be strenuous, if not adequately prepared. It will take around 4/5 hours from Osla to Har Ki Dun, assuming couple of hours around and explore, another 3 hours to get down to Osla, making it a good 10 hours excursion day. To make it less difficult, note that you need NOT to carry your luggage/rucksack for Har Ki Dun push. To summarise this particular day can be strenuous on some, be mentally prepared, and more importantly be in a good physical condition to sustain the day.

On the other hand it is relatively easy to acclimatise in the suggested itinerary. You will reach Osla (~ 2750 m/9020 ft) within tree cover after spending two nights at Sankri and Gangar. On Har Ki Dun excursion day, you will walk high and sleep low.

Season and  best time for Har Ki Dun homestay trek?

Osla homestay with Har Ki Dun trail is truly a year around trek, apart from monsoon season of July/August when it not convenient to trek. Every season has something to offer, which is special on its own.

From 2016 winter, local Forest authorities are not permitting this trail from December to February.  Entire trail falls under buffer and core region of Govind National Park . This is enforced due to the existing corridor of winter migration for wildlife inside the trail. At present no permit is given for winter Har Ki Dun trek but you can visit Osla and explore around.

As said above, this trek is still pretty beautiful in permitted seasons. If you are looking for snow, Spring (March/April) is ideal. Amount of residual snow depends on the actual snowfall during winter months though you can be sure to get some or ample amount of residual snow in spring.

From May onward during the summer time, the valley turns into green, bright and luminous. Blue Pine, Deodar (Himalayan Cedar), Kharsu (Oak), Spruce, Silver Fir and Birch trees are lush and glossy green. Due to the heat glaciers melt faster and pour more water to the tributaries on Tons river. Day time temperatures are warm to pleasant and nights are cooler. If you don’t like the cold, this is the season to choose.

After monsoon is over, in September the valley remains lush green. As the fall approaches, slowly the grass turns into pale yellow. Maple, Chestnut, Walnut and other deciduous tree species take the autumn leaf foliage. The surrounding transformed into spectacular yellow, orange and bronze hue.

As you see, it is up to you to choose the best suitable time to trek in this beautiful valley. Its a beautiful route all around the year.

Temperature & clothing:

A trekker needs to be careful while selecting the proper clothing in winter as the campsite temperatures are sub zero in winter even at Osla.

Summer (May/June): Day time weather remains warm, specially if it is sunny and scorching and can go as high as 25/30°C. Night/early morning temp at Osla will be around 15°C to 10°C.

Fall/Autumn (Oct/Nov) or Spring (Mar/Apr): From October temperature starts cooling down. At Har Ki Dun temperature can plummet to freezing in the night/early morning. Be prepared for 0°C. Expect similar temperatures if you trek during spring.

Winter (Dec/Feb): In Dec/Jan the daytime temp remains cool and nights are cold. Early morning or night temp at Sankri, Gangar and Osla will be be around 0°,  -5° and -5° to -10° C.

Three layers of clothing is mandatory while on outdoor.

  1. A base layer, can be a thermal layer or a quick dry t-shirt.
  2. A warm jacket (Double layer or Fleece jacket ) as middle layer.
  3. A windproof with hood as the outer layer.

Don’t forget to check the List of things to carry for Har Ki Dun in Osla homestay trek or download the PDF.

Access to trek base Sankri:

Sankri is 200 Km away from Dehradun. You can get direct busses to Sankri from Dehradun:

  • 3 privately operated busses (midi “Chicken bus”) start from Gandhi road, Dehradun at 5:30 am, 6:30 am and 7:am daily. These buses stand on Gandhi road, 2/3 minutes walking from railways station and opposite to Agrawal Bhawan, Beside Hotel Grant. Buses take around 11/12 hours with couple of breaks in between.
  • A state govt. operated (Uttarakhand transport) midi bus at 8:00 am from Mussoorie bus depot, just adjacent to Dehradun railways station. It is better to take earlier private bus as there is no other bus service left, if this gets cancelled.
  • While returning from Sankri you can get the same busses starting between 6:30 to 7:30 am and reaching Dehradun in 11/12 hours.

Also, you can opt for a private car. We can arrange a pickup  from Dehradun railway station to Sankri and back. This You pay directly to the driver/owner. The fare is ₹ 6000 for a Tata Sumo/Mahindra Maxx one way and can accommodate 6 persons comfortably. You pay directly to the driver.

Here is a road map with major points enroute from Dehradun to Sankri.

Dehradun to Sankri road map
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Why treks with HT?

Highest Point3500 m/11500 ft
Trail Length50 Km
Expertise:10 years on ground experience
Support staff:Qualified local & office staff
Group size:Small groups up to 15
Insurance:Travel insured trek and tour itinerary
Easy Bookings:25% Booking Deposit

Tour Reviews

5.00 based on 1 review
December 1, 2023

If you want to trekk the Himalayas and enjoying it without “killing” yourself, this is the way to do it! The homestay version of the Har Ki Dun trekk gave us a very unique and authentic experience of what life and nature is like in this high and remote area. Breathtaking beautiful views, spacious and clean accomodation though basic. The thing I found challenging, besides the altitude and trekking up-down-up-down, was the toilet, wich was not close to the bedrooms. At night you had to go outside, climb steps and fumble in the dark. I had brought a small potty that I don’t know what I would have done without!
The guide was really caring, making sure we all managed to get “there” at our own pace never rushing us on. “Slowly, slowly…” as he said. During the entire adventure I felt that we were in good, totally trustworthy hands.
We were only four trekkers (friends) in our group. Many companies don’t do small groups like that. But it was a perfect number to fully enjoy the trekk.The organiser of our trekk was as accomodating, helpful and trustworthy as our guide
If you want a perfect partner with whom you plan and complete your trekk in the Himalayas – I reckomend Himalaya Trekkers a 100%.

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