Har ki Dun and Ruinsara
From the valley of Gods to the enchanting Ruinsara lake!
Har ki Dun, which means Valley of Gods, is situated deep inside Govind Pashu National park. Rich in flora and fauna, the trails are quite often covered in different shades of orchids and other wild flowers. The area was made popular by the Doon school master Jack Gibson after his Banderpunch expeditions.
The path winds up alongside the Tons river from Netwar village through the scenic villages of Gangad and Osla. Har ki dun has numerous camping places and one Forest Guest House. An extra rest day is ideal to proceed to get a clearer view of the Jaundhar glacier.
The Ruinsara Lake is in the valley which lies on the opposite side of Swargarohini peak as compared to Har ki Dun. It is a wide valley known for its wild flowers and grazing meadows used by local shepherds. One also gets a view of Black Peak, the highest peak in the Banderpunch group. The route from Har ki Dun to Ruinsara goes via a rarely trodden trail through a dense forest.
We start early from Dehradun and reach the village Sankri by evening. The final stretch is through the Govind Pashu National Park after we cross a check post at Netwar. We rest at night in a guest house or in camps
Post breakfast we are transported from Sankri to Taluka. The drive is a bit bumpy. The trek commences from Taluka on a stony path. With the river Supin gushing through rapids beside us, under the shade of walnut, pine and other trees, the walk is quite pleasant. Often the passing villagers greet us on the way.
The path crosses over a few streams which merge with Supin. After a few hours of walk the village of Gangad can be seen towards the left, across the river. We continue our trek and after about an hour′s walk, the quaint village of Osla unfolds itself. Seema is a tiny settlement opposite to the river from Osla. We set camp here or stay in a hut with a local family in the village.
From Osla the trail gradually rises higher and passes through bushes of flowers like orchids, fleece flowers and sunflowers. The ascending path climbs high above the confluence of Supin river and the river from Ruinsara valley.
After traversing higher up along the left side of the river, we camp at a very panoramic spot in Har ki Dun , located at the junction of two valleys: one originating from Jaundhar glacier and the other from beyond Hata glacier.
We can choose to relax and soak in the environment or we have several trails as options.
The vast open meadows following the course of the Supin river can be explored. Further ahead of the meadows one can walk among the forests of Bhojpatra trees (Himalayan birch) or get a closer glimpse of the Jaundhar glacier and Swargarohini peak.
On this day we initially follow the trail coming back from Har ki Dun to Osla. After about 1 km we follow a path downhill on our left which leads to a small bridge and cross over to the opposite side. The path is through a dense forest for about 2 km. Then it turns left and enters the Ruinsara valley. From here it takes about 2 hours to reach the camping ground near the waterfall.
We ascend into the Ruinsara valley. There is a stark difference in the vegetation with pine and fir giving way to birch and rhododendron. Ruinsara lake is a lovely lake surrounded by meadows and rhododendron bushes. It is considered sacred by the locals. Since, the trek is short, we have sufficient time on this day to acclimatize and explore the trails nearby. Overnight in camps near the lake.
We start the day early as we today retrace our steps to Seema, situtated at a distance of 17 km. The path is predominantly downhill except for a short and steep ascent through the forest that we came across on third days’ trek.
Early in the morning, we bid farewell to the Seema and trek till Taluka. A vehicle from Taluka takes us back to Sankri, where we retire for the day in camps or a guest house.
The trek to Ruinsara Lake concludes today as we leave Sankri and reach Dehradun by late afternoon on this day..