If we ever get asked to define God, with all our experience and understanding, we can just say, God is nothing but our faith in something. This is very true in the case of Maldaru Tal too, the lake is worshipped as a goddess in the remote villages of the Western Garhwal Himalayas because of their faith in it.

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The story about the Maldaru Tal and the faith of villagers in it goes like this, once the village of Osla was severely hit with drought, realising that there is nothing they can do about this tragedy, the villagers were left with no options but to pray to old goddess of village. Cradled among the giant himalayan peaks, Maladaru Tal was choosen as the sight to evoke the goddess, soon the goddess answered and the villages were blessed with rain. This established the faith of the villagers in the goddess and Maldaru Lake became a symbol of their faith, and since then all the villagers started to worship the lake as goddess herself.

Maldaru Lake, at an altitude of 4,200m, is located near Har Ki Dun Valley in Uttarkashi district in Uttarakhand and falls under Govind National Park. The sacred lake can be reached from both Tons and Supin river valleys. The crystal clear water of the lake changes its colour from blue to grey, depending on the shade of the sky above. The deafening silence around the lake can be an exhilarating experience and in summer when the lake is not frozen, this silence allows us to see reflections of the Himalayan giants in the lake.

Being in the proximity of Har Ki Dun Valley, Maldaru Tal trek also offers magnificent sight of giant peaks of Garhwal Himalaya. Some of the prominent peaks seen from the trail are Swargarohini – I, II, III, Bandarpoonch and Blackpeak ( Kalanag ) . It is not only the mountains that are the highlights of the trek but the enchanting meadows of Raashi and Vishkhopri are also some of the reasons why we should pay a visit to Maldaru Lake. Blooming Brahma Kamal, the state flower of Uttarakhand, and Phen Kamal, all along the 3 km long periphery of Maldaru Tal are also among the reasons why we should put Maldaru Tal Trek on top of our trekking list.

There is no doubt every inch of the himalaya has enchanting beauty, bracing climate and soothing meadows but Maldaru have some more than just that, so come along as we explore the faith and beauty of Maldaru Tal.

Trip Highlights
  • Walking through some quaint Himalayan villages and camping at Vishkopri and Raashi Apline meadows,
  • Grand views of Swargarohini, Black peak and Banderpoonch from close quarters.
  • Challenging ridges and mindblowing scenery
  • Lake of faith with untold stories to say
Trip Facts
  • Base camp : Sankri
  • Duration : 7 Nights 8 Days
  • Summer Temperature : Day 5°C to 15°C / Night 2° C to 5° C
  • Max Altitude : 4200 Meters
  • Best Time : May, June, September, October, November
  • Trek Level : Moderate
  • Trek distance : On foot 64 Km – By taxi 425 km
Why to choose?

As a Himalayan lover it is necessary to understand the reason for choosing Maldaru Lake Trek..

  • It is one of High-altitude crystal clear lake of Uttarakhand Himalaya of Harkidhun Valley, situated at an altitude of 4500m known as lake of faith.
  • Total trekking distance of 46 km from Taluka is covered in 7 days.
  • The trail is moderate with Alpine meadows and Moraine, exotic flora - fauna, and good for beginners too.
  • You get to see a few prominent peaks such as Mt. Swargarohini Mt. Kalanag and Mt. Banderpoonch.
  • Acclimatization and height gain to suit everyone's requirement, campsites at strategic locations and in suitable weather conditions.
Trip Cost Includes
  • Food : During Stay and Snacks during Evening Refreshments only
  • Travel : Tempo Traveler/SUV Similar Non/Ac/Bus
  • Accommodation : Basic Multiple sharing or dormitory/Tent.
  • Group Size : Group size 12 and Above.
Trip Cost Excludes
  • Any trip extensions, Stay due to road blocks or landslides, extra meals, Accommodation
Itinerary:
Day one - Pickup from Dehradun railway station – Drive to Sankri Market – 210 Km (8/9 Hours (1920 Meters).
The journey to holy Maldaru Tal begins at Dehradun railway station, early morning we make our way to Sankri through the picturesque landscapes of Uttarakhand passing along some of the most famous towns and villages like Mussoorie, Barkot, Purola, Mori, Netwar, Motwar. While Sankri is base village to several treks, the last major town of this route is Purola, here is the last working ATM and full mobile connectivity. Make sure you have got all you need before leaving Purola. We would advise, make all the required purchases in Dehradun itself. Tonight, will be in a Homestay in Sankri village.
Day two - Sankri to Taluka by taxi – 11 km same day trek to Dhatmir village / Dharkot camp (09 km) (4/5 Hours) (2500 Meters).
Don't get mad at someone who is trying to wake you up even before sun is out because if you get up and come out it will be worth all the effort. The sunrise from Sankri village can be a delight to watch as the eastern horizon, dominated by Swargarohini peaks, is soaked in the faint orange glow of the first light of the day.
Soon a breakfast will follow, don't eat hefty, try to be light on the stomach. A light, but not empty, stomach is perfect for trekking in the high reaches of the Himalaya. The journey towards Taluka, which is 11km four wheel drive from Sankri, starts right after breakfast. It is here in Taluka where we bid bye to all modern amenities and comforts and say hello to good old ways of living in mountains. It will be good to mention that in Taluka you may get some mobile connectivity over BSNL and Vodafone networks but only if you are lucky.
We need permission from the forest department to embark on any trek here, because the area falls under the Govind Ballabh Pant Wildlife Sanctuary. The permission can be obtained from the forest office in Taluka. The trail to Maldaru starts right by the wall of the forest office, don't get confused if you find locals on the trail as it is also used by people of Osla and Gangaad, it also connects to the trail of famous Har Ki Dun trail. Due to frequent use by locals the trail is well paved.
A kilometer on this paved trail, with the river Thamsa on our left and fields on our right, will take us into a mixed forest of Horse Chestnut, Maple and mainly Chirgoza Pine. Two more kilometers under the forest and we will be at a concrete bridge, there is a clearing on the other side of the bridge known as Bhida Ka Thatch. On our right we can see a steep but paved trail, this is what we have to climb to reach Datmir village. The village is just a kilometer from here but the steepness of the trail makes it feel like never ending and a bit frustrating as we can see the village yet it remains out of our reach.
Once through the village, the trail opens up a bit and is surrounded by the farms on both sides, depending on the season we can find trees laden with walnuts. Soon we will be amidst Blue Pine, Maple, Walnut and Abies Pindrow, and only these wild trees will be there to keep us company till we reach the village of Dharkot. Tonight we will be camping outside of the Dharkot village.
Day three - Trek from Dharkot camp to Vishkhopri via Dharkot (7 km) (4/5 hours) (2800 Meter).
Straight out of the campsite, we are greeted by the tiny little village of Dharkot. Before we enter the village, we can see an old wooden temple dedicated to lord Shiva. The residents of this village are mostly from the neighbouring villages, they shift up and down with the change of season because during winters the snow deposits at Dharkot is greater than other neighbouring villages like Gangaad. Some of the houses of the Dharkot have been transferred into homestay too.
Out of the village trail goes ascending into the dense forest of Pine, but spare a second to turn around and soak in the beautiful panoramic view of Dharkot village with a gorgeous valley in backdrop. As we keep on pushing forward, we can see that forest is interspersed with some clearings and some shepherds huts. Laden with plenty of water sources around, some of the clearings are private farms. Water sources mean stream crossing, while one of the streams has a wooden bridge over it, most of them have to be crossed by getting wet.
Coming out of forest cover into one of these clearing located at the base of the valley, a larger one and not privately owned, is called Vishkhopri meadow and it will be our campsite for the day.
Day four - Trek from Vishkhopri to Rashi camp (8 km) (4/5 hours) (3255 m).
Today's trek starts with the view of the sun rising behind the Hata peak. The trail passes through one more meadow, Batagor, which offers great view of Har Ki Dun peak and Hata peak. After monsoon the meadows are filled with Geraniums, Marigold, purple gentians along with some other alpine flowers. Soon the trail would go ascending out of the treeline and into beautiful alpine settings. From here on the trail is mainly flat till it meets a wide spread river, which has to be crossed to reach today’s destination as it is on the other side of the river, there might be some temporary wooden log bridge to cross the river.
After crossing the river, the trail takes a steep ascent and the top of this steep climb is named Rashi, which will be our campsite for today. From the campsite we can see Manju Kanta Pass, Bhitri Gadi and mountains of Himachal Pradesh. Take a good rest today as tomorrow will be the longest of all day and it will be mainly through boulders.
Day five - Trek from Rashi Camp to Odari Maldaru Lake (12 km) (6/7 Hours) (4200 Meter).
The trail is going to be a test for our knees today, as it will be passing mainly through boulders and loose rocks. With heavy packs on our shoulders it might be a little task to stay balanced while climbing uphill with loose rocks under the Shoes, it would require some precaution to not fall.
Ascending and descending several ridges with gradient of almost 60-70 degrees make it really adventurous, residual snow and unavailability of grass can make it even scarier sometimes. The last ascent offers a great view of Swargarohini Series and several other high rises like Har Ki Dun, Hata, Kedarkantha, along with views of Chanshal and Rupin ranges of Himachal Pradesh.
The last a kilometer or more of the trail is quite flat and well paved compared to what we have climbed while coming up. Till we are only 100 meters from lake we don’t get a glimpse of the divine beauty, but as soon as we get a glimpse, we will be nothing but awestruck with the beauty and serendipity of the lake and surrounding. The surroundings of Maldaru lake is laden with Brahma Kamal and stone cairns with a great view of Bandarpoonch and Swargarohini.This beautiful setting will be our home tonight.
Day six - Maldaru Tal to Seema (2,560 m) - 4-5 h.
The day starts with magnificent sunrise views, after early breakfast we make our way to Seema village which is little downhill from Osla village. Our first destination of the day is Devsu Bugyal, the descent till Devsu Bugyal is a sheer drop through the thick Pine forest, Rhododendrons, Silver Birches, Abies Pindrow, Maple and Oak. Winding through thick forest the trail can be a delight to bird watchers with chances of spotting Monal.
Day seven - Seema to Sankri - 5-6 h trek + 1 h drive
With easy and gradual descent from Seema all the way till Taluka with some water crossings, trail passes through a thick cover of Pine forest. This is the trail that leads to the very famous trek of Har Ki Dun and Ruinsara lake, so we might encounter occasional trekkers too. Around midday we will be in Taluka village, which is the road head of the entire valley. From Taluka we drive for an hour to reach Sankri. We call it a night in Sankri.
Day eight - End of the trip.
Drive back to Dehradun and onward. End of the trip.
What to Expect?

A trip graded as a Moderate takes you to high altitude regions - above 3000m / 10,0000 ft and will involve considerable altitude gain 800 ft - 1200ft over the course of the trek. Altitude will have an effect, hence one would need to be careful about Acclimatization. The guide will educate about acclimitization procdure.Moderate treks will have multiple days which involve considerable amount of ascents and descents and would require walking for more than 5 - 6 hours.
There might be a day or two of camping in relatively high altitudes above 4000m / 13,000ft. A typical trek will last around a week to ten days depending on the region and is fro those who have exposure to Himalayan treks, for people who have completed a beginner trek.
Good fitness levels are needed to enjoy these trips.Preparation of your body by doing some fitness actitivies before the trip would help. Prior trekking experience would be an added advantage.

Important Information:
Things To Carry
  • 1 pair of Shoes : Carry well broken/used Shoes with good Sole & ankle protection and that will sustain usage during the trek. Avoid wearing new shoes to avoid bite and blisters.
  • 1 Backpack : Light Weighted & approx 30 litres in volume with multiple pouches,good zip & straps.
  • Clothing & Toiletries : For your daily usage
  • 1 Jacket : Early mornings and nights can get really cold.
  • 1 Cap/hat : help in protecting your head and face from direct sunlight during treks.
  • 1 Water bottle : carry some reusable water bottles along.
  • 1 Towel : quick dry light towel.
  • 1 Head lamp / Torch : Keep it handy and use it only required.
  • 1 Personal Medical Kit : Carry few tablets such as crocin, Paracetamol, Band aid, cotton. ORS satchets. Glucose, Volini spray and crape bandage.
  • 1 Medic Kit : always pack a first-aid kit in case things go the other way.
  • 2 Batteries: Carry recharged spare batteries.
  • Gloves : Gloves that will keep your palms warm during extreme cold.
  • 1 Whistle : Whistle for signalling and use in times of distress only.
  • 1 Sun glasses : Carry tested and right one to protect from harsh Sunlight only.
  • Sleeping Bag : At times, there might be extreme cold and the camp beds might not be good enough to give you a good night’s sleep. It is better if you have your own warm sleeping bag.
  • Mobile : Use if for communication only. Check with trek coordinator of network availibility carry BSNL SIM if required.
  • 1 Poly Bags : To carry trash and wet clothes.
  • 1 ID Proof : Carry Photo ID proof DL / Voter Id/ similar.
Routes to reach
    • By Train : We recommend to Overnight train to Dehradun from Capital city of Delhi. New Delhi to Dehradun A/c special train from New Delhi is the best option. The Scheduled reaching time to Dehradun Railway station is at 5:40 am.
      Nanda Devi Express – Train No 12205 (Departure 11:50 pm: Arrival 5:40 am)
      Dehradun Express - Train No 12687 (Departure 21:10 pm: Arrival 5:00 am)
    • By Flight : Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest airport to reach Dehradun, located about 25 km from the city. There are daily flights from Delhi to Dehradun.
    • By Bus : Buses ply frequently from New Delhi to Dehradun from ISBT Kashmere Gate. Private buses options too are available.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What do I need to trek?
A. One must be able hike to a minimum of 5 to 6 kms without any issues, that’s all! Also, if you have any particular health problems such as respiratory problem, heart problems, one must check with the doctor regarding the hike.

Q : Is Maldaru Lake suitable for Beginners ?
A: Individuals desiring to do Maldaru Lake should be experienced trekkers, we often suggest people wishing for Maldaru Lake and Swargarohini Yatra that this must be taken as a high-altitude Himalayan trek and the pilgrims must have prior trekking experiences like Kailash, Adi Kailash, Kinnaur kailash or similar, preferably all.

Q: How chilly is it?
A: It is a question of where you belong to, but in terms of Indians – it is quite freezing. The temperature in the high altitudes can even be about -5 degrees during night time. Warm clothing is a must, though it adds to the weight of your luggage.

Q: What type of food will be provided during the trip?
A: Summiters give plain vegetarian food which is not too heavy and apt for hiking. Pizza hut or Anand Bhavan will not be in the picture nor will hunting be an option. There will be enough to sustain and apt will be served when hungry.

Q: Does mountain water cause harm?
A: No. The mountain water is clean. But if you are skeptical – a mineral water can be bought.

Q: Is there a charger point for my phone during the trek?
A: The end point that you can charge during the trek is at Mana Village but depends if electricity is there during the stay.

Q: How to prepare for this trek?
A: You must try and get accustomed to walks or jogs on a daily basis.

Q: How to Reach Joshimath?
A: Private SUV vehicles ply regularly between Haridwar, Rishikesh and Dehradun. It takes 10 hours to reach Joshimath.

Q : What does Vehicle to Joshimath cost ?
A : It would cost around Rs 5500 to Rs 6000 for one trip either way.

Q : Is Camping next to Maldaru Lake is allowed ?
A : No. From 2018 as per Uttarakhand High Court order (Petition No: 123/2014), one cannot camp on alpine and subalpine meadows/grasslands, locally called “Bugyal”. Therefore, forest department has revoked the permit to camp at the lake, i.e. Maldaru Lake. Starting from Sep 2018, one has to reach the highest camp which is at Chakratirtha and visit Maldaru Lake and return to the same camp.