Reviews • 7
This day we go for an acclimatization walk to Bedni top. Acclimatization typically means to get used to a changed environment, in our case high altitude and changing weather. Before heading over to Bedni top, the Indiahikes team introduced us to their Green Trails Initiative ( for more details check out their website ) and assigned us a task to pick up any sort of garbage lying around Bedni. Everybody heartily did it, after all we are the ones who should be saving our mountains because it is some of us who choose to destroy them. Anyway, after the task we head over to Bedni top.
We wake up and find ourselves in a dilemma. Till last night we had comfortable bathrooms with us, but today we didn't even have a bathroom. I am not going to describe the whole bathroom process here, but just so you know, it ain't a pretty sight. After we freshen up and have our breakfast, we set off to trek. Everyone was pretty excited today because we were going to be trekking in lush green meadows half the time. So everybody was pumped up while trekking, which ultimately helped us finish the forest part of the trek pretty soon. Today I was among the first ones to come out of the forest. That sight, oh that beautiful sight of the meadows is non-describable. It is pretty, it's beautiful, it's windy, but moreover it's soothing. We went a little further to reach Ali Bugyal. Here 'Ali' is the 'name of the meadow' and 'Bugyal' means 'Meadow'. The view from over here is something I cannot put in words. I can show you pictures but even that won't give you the feel it would give if you were actually there.
Bedni Bugyal is one of the most beautiful alpine meadows situated in Uttarakhand, located at the border Garhwal and Kumaon in Chamoli district
Next day brought with it the inevitable, nature calls! Just to clear any doubts of the non-trekkers, there are toilet tents pitched up there. There were a set of rules for us, one of them being the‘6-7-8’ take off system wherein we get our tea at 6, breakfast at 7, and take off at 8 with dry ration such as biscuits, fruits or boiled aloo. Today, we ascended around a 1,000ft and crossed the treeline and entered the long green meadows called Bugyals. We reached our second camp site at Bedni Bugyal. Beautiful landscape with snowy mountains and green grasslands was the reward for making it up there. We played volleyball there for hours and relaxed before going off to bed in the warmth of the bonfire.It was so bloody cold at night and we almost froze to our bones, but the frostbite didn’t stop my tent mate and I from waking up again at 3 am for, you guessed it right, the inevitable! While doing our task, we randomly looked at the sky and saw something we didn’t anticipate in our wildest dreams. The dark sky was filled with innumerable stars shining so very bright! And we exclaimed, to each other, “Hey dude, see that!” We saw a shooting star. And then another. The sight was awesome, magnificently, breathtakingly awesome! On the way back to the tent, he wished me: “Raj, Happy Birthday” and that’s when I realised it was my birthday. I went back to my deep slumber with some unimaginable gifts from nature and excitement for what lies ahead.
Beyond Wan the Yatra leaves behind human settlements and launches on a herculean journey further into the belly of the Himalayas. The monsoons that had been oddly quiet as the procession moved from Mundoli to Wan paid obeisance to Nanda by unleashing rain, winds, lightning and thunder on tired and hungry pilgrims slowly making their way to the grasslands of Bedni Bugyal. The thick jungles leading to the bugyal that usually hosted occasional trekkers or shepherds had been usurped by a motley group of yatris – people walking barefoot sharing the path with ones with the latest trekking gear, sadhus sharing glucose with travel photographers, undaunted oldies keeping up with feisty teenagers, ladies adorned in sparkling jewelry and sandals. Bedni Bugyal itself had been turned into a bustling settlement overnight with hundreds of colourful tents interspersed with makeshift eateries churning delectable dishes. This human element was complimented by nature displaying its different moods; magical double rainbows arching across the horizon, fog rising from the valleys and climbing over steep ridges, the sun momentarily peeking from behind the clouds and bright stars lighting up the night sky. All night long the sound of drums spiced with folk songs or jagars had kept awake the towering massifs of Trisul and Nanda Ghunti rising in the distance. And in the ensuing morning the enviously green bugyal was bathed in refreshing sunlight with glistening far-off snowy peaks reflected in the green waters of Bedni Kund where spirited pilgrims were taking a dip and performing puja on the banks.
There it was, the Bugyal- a never ending uneven field covered with winter grass, ant-like creatures scattered on its crests and troughs, and gigantic mountains in the background. The meadow spread wider and wider as we approached it. It was not the kind of beauty that intimidates you, it was the kind that first mesmerises you and then welcomes you into its warm arms. And so we stepped off the rocky trail and walked past the grazing mules and smiling faces to the only shack in the area. The guy serving food there baffled me. First, he was walking around bare feet wearing only a t shirt and pair of jeans when I was covered in four layers, gloves, double socks, mountain shoes and what not. Second, his face struck an uncanny resemblance to Jimmy Page’s. Jimmy said he had one packet of Maggi left. Not noodles, Maggi. The evening couldn’t get any better.
The next day we started early, like at 4 a.m. We had to cover another 18 kilometres that would lead us to Bedni Bugyal. Trekking to Bedni Bugyal was a real pain and thrilling. At an elevation of almost 3,460 ft, this place has some amazing view of the lofty peaks of nanda devi. As the temperature dropped down to -9 degree celcius we had no option other than pitching a tent at Bedni as we couldn't travel further. Weather here is highly unpredictable, therefore it is advised to carry some extra woolen and rain coats to help you beat those freezing cold breeze.