Dayara Bugyal Trek – Journey to the Nature’s Own Gardens !

23rd Nov 2016

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Dayara Bugyal Trek , popularly known as “beginner’s trek” is short and mesmerizing. The route trails through the oak and pine forests , Clear water streams , grasslands(Bugyals) of Barnala and Dayara. The breathtaking views of the snow covered distant high rise mountains almost never go out of sight.

Photo of Dayara Bugyal Trek – Journey to the Nature’s Own Gardens ! 1/2 by Ayush Maheshwari

Dayara Bugyal is a high altitude meadow situated in Uttarkashi District (Uttrakhand) at an elevation of 11,181 ft. The word Bugyal itself means a high altitude meadow or grassland. These are known as “Nature’s Own Gardens”. The trek can be easily done in 3-4 days ( Dehradun-Dayara-Dehradun) , making it the best Trek for extended Weekends.

Photo of Dayara Bugyal Trek – Journey to the Nature’s Own Gardens ! 2/2 by Ayush Maheshwari

The path to Dayara is well laid thus rendering the use of guide minimal. Although he will reduce your fear of encountering wild buffaloes/animals ( I still doubt what he can physically do to protect you in extreme cases ). He will help you in putting up the tents, guiding you about the names of distant visible peaks, narrating you his adventurous stories ,talking to locals in their language in case of any problem ,which water source to use and which not. If you are lucky he may even help you in cooking.Although You should get yourself a cook in case you don’t want to self-cook and a porter if you don’t want to carry luggage yourself.

Day 0 : Back-Packing and planning

The day was almost spent in packing the bags and buying food stuffs. We traveled in the month of November and as expected there was no snowfall but the temperature was as low as -4 at night. It would have definitely snowed there had the weather got worse. It is advised to get yourself as many layers as possible because temperature drops to negative . We bought a lot of food as there are no shops once you start trekking.

Day 1 : (Roorkee – Dehradun – Uttarkashi )

Photo of IIT Roorkee Main Gate, Roorkee, Uttarakhand, India by Ayush Maheshwari

We left Roorkee for Dehradun at 2:00 AM .The bus took around 2.5 hours(fare of 85 Rs ) to reach Dehradun (If you are coming from Delhi region get a bus directly to Dehradun ). The bus dropped us at the Dehradun ISBT . From there we took an auto to another Bus stand adjacent to the Dehradun railway station . We then got on the bus to Uttarkashi.( NOTE : There is only 1 Bus from Dehradun to Uttarkashi along the shortest route which leaves at 5:30 am ) .Shared Taxis ply between Uttarkashi and Dehradun (at same fare as bus i.e. approx Rs 260) in the morning . I have no clue about their availability at noon or in evening. The bus took around 6 hours to reach Uttarkashi.

Day 1
Photo of Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand, India by Ayush Maheshwari

The way to uttarkashi was a breathtaking journey. About after half-an-hour’s journey on the mountains the distant lights of Doon valley were twinkling (the same view as seen from mall road, Mussoorie). The best part of the journey was when we got to see those gigantic glaciers for the first time , dark blue in color with snowed peaks. Soon the Bhagirathi river joined us. We reached Uttarkashi at around 11:30 AM . We decided to stay at Uttarkashi and explore the area around . We visited NIM (Nehru Institute of Mountainering ) and spent time at the banks of Bhagirathi river.The way to NIM is a small trek in itself . The best thing about Uttarkashi was its economical , finger licking Food and extremely pure water.

Photo of Dayara Bugyal Trek – Journey to the Nature’s Own Gardens ! by Ayush Maheshwari

To rent Tents and Sleeping bags and guide you have two options .Either rent it from the shop near uttarkashi bus stand (Tent for 3 @200 per day || sleeping bag +mattress @100 per day || guide @1200 per day) or get it from NIM at subsidy. Obviously the NIM provides it at cheaper rates. The more number of people are there on the trek the more economical will be the cost of guide as it gets divided . We rented our trekking necessities from a local store as NIM was closed that day (Thursday) . Confirm the procedures to be followed at NIM before hand .

The night was spent in Uttarkashi. The accomodation cost 300 per room a day . The rooms were clean well maintained and had a small TV. Hot water supply was available . the bathrooms were cleaned and well maintained. (name in the description below).

Photo of Dayara Bugyal Trek – Journey to the Nature’s Own Gardens ! by Ayush Maheshwari

Day 2 : (Uttarkashi – Barsu – Barnala Bugyal – Dayara Bugyal )

Day 2

We finished final packing by 7:30 am . The bags were packed , Sleeping bags tied to the bags , tents were ready to be carried . We headed towards Barsu . Barsu is the base camp from where the trek begins and is located at a distance of 45 kms from Uttarkashi . Bhatwari lies on the way to Barsu . Share taxis ply regularly between Uttarkashi and Bhatwari in the morning. You have to ask the driver to drop you to Barsu by paying some extra charge . We booked a taxi for 5 to Barsu directly (@INR 800 ). Note down the contact of the driver it will help in the return journey. We had breakfast at Bhatwari and packed the same for lunch.

Photo of Bhatwari, Uttarakhand, India by Ayush Maheshwari

Barsu is a small village with handful of people living there. We began our trek from here . (Barsu provides two accomodations , the GMVN and private huts maintained by the people .The GMVN is economical and better but it was under maintenance when we visited ) . We began our trek at around 10:30 AM. The total trek length to be covered was 10 kms one way .Took the well defined path starting from the artificial pond near GMVN and after an hour’s hiking we were into the forest . We had energy bars and consumed lot of Glucose on the way .

Photo of Barsu, Uttarakhand, India by Ayush Maheshwari

You will find lots of abandoned huts during the way. We kept hiking for next 2-3 hours and reached Barnala Bugyal . Vast meadows could be seen .It has the famous Barnala lake and white colored forest huts . Some people were camping there but we decided to refill our bottles, have lunch and trek to Dayara .You can spend a night here , exploring the meadows with the gangotri ranges peeking from the oaks . The completion of half of the journey in 3 hrs motivated us to hike till the top before the sunset . The defined path breaks at Barnala , so you have to find the new path going towards Dayara .

Photo of Dayara Bugyal Trek, Barsu, Uttarakhand, India by Ayush Maheshwari

The path to Dayara is again well defined and takes around 2-3 hours to cover . Whole length travels amidst the forest . We reached Dyara at around 4pm . One can see vast , never ending stretches of meadows . We camped near the shepherd huts . Strong winds blow here at night so we cooked the meal while the sun was shining. Once the sun sets it gets extremely cold and windy. We made coffee and cooked rice on our own in the evening . Played Bluff( card game ) in the tent . The stars at the night made me fall in love with this place . The sky looked like a galaxy in itself , Something the camera couldn’t capture.

Photo of Dayara Bugyal, Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand, India by Ayush Maheshwari
Photo of Dayara Bugyal, Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand, India by Ayush Maheshwari

Day 03: ( Dayara Bugyal – Bakaria top – Raithal – Dehradun – Roorkee )

Day 3

We woke up early . Cooked maggi , had soup and coffee .Experienced the sunrise at 11000ft above sea level. Went to the peak called Bakaria top leaving our tents at the Dayara camp itself . The Bandarpuch peak , Kalanag (black serpent) peak and the Gangotri range were clearly visible from the top. The total trek length till bakaria top is around 10 kms from barsu. We came back to the Dayara camp in an hour , packed our tents and backpacks and started our journey back to base.

Photo of Dayara Bugyal Trek, Barsu, Uttarakhand, India by Ayush Maheshwari

There are two ways to descend . First option is to trail back along the same path . Other is to take the path to Raithal Via Goey .We took the latter one . It starts when you pass the shepherd huts at Dayara . We continued for 2-3 hours and reached a place like Barnala called Goey .We Filled up our bottles here. Continued descending and reached the village Raithal.

The problem at Barsu as well as Raithal is that the last taxi for Uttarkashi leaves before 9:30 AM. We had already booked the cab ( Remember I earlier told you to take the contact number of the driver who had dropped you the day before) else we would have remain stuck there. Again the last bus/taxi for Dehradun leaves at 12:30PM and for Rishikesh leaves at 2:00PM . So it’s better to stay at Uttarkashi , have ample amount of rest and leave for Dehradoon next morning.

Photo of Raithal, Uttarakhand, India by Ayush Maheshwari

Happy Trekking :)

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Food Packed : HERE

Important Stuff we packed: HERE

Tent/sleeping bags/guide shop : Crystal adventures near bus stand

Hotel we stayed at :Hotel KNB Heritage(Uttarkashi)

Photo of Hotel KNB Heritage, Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand, India by Ayush Maheshwari
Photo of Hotel KNB Heritage, Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand, India by Ayush Maheshwari
Photo of Hotel KNB Heritage, Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand, India by Ayush Maheshwari