Dayara Bugyal Trek : A family-friendly Adventure
"experience lush meadows in summer and a snowy wonderland in winter"
The Dayara Bugyal Trek is one of the best short adventures of the Himalayas offering high rewards with relatively little effort. The trek offers easy access to some of the most beautiful bugyals or alpine meadows in the country. The trail initially starts through forests of Oak, Rhododendron and Deodar trees with gorgeous glades and clearings as camping sites. As we ascend more, the charming forests gradually start opening up to wide, sprawling meadows and endless rolling hills. These bugyals tucked between high snow-covered peaks and deep wooded valleys, together make an excellent sight especially during the golden hours. During the winters, the entire route exudes a magical charm turning into a white wonderland. Snow-trekking on the sweeping alpine fields with stunning views for company, is simply an unforgettable experience. Our curated trek route charts a loop trail starting from Raithal and ending at Barsu, both being traditional Garhwali villages that offer a peek into the fascinating local culture. This trek is a family-friendly adventure experience, suitable for seniors as well as children, who are fit, well-prepared and willing to make the effort. The trek is equally adored and admired by veteran hikers and avid trekkers. Overall, it’s the perfect Himalayan experience that can be enjoyed by families, couples or a group of friends looking for an active mountain holiday.
Dehradun – Raithal – Dayara – Barnala Tal – Barsu – Dehradun
Day 1: Welcome to devbhoomi Uttarakhand
- Morning Pick Up from Dehradun
- Drive to Raithal village in Uttarkashi
- Total distance: 190 km / 7-8 hrs
- Overnight in Raithal Homestay / Guest House
- Raithal Altitude: 6889 ft
Day 2: Trek Starts: Raithal village to Gui (6 km / 4-5 hrs)
- Overnight Camping at Gui campsite
- Gui Altitude: 9671 ft
Day 3: Gui to Chilapada ( 3 km /3-4 hrs)
- Overnight Camping in Chilapada
- Chilapada Altitude: 10150 ft
Day 4: Chilapada to Dayara Top Summit to Barnala Tal (10-11 Km / 7-8 hrs)
- Summit to Dayara Top and descend back to campsite
- Overnight Camping in Barnala Tal
- Barnala Tal Altitude: 9350 ft
Day 5: Barnala to Barsu village ( 4-5 Km / 3-4 hrs )
- Trek down through forests to a secluded Garhwali village
- Spend rest of the day relaxing or exploring the picturesque hamlet
- Overnight at Barsu Homestay / Guest House
- Barsu Altitude 7670 ft
Day 6: Farewell from the mountains
- Bid goodbye to the team and drive back to Dehradun
- Total distance: 180 km / 6-7 hrs
1. The finest meadows
The Dayara Bugyal Trek takes us to some of Uttarakhand’s most alluring bugyals or alpine fields. The meadows of Dayara are nestled in between deep forested valleys on one side and rising giant mountains on the other. These expansive high-latitude meadows turn from lush green, abundant in wildflowers in the summers to radiant golden in the autumn to impressively white in the winters. The openness of these highlands ensure endless views with an unobstructed panorama of soaring snow-capped peaks.
During the summers, the bugyals turn into vast pasturelands and grazing grounds. Local village shepherds residing in the foothills below and pastoral semi-nomadic communities spend the summer and monsoon here with their cattle. In the winter, the entire area gets carpeted with snow and adopts a silent, mystical appearance with breathtaking snowscapes all around. The views of these vast snow-laden fields surrounded by giant mountains makes this charming trek supremely rewarding.
2. Lovely Spots Under the stars
One of the main highlights of the Dayara Bugyal trek are the pretty campsites on the trail. Our route for the trek is chosen to offer an easy loop hike starting fromone traditional village and ending in another. On the way we cover some of the lovely spots for camping. As we trek, these lovely campgrounds appear out of nowhere surprising the travellers. They are mostly located in the verdant clearings deep in the forests. The dense jungle trails suddenly open up to these gorgeous glades offering a refreshing end to the day’s hikes. Be it Gui, Chilapada or Barnala Tal camp, they all come with open views, relatively flat grounds for pitching tents and act as apt night spots on the route. The campsites also offer great opportunities for stargazing and night sky photography.
3. Forested Birding Trails and Towering Peaks
Apart from the meadows, the Dayara Bugyal Trek is a sweet blend of attractive forests and stupendous mountain views. As the trek begins, we pass through dense forests of oak, fir, pine and rhododendron trees. The forest floor is covered with a carpet of ferns and moss. The trees provide a welcome canopy of shade, making it a pleasant place to walk even on hot days. These woodlands are also a great place for local avifauna and therefore a fantastic area for birdwatchers. In the winter, the green forests turn white. Lined with snow-laden flora, the route turns more scenic and adventurous while the campsites become even more memorable.
As we gradually gain altitude hiking through the charming forest cover, the trail gives way to the huge bugyals. Walking on these alpine meadows offers a splendid panoramic view of the Garhwal and Gangotri ranges. Some of the popular peaks visible on this route include Mt. Bandarpoonch (6,316M), Mt. Srikanth (6,133 M), Gangotri I (6,672 M), and Black Peak (6,387 M). The mountain views on the easily-accessible trek are simply excellent and are one of the main reasons why it is loved by beginners and veteran trekkers alike.
4. Raithal and Barsu
On the Dayara Bugyal Trek, we visit two mountain villages, Raithal and Barsu. They come under the Bhatwari tehsil of Uttarkashi district in Uttarakhand. These locales usually do not appear on the typical tourist map. Perched at an elevation of about 7000 ft, both these places have impressive HImalayan views and are located in peaceful natural settings.
While Raithal is situated on a sloped hill with winding roads, Barsu is located in a deep valley, and both these settlements are divided by a single mountain. The local houses here are built on the lines of typical Garhwali architecture with some old traditional huts still existing. The villagers here have a deep sense of community and belonging. They have their own temples and specific centres where they congregate on important occasions, to discuss village affairs and carry out local customs. These warm, welcoming locals are predominantly dependent on agriculture and more recently on trekking and tourism. Well-connected by motorable roads, both these hamlets are just perfect to spend some quality time away from the hustle-bustle of city life. They also let the trekkers explore the local Garhwali culture and the traditional mountain lifestyle.
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