Dayara Bugyal Trek
Amidst the innumerable winter treks Uttarakhand has to offer its visitors with, the Dayara Bugyal Trek is unquestionably the best. Dayara Bugyal, which clearly is a combination of 2 separate words means the Round Meadow. The Dayara Bugyal and Bedni Bugyal are amongst the largest and the most well known meadows of the Garhwal Himalayas.
Difficulty- Easy-Moderate; Perfect for beginners
Max Altitude- 12000 ft
Approx Trekking Kilometer- 21 kms
Base Location- Barsu
Starting point of Dayara Bugyal Trek and how to reach there
Route: Haridwar-Barsu-Barnala-Dayara Bugyal-Pichkiya-Barsu-Haridwar
The nearest railway station is Haridwar and a day long drive shall take you to the base camp- Barsu, situated 220kms away from this holy city. The entire route through the towns of Rishikesh, Chamba and Uttarkashi, situated on the banks of the river Bhagirathi, is very captivating and picture-perfect.
However, you can also choose Raithal as your base camp and in that case, the nearest railway station would be that of Dehradun. It would take 7-8 hours to reach Raithal from Dehradun by road. With Raithal as your base camp, the route would be Raithal-Gui-Barnala-Dayara Bugyal-Chilapada-Raithal-Haridwar.
The mountain views are up-close. One can very easily spot the peak of Bandarpooch with Mt. Srikanth in the background. The mountain ranges like Gangotri, Jaonli, Kalanag, Draupadi ka Danda are also very very clearly visible. The entire trekking trail is a combination of meadows, forests and picturesque villages. The forests are a typical of the Uttarkhand forests and are therefore a mixture of oak, maple, pine and rhododendron trees.
The winter and summer landscapes differ from one another to a large extent. During the summers, specially May-June, you can witness a full bloom of different colours, with flowers blossoming at every corner. However, in winters there is just one colour-the magneficient white.
Day 1- Barsu-Barnala (7545ft-8530ft, 4km, 4 hours)
This is a moderate level ascend through the forests with sky-high Silver-Oak, Deodar and Rhodedendron trees. On reaching Barnala, you will definitely realize that Barnala with its free-flowing streams, green meadows and picturesque surrounding of hillocks and grand mountains, is any day the perfect place for camping.
When at Barnala, do pay a visit to the Nag Devta temple, and witness theranges of Gangotri, Bandarpoonch, Kalanag clearly lit themselves up in fiery crimson hues from the sunset.
Day 2- Barnala-Dayara Bugyal-Bakaria Top (8530ft-9980ft-12000ft, 8km, 4-5 hours)
The mountains that you had seen at Barnala now appear to be much closer and bigger. The majestic views of peaks like Kalanag and Bandarpooch at this point, are sure to take your breaths away. It feels as if the ranges are emanating from the Bugyal, i.e the Dayara meadow. The sunrise at Dayara Bugyal is worth all your time, with the orange hues taking over the mountains and the vast stretches of the pasture land in front of you.
Around 3 kms from Dayara Bugyal, is the Bakaria Top(12000ft), the highest point of the trek. It offers a better 360 degree panoramic view of all the mountain ranges that you have seen so far. After spending some time at the top, head back to your campsite at Dayara.
Day 3- Dayara Bugyal- Barnala (9980ft-8530ft, 5km, 3 hours)
It is time to bid this beautiful journey a goodbye and descend down to Barnala. The descent is pretty easy where you are accompanied by the same beautiful forests, same gurgling streams and the same breathtaking views of the magnificient mountains.
Best time for Dayara Bugyal Trek:
Though this trek can be done at anytime of the year, for me, Winter would be the best time, with everything covered in a spotless white shade. The speckless ivory coloured snow can be seen shrouding every possible corner, therby turning the long stretches of green meadows into gorgeous upholsteries of eternal white But, if you are in for experiencing the different shades of hues, then summer is your ideal time. However, always avoid monsoon seasons.
Cellular Network at Dayara Bugyal Trek-
Uttarkashi and Bhatwari, on the way to Barsu, are the last places to have ATMs. Bhatwari has decent coverage of all networks. However, only IDEA network is available at Barsu.