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Dayara Bugyal Trek

The Most Beautifully Landscaped Meadow in our Country

The Most Beautifully Landscaped Meadow in our Country

For hundreds of years, shepherds have been taking their flock to graze at Dayara Bugyal. Time and again, they have come back with stories of the abundance of fresh, soft grass and the splendour of the mighty Himalayan mountain peaks cradling the meadows.

When our explorers reached Dayara Bugyal, they found the meadows exactly as the shepherds described – only, more beautiful. The multiple trails that they explored leading to the trails turned out to be even more rewarding. With splendid mountain views and clear water bodies strewn across the meadows, this turned out to be one of our most beautiful treks.

What’s more?

The meadows are lush in summer

Come April, the snow starts melting away from the meadows of Dayara, making way for fresh, soft grass. Trekking through the green meadows as the sun shines is one of the best experiences you’ll have while trekking.

Flower-decked meadows

This lushness lasts throughout April and May. Towards the end of May, the meadows are filled with flowers. This flowerbed is a pleasure to trek in till the end of June.

Dense, rich forests

Most treks traversing through this altitude in Uttarakhand boast of great forest trails. But the forest that you walk through here stands out. 

You don’t find any pines here. Rather, trails here abound with brown and green oaks and rhododendrons. Unlike pines, the roots and leaves of these trees enrich the soil, adding to the bounty of the forests.

Splendid mountain views

Most people associate Dayara Bugyal with Bandarpoonch. But that is only one of the big mountains that you see on this trek. As you arrive at Raithal, the base camp, you see John Lee and Draupadi ka Danda draped in the orange rays of the setting sun. Also visible are Shrikhand Mahadev and the Gangotri peaks in the distance. 

Once you cross Gui, you start seeing mountains on the other side as well. Finally, by the time you are in Dayara Bugyal, you get a complete 180-degree view of mountains starting from Bandarpoonch and Kalanag on the left extending to Draupadi ka Danda on the right.

For hundreds of years, shepherds have been taking their flock to graze at Dayara Bugyal. Time and again, they have come back with stories of the abundance of fresh, soft grass and the splendour of the mighty Himalayan mountain peaks cradling the meadows.

When our explorers reached Dayara Bugyal, they found the meadows exactly as the shepherds described – only, more beautiful. The multiple trails that they explored leading to the trails turned out to be even more rewarding. With splendid mountain views and clear water bodies strewn across the meadows, this turned out to be one of our most beautiful treks.

Dayara Bugyal Videos
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Campsites at a Glance

At Indiahikes, we are very particular about choosing terrific campsites. For the Dayara Bugyal trek too, after a lot of back and forth, we have settled on these terrific campsites, which trekkers have come to love.

The Gui Campsite at dawn. Gui is a small clearing nestled amidst oak forests. Picture by Ankur

The Chilapada campsite in winter. Almost all campsites of Dayara Bugyal are blanketed with snow in winter. Picture by Akshay Aralikatti

Nestled in a clearing amidst the oak trees is the Gui Campsite. Picture by Vishnu Sivanandan

Why I Believe Everyone Must Trek: A Note from the Founder

Trekking transforms lives. It has changed my life completely. When I see my colleagues at Indiahikes, all of them have been impacted greatly. The transformations have been profound and irreversible. 

I see it in our trekkers too. I have seen them change professions, careers or start a new life. I have seen them get in and out of relationships, and start new projects. These are life-changing experiences. 

I have seen children building resilience. I have seen families come together. When I see those above 55, I see them rediscover passion and a sense of purpose. These are not small gains.

In the mountains new professions, new economies and new businesses have opened up. Our staff no longer go to cities to earn their living. Their income has increased. Above all, they are happiest working in this world. Trekking has been truly transformative.  

Everyone must trek. It transforms lives far more than you imagine. 

Expert Speak

Arjun Majumdar, Founder, CEO

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Arjun Majumdar, Founder, CEO

Arjun Majumdar, the Founder of Indiahikes, first went on this trek almost a decade ago. Since then, he has explored the Dayara Bugyal trek from several routes in several seasons. Here, he shares his candid thoughts about the Dayara Bugyal trek.

What I Like and Don’t Like About the Dayara Bugyal Trek

What I Like About the Dayara Bugyal Trek

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Arjun Majumdar, Founder, CEO

Arjun Majumdar, the Founder of Indiahikes, first went on this trek almost a decade ago. Since then, he has explored the Dayara Bugyal trek from several routes in several seasons. Here, he shares his candid thoughts about the Dayara Bugyal trek.

1. The big mountains hanging above the meadows of Dayara

I remember it was early evening when I set out to explore the meadows. The golden-green grass undulated over mounds of hillocks. It was just meadows everywhere. Fluffy white sheep grazed peacefully in small clusters in the nooks of the meadows.

Mt Bandarpoonch, with its shimmering snowy flanks, stood over the meadows like a guardian angel. It was omnipresent. The big massif with Mt Kalanag followed me everywhere.

You always hear of how stunning mountain views are when they jut out of the meadows. But, on Dayara Bugyal it grabs you by the scruff of the neck. Because behind me, in the direction I had climbed up was the entire stretch of greater Himalayas of the Gangotri extension.

I don't think I can say I was stunned. It was more than that. I had to sit down on a rocky outcrop to steady myself at what I was seeing.

I think people have got it all wrong about the views. They talk only about the meadows. It is the mountain views from Dayara that are the stunner.

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A trekker takes in the view of Mt Bandarpoonch from the meadows of Dayara. Picture by Karan Jain

2. The vastness of the meadows

I was taken aback at how vast the meadows were. I could not find an end anywhere. Curiosity got the better of me. I had to know where the meadows ended.

I climbed the second and third hillocks. The only thing that I got to see was more endless views of the meadows. I traversed my way towards Bakhariya top, the highest point of the meadows. It was many hills away.

Halfway, I climbed to a ridge that led to a hilltop. From the summit of the hilltop I could see the great deep valley many thousands of feet below me. On one side was the deep valley with the fading rolling hills, on the other were these great mountain ranges. In front was Mt Bandarpoonch. And below me were these endless carpets of green rolling meadows.

Where was I? This couldn’t be earth!

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The meadows of Dayara stretch as far as your eyes can see. Picture by Arjun Majumdar

3. The forested trails and the biodiversity

I have trekked to Dayara from multiple routes — what strikes me is how shady the trail is. Right from the base camp until you breakout of the forests into the meadows, the trail is in good shade with lovely forest cover. The biodiversity is high. Which is why you’ll hear a lot of bird calls. While we talk about the meadows, don’t miss out on the forest. Dayara Bugyal is one of the Best Himalayan treks for Bird Watching.

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Dayara Bugyal trek is a birder's paradise. Pictures by Madhav Anand

4. The camps in the clearings

Be it Gui, Chilapada, Nayata or even Barnala. Enclosed by forest but in grassy clearings, with commanding views of mountain tops, I think I could fall in love with these camps.

They are secluded, plenty of space to stretch your legs, walk about, take a peek in the forests, yet, you can just sit in one corner taking in the views. I have done lots of trek and have loved lots of camps, but if you ask me about Dayara, then I think it has some of the better campsites.

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The Gui campsite is a clearing with many hidden surprises. Lovely mountain views greet you when you turn right and behind a mound lies this secret pond. Photo: Sudheer Hegde

What I Don't Like About the Dayara Bugyal Trek

1. The Campsite near Barnala

I didn’t like the new Barnala campsite. We have had to move down from the upper Barnala camp to the lower Barnala camp, near the forest huts. The lower camp is somewhat cramped with very few views.

It is marshy at one end. I am waiting for when we can go back to the higher Barnala camp. In any case, we don’t camp at Barnala these days. The wonderful new campsite of Nayata is a hop-step-and a jump away. Trekkers simply love Nayata.

The green meadows of Dayara go into hibernation under a thick blanket of snow every winter. It is the largest expanse of snow you'll see on any winter trek in Uttarakhand.

Picture by: Ravi Ranjan

Dayara Meadows in Winter

Know Your Trek

We have always wanted trekkers to be well-informed before they go on a Himalayan trek. Knowledge is the difference between a safe trek and a dangerous one. It’s also the difference between a wholesome experience and a superficial experience.

Use this section to learn about the Dayara Bugyal trek. It has in-depth information about each day of the trek, what to expect, and how you need to prepare for it. Many years of expertise have gone into this content. Trekkers find that extremely useful.

Why fitness matters on the Dayara Bugyal Trek

On Easy-Moderate treks, you’re likely to trek around 5-6 km each day. Expect gradual ascents and descents along the way. The maximum altitude will be about 12,500 ft. There are no technical sections on these treks, but there could be small sections of steep gradients or tricky patches that require you to be surefooted.

Your goal is to comfortably run 5 km within 38 minutes.

Note: If you are above the age of 58 years, you'll also need to submit your Treadmill Test within 7 days of registration.

Trek Trivia

Things Nobody Tells You About Dayara Bugyal

Did you know Dayara Bugyal is connected to two other alpine meadows?

If you have a bit of adventure in your heart, you can explore two more alpine meadows from Dayara Bugyal -- Siyari Bugyal and further ahead, Gidara Bugyal.

Siyari Bugyal is a lot easier to access, via Devkund, a ridge that leads to Siyari from Dayara.

Gidara Bugyal is a lot more difficult to access and requires good fitness levels.

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A thousand year old home in Raithal

When you're staying at the Indiahikes campus in Raithal, don't miss exploring the village in your own time.

Raithal is home to a 4-storey building, which is said to be over a thousand years old. Built with wood and slated roofs, this home has stood the test of time, surviving a thousand harsh winters.

The construction of his home is said to be so clever that almost all visitors that go to Raithal, make it a point to visit this home and study architecture.

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Leaving Mountains Better

Green Trails is our promise to leave the mountains better. We have removed over 1 lakh kilos of the waste left behind by others on trekking trails. Yet this is a small percentage of what we do. Green Trails dives into reducing the use of resources, reducing our carbon footprint and bringing about a change in the daily practices of our trekkers too.