This is a special photo story of the Ali-Bedni Bugyal trek. Special, because this was the first season of the trek. Special also because it was the first time trekkers saw these grand meadows draped in snow.
In this photo story, you have photos shared by photo trekker Yash Trivedi.
The group started from Lohajung, the basecamp of Ali-Bedni Bugyal trek. For those who don’t know, Lohajung is a tight market-town situated on a ridge. It is also a pass that was used to travel from one side of the mountain to the other.
It was spring. The group started trekking from Lohajung on March 23, 2021.
En route they saw the Kulling village on the other side of the valley. Sadly, Kulling village is sinking owing to the landslides in the region. Keeping everyone’s safety in mind, the government has instructed the people of Kulling to migrate to another village – Didina.
From Lohajung, the trail descends into mixed forest of oaks and rhododendrons.
After descending for two hours, you reach this iron bridge over the Neel Ganga. This place is called Raun Bagad.
From Raun Bagad, the trail starts ascending to Didina — the village inhabited by the people of Kulling.
Reaching Didina could be confusing because many trails lead to this rustic village. Keep your GPX handy so that you do not lose the trail in the forest.
The next day, after setting off from Didina, you trek in the dark shade of the trees.
The trek leader conducts an experience where you intimately interact with the trees of the forest. It consciously brings you close to nature, pulls you into the moment.
It is calming to spend some time in the silent company of the trees.
After trekking for 3 km, suddenly the vistas open and you pop into the meadows.
The experience of stepping out of the tree line and into the meadows is overwhelming, Here, a trekker soaks in the first views of the grand Garhwal Himalayas.
It became possible to trek to Ali-Bedni Bugyal because of the Abin Kharak campsite.
The Abin Kharak campsite. It lies right in the fold of the forest, just off the meadow. The bugyals are just a short walk from here.
From the Abin Kharak campsite, you can walk onto the meadows to witness a spectacular sunset and sunrise the next day.
Trekkers spend the night at Abin Kharak. The night sky was clear with stars twinkling above the Hillman tents.
The next day, as you climb higher from Abin Kharak, you start seeing a blanket of snow on the landscape.
It’s a special sight, to see the meadows covered in snow as the Garhwal Himalayas rise on the periphery.
Trekking to Ali-Bedni Bugyal in spring also offers rare views of the big mountains covered in thick snow.
Here you see a snow plume on Mt. Trishul. It is a larger-than-life experience to watch snow blowing off in the wind from the summit of the Trishul massif.
A sight as grand as this can bring up many emotions.
“Someday, again I want to get lost in those mountains, to relive those moments and find my life,” rues Yash as he looks back at the trek. He remembers a particular moment. “When I saw Mt Trishul from the top of the Ali-Bedni Bugyal, I had mixed feelings. I felt spiritual, I felt that we are very small part of this nature,” he says.
A trekker breaks down at the sight of the majestic Himalayan peaks. This experience is humbling and gratifying.
The experience of trekking on the snow-covered Ali Bugyal is unique. Trekkers have almost always pictured these meadows in lush green, or with a golden hue of autumn. This was the first time trekkers saw snow on this famous bugyal.
A trekker making his way to Ali Bugyal, leaving soft footprints on the snow, under clear blue skies.
Even in spring, the temperatures are cold in the Himalayas.
A trekker soaking in the sights, and the sun.
The weather in the mountains is unpredictable. Clear weather can quickly give way to clouds.
Trekkers continue through the Bedni Bugyal even as clouds cover the peaks. It gets cold.
Ali-Bedni bugyals are a part of the famous Roopkund trail. This trail is also a part of the annual Nanda Devi Jat Yatra which is a pilgrimage and a festival for the people of Uttarakhand.
A temple at the frozen Bedni Kund. It reminds you of the religious significance of this trail.
On the third day of this trek, you go from Abin Kharak to Gehroli Patal. You cross the Bedni bugyal on this day and even trek to Bedni top.
The group reaches Bedni top. The weather is clear and you can see the Trishul massif in the background.
Now you start descending into the forest. The forests become darker. You trek over ancient roots of the rhododendron and oak trees.
This is the Gehroli Patal campsite. It is the last day of the trek where you camp in the beautiful forest.
Next day, you leave from Gehroli Patal as early morning rays filter through the forest leaves. You descend all the way down to Wan village and then drive back to Lohajung.
This marks the end of your Ali-Bedni bugyal trek.
This story showcased some rare sights of the meadows covered in snow. Till now, very few trekkers have seen this side of Ali-Bedni bugyal. Are you among those few trekkers? Share your experience with us in the comment section below.