Chaainsheel Bugyal








Photo courtesy: Sushant Ale

The vast meadows of Chaainsheel Bugyal

Trek Fee Per Person
Rs. 7,750
Per Person plus 5% GST

Includes all costs while on the trek:

  • Expert trek leader and support team
  • Accommodation
  • All meals (delicious and vegetarian)
  • Quality trekking & safety equipment
  • Permits & camping charges

Does not include:

  • Expenses to and from the base camp

You’ll need to bring or rent:

  • Backpack
  • Trekking shoes
  • Suitable clothing
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Need help? Talk to our Trek Coordinator
on 080-395-11400

Trek Of The Year 2017

Indiahikes has collaborated with Uttarakhand Tourism to open this trek to Chaainsheel Bugyal. Together, we are running it as the Trek Of The Year 2017. It is a moderate trek that will suit a beginner as well as an experienced trekker. So if you’re looking for a moderate trek, this is your best option.

Undulating meadows on the way to Samta Thach

Three reasons why you must do the Chaainsheel Trek

Walking on untouched high altitude meadows

The Chaainsheel Bugyal trek is one trek you must do for its meadows. In June, the meadows come alive with fresh grass, making them lush. You’ll want to take off your shoes and run your feet through the soft carpet. Shepherds bring out their sheep to graze in these meadows. It’s a complete storybook setting. And the icing on the cake? You camp right in the middle of these bugyals on three days of the trek – a new meadow each time!

Saru Tal, set amidst lush green meadows. PC: Sonakshi Lele

Dark forests that open out to wide clearings

At the same time, you are never too far from the tree line. You walk through forests of deodar, silver birch and rhododendron shrubs on the first two days. In fact, the campsites like Sunaooti Thatch are small meadow-like clearings in the forest. The thrill of walking out of a forest into a wide open bugyal is unmatched.

Chaainsheel Bugyal trek indiahikes
Lone hut in a clearing Pic: Suranjan Maji

The fantastic views of the Garhwal Himalayas

Once you are out in the meadows, you are constantly trekking on a ridge. You get wonderful views of the gentle slopes of Thola Sheer, and Bandarpoonch mountains. These stay with you from Day 3 till the very end of the trek.

Chaainsheel trek
The meadows open up to the view of snow clad mountains. PC: Sonakshi Lele

The Trek

Chaainsheel Bugyal is located in the Kothigaarh-Bangaan valley of tehsil Mori, district Uttarkashi.

Balawat, the base camp, is around 215 km from Dehradun. The drive to Balawat will be one of the most beautiful mountain drives you’ll ever witness! Look out for the pine forests after Purola and the journey by the Tons river after Mori.

The first day will be at Balawat village. Experience the local village of Uttarakhand  with its wood carved houses, the Mahasu Devta temple, and apple orchards.

  • Altitude: 6,283 ft
  • Time taken: 9-10 hours, 215 km drive from Dehradun
Pine forests after Purola. Picture by Debayan S

Day 2: Balawat to Sunaooti Thach

  • Altitude: 10,400 ft
  • Time taken: 5- 6 hours, 8 km
  • Trek gradient: Moderate. 1 hour ascent followed by a mix of level walks and gradual ascents
  • Water sources: First water source is about 1 km from Balawat. Second one is about 2 km from Balawat
Apple orchards line the trail leading out of Balawat

As first days of Himalayan treks go, this is a long day. The day starts through apple orchards  and deodar trees. You begin climbing as soon as you start from Balawat. The ascent to Monda village takes about an hour. From Monda, the trail enters a dense forest with pine, deodar and oak trees. The trail through the forest is a mix of level walks and short ascents.

The tree line begins to thin as you gain altitude. 5 km into the trek, you reach Balchaa Bugyal-  a lovely spot for bird watching. Balchaa is known for giving the Forest Research Institute of Dehradun, a specimen of wooden log of the world’s thickest deodar tree.

As you move up, you will reach Kharlla Bhushyaali. Sunaooti Thach is another 3 km from here. The campsite here is a large patch of grassland. It is surrounded by meadows that stretch across 2-3 km. You are above the tree line here.

Sunaooti Thach campsite

From Sunaooti Thach, you get a 270 degree view of the snow capped peaks: Swargarohini, Black Peak, and trans Himalayan mountains of Lahual and Spiti. You can even spot Nag Tibba, Rupin and Buran Pass! Camp here for the night.

Sunaooti Thach gives a good glimpse of what this trek has in store.

Day 3: Sunaooti Thach to Samta Thach

  • Altitude: 11,647 ft
  • Time taken: 7-8 hours, 14 km
  • Trek gradient: Moderate. Long day. Level walk for about an hour followed by a gradual ascent.
  • Water sources: None. Carry 2 litres of water from Sunaooti Thach

chaainsheel bugyal trek

The trek today begins with a level walk through a beautiful forest trail. The forest is filled with oak, birch, and rhododendrons.You will traverse the beautiful meadows of Butaha Thach covered with silver birch trees and white rhododendrons. It is said that our epics were written on silver birch (bhojpatra) leaves. The meadows comprise around 5 km of the trail today. Butaha Thach is one of the best places on this trek for views of the Himalayan ranges around.

As you climb on the ridge to Samta Thach, mountain views start opening up. This is a flat, almost golf course like, meadow. You get 360 degree view of snow capped peaks.

Samta Thach is perhaps the most beautiful meadow you will cross on this trek,. The diversity of vegetation and flowers here is astonishing.

Day 4:  Rest and exploration day

Campsite at Samta Thach PC: Hemant Jhaveri

Day 5:  Samta Thach to Tikula Thach via Sarutal

  • Altitude: 10,203 ft
  • Time taken: 5-6 hours, 8 km
  • Trek gradient: Easy-moderate. Gradual ascent for 2 hours followed by gradual descent for 1.5 hours to Sarutal. Undulating trail for about an hour, finishing off with a descent
  • Water sources: None. Carry 2 litres of water from Samta Thach.
Untouched meadows on the trek. PC: Sushant Ale

Chainsheel Pass is about 2 km from Samta Thach. You reach here on the way to Sarutal. Enjoy views of Pabbar Valley from the Pass. There is also a motorable road to the Pass. The road was constructed as late as 2009, connecting the land locked Dodra and Kwar villages to rest of Himachal. At Chainsheel Pass, you enter the Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh.

You will go through bugyals of Saunyi-Sunai, Budeek Dhar on the way to Sarutal. These bugyals act as table top, among the amphitheater of mountains. Sarutal lies perched between these undulating meadows and the setting will astonish you. It is a special, secret lake, sitting with a twin among these meadows. It is because of the shepherd that the presence of this lake was known. The sunset turning the bugyals golden is a sight that will stay with you. Tikula Thach is a little over an hour away from Sarutal.

Day 6: Tikula Thach to Dagaan Moriyaach

  • Altitude: 9,416 ft
  • Time taken: 4-5 hours, 5 km
  • Trek gradient: Easy. Steady descent all the way to Dagaan Moriyaach
  • Water sources: None. Carry 2 litres of water from Tikula Thach
Amphiteathre of meadows surrounded by Garhwal Himalayas. PC: Suranjan Maji

Day 7: Dagaan Moriyaach to Chinwa village. Depart for Dehradun

  • Time taken:  3 – 4 hours, 5 km
  • Trek gradient: Moderate. Steep descent for about 1.5 hours which eases off into a level walk
  • Water sources: None till you reach the river – around 1.5 hours into the trek.
Dense forests on the trail

The trek starts in the forest and descends steeply for about 1.5 hours. Once you hit the river bed, the trail levels off. Chinwa village is the road head from where you can get transport for Dehradun.

The drive to Dehradun is long. Start your day early so that you can reach Dehradun by 10.00 pm.

How to get fit for the Chaainsheel Bugyal trek

Cardiovascular endurance
This trek requires a good amount of cardiovascular endurance. You can begin by jogging everyday. Start jogging at a slow pace and then keep increasing your pace day by day. In order to be prepared for high altitude trek, you should have a combination of distance and speed targets.

In case you’re just starting with a regular fitness routine, you can phase out your distance targets in the following manner –

  • Target completing 5 km in 45 minutes when you begin
  • Gradually increase the distance to 7 km. Target completing this in 63 minutes
  • Before you go on the trek, you should be able to walk at least 10 km at a stretch. Target completing this in 90 minutes

In terms of speed, make sure you’re able to jog 5 km in 35 minutes before the start of the trek. If you are 45 years old and above, your target should be completing at least 3 km within 29 minutes before you go on the trek.

Strength – Target 3 sets of squats with 15 in each
This is another area you should work on. Trekking with your backpack is not an easy task. It could be taxing for your legs. For this, strengthening your legs will help. You can do some squats to strengthen them. You can start with 3 sets of squats, with 8 squats in each set and work towards meeting your target within 3 weeks.

Another aspect that will help you trek comfortably is flexibility. For this, you can do some stretching exercises – stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, lower back muscles and shoulders regularly. On your trek, it is important that you arrive on the slopes with your muscles relaxed. Carrying a backpack, however light, can become a strain after a while. These exercises will help you to be in good shape before the trek.

Here is a guide to help you get fit for the trek.

One month trek fitness routine for moderate treks

Working out indoors

If you can’t go out and jog because of time and space constraints, here’s a video you can use to work out indoors.

Bare necessities

  1. Trekking shoes:  You can watch this video to learn to choose the right trekking shoes.
  2. Backpack (40-60 litres): A backpack with sturdy straps and a supporting frame. Rain cover for backpack is essential.


  1. Three Warm Layers: You will be trekking and camping at high altitudes. It will be cold at the higher altitudes so make sure you have at least three layers of warm clothes to protect yourself.
  2. Two trek pants: One pair of pants should suffice for this trek. But you can carry one spare pair in case the first one gets wet. Wear one pair and carry one pair. Denim/jeans and shorts are not suitable for trekking.
  3. Two collared t-shirts: Carry light, full sleeved t-shirts that prevent sun burns on the neck and arms. Again, wear one and carry one. A common mistake that trekkers make is not changing their tshirts often enough. Regardless of how cold it is, the body tends to sweat a lot. Trekkers who don’t change to fresh clothes fall ill due to wet clothes and are often unable to complete their trek.
  4. Thermals (Optional): Those who are more susceptible to cold can carry thermals to wear at night.


  1. Sunglasses: Sunglasses are to prevent snow blindness.
  2. Suncap: The sun is more harsh at high altitudes so wear a suncap to protect your face and neck.
  3. Synthetic hand gloves: One pair of fleece or woolen hand gloves. One pair of water proof/resistant, wind proof gloves.
  4. Balaclava: You may use woollen scarves instead as well.
  5. Socks (2 pairs): Apart from two sports socks, you can take a pair of woollen socks for the night.
  6. Headlamp/LED torch: Mandatory
  7. Trekking pole: Watch this video to understand why you need a trekking pole.


  1. Daypack (20 litres): If you are offloading your backpack, you will need a smaller backpack to carry water, medical kit and some light snacks.
  2. Toiletries: Sunscreen, moisturiser, light towel, lip balm, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitiser. Do not carry wet wipes since these are not biodegradable. If you do happen to use wet wipes to clean up after a trek, make sure you bring them back with you. The same holds for used sanitary napkins. Carry a zip lock bag to put used wet tissues and napkins. Bring this ziplock bag back with you to the city and do not dispose wet tissues and sanitary napkins in the mountains. 
  3. Cutlery: Carry a spoon, coffee mug and a lunch box. We insist on trekkers getting their own cutlery for hygiene reasons.
  4. Two water bottles: 1 litre each
  5. Plastic covers: While packing, use plastic bags to compartmentalise things and carry few extra plastic bags for wet clothes.

Mandatory Personal Medical Kit

  1. Diamox – 10 tablets 
  2. Dexamethasone – one strip
  3. Nifedipine – 5 tablets
  4. Crocin – 6 tablets (fever)
  5. Avomine – 4 tablets (motion sickness)
  6. Avil 25mg – 4 tablets (allergies)
  7. Combiflam – 4 tablets (Pain killer)
  8. Norflox TZ & Lomofen– 6 tablets each (diarrhea)
  9. Digene – 10 tablets (acidity)
  10. Omez/ Rantadine – 10 tablets (antacids)
  11. Crepe bandage – 3 to 5 meters
  12. Gauze – 1 small roll
  13. Band aid – 10 strips
  14. Cotton – 1 small roll
  15. ORS – 10 packets
  16. Betadine or any antiseptic cream
  17. Moov spray (aches, & sprains)
  18. Knee cap, if you are prone to knee injury
  19. Anti fungal powder

Mandatory Documents

Please carry the below documents. Document two and three need to be downloaded (PDF), filled in, signed and handed over to the trek leader at the base camp.
  • Original and photocopy of government photo identity card- (driving license, voters ID, etc.)
  • Disclaimer- Download PDF
  • Medical certificate – Download PDF

Here’s a guide to help you pack for the trek – 

What you need to know about the trek fee

The trek fee of Rs. 7,750 + 5% GST covers all costs of the trek from Balawat to Chinwa.

Here is what the trek fee includes:

  1. Accommodation – Stay is included from Day 1 to Day 6 (Balawat to Dagaan Moriyach). You will be camping on all days of the trek (3 per tent).
  2. Meals – All meals from dinner at Balawat on Day 1 to breakfast at Chinwa on Day 7 are included. We provide simple, nutritious vegetarian food on all days of the trek.
  3. Camping charges – All trekking permits and forest camping charges are included.
  4. Trekking equipment – You will stay in high quality tents and sleeping bags in all the camps. Our high altitude sleeping bags can withstand temperatures as low as -10 ºC. We provide ice axes, roped, micro spikes, gaiters etc. as required.
  5. Safety equipment – First aid, medical kit, oxygen cylinders, stretchers etc. will be available at all campsites to deal with emergencies.
  6. Services of an expert Trek Leader – All our trek leaders are qualified in basic / advanced mountaineering courses.
  7. Services of an expert Trek Team – The mountain staff on this trek consists of well trained guides, cooks, helpers and porters.

Here is what the trek fee excludes:

  1. Transport to and from the base camp – We will arrange shared taxis for trekkers to pick you up from Dehradun and drop you back from Chinwa. This will cost approx. Rs. 5,500 per 5-6 seater vehicle. You will have to share this cost with the other trekkers
  2. Food during transit to and from the base camp – The trek fee does not include meals purchased during the journey to Balawat and the return drive from Chinwa.
  3. Backpack offloading charges – If you wish to offload your backpack, there will be an additional charge of Rs.1,575 inclusive of taxes. The backpack cannot weigh more than 9 kgs. Suitcases/strolleys/duffel bags will not be allowed. Please note that charges will vary for last minute offloading in case you decide to offload your bag after reaching Balawat (Rs.350 per day inclusive of tax).
  4. Stay at Dehradun on the last day 
  5. Personal expenses of any kind
  6. Anything apart from inclusions

Terms & Conditions

1. Cancellation: If a trek is called off at the last moment due to a natural calamity/unforseen circumstances (like rains, earthquake, landslides, strike, bandh etc), Indiahikes will issue a trek voucher for the full amount. The voucher can be redeemed for the same trek or another trek in the next one year.

In case, you wish to cancel your trek, please login to your account and cancel. Cancellation requests will not be taken over phone or email.

The cancellation charges are as under:

  • Cancellations prior to 30 days from the start of the trek — full refund.
  • Cancellation between 30 days and 20 days to the start of the trek — 50% refund.
  • Cancellation less than 20 days to the start of the trek — no refund.

Please note: In case of refund, there will be a deduction of 4% (bank charges) from the total fee you have paid. Also, if you have opted for a trek insurance, the amount will not be refunded. 

The trek fee includes all costs of the trek from the start and to the end of the trek.

2. Pick up: Trekkers are picked up from Dehradun railway station at 6:30 am. Usually, trekkers are clubbed together with other participants to make a group. The group travels together to Balawat in shared cabs.

3. Transport: Transport from Dehradun to Balawat and the return can be arranged by us at an extra cost. Participants are expected to share the cost of the cab (R.s5,500 per 5-6 seater cab). The amount is to be paid directly to our transporter. No service tax is applicable on transport cost. Indiahikes only arranges the vehicle pick up and is not responsible for any issues during transport. You can choose to come independently to the base camp.

4. Backpack offloading: Indiahikes expects all trekkers to carry their own backpacks. All common gear will be carried by the support team. If for some reason a trekker is unable to carry his or her backpack, he/she can offload the same by paying an additional charge.

Backpack offloading charge is Rs 1,575 inclusive of taxes. Partial offloading is not allowed. Charges will vary for last minute on slope offloading (Rs.350 per day inclusive of tax). The backpack cannot weigh more than 9 kgs. No suitcases/strolleys/duffel bags will be allowed.

5. Emergency during trek: In a trek a medical emergency or any other emergency may arise. If for any reason you are sent down from the trek then Indiahikes will make arrangements for your return to the base camp or nearest road head. A staff will accompany you. He may not be a trained personnel.

Evacuation or dealing with emergencies is extremely difficult in the mountains. It is time consuming as well. A normal trek of 2 hours may take 6 hours in an emergency (a sick person is not easy to evacuate). Doctors do not go along with a team. Doctors are not available at the base camp or nearest road head either. Indiahikes trek leaders are trained to administer first aid and know how to deal with issues related to the mountains. However, they are not doctors.

Registering for this trek is an understanding that you have read up on the difficulties of high altitude trekking and understand the risks. You have also understood what AMS, HAPE and HACE are. You have taken efforts to educate yourself and you are in a position to manage your own altitude related emergency.

6. Fitness: A high altitude trek in the Himalayas requires considerable fitness. Your body needs to train itself to process more work with lower levels of oxygen. Cardiovascular training before a trek is critically important. Training must include strength and flexibility workout. We have laid out the eligibility criteria here. Registering for the trek is an understanding that you will undertake the mandated fitness training. Indiahikes has the right to reject candidates who do not meet our eligibility requirement at the base camp.

7. Non-liability: Indiahikes is not responsible for any loss/damage of your gears/equipment or other belongings on the trek.

8. Payment: Payment for the trek can be done online through credit/debit card or net banking. Cheque/draft or cash is not accepted.

9. Drinking and smoking during the trek is strictly prohibited. If found flouting the rules, your participation on the trek will be cancelled with immediate effect.

10Safety Protocol: 

a. While our itineraries are designed to allow for adequate acclimatisation, most treks in Indian Himalayas climb quickly, which is called forced accents. Unavailability of camp sites and the Indian Himalayan terrain are the reason for this. There are chances that you will feel the effects of altitude sickness and oxygen deprivation while on this trek. Please be aware that your trek leader may deem it unsafe for you to continue trekking at any time, and arrange for you to descend to a lower attitude.

b. Our trek leaders will conduct routine health checks at all camps to measure oxygen saturation, pulse and blood pressure. Indiahikes reserves the right to exclude any trekker from climbing higher on the trek without refund if the trekker’s vital readings are below accepted norms for that altitude. These norms are available with Indiahikes trek leaders.

c. This is a high altitude trek. It is important that you are a fit and confident walker in mountain terrain, able to manage ascents and descents by yourself within a reasonable time. Indiahikes reserves the right to turn around a trekker if in the opinion of our trek leader they are unable to complete the itinerary without requiring exclusive assistance. Please realistically self-assess your fitness and suitability for this trek before registering.

What Indiahikes does to ensure your safety

Our philosophy is simple. We ingrain safety aspects in the people we work with, in the processes that we follow, and in the equipment we carry. All our trek leaders are trained repeatedly on safety issues and protocols. Most issues are resolved with their intervention.

Right from the time you decide to register for the trek till the last day of the trek, these safety procedures will be running in the background. We have listed a few of them below:

1. Fitness criteria before registration

Over years of organising high altitude treks, we have found that safety issues thrive amongst those who are unfit and unprepared for the trek. Anyone who wants to register for the Chainsheel trek has to meet the fitness requirements, with the ideal BMI. The BMI and fitness regime will require proof. A high altitude trek is not to be taken casually.

2. Monitoring health on a trek

Any abnormal reading will be paid particular attention to and action will be taken immediately.  

On the Chaainsheel trek, your Trek Leader will be monitoring two aspects thrice a day.

  •      Oxygen Level
  •      Pulse Rate

Your Blood Pressure levels will be checked once a day.

This will help us ensure that your body is acclimatising as required.

Every trekker will be given a Health Card at the beginning of the trek. The Health Card is issued to monitor the trekker’s daily health, wherein they will be entering details about their health everyday. It also contains details of what symptoms one should look out for and what action should be taken during emergencies. These Health Cards will be collected back at the end of the trek.

3. High Altitude Medical Kit

Your trek leader will be carrying a full-fledged high altitude medical kit. This will include basic medicines and specific medicines catering to altitude sickness – Diamox, Dexamethasone (tablets and injections) and Nifedipine. Your Trek Leader will also be carrying a portable oxygen cylinder throughout the trek. In addition to that, there are oxygen cylinders installed at all high altitude campsites for any emergency situations.

4. High Altitude Trek Equipment

To ensure safe trekking on snowy terrain, Indiahikes will provide you with micro-spikes to attach to your shoes. This will give you good traction on hard snow. To avoid snow from entering your shoes, Indiahikes will provide you with gaiters that you can put on over your shoes. You will have qualified technical guides with you, who will lead the way on difficult terrain.

All our sleeping bags and tents are custom-made for high altitude. If it is cold outside, it will be around 10 degrees warmer inside the tent. The sleeping bags can withstand temperatures up to -10 degree Celsius.

With all these processes and equipment in place, you can be rest assured that you will have a safe trek with Indiahikes.

Nevertheless, you will need to be cautious and report the slightest of symptoms to your trek leader as soon as you feel them.

5. Being hydrated and well nourished on the trek

You need to drink a minimum of 4 litres of water every day during the trek to ensure that you’re well hydrated. De-hydration on a trek can make you lose energy very quickly and intensify the effects of AMS. Your trek leader will brief you about the amount of water that you need to carry with you at the start of each day as well as water sources on the trail.

We provide trekkers with nutritious meals to ensure that they are energized to complete the trail each day. Apart from this, snacks or packed lunch is provided wherever the trail before a meal break is likely to be long. Make sure that you do not skip any meal as this can lead to serious health emergencies on high altitudes.

1. What is the style of accommodation in this trek?

Chaainsheel Bugyal is a 7 day trek. You will be staying in tents on all days of the trek. Each tent accommodates 3 trekkers. Sufficient number of toilet tents will be set up for the convenience of trekkers.

2. Will you provide us with tents and sleeping bags?

Yes, Indiahikes trekkers will be provided with tents and high altitude sleeping bags that can withstand temperatures as low as -10 ºC.

3. Which are the best seasons for the Chaainsheel Bugyal trek?

Spring, autumn and winter are the best times to do the Chaainsheel Bugyal trek

4. When will there be snow on this trek?

You are likely to find snow in patches on this trail in April. Sometimes, you can get lucky and see fresh snow fall in December.

5. At what time should we reach Dehradun?

It is advisable to reach Dehradun railway station by 6.30 am. Indiahikes pick up is lined up at that time. You can take the Nandadevi Express from New Delhi Railway station at 11.50 pm. It reaches Dehradun by 5.40 am.

The cost of the pick up is not included in the trek fee. This amounts to Rs.5,500 per vehicle and is to be paid directly to the driver.

6. What will we do if it rains?

If it starts raining while you’re trekking, we will continue on the trail as planned. Your poncho should protect you from the rain. Carry a backpack cover for extra protection from rain for your belongings. When it rains at the campsite, we usually get together in the dining tent and play games. The tents that you will be staying in, the dining tent, kitchen and toilet tents are all water proof, so you will stay dry inside.

7. How will we get back to Dehradun?

Indiahikes will arrange for vehicles (usually a Tata Sumo) to drop you back from Dagaan Moriyach at the end of the trek. The cost of transportation would be borne and shared by trekkers. It will amount to around Rs.5,500 per vehicle and is to be paid directly to the driver.

8. Will backpacks, raincoats and other equipment be available for rent?

No. There are several websites that rent out trekking equipment. Indiahikes does not rent any equipment. You can check our store for any equipment that you would like to purchase.

9. Is this a good trek for a first timer?

Chaainsheel Bugyal is graded as a moderate trek. Beginners can attempt this trek provided they stick to the fitness schedule and meet the health requirements. Kedarkantha, Deoriatal-Chandrashila, Har Ki Dun and Sandakphu are also good treks for first timers. As in all treks, physical preparation is mandatory.

10. Is there an option to offload my backpack on this trek?

Yes, there is an option to offload your backpack. This will cost Rs.1,575 inclusive of tax if you inform us in advance. If you decide to offload once you reach the base camp, the amount will be Rs.350 per day inclusive of tax The offloaded bag should not weigh more than 9 kg. Strolleys, duffel bags, suitcases etc. are not allowed. We suggest you read “5 Tips to make Carrying your Trekking Backpack Easy” before making a decision.

11. Can I take my child along on this trek? What is the age limit?

Chaainsheel Bugyal is a moderately difficult trek and requires trekkers to be physically fit. Minimum age for eligibility is 12 years. If your child meets this criterion and is physically fit, you can take her/him along.

12. What kind of food is served on the trek? Should we carry any food?

Indiahikes uses a well planned menu suitable for high altitude treks. Breakfast varies from bread and butter, semia, poha to sandwiches and cornflakes. Lunch mainly comprises of roti or puri with sabzi. Dinner is complete with Dal, rice, roti and dessert. Dry ration of biscuits and chikki will be provided as well. You may carry nuts and dry fruits if necessary.

13. Who will be there with us on the trek from Indiahikes?

An Indiahikes team consisting of a qualified Trek leader, trek guides, porters and cooks will be with you throughout the trek.

14. What are the washroom/toilet facilities like on the trek?

During the trek, toilet tents will be set up along each campsite. There will be 2 to 4 of these toilet tents depending on the size of the group. A toilet tent will have a deep pit, where one can answer nature’s call. There will be a mound of soil and a shovel to cover it up. These are dry toilets, where you’ll have to use toilet paper. This is the most hygienic and convenient way to answer nature’s call in the wild. Please use plain toilet paper and refrain from using wet wipes since these are not biodegradable.

15. Will there be water sources on the way? Will two litres of water be enough?

Our campsites are pitched near water sources. For your day’s trek, two litres of water should be enough. On Day 2 and Day 7, you will find one water source to refill your water bottles. Your trek leader will brief you about these before starting the day’s trek. There will be no water sources on the trail on the other days of trekking.

16. Is there mobile network on this trek? Are there any electricity charging points on this trek?

You will receive BSNL signal at Purola which is on the way to the base camp. Beyond that, the signal will be intermittent. There will be no charging points anywhere on the trek since you will be staying in tents throughout.

17. Do I need special snow shoes on this trek?

You don’t need special snow shoes. A good trekking shoe is sufficient for the trek. When there is snow, we provide microspikes and gaiters. In case you’re looking to purchase new trekking shoes before the trek, this video will help you choose the right pair.

18. Why is the trekking pole necessary?

A trekking pole gives you stability and balance, and helps reduce fatigue. We suggest you watch this video for a better understanding of why a trekking pole is necessary –

19. When it gets really cold can I consume alcohol?

Alcohol is dangerous in extreme cold, especially at high altitudes. Contrary to what people believe, alcohol does not make you warmer. Instead it opens your pores, making your body colder. Moreover, it dehydrates you very quickly. Hence consumption of alcohol is absolutely prohibited on all Indiahikes treks. Anyone found with alcohol is quickly removed from the trek. Smoking, similarly, is not allowed on Indiahikes treks.

20. How long do we trek every day? What is the distance covered?

Day 1 is when you reach your base camp, Balawat. This is a long drive from Dehradun and will take you around 10 hours.

Day 2, you climb over 4,000 ft to reach Sunaoti Thach in 5-6 hours. Distance covered is around 8 km.

Day 3 is a 7-8 hours trek to Samta Thach. Distance covered is around 14 km.

Day 4 is a rest and exploration day.

Day 5, you trek to Tikula Thach. Covering the 8 km to reach there will take 5-6 hours.

Day 6, you trek to Dagaan Moriyach in 4-5 hours.

Day 7 is when you trek to China for about 3-4 hours and depart to Dehradun.

Please refer to the trek itinerary for more details.

21. How do I manage the negative temperatures on the trek? Do I need special jackets?

At 11,648 ft altitude, temperatures are sure to dip into negative at nights, especially in the winter. For these extreme cold temperatures, you need to keep the rule of 3 in mind. The rule of 3 usually takes care of cold that dip to -10°C. It is a simple formula of wearing 3 layers of woolen, inners and lower wear.

Follow this guide:

Wear one thermal and two T-shirts, three layers of woolens (two sweaters and a jacket). For your lowers wear a thermal inner with two layers of track suit. If you are prone to more cold, just add a layer.

The temperatures dip only late in the evening and early mornings. During the day if the sun is out, then you may even be trekking in your T-shirts. Make sure you use your thermal wear only at night and not while trekking.

A woolen cap/balaclava and gloves are a must.

This video also has tips on how to stay warm on a high altitude trek.

22. What all do I need to carry on the trek?

Click here to get the list of all the things you need to carry on the trek.

23. Can I leave traveling clothes behind and collect them after the trek?

This will not be possible since you will begin your trek at Balawat and finish at Chinwa.

24. Is it safe to trek with Indiahikes?

All high altitude treks come with their share of risks. At Indiahikes, we pay utmost importance to safety of trekkers. While we do our bit to ensure a trekker is safe, we also expect any trekker who is enrolling with us to know what could go wrong, and if it does, how to tackle it. Before you go on the trek, make sure you’re thoroughly acquainted with the safety procedures followed on a trek.

25. What are the places of interest that I can visit before or after the trek?

You can spend time exploring tourist attractions around Dehradun or Haridwar. Please note that these are suggestions and Indiahikes does not make any arrangements for visiting them.

How to get to the basecamp – Balawat

Delhi → Dehradun → Balawat

The Chaainsheel Ghati trek starts from Balawat. Balawat is around 215 km from Dehradun.

From Dehradun, Indiahikes organises transport to Balawat. We organise the transport at 6.30 am from Dehradun Railway Station on Day 1. The fare of this transport is not included in the fee. It costs Rs.5,500 per cab one way and this fare is shared by trekkers. You will have to pay the driver directly. 

The drive to Balawat is beautiful, beside the River Tons. You pass through Mussoorie, which is a popular hill station. Stop for breakfast at Kempty Waterfalls, which is a popular tourist destination. You can stop at Purola for lunch; the Dhabas here serve delicious Aloo Parathas. You will reach Balawat around 6.00 pm.

To reach Dehradun
The best way to reach Dehradun is to take an overnight train from Delhi. There are two trains available from Delhi to Dehradun. We recommend that you take this one – 

  • 12205 Nandadevi Express – 23.50 – 5.40

If you cannot find a train, then take a bus. To stay on the safe side, book buses online in advance. Book such that you have some buffer time to make it to Dehradun on time for the pick-up; buses usually get delayed.

Getting back

Chinwa → Dehradun → Delhi

The Chaainsheel Ghati trek ends at Chinwa. From Chinwa, you’ll be retracing your route all the way back to Dehradun. Indiahikes organises this transport for a fare of Rs.5,500 per cab. This is to be shared by trekkers and paid to the driver directly. You will reach Dehradun by 10.00 pm. 

If you are travelling further from Dehradun,  book your further travel from next day. If you are travelling to Delhi, you can choose to go back by Mussoorie Express or Nanda Devi Express.

“The Chainsheel trek from Uttarakhand is a hidden gem that needs to be high on anyone’s list. The trek has enough challenging sections to excite and is yet achievable with the right mindset and preparation. Reaching Saru Tal is a magical experience and the meadows with flowers of all colours can cure even the sick. Additionally, there are a lot of apple orchards at lower heights and minerals at higher heights you can spot on the way. The water quality is fabulous. The spurs and rocks along the meadows give a unique a rugged look to the whole place. Balawat, the base camp, is a lovely village to just stay in for a few days.” – Ishani Mehta, June 2017 


“It is mixture of accent climb, forest walk, meadow walk ,and somewhat experience of all the season as well as hail” – Hemal Ahir, June 2017 


Available Dates For Treks

No Dates Found

Must read about Chaainsheel Bugyal

REGION: Uttarakhand DURATION: 7 days DIFFICULTY: Moderate HIGHEST ALTITUDE: 11,646 ft AVERAGE TEMPERATURE: Day time: 14-17°C; Night time: 7-12°C

We will open fresh batches for this trek in April 2018. Keep a tab on this page for dates.

Meanwhile, take a look at our winter treks here. These are the top treks to do until April.

Short Itinerary

Day 1: Reach Balawat. The drive from Dehradun takes around 10 hours. Transport will be organised from Dehradun at 6.30 am. Cost of cab per person – Rs.1,000.
Day 2: Balawat (6,283 ft) to Sunaooti Thach (10,400 ft);  5-6 hours, 8 km
Day 3: Sunaooti Thach (10,400 ft) to Samta Thach (11,647 ft);  7-8 hours, 14 km

Day 4: Rest and exploration day.
Day 5: Samta Thach (11,647 ft) to Tikula Thach (10,203 ft) via Sarutal; 5-6 hours, 8 km
Day 6: Tikula Thach (10,203 ft) to Dagaan Moriyaach (9,416 ft); 4-5 hours
Day 7: Dagaan Moriyaach to Chinwa; 3-4 hours. Depart for Dehradun. You are expected to reach Dehradun at 10.00 pm.

It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo id for entry at forest check posts on the trek.

Temperature Chart

Click on the chart to see average temperatures on the Chaainsheel Bugyal trek

Rainfall Chart

Click on the Chart to see the Average Rainfall at Chainsheel

ATM point and Mobile connectivity

Purola has the last ATM point before your trek begins.

Purola  has BSNL mobile phone connections that work intermittently. Signal is intermittent in the mountains. Do not depend on it. Finish all your important calls at Purola. Please inform anxious family members about limited phone connectivity.

What our trekkers are saying about the Chaainsheel Bugyal

“The Chainsheel trek from Uttarakhand is a hidden gem that needs to be high on anyone’s list. The trek has enough challenging sections to excite and is yet achievable with the right mindset and preparation. Reaching Saru Tal is a magical experience and the meadows with flowers of all colours can cure even the sick. Additionally, there are a lot of apple orchards at lower heights and minerals at higher heights you can spot on the way. The water quality is fabulous. The spurs and rocks along the meadows give a unique a rugged look to the whole place. Balawat, the base camp, is a lovely village to just stay in for a few days.” – Ishani Mehta, June 2017 

“It is mixture of accent climb, forest walk, meadow walk ,and somewhat experience of all the season as well as hail” – Hemal Ahir, June 2017 

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Aswati Anand

Aswati Anand is a journalist in love with the Himalayas. She is interested in stories of resilience from difficult terrains and sustainable living. When not mooning over the mountains, she can be seen doodling in her sketchbook.