Easy-Moderate | Level 1
Easy-Moderate | Level 1
Dayara Bugyal is our best trek for children between 10 - 14. Demanding just the right amount of effort from children, it takes them through a variety of sceneries. Lovely oak and maple forests in the first section, endless alpine meadows in the next, and high summits surrounding them at the top. These mountains capture their imaginations with their rich history and mythology.
Coming to the meadows, we have a soft corner for the meadows on this trek. They are almost crafted to perfection. "The meadows are so perfectly landscaped, that there isn't a single rock or tree out of place. With the royal views of the Gangotri mountain range in the backdrop, the rewards are massively disproportionate compared to the effort you put in," shares Sandhya UC, co-founder and COO at Indiahikes.
A trek map of the Dayara Bugyal trek
Drive from Dehradun to Raithal
Departure time: 6.30 am | Approx arrival at Raithal: 3-4 pm
Reach the Indiahikes community campus at Raithal by vehicle (Non-AC).
Stay at Raithal for the day
Fun team-building activities and acclimatisation walks
Trek from Raithal to Gui
Trek Distance: 6 km | Trek Duration: 5-6 hours | Altitude Gain: 7,142 ft to 9,630 ft
Trek from Gui to Chilapada
Trek Distance: 2 km | Trek Duration: 2-3 hours | Altitude Gain: 9,630 ft to 10,515 ft
Explore the forests around Chilapada, participate in bird watching and nature journaling.
Trek from Chilpada to Nayata via Dayara Top
Trek Distance: 9.25 km | Trek Duration: 6-7 hours | Altitude Gain and Loss: 10,515 ft to 9,186 ft via 11,950 ft
Explore the forests around Nayata
Learn to make paint from natural ingredients and explore the forests around Nayata
Trek from Nayata to Raithal
Trek Distance: 4 km | Trek Duration: 5-6 hours | Altitude Loss: 9,186 ft to 7,142 ft
Drive back from Raithal to Rishikesh.
The drive from Raithal to Rishikesh will be in a non AC vehicle.
Please note: The distance between campsites may vary by 100 meters depending the weather conditions and the route you take. The altitude may also vary by 100 feet for similar reasons.
➤ Documents required: It is mandatory for children to carry a copy of their photo ID for entry at forest check posts on the trek.
➤ Pick-up time and punctuality: Children must be on time for the pick-up at Dehradun. Delays will not be entertained. It affects the whole day's plan. Please reach Dehradun the previous night, if required.
➤ Packing snacks for the trek: Children will be given healthy food with a good variety, including plenty of trail snacks. Yet, if you're sending snacks along, ensure no plastic waste is generated. This is a plastic-free trek. Encourage zero-waste snacks.
➤ A note on staying facilities: Children will be staying in tents throughout the summer camp. These are expedition-grade tents that keep them safe from all weather conditions. There is no bathing facility on the trek.
A trek map of the Dayara Bugyal trek
Safety is everything when it comes to children
We go to great lengths to ensure your child has a safe trek. Watch this video on what safety means to us.
Children start the trek from the Indiahikes Campus at Raithal, where they get to know each other and come together as a team
Picture by: Pritish Bhanushali
Ready to trek!
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.
Day 1: Reach Rishikesh from Delhi
From Delhi, your child will be accompanied by Indiahikes staff. There will be a Bus pickup to Rishikesh organised between 11am to 12pm. (It was via train earlier, but we have made it bus travel as it is more convenient.)
Note: If you are unable to drop your children to Delhi, you can opt for Indiahikes Chaperone services. Click here for info.
Day 1 : Drive from Dehradun to Raithal
Drive Duration: 9 hours | Drive Distance: 208 km
Altitude: 7,142 ft
Raithal, the base camp for the Dayara Bugyal trek, is around 9 hours away from Dehradun.
The drive is through lovely forests and hills.
The largest town on the route is Uttarkashi, from where you head to Bhatwari.
As you approach Raithal, you witness the brilliant colours of sunset over Mt Bandarpoonch, Mt Srikanth, Mt Jaunli and Draupadi ka Danda peaks.
Stay at Raithal
We'll use this day for the children to get to know each other and become a team. They will participate in team-building activities.
At the same time, they will also get a chance to explore the ancient village of Raithal and see how the people live in these remote regions of our country.
Day 3: Trek from Raithal to Gui
Trek Duration: 4 hours | Trek Distance: 3km
Altitude Gain: ⇗ 2,488 ft (7,142 ft to 9,630 ft)
Difficulty: Easy-moderate. Gradually ascending trail throughout.
Highlights: Lovely oak forests with leafy forest floors. Sunset by the lake at the pond at Gui.
At Raithal, you can see Mt. Srikanth and Gangotri 1, 2, and 3 in the distance along with the mountains mentioned above. These become more prominent as you gain altitude on the trail to Gui.
The forest where the Gui campsite is located is visible from Raithal.
The trail from Raithal to Gui is a gradually ascending one. The initial trail goes out of the Raithal village quickly and takes you through the village fields. Go along the well laid out trail and in an hour you come to a flat grassy clearing which also has a hand pump. Take a small water break here and then proceed.
Post the water point, the trail becomes more wooded. You make your way into a forest that consists mainly of green and brown oaks (moru and kharsu) and rhododendron. This makes it a very rich forest. Unlike other places, you do not find pines here.
The forest opens up to a couple of small clearings before you reach Gui.
The campsite at Gui is located in a small clearing surrounded by forests. There is a small table close by. You will find village huts around - these are used by villagers in the summer. There is also a u-shaped forest department hut at some distance.
Day 4: Trek from Gui to Chilapada
Trek Duration: 3 hours | Trek Distance: 2 km
Altitude Gain: ⇗ 885 ft (9,630 ft to 10,515 ft)
Difficulty: Easy. Meandering flat trail through the forest
Highlights: Beautiful oak forests with mountains peeking through the trees. First views of Mt Bandarpoonch
The day's trek sees you carrying on along the trail the climbs out of Gui towards Dayara. As you climb up from Gui, you start seeing mountains on the other side, which were earlier hidden from view.
Today is a short day (3 km) with gradual ascends punctuated with flat sections.
Once you start from Gui, join the main trail and start climbing to Gui Thatch. This is a small meadow in the forest. On one side we have 5-6 Chania (shepherd) huts. Right in front of these huts is a compact pond. Just by the pond is a mound.
You also see the igloo-shaped structures of the Forest Department near the Chania huts. Beside the shepherd’s hut, you see Forest Department huts in the shape of igloos.
Insta point: Gui Thatch has incredible views of the entire Gangotri range. These include Shrikanth, Gangotri I, II and III. Look straight, you see the Jaonli peak there. On your left, you can spot the top of Bandarpoonch.
The next half kilometre from Gui Thatch is a relaxed and easy walk. It goes through beautiful rhododendron. The terrain allows you to leisurely walk and soaks in the setting of a Himalayan forest.
Hug a tree: Spend some time connecting with nature. If you are trekking with Indiahikes, your Trek Leader may facilitate the hug-a-tree experience here that helps you connect much more deeply with the forest.
You gradually start ascending once the relaxed forest walk ends. You cross a couple of streams which may be flowing, dried or frozen depending on the season.
Barely five minutes after crossing these streams, you see an umbrella-shaped rain shelter. This is the rest point. Chilapada is not far from here. Catch your breath, stretch your legs and pause for 10-15 minutes before proceeding further.
Chilapada is 20 minutes from the rain shelter. Five minutes into the trek from the rain shelter, notice a broken trail on your left. Leave the main trail and start trekking on this broken trail. This goes to Chilapada, a small opening between the meadows.
Look around, on one side you have the Chilapada Top with some Chania huts.
Day 5: Explore Chilapada
This day, children will stay at Chilapada campsite. It's a campsite nestled in the forest and is a perfect place to connect children with nature.
Children will explore forests around Chilapada, participate in bird watching and nature journaling.
Day 6: Trek from Chilapada to Nayata via Dayara Top
Trek Duration: 6-7 hours | Trek Distance: 9.25 km
Altitude Gain and Loss: ⇗ 1,435 ft; ⇘2,764 ft (10,515 ft to 9,186 ft via 11,950 ft)
Difficulty: Moderate. Undulating walk across meadows followed by a final ascent.
Highlights: The grand meadows of Dayara Bugyal, set against the backdrop of the Gangotri range of peaks and Mt Bandarpoonch.
Chilapada is pretty close to the start of Dayara Bugyal giving you almost the whole day to explore the massive meadows.
Climb through the forests and in half an hour the tree line ends and you find yourself at the edge of meadows. You do not see the full magnitude of the meadows yet.
Here you can spot the Chania huts in front. The trail goes right on the edge of the meadow. Look up to your right to see the magnificent view of Bandar Poonch and Kala Nag. All the summits which were with you from Raithal and Gui are now a lot bigger adorning the panorama behind.
Photo point: The early morning view of Dayara Bugyal is worth every effort put in to get there. Miles of undulating meadows stretch in every direction, with the rays of the sun catching them in many moods.
If early in the season (May-June), thousands of yellow, violet and white flowers sprout across the meadows – sometimes, there are so many that you have to deliberately skirt around them.
In winter, you see miles and miles of powdery snow on the undulating terrain.
Spend at least a couple of hours exploring the Dayara meadows before retracing your steps to the Chania huts. From there, descend to Nayata campsite.
Day 7: Explore Nayata
Nayata campsite is favourite among not just the beginners but even the seasoned trekkers.
The lush greenery in the months of summer, the mixed forest, the grand views it opens up to - the best campsite on the trek is surely saved for the last! To add to this, the colours change throughout the day as the sun goes down.
There cannot be better location for the chidren to explore, relax and reflect on the journey after a challenging summit day.
Day 8: Trek from Nayata to Raithal
Trek Duration: 4-5 hours | Trek Duration: 8.3km
Altitude loss: ⇘ 2,044 ft (9,186 ft to 7,142 ft)
Difficulty: Easy. Short stretches of ascents and descents for 1.5 hours followed by a steeply descending trail
Highlights: Pleasurable descent through a lovely canopy of trees. Last views of Mt Bandarpoonch
It takes about 4 hours to reach Raithal, so start your days trek by 9 am. From the Chilapada campsite, continue on the main trail you came down from Dayara yesterday. The trail continues to descend under a heavy canopy of forest cover.
Fifteen minutes of descent brings you to the rain shelter from where you diverted to Barnala on the way up. Continue moving down on the main trail. In an hour's march, you come over the clearing of Gui - your first campsite. Around Gui is where you get the final views of Mt Bandarpoonch on the trek.
Continue further for an hour before coming to the grassy clearing with the water source. Take a break here before completing the final hours descent to Raithal. The arch of Raithal marks the end of the trek. GMVN is half a kilometer down the paved road.
Continue till you reach GMVN . It brings to an end your enchanting Dayara Bugyal trek.
Day 9: Drive back from Raithal to Dehradun
Leave community campus at 7 am and reach Rishikesh by 4 pm.
Planning your onward flight/train booking
Our summer camp fee includes all the travel expenses and chaperone services from Delhi to Delhi. You'll have to bring your child to Delhi.
If you are unable to bring your child till Delhi, you may send your child along with an Indiahikes Chaperone. We have dedicated chaperones leaving from Mumbai and Bangalore on designated dates.
Here are the steps you need to follow to send your child with an Indiahikes Chaperone
- The one-way fee is Rs 2,000 per child. Register for the Chaperone Service by writing to Adeline Rebecca, Experiential Learning Coordinator. Her email id is email@example.com.
- If you’ve opted for an Indiahikes Chaperone, you need to drop your child at Mumbai/Bengaluru airport 3 hours prior to the departure of the flight.
- You'll also need to book your child's ticket on the designated flight for the Indiahikes Chaperone. The details of the designated flights are as shown below.
4. You can book chaperone for the return journey as well. The fee for the return journey is Rs 2,000 per child. We have dedicated chaperones reaching Mumbai and Bangalore on designated dates.
To avail chaperone services for the return journey, you'll also need to book your child's ticket on the designated flight for the Indiahikes Chaperone. The details of the designated flights are as below:
Important Note: The flight numbers may change and even the timings may vary by 15-20 minutes. Ensure the timing of the flight matches at the time of booking, even if the flight number is different.
If both the flight numbers and timings don't match, write to firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm before you book your flight.
These are documents required for legal purposes by Indiahikes and the forest department. Without any of these, you will not be allowed to trek.
- Original and photocopy of government photo identity card. Anything such as a driver’s license, Aadhar Card, or passport will do. This is required by the forest department for your identification.
- Disclaimer certificate. This is a legal requirement. Download the PDF, read carefully and sign it. This must be handed over to your Trek Leader during the registration at the base camp – Download the PDF
- Medical certificate. There are two sections in this. The first part must be filled by a practising doctor. The second part must be filled by you. Without the medical certificate, the forest department will not issue permissions for your trek. It is also a requirement by Indiahikes – Download PDF
Keep important documents in a clear plastic cover and slide them into the inner pocket at the back of your backpack. This keeps them from getting wet.
Before you purchase any gear, make sure you visit the Indiahikes rental store, where you can get custom-made high quality gear at 5% of the buying cost.
You can rent trekking shoes, backpacks, padded jackets, trekking poles, rainwear and headlamps for less than Rs 1400 for the entire duration of your trek. Visit the store here.
Here is a list of everything you need for your trek.
Shoes and backpack
Warm Layers and Clothes
- Warm layers (Padded jackets available on rent)
- 3 layers (1 woollen sweater, 1 fleece, 1 padded jacket)
- 3 Collared T-shirts (Wear one, carry two)
- 2 quick-dry trek pants (Wear one, carry one)
- Sun cap with flaps (Available for purchase)
- Waterproof gloves
- Socks (2 pairs of Dry fit + 1 pair of Woollen)
- Headlamp (Available on rent)
- Trekking pole (Available on rent)
- Rain jacket + pants / poncho
- Light towel
- Lip balm or vaseline
- Toilet paper (Wet wipes are strictly not allowed on our treks as they are not biodegradable and harm the environment)
- Reusable plastic covers (for used clothes)
- Steel lunch box, spoon and mug
- Two water bottles or Hydration Pack
Once you run through this list, don't miss this ultimate guide on what gear to take on a trek. It contains tips on what gear to choose, where to get it from and how much to spend on it.
Our only tip: Keep your backpack light. Indiahikes practices low impact sustainable trekking in every aspect of the trek. Carrying your own personal backpack reduces your impact on the mountains by 20%. We expect all our trekkers to carry their own backpacks unless they have a justifiable reason not to.
Dayara Bugyal is a beautiful alpine meadow situated in the northwest part of Uttarakhand in India. It is approximately 45 km from the famous town of Uttarkashi and around 190 km from Dehradun.
To reach Dayara Bugyal, first, make your way to the base camp Raithal. It is a quaint Himalayan village. From there, trek through the beautiful oak, rhododendron and maple forest to the Dayara Bugyal.
At Raithal you will be staying in the guest house. There are different types of dorms available.
Based on the number of trekkers rooms will be given. Whereas on the other campsite you will be staying in tents. Three people will be sharing tent.
The accommodation is separate for men and women unless you're a couple or a family.
Dayara Bugyal summer camp trek is a 10 day trek. You will be staying at our campus in Raithal and in tents on other days of the trek. Each tent accommodates 3 trekkers.
The basecamp at Raithal will have concrete toilets. On Trek days, toilet tents will be set up along each campsite.
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. There will be a room freshener as well. It’s 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.
Our campsites are pitched near water sources. For your day’s trek, two litres of water should be enough. On Day 4 and Day 5, 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.
When it comes to a mobile phone network and an internet connection, you’ll find a good network all across your trek. You will get a 4G network even at Dayara Top!
As for electricity, Raithal Campus is the last point with electricity. At the Indiahikes base camp in Raithal, all the rooms are equipped with plug points for trekkers to charge their electronic devices.
However, once you leave the base camp, there is no electricity. We suggest you bring additional batteries for your cameras and a power bank with more than 10,000 mAh to last you the entire trek.
Yes, you can keep the extra luggage at the base camp. Once the trek ends, you will be able to collect the luggage. Our team will arrange for this.
The transport takes you from Dehradun to the Base. However, you need to walk about 3 floors on foot to get from the basecamp to where you actually stay. We advise you to not bring any luggage that is bulky and heavy.
Ensure you do not keep any valuables at the base. Laptops, mobile phones, cash or any important items cannot be kept here.
Yes. They won't carry their full backpack. They will carry only essentials with them. Water, food, sweater, rain jacket.
There are no charges for offloading. The children need backpacks for their basic stuff. We will have kit bags for extra load of those who can't carry their full load.
We will have 5:1 ratio of team members on Summer Camps. For every 5 children, there will be one of Indiahikes team member to take care of them.
There are two pick up points at Delhi - City Central and Delhi Airport. The pick up timing is between 11 am and 12 pm.
Yes. The safety of every child is our priority.
What Children Learn
Our summer camps are a mix of fun, adventure and learning. Through the course of the trek and the program design, children learn the basics of trekking, camping and wilderness survival.
- Building a shelter out of bare minimum resources
- First aid skills through mock drills
- Navigation skills using maps and GPS tools
- Skills to identify and set up campsites in the outdoors
- Cooking in the wild
- Learning to cross streams
Given that children are in the heart of some of the richest biodiversity in our country, they learn first-hand about forests, plants, birdlife, animals and all natural elements around them.
- See and feel the rich biodiversity of Himalayan forests
- Learn about birdlife and animals endemic to the region
- Learn about the stars and the Milky Way by experiencing it in real-life
- Nature journaling
- Experiencing the forest
- Witness big Himalayan ranges at close quarters and learn the stories associated with them
At Indiahikes, we are very conscious about how we trek and how we treat the outdoors. There’s a certain spirit of trekking we believe in — a minimal and sustainable way of trekking. These are imparted by our Green Trails initiative, which inevitably has a big impact on children.
- Learn a minimal way of living by exploring lifestyles in remote villages in the foothills
- Clean trekking trails and leave mountains better
- Understand the importance of saving natural resources
- Learn the basics of waste management — segregating and composting waste
- Understand how to make composting toilets in the outdoors
Finally, the program design imparts priceless personal behaviours and skills among children. Within a week of our trekking summer camp we see remarkable changes in children. Children start displaying life skills that usually take years to develop.
- Gain life-long confidence after climbing to a high mountain summit
- Get accustomed to hardships
- Build resilience through overcoming difficulties
- Learn how to work collaboratively with a team
- Learn to own and share responsibilities
- Understand how to deal with healthy conflicts and resolve them
- Learn interpersonal communication skills
How We Keep Children Safe
Indiahikes Safety Mechanism
Indiahikes stands for safety. Indiahikes is the largest and the safest trekking organization in India. Over the past few years, we have had over 8000 students from schools across the country with us on treks.
We have had no untoward incident on these programs. This is because of our robust Risk Assessment and Management System that rests on the 3 pillars of our three pillars - people, processes and equipment. And we constantly work on them.
Our Trek Leaders are certified mountaineers with a Basic Mountaineering Course or Advanced Mountaineering Course. Trek Leaders assigned to lead student treks are Wilderness First Responders (WFR) and NOLS certified. We have constant refresher courses and specialized training for them year-round - towards building capacity to handle any risks.
Apart from the Trek Leaders we have technical guides, trek guides, program facilitators and assistants who accompany all team members of the Outdoor Leadership Program. All of them are trained to handle emergency mountain situations.
Read more about how we keep your students safe here .
Ultimately, even an expert team such as ours cannot keep all students safe unless they follow stringent safety processes.
There is a process for preparing team members, a process to monitor their health 3 times a day, a process for management of accidents, a process for managing altitude sickness, and a process for evacuation. There are processes for even trekking and a separate process for difficult sections. Any potential risk is nipped in the bud.
Our extensive trek experience matters here. The trekking trails are not new to us. These trekking trails have been nurtured and developed by us for many years. We have our own base camps on these trails.
From the time the program starts till it ends, safety of all team members is our responsibility.
Indiahikes is extremely meticulous in the safety processes we follow for risk assessment and management. We draw up a Risk Assessment and Management plan before every trek - especially so if it involves children. We prepare a risk assessment and management plan for each project we take with a school. You can download our sample safety plan here.
Most of the modern safety equipment used in the Indian trekking community has been introduced by us. This has fundamentally changed how trekking is done in our country.
In all of our treks, we carry a high-altitude medical kit, an evacuation kit, a technical kit, radio equipment, and oxygen cylinders (pulse oximeters and BP monitors are standard equipment carried by our Trek Leaders, including ropes and carabiners).
Leaving mountains better than we find them
At Indiahikes, we focus on bringing in new practices that can reduce our impact on the environment. This is done through constant R&D. Once these new practices are implemented we focus on achieving the results consistently on all our treks. You will see this as part of our G6 practices.
Golden 1: Green Sweep - Clean the trail of visible litter. We have collected more than 1,00,000 kgs of waste since 2016.
Golden 2: Segregation At Source - Segregate all waste collected so that we do not add all this waste to the landfill. We have diverted 50% of the waste from landfill through segregation
Golden 3: Food Composting - All our kitchen waste is composted into useful humus for the mountain soil. All food waste is either eaten by mules or composted at source.
Golden 4: Biotoilets - All our human waste is composted at source through our specially designed dry toilet pits.
Golden 5: Water efficient dispenser - We have reduced our waste used per trekker by 70% through specially designed water dispenser systems.
Golden 6: Save energy - We use solar panels for our energy use at our campsites. We are also in the process of redesigning our stove and menu to reduce the amount of gas used on our treks.
Our trekkers are a big part of us keeping our promise to leave the mountains better than we found them.
- Indiahikes trekkers do not carry anything that can harm the environment - be it wet wipes, or any packaged food on the trek. In fact they practice a zero waste trek.
- Indiahikes trekkers do not buy any packaged food in the dhabas on the trek - they do not take part in feeding the demand for packaged food
- Indiahikes trekkers clean the trails of waste using the eco bag as part of the Green Sweep Initiattive
- Indiaihikes trekkers carry their own backpack on the trek. They do not offload unless absolutely necessary
- Indiahikes trekkers do not pee/poop near any water source
- Indiahikes trekkers do not stray away from the marked trail
Trekkers who sign up with us pledge to follow these practices. When you sign up with us, you do too.
Everything you do on a trek creates an impact. The trail you trek on, the water you use, the waste you generate, how you poop, how you cook, what you eat — everything has an impact. The higher the impact, the greater the damage to the environment.
Yet, when done sustainably, trekking is one of the most environment-friendly sports.
When you trek with Indiahikes, you trek to leave the mountains better than we found them. This is part of our Green Trails promise.
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