Our Only Winter Trek with the Biggest Snow Expanse
Not many people know but of all our treks Dayara has the biggest snow expanse. It is so big and wide that sometimes you cannot see the end of the whiteness.
In winter people want to see snow. Seeing it in such a wide canvas as Dayara is a rarity. What is more rare is the sight of Mt Bandarpoonch and Black peak towering almost 21,000 feet over Dayara. Seeing these mountains just popping out of the snow expanse of Dayara is the reason why anyone must do this trek.
But it is not just these mountains. In a full sweep, panning from your left to right, in a wide panorama are some of the other great mountains of the Gharwal Himalayas — Mt Srikanth, Draupadi Ka Danda, and Mt Jaunli.
You get a big snow expanse only when you climb to very high altitudes. In Dayara, climbing to about 12,000 feet gets you to this vantage point. It is quite an adventure to get there. It needs some effort to climb through the forests, floors of which are lined by a carpet of snow.
The Dayara Bugyal trek in winter is a unique vast landscape. None of our winter treks has it.
Use these pointers to navigate through this extensive trek guide:
- What I Like And Don’t Like About Dayara Bugyal
- Best Time To Visit Dayara Bugyal Trek
- Weather and Temperature on Dayara Bugyal Trek
- How To Stay Safe On Dayara Bugyal Trek
- How To Reach Dayara Bugyal
- What To Pack For Dayara Bugyal Trek
What I Like and Don’t Like About the Dayara Bugyal Trek
I had heard of Dayara Bugyal much before we had started Indiahikes — I’m going back almost 13-14 years from now.
These were all folklore, but my imagination was piqued. I longed for a day when I would step on these meadows.
Such was our urge that very early at the start of Indiahikes, we wanted to explore Dayara Bugyal, over and above other great treks. We had to see the meadows for ourselves because we explored the meadows in 2010!
We did not talk much about it in our blogs and articles at that time and we had kept this little treasure for ourselves, thinking that our country had not matured enough to enjoy the wonders of high altitude grasslands. Frankly, at that time trekkers were obsessed with high altitude treks.
Dayara did make me go weak in the knees. There were no two ways about it. If you had to see something wondrous, perhaps a lifetime experience, then stepping on Dayara meadows would be one of them. I also discovered there was a lot going for the trek even without the meadows.
What I like about Dayara Bugyal trek
➤ The big mountains hanging above 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 is the stunner.
➤ 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 really had to know where the meadows ended.
I climbed the second and third hillock. The only thing that I got to see were more endless views of the meadows. I traversed my way towards Bakhariya top, the highest point of the meadows. It was many hills away.
Half way, I climbed to a ridge that led to a hill top. From the summit of the hill top 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!
➤ I really liked 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.
➤ The foresty trail 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.
What I don’t like about the trek
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 little views.
It is marshy at one end. I am waiting 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.
Best Time to do the Dayara Bugyal Trek
Dayara Bugyal is a trek that can be done round the year except during the monsoons. This means that the trek is open and great for almost 8 months in a year.
If we take out the monsoons, we get 4 distinct seasons to experience Dayara Bugyal – Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn. Each season is different and lovely in its own way.
• Dayara Bugyal trek in Winter
In winter, people trek to Dayara Bugyal to experience snow. The landscape again changes colour when draped in the white snow. Soft, powdery snow-flakes loosely hang from pine-trees offering a tinge of Christmas-y feel. Perfect for snowball fights and an experience of snowfall if you’re lucky. However, snow raises the difficulty of the trek by a notch. So, prepare well if you are going in winters.
Watch this video of trekkers singing and trekking at Dayara Bugyal in winter. It will give you a feel of what it is like to be on this trail in winter.
This video of trekkers sliding in snow will also give you an idea of how much could be there in winter.
Snow You will find snow from the base camp towards the end of December. The entire landscape and valley will be in white. Flora and Fauna Pine trees heavy with powdery snow give a Christmas-y feel
• Dayara Bugyal trek in Spring
Spring in Dayara starts by mid March and goes on till the end of April. The snows start to melt at the upper reaches while the grass begins to turn green at the lower meadows. Tiny flowers make their heads out of the grass while rhododendrons bloom on the trees.
The upper reaches of the Dayara meadows are usually under snow until mid April.
Spring is a great time to experience colour contrasts on the meadows. You see snow, greenery and the colour of flowers all together.
Snow Great time to experience the last of the winter snow. The snow starts to recede from the lower campsites when spring sets. The upper reaches of Dayara are still under snow. Flora and Fauna You will see rhododendrons in bloom. Green pastures start peeping out from under the melting snow. Canopy of green and brown oaks is thick in the forest section between Raithal to Gui. This is the time to hear birds. Watch out especially for the Himalayan Monal.
• Dayara Bugyal trek in Summer
Summers are warm on Dayara Bugyal trek. Picture bright green meadows getting toasted under hot sunlight.
There is also a distinct summer fragrance in the air especially as you trek under the shadows of oaks and maples.
The atmosphere also gets hazier as there is a lot of dust and pollen in the air at this time. So, you might not get as sharp views as you get in autumn. But you will see the snow-capped mountains in their grandeur on a clear day.
There’s another plus side to the summers on Dayara Bugyal trek. Without the challenges of cold temperature or snow, this trek is at its easiest in the summers. And so, we open the family batches of Dayara Bugyal trek during this time. It’s a great time to introduce children to the Himalayas.
Snow Most of the snow has melted now and the temperature is warmer. Flora and Fauna The meadows look green, dotted with yellow, violet and white flowers For Families The trek is at its easiest in summers. It is a perfect time for family treks on the Dayara Bugyal trek.
• Dayara Bugyal trek in Autumn
In autumn (mid Sep — mid Oct) the skies are at their clearest. That’s when you witness the sharp mountain views. Imagine the majestic Gangotri range, Bandarpoonch popping up from the golden meadows under brilliant blue skies. Sounds picturesque, doesn’t it?
And if you wish to capture these ranges through your camera lens, autumn is the perfect time to do so.
Other than the brilliant mountain views, Dayara Bugyal in autumn is a riot of colours. You will witness maple leaves turning fiery red. This is a signature sight in the Himalayas, and against the backdrop of meadows turning golden, well, it is a sight to behold.
Witness these as you trek, inhaling the crisp, pine-scented autumn air.
Snow There is no snow on the trek but temperatures are dipping. Flora and Fauna The meadows turn golden yellow, maple leaves change colour to fiery red Mountain Views The air is washed clean of haze after the monsoon and is clear, crisp. This offers brilliant mountain views in the backdrop of the expansive golden meadows.
Weather and Temperature on Dayara Bugyal Trek
There are four clear seasons — winter, spring, summer and autumn — to do this trek. And the weather in each season differs.
So what kind of weather can you expect in these seasons?
• Winter (December — January): December brings in the snow. Along with it comes the winter chill. Even in lower camps the air is frosty with a sharp bite.
Except sub zero temperatures even at your base camps in the evening in winter.
During the day when the sun is out, it is quite comfortable to trek. The temperature is a balmy 8 — 12 degrees. If you are on snow, then the snow reflects, which makes it quite warm sometimes!
At the higher camp, temperatures could fall below minus 7 or 8 degrees in the night. As long as you are inside your tent and in your layers it is absolutely fine.
On your early morning summit climb, expect to start in temperatures well below zero. The day will get progressively warmer as the sun touches the ground, even though you may be on snow. Be prepared to shed off your layers as you climb.
• Spring (Mid March — Mid April): The winter is receding but hasn’t totally left yet. The snow is still in patches on the ground. On the upper slopes, especially above 10,000 feet it is still snow bound.
Expect cold nights at your higher camps. Temperature during the night can drop to around zero but generally will hover around 1-5 degrees. The day temperatures are usually very pleasant on the trek at an average of 15 – 20 degrees. If the sun goes behind the clouds and there is a bout of rain, then the temperature can fall to around 10 degrees.
• Summer (mid-April — June): There is no trace of winter left now. Even above 10,000 feet, you won’t find any snow. The air during the day is warm and you can almost smell the season as you trek through the shadows of oaks, maples.
During the day, the temperature hovers around 20 degree celsius and may go up to 25. At night, the minimum may go till 7-10 degree Celsius.
The nights are cooler and even though it’s summer you will need 2-3 layers to keep you warm after sun-down. The higher camps are colder at night. Sometimes you may wake up to frosty mornings.
• Autumn (Mid Sep — Mid October): Autumn is generally like Spring, but a few degrees colder. Nights can be nippy at slightly below zero at the highest camp. As you move towards late November, it is perceptibly colder. Higher camps are 2-3 degrees below zero. Though, at the lower camps the temperature will hang slightly above zero.
While trekking, in autumn, day temperatures are pleasant at around 13 – 18 degrees, but any rain or slight drizzle brings down temperature rapidly to around 8 – 12 degrees. You need to keep a pullover handy with you always.
How to Stay Safe on the Dayara Bugyal Trek
Even though Dayara Bugyal is an easy-moderate trek, it is a high-altitude trek. And you must keep certain pointers in your mind to stay safe. Starting with the difficult sections that you will encounter on this trek.
• How difficult is Dayara Bugyal Trek?
Dayara Bugyal is a perfect trek for beginners, it can even be considered as a pre-trek to get used to rigours of high-altitude trekking. Almost like an appetizer. It does not have tricky sections, but a couple of sections on the trek can get challenging. Amongst the high altitude treks on our list (treks that go over 11,000 feet), Dayara Bugyal poses the least risk.
This is why it’s a trek we recommend to many beginners, families and even to those starting out on trekking late in their lives. Here’s 73-year-old Ganesh Rai, who had his first trek experience at Dayara Bugyal, sharing his experience.
To know how to get fit for the Dayara Bugyal trek, click here.
1. From the basecamp to the forest: This initial 1 km stretch is steep. And although there is a well-laid trail, this section will test your stamina.
2. Climb to Dayara top: The final climb to Dayara top is also steep. And it gets challenging in snow during the winters. As you step out of your campsite for the summit push early in the morning, the snow is going to be hard, having frozen overnight. This snow section continues until you get to the top, getting steeper as you approach the top.
| Trekking with Indiahikes? Read how Indiahikes keeps you safe on high-altitude treks
Here are the important safety tips for Dayara Bugyal trek:
• While climbing the steep sections in snow – especially on your way to Dayara top – wear your microspikes. Hard snow is extremely prone to slips. A small slip can result in injuries like a ligament tear, a sprained ankle or even a fracture. Always put your foot on footholds made by earlier trekkers. Look out for deep footholds. Do not try to make new paths of your own.
| Note: If you are trekking with Indiahikes, your Trek Leader will tell you when to wear the microspikes. Indiahikes technical team will lead in this section to make the footholds required for trekkers to step on.
• AMS: At altitudes above 10,000 ft the chances of being hit by Acute Mountain Sickness are real. Altitude sickness does not distinguish between a first timer and an experienced trekker. Even experienced trekkers can get affected. Fitness helps in making your trek easier. But do not forget that even a fit person climbing too high too soon runs equal risk of developing AMS.
Some symptoms to watch out for: (a) Persistent headache (b) Feeling fatigue or weak (c) Feel nauseous or vomit (d) Feeling dizzy or lightheaded, often while sitting up or standing suddenly (e) You don’t feel like eating, you have a loss of appetite (f) You don’t sleep very well at night.
The itinerary of Dayara Bugyal trek allows you to acclimatise well. And yet, you must stay alert for any signs of AMS.
Here’s a complete guide to know about Altitude Sickness:
• Exit Points: There are easy exits on the Dayara Bugyal trek. In case of an AMS emergency at or before Chilapada, you will need to return to Raithal. If you are hit by AMS after reaching the top and crossed over to the other side of the trail, then you have to descend to Barsu. These are long distances and evacuation can take 7-8 hours from the farthest point.
How to Reach Dayara Bugyal from Dehradun
You may access Dayara Bugyal trek from Raithal. It is a quaint Himalayan village situated around 185 km from Dehradun.
| Travelling with Indiahikes? Click here for more information
If you are travelling on your own, take a bus from Dehradun to Uttarkashi as early in the morning as you can. A bus generally leaves from Dehradun Railway Station to Uttarkashi at 8:00 am. It charges about Rs.250.
There are shared taxis available near Indiranagar Market (Till 10:00 am) or Rispana Pool (From 11:00 am – 12:00 pm) till Uttarkashi . They charge Rs.350. You can reach Indiranagar Market/Rispana Pool using a shared auto (Vikram).
From Uttarkashi you will find shared taxis for Raithal from the taxi stand which is at a walkable distance if you get down at the bus stand. Raithal is 43 km from here. It takes 1.5 to 2 hours to reach there. The taxi will charge Rs.100. These shared taxis are available only till 4:00 pm.
In case you do not find a direct taxi till Raithal, take a shared taxi till Bhatwadi. It will charge you Rs.70. From Bhatwari, Raithal is 10 km away. You can find shared taxis for Raithal from there which charge Rs.30.
| Tip: While this bus hopping may sound cumbersome, we do it regularly at Indiahikes. They are a fun and a good way to know the real Uttarakhand. You also get to meet very interesting local people. So while no one wants to miss a pick up, don’t be too disheartened if it happens. You may just experience one of your best travel moments!
Alternate Base Camp for Dayara Bugyal
You may also access Dayara Bugyal from Barsu which is around 23 km from Raithal.
If you start from Barsu, make sure to spend some time in the village which is buzzing with activity. Take a closer look at its agriculture. It’s rare to find flourishing farms of beans, watermelons, pumpkins at such a high altitude.
Also know that these are ancient Himalayan villages with houses that are 500 years old. Read the story of one such house.
Barsu is also steeped in culture and has its rendition of Pandav Nritya and Ramleela every alternate year. The time for these is decided by the village Panchayat, but it usually happens in the beginning of winter. In 2019, it happened in the first week of December.
What to Pack for Dayara Bugyal Trek
Before you start shopping and packing for the high-altitude Dayara Bugyal trek, watch this video to get a clear idea about what you need to take along.
Complete Video Playlist: How To Pack For Dayara Bugyal Trek
Mandatory Documents to carry On Dayara Bugyal Trek
Carry an Original and photocopy of government photo identity card. Anything such as a driver’s license, Aadhar card, a passport will do.
You will need to submit your identification to the forest department. Without these, you will not be allowed to trek.
| Tip: Keep important documents in a clear plastic cover and slide them into the inner pocket at the back of your backpack to prevent them from getting wet.
If you have registered with Indiahikes, you also need to carry the Disclaimer Certificate and the Medical Certificate.
For an exhaustive list of things to carry, click here.
Connectivity on the Trek
|Last ATM||Electricity||Mobile Service Providers||Network Hotspots|
|You will find it at Uttarkashi. If needed, withdraw emergency cash from here. But do not bank upon the last ATM, they too run out of cash. Withdraw cash before you begin your road journey to Raithal.||Available at Raithal and Barsu.||BSNL, Idea and Vodafone at both Raithal and Barsu||There are no network hotspots on the way from Raithal to Gui. From Chilapada to Nayata, you may have sketchy network for Airtel, Jio, Idea, Vodafone and BSNL. At Barsu, you will have network from all three service providers.|
Frequently Asked Questions About the Trek
These questions were answered by Latika Payak, Digital Content Manager at Indiahikes.
❖ Where is Dayara Bugyal?
Dayara Bugyal is a beautiful alpine meadow situated in the north-west 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.
❖ What does Bugyal mean?
Bugyal (pronounced boog-yaal) is a Hindi word that refers to alpine pasture lands or alpine meadows that grow above around 10,500 ft and below 13,000 ft. These alpine meadows are always found above the treeline, so they’re vast open lands, usually with great scenic views of the mountains and valleys around them.
While Dayara Bugyal is the prettiest meadow of our country, there are other alpine meadows in India too. Like the Ali Bugyal and Bedni Bugyal, which are two of the most famous bugyals of our country. There’s also Gidara Bugyal which is almost a secret meadow in the trekking world as very few people know about it.
❖ What is the best time to do the Dayara Bugyal trek?
You can do the trek almost all throughout the year, except the monsoon. So, the best season are – spring, summer, autumn and winter. And the trek looks different in all these seasons.
In spring you will find that the snow has freshly melted and green meadows dotted with flowers have started peeping out. Rhododendrons will also be in bloom in the forest. In summer, the meadows are bright and temperatures are warm. Autumn is known for its blue skies and brilliant view of the Bandarpoonch range and winter on Dayara Bugyal is magical with undulating meadows blanketed in powdery snow.
Day 1: Drive From Dehradun to Raithal
It’s a 9-hour drive from Dehradun. Transport will be arranged from Grand Legacy Hotel at 6.30 am. Cost of cab – Rs.5,500 per vehicle.
Day 2: Trek from Raithal to Nayata
Trek distance: 4 km | Duration: 4-5 hours
Altitude gain: 7,096 ft to 9,185 ft
Day 3: Nayata to Devkund
Trek Distance: 6 km | Duration: 6-7 hours
Altitude gain: 9,185 ft to 11,414 ft
Day 4: Devkund to Chilapada via Dayara Top
Trek distance: 13 km | Duration: 5-6 hours
Altitude gain and loss: 10,500 ft to 11,950 ft to 10,500 ft
Day 5: Chilapada to Raithal
Trek distance: 6 km | Duration: 4-5 hours
Altitude loss: 10,500 ft to 7,0956 ft
Day 6: Drive back from Raithal to Dehradun
You will reach Dehradun between 6 pm and 7 pm. We can drop you at the Dehradun railway station.
The stay in Raithal will be at a lodge. You will be camping on other days. You can leave behind luggage (no valuables) that you do not require for the trek at Raithal.
It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo id for entry at forest check posts on the trek.
You can download the route as a KML file here to navigate on your own.
Day 1 (Pick-up Day): Reach Raithal
- Altitude: 7,096 ft (2,163 m)
- Distance: 183 kms
- Route: Dehradun – Chiniyalisour – Uttarkashi – Raithal
- Time taken: 7-8 hours drive
Raithal, the base camp for the Dayara Bugyal trek, is around 9 hours away from Dehradun. The drive takes you through lovely forest stretches. You’re right next to the Bhagirathi river for most parts of the journey. The largest town on the route is Uttarkashi, from where you head to Batwari. As you approach Raithal, you witness the brilliant colours of sunset over Mt Jaonli and Draupadi ka Danda peaks.
Day 2: Raithal to Gui
- Altitude: 7,096 ft (2,163 m) to 9,750 ft (2,972 m)
- Time taken: 4-5 hours
- Trek gradient: Easy-moderate. Gradually ascending trail throughout.
- Water sources: None. Carry 2 litres of water
- Green Trail Hotspot: You will find a lot of litter around the village as you leave for the trek. This reduces as you move away from the settlement. But do pick as much litter as you can when you are starting out.
At Raithal, you can see Mt. Srikhanth and Gangotri 1, 2, 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 tal 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 3: Gui to Chilapada
- Altitude: 9,750 ft (2,972 m) to 9,842 ft (3,000 m)
- Time taken: 3-3.5 hours
- Trek gradient: Easy-moderate. Mostly a flat trail through the forest
- Water sources: None. Carry 2 litres of water.
The days 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 basically a small meadow in the forest. On one side we have 5-6 Chania (shepherd) hut. 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. This includes Srikanth, Gangotri 1, 2, 3. Look straight, you see the Jaunli peak there. On your left you can spot the top of Bandarpoonch.
The next half kilometer from Gui Thatch is a relaxed and easy walk. It goes through beautiful rhododendron. The terrain allows you to leisurely walk and soak 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 maybe 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 4: Chilapada to Dayara Top to Nayata
- Altitude: 9,842 ft (3,000 m) to 11,829 ft (3,605 m) to 9,066 ft (2,763 m)
- Time taken: 5-6 hours
- Trek gradient: Moderate. Undulating walk across meadows followed by a final ascent.
- Water sources: Carry sufficient water. There is one water source on the trail.
- Green Trail Hotspot: There are high chances of finding litter around the Chania huts. Be prepared with your Ecobags to clean this section.
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 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. The trail to Barnala goes below the huts and immediately enters the forest. The wooded trail is well laid out again. About 45 minutes of descent brings you to Barnala.
After trekking down for about one hour, you reach the Barnala campsite. The site is at a clearing with a small stream passing through it. There are a few igloo-shaped forest department structures nearby.
The Barnala campsite is shielded by small hillocks on three sides but opens up to magnificent mountain view on the fourth side.
| Photo Point: The trail leads to the Nag Devta temple that is located next to a tal (pond). The walk up to the temple is a bit steep but is well worth the view: as the evening comes, you see the entire Gangotri range light up in a glorious shade of orange. You get a similar view from the Nayata campsite too.
If you cannot make it to the temple or Barnala meadows for the sunset, then climb up the hill mounds near the campsite. Sunsets on each day of this trek are a sight to behold.
Day 5: Nayata to Raithal
- Altitude: 10,500 ft (3,200 m) to 7,400 ft (2,256 m)
- Time taken: 4 hours
- Trek gradient: Easy. Short stretches of ascents and descents for 1.5 hours followed by a steeply descending trail
- Water sources: Carry 2 litres of water.
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 6 (Drive-back Day): Raithal to Dehradun.
Start from Raithal after breakfast. Enjoy the scenic drive back to Dehradun. You are expected to reach Dehradun at around 7 pm on this day.
Important note: We’ve added a new campsite at Nayata. Trekkers will do the trail described above, but instead of retracing the same trail after summitting, we are taking trekkers down the other side of the mountain to Barsu through Nayata, giving them the best of both worlds!
Please refer the short itinerary tab for an overview of the current itinerary. The detailed itinerary will be updated soon.
Plan Your Travel for the Dayara Bugyal Trek
It is great to see you going on the Dayara Bugyal Trek. While it is a great trek to do, you need to get your travel plan worked out perfectly.
Here is a step-by-step guide on what to do next. Use this guide and nothing else to plan your travel.
- A quick view of your travel plan (Skip to section)
- Planning your onward air/train booking (Skip to section)
- Planning your return air/train booking (Skip to section)
- Planning your hotel booking (Skip to section)
- How to reach Raithal on your own (Skip to section)
1. Here’s a quick view on how to plan your travel
Day 0: Book your air ticket to Delhi or Dehradun. If Dehradun, stay near the Dehradun Railway Station. If Delhi, book night train/bus to Dehradun. Click here for more explanation.
Day 1 (Pick-up Day): Dehradun to Raithal drive. It is an 7-8 hour drive from Dehradun. Raithal is the basecamp for your trek.
We organise transport to Raithal from Hotel Grand Legacy, Dehradun. Our vehicles leave at 6:30 am sharp. It costs Rs 5,500 per vehicle (shared between 5-6 trekkers).
Day 2: Trek Raithal (7,000 ft) to Gui (9,500 ft); 4-5 hours
Day 3: Trek Gui (9,500 ft) to Chilapada (9,500 ft) – This is an acclimatization day; 3-4 hours
Day 4: Trek Chilapada (9,500 ft) to Barnala (9,884 ft) via Dayara Top (12,057 ft); 5-6 hours
Day 5: Trek Barnala (9,884 ft) to Barsu (7,400 ft); 4-5 hours
Day 6 (Drive-back Day): Drive from Barsu to Dehradun.. Start 6:30 am for the drive.
Book return train ticket to Delhi from Dehradun (Nanda Devi or Mussoorie express). Or book direct air ticket from Dehradun (Post 7-8 pm). Do not book plane tickets to your hometown from Delhi on Day 6. Click here for more explanation.
| Tip: You can take a night train/bus from Dehradun to Delhi and reach Delhi early morning.
On your return from the trek you start from Barsu. Our vehicles will be arranged for you. The final stop of the vehicle is at the Dehradun railway station. You reach Dehradun between 6.00 and 7.00 pm. It costs Rs 5,500 per vehicle on the way back.
| Note: We do not cross Mussoorie anymore. Indiahikes vehicles are taking a shorter route. We take a bypass from jada pani
2. Planning your onward flight/train booking
If you are travelling from Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Mumbai or any other city, book your air tickets either for Day Minus One, which is the day before Day 1 on the itinerary or book a flight/train as such where you will reach half an hour before the pick up time.
There are two options for your flight booking.
Fly directly to Dehradun.
We recommend this. It gives you an added rest day at Dehradun. Most metros are directly connected to Dehradun. However, if the cost of the flight ticket to Dehradun is too high, book to Delhi and connect to Dehradun by train/bus.
The Dehradun airport is inconvenient when it comes to city connectivity (either to Rishikesh or Dehradun). Airport buses that ply between Rishikesh to Dehradun via airport run every hour. In our experience, the hour can stretch to even 1½ hours.
Taxis are available from the airport (plenty). Prepaid taxis are available (look for the pre-paid taxi counter just out of the conveyor belt at the arrivals). You can also flag down a taxi (bargain a bit) with taxis outside the airport. Airport taxis are exorbitant. They usually charge Rs 1500.
Usually most passengers take taxis from the airport. Try to hook up with co-passengers on the flight for your taxi ride to Dehradun.
| Pro Tip: If you want to save real money walk 1.5 km to get to the Dehradun-Rishikesh national highway just outside the airport terminal complex. Take a private/Uttrakhand Vikas Mandal Nigam bus till ISBT Dehradun which will charge you 40 rs. From ISBT Dehradun take a shared auto (shared autos are called Vikrams) till Dehradun Railway Station. Shared autos charge about 10 rs.
Flying to Delhi. Flying to Delhi may be a lot cheaper than getting to Dehradun. Make sure to book a flight that reaches Delhi by 8.00 pm. You must arrive in Delhi on Day Zero and not on Day 1.
| Note: If you notice the difference in air ticket prices between Delhi and Dehradun less than Rs 1000 then book directly to Dehradun. The rest and shorter travel time is worth the difference.
Next, book yourself in the Nanda Devi Express to Dehradun (Train No: 12401). It is a fully AC train that leaves at 23.45 hrs from Hazrat Nizamuddin and gets to Dehradun at 5.40 am in the morning.
| Note: Earlier the Nanda Devi express would depart from New Delhi railway station. From 26 Aug 2019, it leaves from Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station. The train now comes from Kota. So expect about 15 to 30 mins delay in arrival. The train number has changed too from 12206 to 12401.
For Metro train connectivity from Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi, take a metro to Dhaula Kuan metro station. Get off and walk down to Durgabai Deshmukh South Campus metro station (there are convenient travelater belts over a skywalk). Take a metro to Hazrat Nizamuddin metro station over the pink line. It takes about 45 mins to an hour to get to Hazrat Nizamuddin over metro.
At Dehradun, wait for Indiahikes pickup at 6.30 am. Contact your driver by 6.00 am. The number of your transport coordinator will be shared with you a week prior to your departure.
Caution: Do not book on any other train except the Nanda Devi Express. The other option, Mussoorie express, is notorious for its delay. Your pickup vehicle may leave without you. If you do not get tickets on the Nanda Devi Express, take a bus from Delhi to Dehradun, but do not book on the Mussoorie express.
| Pro Tip: Take the afternoon Jan Shatabdi express from New Delhi railway station (leaves at 15.20 pm) to arrive at Haridwar by 9.10 pm. Stay overnight at Dehradun. Take the Indiahikes pickup the next morning directly from Dehradun Railway Station.
If in case you do not get a train ticket, there are regular Volvo AC buses from Delhi’s ISBT Kashmiri Gate to Dehradun. You also get Non-AC buses. Buses are frequent and not usually crowded. You can get a bus almost every half hour. Buses take 7-8 hours to get to Dehradun from Delhi. AC bus tickets cost about Rs 700.
3. Planning your return flight/train booking
Booking your return tickets require some thought. If your trek ends on day 6, you can book your flight/train tickets for day 7. Make sure to make bookings post 8:00 – 9:00 pm.
Next, if your onward flight departs from Delhi, then book flight tickets on Day 7.
Sometimes trekkers worry if they can book an early morning flight out of Delhi on Day 7. Yes, you can. But book flights that depart only after 8 am. Do not book any flight between 6.00 and 8 am. You may not reach Delhi in time.
How to get to Delhi on time for an early morning flight.
If your flight is early, say between 8.00 and 9.00 am, then there are two options.
Train: Take the Nanda Devi Express from Dehradun (12402) that leaves Dehradun at 10:50 pm to get to Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station at 4.35 in the morning. From Hazrat Nizamuddin you get airport buses from outside the station as well as taxis. For Metro train walk down to the Hazrat Nizamuddin metro station, take a metro to Durgabai Deshmukh South Campus, get off and connect to Dhaula Kuan Airport line metro station (there are convenient travelater belts over a skywalk). From Dhaula Kuan you get metro train to the airport.
| Note: Earlier Nanda Devi express would arrive at New Delhi railway station. From 26 August 2019, it has been extended up to Kota. It no longer goes to New Delhi railway station. Instead it goes to Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station. The train number has changed from 12206 to 12402.
Bus: The other option is to take a bus from Dehradun. It is about 5½ – 6 hrs journey to Delhi. So if you take a bus that leaves around 9.00 pm, then expect to reach Delhi at around 3.00 am (ISBT Kashmiri Gate). A bus that leaves at 10 pm will reach Delhi around 4.00 am. AC Volvo buses are the fastest, so opt for them. Non AC buses can take up to 7-8 hrs for the journey.
From Kashmiri Gate ISBT you get Airport buses or taxis.
| Note: Metro trains in Delhi do not start before 5.00 am.
If you are taking a flight out of Dehradun
If you are taking a flight out of Dehradun then book yourself on Day 7. Most metros are now well connected by Dehradun by flight.
4. Planning your hotel/stay
While booking hotels on your return, always assume book your rooms assuming the buffer day is not being used. Assume the trek is going to run without any hiccups. So what happens if you use your buffer day on the trek? Unfortunately, then you’ll probably lose your hotel booking. So book hotels where you may not have to transfer money in advance. Even if you do, consider it better than missing out on the trek. In Dehradun it is not difficult to find last minute hotel booking if in case the buffer day is used.
Hotel options at Dehradun
Hotel Drona, which is a government property owned by the GMVN is decent. It is an old, but a large and spacious property. It is about 1.5 kms from Dehradun railway station. Rooms start at Rs 750.
MyRoom252 is a new backpackers facility in Dehradun. Modern, colourful and clean. Bunk beds start at Rs 300. Rooms are available too. It is not too far from the Dehradun Railway station. Shared autos (which are called Vikrams) can get you there. For online booking: http://www.myroom252.com/. Phone: 086308 81083. Location: https://goo.gl/maps/p5xkbMyUF4X5VHwx9
Nomads House is another new backpackers hostel in Dehradun. The atmosphere is good. The place neat and clean. Indiahikes trek leaders love Nomads House. It is about 10 mins from the Dehradun railway station. Bunk beds start at Rs 400, rooms start at Rs 800. Shared autos are easily available to get to Nomads House. Phone: 9760596464 Location: https://g.page/NomadsHouse?share
5. What if you miss the Indiahikes pickup? How to get to Raithal on your own.
If you miss the Indiahikes pick up from Dehradun. Here is how you can get to Raithal base camp on your own.
If you are at Dehradun, take a bus to Uttarkashi as quickly as you can. A bus generally leaves from Dehradun Railway Station to Uttarkashi at 8:00 am. It charges about 250 rs.
There are shared taxis available near Indiranagar Market (Till 10:00 am) or Rispana Pool (From 11:00 am – 12:00 pm) till Uttarkashi . They charge 350 rs. You can reach Indiranagar Market/Rispana Pool using a shared auto (Vikram).
From Uttarkashi you will find shared taxis for Raithal from the taxi stand which is at a walkable distance if you get down at the bus stand. Raithal is 43 km from here. It takes 1.5 to 2 hours to reach there. The taxi will charge 100 rs. These shared taxis are available only till 4:00 pm.
In case you do not find a direct taxi till Raithal take a shared taxi till Bhatwadi. It will charge you 70 rs. From Bhatwari, Raithal is 10 km away. You can find shared taxis for Raithal from there which charge 30 rs.
| Tip: While this bus hopping may sound cumbersome, we do it regularly at Indiahikes. They are a fun and a good way to know the real Uttarakhand. You also get to meet very interesting local people. So while no one wants to miss a pick up, don’t be too disheartened if it happens. You may just experience one of your best travel moments!
How to get fit for the Dayara Bugyal Trek
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.
Here’s a fitness routine that works:
In case you’re just starting with a regular fitness routine, phase out your distance targets in the following manner –
–>Target completing 5 km in 45 minutes when you begin.
–> Gradually increase your pace by running 4 times a week and bring it down to 5 km in 40 mins.
–>If you are 45 years or above, try to cover 5km in less than 47 minutes.
If you are somebody you prefers cycling over running, then try to cover 18 km in 60 minutes.
How to send us a proof of your fitness routine?
Record your run on an app like Nike Run. Start recording your run when you start running. At the end of your run, hit the stop button.
Take a screenshot of the summary of your run. We will need a detailed split of each kilometre of your run. This is usually integrated in all running apps.
Note: Make sure your GPS is on when you record your run. If the GPS is off, we will not accept the screenshot.
Upload two screenshots 10 days prior to the start of the trek
For < 45 years age : One screenshot of 5 km in 45 minutes and the second 5 km in 40 minutes.
For > 45 years age : Two screenshots of 5 km in 47 minutes.
If you love cycling, cover a distance of 18 km in one hour and upload the same.
Fitness proof to be uploaded with GPS on and along with your picture.
Here’s a guide to help you get fit for the trek.
One month trek fitness routine for easy 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.
Things to get for the Dayara Bugyal Trek
Dayara Bugyal is a high altitude trek. The trekking gear you need to carry for this trek is what you need for regular treks.
- A list of everything you need for the trek (Skip to section)
- Useful videos to help you with your gear (Skip to section)
- A list of medicines for your trek (Skip to section)
- A list of mandatory documents (Skip to section)
First, The Essentials. You cannot do the trek without these.
1. Trekking Shoes:
Dayara Bugyal requires trekking shoes that are sturdy, have good grip, have ankle support and can handle snow. Here is a quick video on how to choose your trekking shoes.
| Buying Tip: The Trek series and MH series are good options by Decathlon. They are tried and tested. There really isn’t any necessity to buy the higher priced models. Here is a list of other budget shoes that trekkers are using.
| Rental: We have the Trek series and the MH series by Decathlon available on rent from the Indiahikes store. They are already broken into and in good condition. Rental shoes are not dirty or unhygienic. This is how they are kept clean.
For a trek like Dayara Bugyal, you need a 40-50 litre backpack. Make sure your backpack has good hip support, shoulder support and quick access pockets. Here is a guide on how to choose a backpack.
| Buying Tip: Wildcraft, Decathlon and Adventure Worx usually make good backpacks. While Wildcraft has more expensive ones, the other two brands have budget-friendly backpacks to choose from.
| Rental: The 48 litre backpack by Adventure Worx is available on rent from the Indiahikes store. They are custom-made for our Himalayan treks. Rent them if you don’t have a backpack.
Wearing layers is the mantra in the mountains. Layers give you maximum protection from all elements. And when the weather changes in the mountains (as it happens every few hours), you take take off or put on layers as required.
Wear one T-shirt and carry two. Carry full sleeve dry-fit T-shirts (preferably collared). These prevent your arms and neck from getting sunburnt. In the rarified air on the trek, especially at high altitudes, UV rays can burn you in no time.
Dry-fit T-shirts quickly dry your sweat, they are easy to wash and in case of a rainy day, they dry quicker. Round neck T-shirts are ok, but collared ones are better.
| Buying tip: You can get dry-fit T-shirts from Decathlon. Also, stores like Reliance Trends, Max have dry-fit T-shirts. They don’t usually cost much.
| Cotton or Synthetic? As Indians, we love cotton. Down in the plains when the heat is a blistering 40°C it makes sense to wear cotton. But it takes a long time to dry when it gets wet. In the mountains, where it is cooler, synthetic is what you wear. They wick sweat rapidly and keep you dry. (But they do tend to smell quickly, so carry a roll-on deodorant with you.)
| Pro Tip: If you are extra susceptible to cold, you could get a set of thermal inners. In our experience, wearing two T-shirts over another works as a better thermal. And they save you weight and space, since you’re already carrying them.
3 insulation layers:
The highest altitude you reach on this trek is 11,978 ft. At these altitudes it can get freezing cold even in the middle of summer. You will need at least 3 insulation layers for this trek.
You will need 2 light fleece layers, 1 full-sleeve light sweater. Do not get your grandma stitched sweaters, which can be very heavy. You need sweaters and fleece jackets that can fold into compact rolls.
1 Outer layer:
A padded jacket serves the purpose here. You don’t really need a water resistant material. But you need an outer padded jacket that keeps the wind and cold out. Ensure your padded jacket has a hood as well.
| Do you need a down/feather jacket? Not really. A regular padded/shell jacket will do. This video here will help you to learn more about the difference.
Note: Down/feather jackets are really not available these days. Many jackets masquerade as down/feather jackets. They are essentially fine polyester-filled jackets. They mimic the function of a down jacket but are usually expensive.
| Rental: Padded jackets made by Fort Collins are available on rent at the Indiahikes store. They are custom made for Indiahikes and trekkers find them terrific, even in winter.
Two trek pants:
Twopairs of trek pants should suffice for this trek. Wear one pair and carry two just in case it rains. Trek pants with zippered cut offs at the thighs are very suitable for treks. Also, choose quick-dry pants over cotton. They dry up soon in case of small stream crossings / rain.
| Buying tip: Go for pants with zippered pockets. They come in handy to keep your phone, handkerchief or pocket snacks.
| Track pants or trek pants? Stretchable track pants make a good backup and can double up as your thermal bottoms. But track pants are not trek pants — so don’t use them as your main outerwear. Keep them only as a backup.
Mandatory Accessories, without these too you won’t be able to do the trek.
These accessories are mandatory. Don’t go to Dayara Bugyal without them. Trekkers generally put off purchasing / borrowing the accessories for the last minute. We suggest the opposite. Start gathering these accessories first.
Sunglasses are to prevent snow blindness. On a trek like Dayara Bugyal, you will find snow all over the trail during winter. Expect to walk on long stretches of snow. A small overexposure to direct sunlight on snow can lead to snow blindness (about a half hour’s exposure). That’s because fallen snow is like thousands of mirrors that reflect direct UV rays. So you need sunglasses with UV protection.
| Tip: Try getting sunglasses that wrap around instead of those that have openings on the side. Even peripheral UV ray exposure is not a good idea.
Wear sunglasses if the trekking day is bright and sunny (on open sections, meadows). On a snowy section you must absolutely never take off your sunglasses until the section has been fully crossed.
| If you wear spectacles: If you wear spectacles, you can get oversized sunglasses that you wear over your regular glasses (available at Decathlon). If that is cumbersome, photochromic lenses work equally well. Here’s a quick guide on managing sunglasses with spectacles.
| Contact lens users: If you use contact lenses, you can use them on the trek too. The lens solution will not freeze. You will also not face any problems in changing your lens in your tent. Just carry enough cleaning solution with you to clean your fingers well. Wear your sunglasses over your contact lens.
A sun cap is mandatory. Trekking without a sun cap can lead to headaches, sun strokes, quick dehydration and a sharp drop in trekking performance.
| Tip: In the mountains, the general rule is to keep your head covered at all times. During the day a sun cap protects you from the harsh rays of the sun (it is doubly stronger with naked UV rays). A sun cap keeps your body temperature in balance. In the evening/early morning, the reverse is true. Your head loses your body heat quickly. A woolen cap prevents heat from dissipating from your head.
| Pro Tip: Sun caps with flaps are a blessing for trekkers. They cut out almost all UV leaks. They prevent sun burns in every possible way. They are a lot more effective than sunscreen lotion. A wide brimmed sports hat also helps to prevent sunburn in a big way.
3. Synthetic hand gloves:
On a trek like Dayara Bugyal you are going to be handling snow quite a bit during winters. You’ll need gloves to grip something or to steady yourself in snow. You also want the gloves to keep you warm. Get synthetic hand gloves that have waterproofing on the outside and a padded lining on the inside. If you find the combination difficult to get (not likely), wear a tight fitting fleece hand glove inside a synthetic hand glove. Hand gloves are mandatory on this trek.
4. Woollen cap or Balaclava:
Ensure these cover your ears. In the cold mountains, you lose maximum heat from your head, not from your hands, feet or the rest of your body. Which is why you need to keep your head protected, especially when the sun is down. Early mornings, late evenings, a cold trekking day are when you must use your woollen cap.
Your ears are sensitive too, so a woollen head cap that covers your ears is absolutely essential. A balaclava is a modern version of the woolen cap. It covers your ears, neck and parts of your face as well. Do not get a woollen cap that only covers your head.
5. Socks (3 pairs):
Apart from two sports socks, take a pair of woollen socks. Sports socks give you cushioning plus warmth. Again the mantra is to wear synthetic socks or at least a synthetic blend. Cotton socks soak in water and sweat. They are very hard to dry. As for woollen socks, they help you to keep warm and snug in the night. If you cannot get woolen socks, wearing two sports socks serves the purpose as well.
Trekkers are often confused about whether they need to get a headlamp or a handheld torch. You need to get a headlamp because it leaves your hands free to do other activities. On the Dayara Bugyal trek you’ll need your hands free to wash dishes, pitch tents and hold your trek poles.
| Buying tip: Ensure your headlamp covers a wider area and is not too focused as a single beam. On a trek, your headlamp must help you see around you as much as ahead of you.
7. Trekking pole (a pair):
Trekking poles give you stability and balance. They reduce your energy consumption by almost 40%. On the Dayara Bugyal trek there are gradual ascents and descents. A pair of trekking poles will make the difference between a comfortable and a strenuous trek. In India we tend to use a single trekking pole. However, two trekking poles give you greater stability and balance. They also increase your walking pace.
| Rental: Imported side-locking trekking poles are available on rent on the Indiahikes store.
On a trek, the weather can change quickly. A bright sunny day can turn into a downpour in a matter of minutes. Carry a poncho or a rain jacket to tackle this. A poncho is a big rain cover with openings for your arms and your head. It is extremely effective because it covers both you and your backpack. It is extremely light and weighs next to nothing.
Rain jackets are more streamlined and less cumbersome but weigh more. Rain pants are really not required. Dry fit trek pants dry quickly even if soaking wet.
| Rental: High grade ponchos are available on rent on the Indiahikes store.
9. Rain cover for your backpack:
Backpacks are your life. You carry all your dry clothes, your warm gear in your backpack. It is important that your backpack stays dry at all times. Modern backpacks usually come with built in rain-covers. If your back pack does not have a rain-cover, ensure you get a rain cover by either (a) buying a rain cover (b) or cutting a large plastic sheet to the size of your backpack. You can roll the plastic sheet around your backpack and keep it in place with a string or elastic.
| Pro tip: It’s good practice to compartmentalise your clothes, accessories and other things in plastic covers inside your backpack. That way, even if it rains and your backpack gets wet, your things are water-proof inside the backpack.
10. Daypack (20-30 ltrs, optional):
Some trekkers opt to offload their bags to a porter on the Dayara Bugyal trek. While we do not encourage this practice, in case you opt for offloading, then carrying a daypack is mandatory. In your daypack you carry essentials like water bottles, rainwear, emergency medicines, headlamp, some snacks and a warm layer. Your main backpack that carries most of your equipment is accessible only at the campsites.
A day pack is a smaller backpack that is usually of 20-30 ltr capacity. Laptop bags are not day packs. Do not get them.
Other mandatory requirement
1. A toilet kit:
Keep your toilet kit light. Carry just the basics — toothbrush, toothpaste, small soap, toilet tissue roll, a small moisturiser, lip balm, and a roll-on deodorant. You will not be able to have a bath on the trek, so don’t overload on soaps and shampoos.
| Pro tip: Carry miniature-sized items. You will not need more than that. If you’re travelling in a group, share one toothpaste for all.
Avoid getting large toilet rolls. The smallest size roll is more than enough for a trek like Dayara Bugyal.
| For women: If you are likely to have your periods on your trek date, don’t worry about it. You can use your pads, tampons or menstrual cups on the trek. There will be toilet tents where you can get changed. Make sure you carry ziplock bags to bring back your menstrual waste. Don’t leave behind any waste in the mountains. Watch this video to learn how to dispose your sanitary waste.
Carry a lunch box, a mug and a spoon. Your lunch box must be leak proof. You are expected to wash your own cutlery. Trekkers often expect Indiahikes to wash their cutlery. When you allow Indiahikes to wash your cutlery, your cutlery becomes part of a mass washing system. You immediately invite germs, bacteria to settle on your cutlery. Incidence of stomach disorders rises exponentially.
| Pro tip: Carry stainless steel cutlery. Avoid fancy high grade plastic cutlery. Stainless steel cutlery is infinitely easier to wash in cold water. Grease is easier to remove and hygiene is at the highest. Watch this video on why steel cutlery is better than plastic.
3. Two 1 litre bottles or a 2 litre hydration pack:
Dayara Bugyal has 3-5 hours of walk everyday. You need to carry two one litre water bottles to keep yourself hydrated over the distance. If you are used to a hydration pack, then that is ok too. If one among the two bottles is a lightweight thermos, then that helps you to store warm water on a really cold day or for late evenings and early mornings.
| Rental: You could rent lightweight thermos flasks from the Indiahikes store.
4. Plastic covers:
Carry 3-4 old plastic covers to keep your used clothes. You could use them even for wet clothes. Re-use old plastic bags for this and do not buy new ones.
Useful videos to help you with your gear:
- What to take on your trek
- How to pack your backpack
- How to choose your trekking shoes
- Trekking shoes vs sports shoes. How are they different?
- How to layer up on a Himalayan trek
- Why you need a trekking pole
- How to manage sanitary waste on a trek
Personal medical kit
Carry these medicines with you, easily accessible at all times. Do not take any medicine unless you have consulted your trek leader.
- Diamox (1 Strip): Be on a course of a half tablet Diamox starting from Delhi every 12 hours (125 mg). Carry on the medication until you descend down to Barua. Being on a preventive course of Diamox greatly reduces the chances of Acute Mountain Sickness on the Buran Ghati trek.
- Dolo 650 (5 tablets): This is a paracetamol. It helps to tackle fever, mild pain
- Avomine (4 tablets): Carry this especially if you are prone to motion sickness. Pop one half hour before the start of your road journey.
- Combiflam (5 tablets): Take a combiflam if you get a sudden twist of the leg or a muscle strain. It is a pain reliever. It also contains paracetamol.
- Digene (4 tablets): Take it if you feel the food that you’ve taken is undigested. Alert your trek leader immediately. It could be a sign of AMS.
- ORS (6 packs): Consume a pack of ORS water at least once a day, usually mid day when you are in the middle of your trek. It replenishes essential salts lost while trekking. Tip: It also makes cold water easier to drink.
- Knee Brace (optional): Carry this if you are prone to knee injury or have known issues of knee pain.
Our trek leaders carry a high altitude medical kit with them which also consist of Life Saving Drugs. If there is an emergency our trek leaders know how to tackle it. Meanwhile, contact your trek leader before consuming any of these medicines listed here.
| Pro tip: We find that these medicines by trekkers are rarely used. But you cannot do away with them. At the end of the trek please donate unused medicines to your trek leader. Some of these medicines get distributed to villages on the trek and some are added to the Indiahikes medical kit.
Mandatory Documents to carry
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, 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 registration at the base camp – Download 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
| Pro tip: 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.
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 Dayara Bugyal 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
On the Dayara Bugyal 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.
The Indiahikes Special Covid Cancellation Policy
We understand the pain of cancelling a trek. As trekkers, we always look forward to treks, and after months of training and planning, if we have to cancel our trek, there’s no greater disappointment than that.
This is why we have one of the most trekker-friendly cancellation policies.
This policy is effective for registrations starting August 12, 2021.
1. Cancellation 30 days before the starting date of the trek — Get your full trek fee back in an Indiahikes Trek Voucher OR get a monetary refund with 15% cancellation charges.
2. Cancellation between 30 days and 20 days before the starting date of the trek — Get 80% of the trek fee in an Indiahikes Trek Voucher OR get a monetary refund with 50% cancellation charges.
3. Cancellation less than 20 days before the starting date of the trek — No monetary refund, get 50% of your fees in an Indiahikes Trek Voucher
Important note: The Trek Insurance amount is not refundable.
| In the rare event that we cancel a trek, this is the policy we follow:
We almost never cancel our treks. But in case we cancel a trek because of natural calamities (snowstorms, thunderstorms, floods, landslides, earthquakes) or unexpected political unrest, curfews, local riots, or government orders, Indiahikes will issue a voucher for the full amount of your trek fee (minus the trek insurance). You can redeem the Trek Voucher on any of our treks over the next one year.
Important note: The Trek Insurance amount is not refundable.
| The Indiahikes “Repeat My Trek” Policy (trekkers love this!)
There are some thoughts and ideologies that we hold close to our hearts.
1. As trekkers, there are times when we have to let go of a trek midway. Sometimes we fall ill, or get hit by AMS or at times simply fatigue pulls us down. At other times bad weather plays spoilsport, or the trail is blocked. It can happen that your Trek Leader sends you down due to a safety or health issue.
At Indiahikes we feel terrible when such an event happens.
Should such a situation occur that you have to drop out from this trek, we want you to know that we feel as bad as you do. You can always come back another time and finish your adventure. For this you do not have to pay Indiahikes any money.
2. On the other hand, there are times when you fall in love with a trek. So much so that you want to do it again, perhaps see it in another season. If you ever desire to do a trek again, please do so. You don’t have to pay Indiahikes any money for repeating this trek. Just inform your Experience Coordinator who will guide you through a special internal process.
Our only request: Just register for your trek in advance – you know how it is with our groups – they get booked in advance.
Note: The Indiahikes “Repeat My Trek” policy does not apply to our international treks.
If you cancel any rental gear from our store:
- Cancellation of rental gear 7 days before the start date of the trek — Get a full refund minus 4% transaction charges.
- Cancellation of rental gear less than 7 days before the start date of the trek — Get a voucher for the whole amount. This voucher is applicable on all our future treks.
If you cancel the offloading of your backpack:
The offloading fee will be refunded to your account with a 4% transaction charge.
If you choose to cancel your backpack offloading AFTER reaching the base camp, you will get a voucher of the offloading fee.
| How to cancel your trek:
In case, you wish to cancel your trek, follow these steps.
- Login to your Indiahikes Trek Dashboard using this link.
- Find your upcoming trek on your home page.
- Click on “Cancel Trek”
- Mention why you’re cancelling your trek on the form that appears.
- Choose either a voucher or a refund (where applicable).
- Click on “Cancel Booking”
How long does the refund process take?
After you have cancelled your trek, if you have opted for a refund, the refund amount will land in the same account that you have made the payment from. It will take 4-5 working days.
If you have chosen a trek voucher, it will land in your inbox within an hour. You will also be able to see it on your Trek Dashboard.
What is a Trek Voucher?
Trek Vouchers are credit amounts added to your Indiahikes account. You can redeem these on any of your future treks with Indiahikes. Every Trek Voucher has a validity of one year.
Important note: Indiahikes Trek Vouchers are non-refundable, not transferable to others or extendable.
How to use an Indiahikes Trek Voucher?
If you have received an Indiahikes Trek Voucher, you will automatically see it when you are making a payment for your next trek.
Once you click on the voucher and apply it, the system will deduct the voucher amount from your payable amount.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your Experience Coordinator.
Your trek includes –
- Accommodation – Stay from Day 1 to Day 5 (Raithal to Barsu). Raithal and Barsu have guest house accommodation. You will camp on the trek.
- Meals – All meals from dinner at Raithal on Day 1 to breakfast at Barsu on Day 6 are included. We provide simple, nutritious vegetarian food on all days of the trek.
- Camping charges – All trekking permits and forest camping charges are included.
- Trekking equipment – High quality tents, sleeping bags, ice axes, roped, micro spikes, gaiters etc. as required.
- Safety equipment – First aid, medical kit, oxygen cylinders, stretchers etc. will be available at all campsites to deal with emergencies.
Your trek does not include –
- Transport to and from the base camp – We arrange shared taxis for trekkers from Dehradun to Raithal and drop you back from Barsu. This will cost approx. Rs. 5,500 one way per 5-6 seater vehicle. You will have to share this cost with the other trekkers
- Food during transit to and from the base camp
- Backpack offloading charges – Rs 1000 for the full trek + 5% GST. 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 Raithal.
- Anything apart from inclusions
In the event that you cancel your trek, this is the cancellation policy we follow:
– Cancellation 30 days before the starting date of the trek — Get your full trek fee back in an Indiahikes Trek Voucher OR get a monetary refund with 15% cancellation charges.
– Cancellation between 30 days and 20 days before the starting date of the trek — Get 80% of the trek fee in an Indiahikes Trek Voucher OR get a monetary refund with 50% cancellation charges.
– Cancellation less than 20 days before the starting date of the trek — No monetary refund, get 50% of your fees in an Indiahikes Trek Voucher
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. Therefore, on treks, cardiovascular training is critically important. The trek has gradual climbs and steep descents on the summit day. As a measure of your fitness, we require you to be able to run at least 5 km in 40 minutes by the time your trek starts. If you are 45 years or above, try to cover 5 km in 47 minutes. This is a minimum requirement.
If you prefer cycling over running, then try to cover 18 km in 60 minutes.
Unable to do so can make your trek difficult.
In addition, preparation of trek needs to include strength and flexibility training. Registering for the trek is an understanding that you will undertake the mandated fitness training and upload the fitness screenshots on your dashboard. Trekkers who have not adequately prepared may be asked to discontinue the trek at any point.
Indiahikes has the right to reject trekkers who do not meet our eligibility requirement at the base camp.
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 charges – Rs 250 per day plus GST of 5%. Charges for last minute offloading during the trek will be Rs. 375 per day inclusive of tax. You can opt for offloading directly your dashboard after your payment is done for the trek.
Partial offloading is not allowed. The backpack cannot weigh more than 9 kg. No suitcases/strolleys/duffel bags will be allowed.
Online offloading in advance is possible up to three days prior to the trek start date.
Indiahikes will organise transport to and fro Dehradun railway station and the base camp Raithal, on the first day of the trek. This will be in 5-6 seater vehicles. The cost of each vehicle transport one way, is Rs 5500. It will be shared among all the trekkers. The same thing applies to the return journey.
Participants are expected to share the cost of the cab. The amount is to be paid directly to our transporter.
Indiahikes only arranges the vehicle pick up and is not responsible for any issues during transport.
Repeat Trekker Policy
At Indiahikes, we believe that the mountains hold all the aces. The weather could play spoilsport, the altitude could mess with a trekker, the unpredictability of nature itself could turn against him. Whatever the reason might be, it is never nice to turn away from a trek midway.
In the event that a trekker has to come down without completing your trek, they can always head back to the mountain and do the same trek again. If this happens, trekkers don’t have to pay the trek fee. They have to just make the optional payment for the insurance amount.
On another note, it could also happen that you love a trek so much that you want to go back time and again. Trekkers don’t have to pay the trek fee for repeating a trek.
Note – The Repeat Trekker Policy holds good only for Indian Treks.
It is not valid for treks we run in Nepal.
These are the different policies when it comes to waiving off trek fee charges.
1. Scholarship Discount for Kids
At Indiahikes, we firmly believe and encourage children to trek. There’s so much to learn from the outdoors. We want to see more children trekking. Keeping this in mind, Indiahikes has now introduced a 50 percent Trek Scholarship for children on Himalayan treks.
Children between the age of 8 and 12 are eligible for this scholarship. Indiahikes will sponsor half of the trek fee for each child. This scholarship is applicable for easy to moderate treks.
Note - We will have a maximum of three children eligible for the scholarship in each batch. So check with your Trek Coordinator for this.
2. Discount for a group of 10 and above
If there is a group size of 10 trekkers and above, then we will waive off the trek fee charges for one person.
Note - There is no discount available if the group size is 9 or less than that.
You can register the entire group and send us an email. If the group is registering individually, then the primary participant needs to send an email to the Trek Coordinator with the list of trekkers from the same group.
If you want to make the payment individually, then individual registrations have to be done.
This will be the case for a group of 10 trekkers. So if you have a group of 20 trekkers, then we will waive off the charges for 2 trekkers.
What will the pick up point be? How is travel arranged?
Indiahikes will organise transport to and fro Dehradun railway station and the base camp Raithal, on the first day of the trek. This will be in 5-6 seater vehicles.
The cost of each vehicle transport one way, is Rs 5500. It will be shared among co trekkers in the same vehicle. The same thing applies to the return journey.
What kind of accommodation is given on this trek??
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.
You are going to share the tent with other 2 trekkers.
How do I prepare for the trek, it is my first trek, is it an easy one?
Dayara bugyal is considered an easy moderate trek. It is a very good trek for first timers. That said, you still need to make sure you are physically fit to walk 7 - 8 km on an average in the mountains.
You can begin preparation by going for brisk walks and then do brisk jogs to improve your cardio. Your target should be to cover 5 km in 40 minutes comfortably by the start the trek.
Is there an option to not carry my backpack and do the trek?
Yes this is called offloading your backpack. It means a porter or a mule will carry it for you. You will receive it at the end of the day at each campsite. It is at an extra charge of Rs 1050 and is for the entire duration of the trek. You need to book and pay for this beforehand online.
Can i bring luggage i do not require on the trek and leave them somewhere before the trek begins?
Yes we have an option of leaving behind extra luggage you do not need on the trek, at our base camp, Raithal.
Ensure you leave no valuables (laptops, cash, electronics) in this luggage.
There is no extra charge to leaving this luggage at the base camp, and you do not have to pre book it anywhere.
Can I find snow on this trek?
It depends on the season. If you want to do snow trek for this then December to April would be the best option.
If you want to enjoy the greenery on the meadows then May to June and September to November would be the best option.
Here is what trekkers have to say about their experience at Dayara Bugyal Trek
At Indiahikes we believe that children between the ages of 8 and 13 are most impressionable. They are full of energy on treks! And are always eager to see and learn new things. They also come up with the most questions and observations. Stuthi Aithal went on the Dayara Bugyal Trek with us in JuneRead full blog
In our years of experience as a trekking organisation, we have observed that adults imbibe lessons from the outdoors on a daily basis. Children are much more receptive to the world in their growing years. It is the perfect time to inculcate valuable lessons from trekking which will stay with them throughout their life.
On a family trek, not only are you exposing your child to trekking at a young age but you are also deepening your bond as a family. Trekking facilitates this sense of heightened bond as well their own personal growth.
Dayara Bugyal is perhaps our most ideal trek for children. With its campsites located at just the right distance from each other, it has a perfect balance of trek time and leisure time. Mountain views and alpine meadows like these are hard to find elsewhere at such ease.
This initiative is under the Experiential Learning Programme.
How Is It Different From A Regular Trek?
Family treks will have only families with their children of age limit 8 to 17. Children of age 13-17 can also join this trek without their parents. Further, we also have scholarships for children trekking as part of the family treks.
Parents have the support and comfort of having other parents in the same group. Children will trek and be engaged in activities along with other children. This will encourage them to form meaningful bonds of friendship.
On the first day, we will organise the children into teams. They will be responsible for certain camp related activities and will switch roles every other day.
Here’s a peek into what the teams will do:
- The Camp set-up team oversees pitching of tents. They make sure pitching and dismantling is done properly. They also help those who need assistance.
- The Green Trails team ensures that everyone are engaged with keeping the trails and campsites clean. They oversee waste segregation. They see to it that the toilets and washing areas are set up and clean.
- The Cooking team assists the cook and helps in serving all meals. They ensure that all eat well and there is no wastage.
- The Trek Leader Assistants team assists the Trek Leader in keeping discipline with regard to timing. They will also aid those who are struggling or need any help.
Along with this there will also be co-operative games, star gazing on clear nights, story time, wilderness survival tips and knowledge sharing sessions.
Reflections at the end of each day will allow children to contemplate their learnings and experiences of the day. It’s a time of introspection and gratitude.
What Scholarships we provide
We are offering a scholarship to children trekking with us on the exclusive family batches. These are applicable to the first three children who register between the age of 8 – 12-year-olds – 50% scholarship
You can follow these steps to avail them:
Step 1: Click on the date that suits you on the selected trek page.
Step 2: Start the registration process. You will require unique emails IDs for all participants, including the children.
Step 3: For the scholarship – before making the payment, send an email with a proof-of-age of your child to [email protected]. Any id card with the Date Of Birth will do.
Note: Mention the subject line as “Proof of age for (selected trek).”
Step 4: Our Trek Coordinator will get back to you within 24 hours with a voucher for your child.
Step 5: Make the payment once you get a thumbs up from the Trek Coordinator.
Will My Child Be Safe on trek?
We understand that trekking with your child may cause you to worry about their safety. All our past family trekkers however have always found our treks to be safe.
Here are some of the commonly asked questions we receive from parents.
– Who will ensure safety on the trek?
Our Trek Leaders are certified Wilderness First Responders. They have been trained in wilderness survival and emergency medical aid. They are capable of taking care of any emergency on a trek. Our staff is constantly in touch with each other though radio communication to ensure that all the children and safe and sound.
– What safety gear do you carry?
We carry fully stocked high altitude first aid kits, oxygen cylinders, ropes and stretchers. In addition to this these treks have easily accessible exit routes for any emergency evacuation. Click on this link to watch a video about what equipment we use.
– How do I prepare my children for a Himalayan Trek?
Active preparation is important for any trek, especially for children. Watch this video on how to get children trek fit.
Also remember to pack the right things for the trek.
Our Experience With Children
From our records, 79 children aged 6-12 years and 55 children aged 12-16 years have completed the Dayara Bugyal Trek with us and we have had no untoward incident.
In 2018 alone, we have taken 943 children below 18 years of age on our Himalayan treks. This is not counting the 1000+ school students we have taken on local and Himalayan treks.
There is no doubt that children naturally learn more in the outdoors. The joyful memories created and the natural learning experienced can last a lifetime!
- What the colours mean
Available:Registration is on.
Waitlist:The group is full, but cancellations are likely to happen. We have 5 waitlist slots for every group. You may register for the group. Waitlist slots confirmation chances are high if booked more than 30 days in advance.
Last 'x' slots:Indicates the number of slots available in a group.
Full:Indicates the group is full. No further slots are likely.
Dates not suiting you? Click here to see other similar treks.