Arguably the best meadows of India
Is Dayara Bugyal the most beautiful meadow in India? This is a debate that refuses to die. When trekkers discuss about the most beautiful meadow in India – Dayara Bugyal is often placed at the top position, only to be hotly contested and pushed to the next best, after Bedni Bugyal. But there is no debate amongst trekkers that Dayara Bugyal would fall within the two most beautiful high altitude meadows in India. It is not difficult to see why.
For hundreds of years, shepherds from afar have been taking their flock to graze at Dayara. They have come back with stories of the abundance of grass and splendor of the mighty Himalayan mountain peaks cradling the meadows. They described the place with such intensity that soon, word about Dayara Bugyal reached explorers.
When our explorers got back from the Dayara Bugyal trek, they came profoundly affected. The meadows were exactly as the shepherds had described them – but only more beautiful. The mountains they talked about were the Bhagirathi peaks, Bandarpoonch, Black peak and scores of other peaks they could not name. They discovered clear water bodies strewn across the green meadows – in whose reflection the peaks looked even more beautiful. Flowers sprung up around streams and brooks that ran across the meadows.
Barsu, the base camp for the Dayara Bugyal trek, is around 8 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 Barsu, you witness the brilliant colours of sunset over the John Lee and Draupadi ka Danda peaks.
- Altitude: 7,400 ft
- Time taken: 7-8 hours drive
Day 2: Barsu to Barnala
- Altitude: 7,400 ft to 9,640 ft
- Time taken: 3-4 hours
- Trek gradient: Easy-moderate. Gradually ascending trail throughout.
- Water sources: None. Carry 2 litres of water
The Barnala and Dayara ridges can be seen right from the lawns of GMVN at Barsu. It is an easy-moderate climb with some stiff edges in between. Barnala, a small meadow, is on top of the first ridge. Take the pathway that goes beside the wall of the GMVN, passing the village fields. The fields give way to trees within ten minutes of the climb. The trees, a mix of local deciduous varieties, oak and rhododendron, create a beautiful mix of colors when their leaves glisten in the morning sun.
The tree cover is sparse initially with a number of clearings in between. Take a peep at the mountains in front and notice them getting bigger as you gain height. Half an hour into the moderately ascending trail will bring you to a herbal garden maintained by the govt. Walk past the garden and in twenty more minutes, you are at the last clearing on the route to Barnala. This place is called Mathi Hoda, which means “last clearing.”
The forest cover thickens beyond this and from spring to autumn, the foliage of the trees is thick enough to hide the sky above. Climb up on the well laid-out stone track to the ridge line, which is an hour away.
At the ridge line, the trail gently slopes down. A couple of minutes later, the Gujjar huts and a big clearing are seen. Tall pine trees circle the periphery of the clearing. The trail goes along the side of the clearing, climbing up a small mound at one end. Get on top of the mound and look back. Notice that the skyline has broadened and many more peaks have made an appearance. Run up and in less than five minutes begin the meadows of Barnala.
Barnala is a tree-lined meadow that converts into a ski slope during winter. At the left corner of the meadow is the Barnala Lake. Take a break by the lake watching the reflection of the oak trees in the water.
Day 3: Barnala to Dayara Bugyal. Trek to Dayara Top and back
- Altitude: 9,640 ft to 11,700 ft. Dayara top at 12,350 ft
- Time taken: 3-4 hours to Dayara Bugyal. Dayara top excursion – 2.5-3 hours
- Trek gradient: Easy-moderate. 1.5 hours of gradual ascent followed by an undulating meadow walk to reach the campsite.
- Water sources: None. Carry 2 litres of water.
Dayara Bugyal is on top of the ridge line seen from Barnala. Walk across the meadow and enter the tree line again. Do not forget to turn around to see the views behind as you walk.
The climb up the second ridge line is steeper than the first. The path is still well laid-out and it is hard to miss your way through it. An hour and a half’s climb brings you to the end of the tree line and the meadow begins right there. Climb up a couple of mounds and turn around to see the views. On one side are the new entries, never seen till now – the Bandar Poonch and Black peak.
On the other side are the mountains that were with you until now; the numbers have increased. The view stretches out now to 180 degrees and more. The Dayara Bugyal meadow stretches out far and wide ahead, but the camping areas are limited to the fringes of the Bugyal, where there are good sources of water.
Continue to trek along the right fringes of the meadow with the tree line just below. The trek to the camp site is like a preview to the views in store for the next few days. Capture in your minds and memories, the Bugyals dipping and raising, the skyline around and the long shadows in the golden evening sun.
Pass the Gujjar huts that come up on your left. Within 500 meters, a shady enclosure of oak and pine trees, with a clearing in the center, is seen. A couple of small streams flow on either sides through the year. Make this your campsite. Collect fallen branches and logs from the oak trees around.
Dayara Bugyal’s expanse deserves a day of exploration. Set aside a day if you can for a complete exploration of the meadow, going all the way to Dayara top and back. This should take you 2.5-3 hours.
Day 4: Dayara Bugyal to Siyaari
- Altitude: 11,700 ft to 11,700 ft
- Time taken: 3-4 hours
- Trek gradient: Moderate. Initial steep ascent for 10 minutes followed by a level walk. The trail continues in a series of short descents and ascents throughout, interspersed with ridge walks.
- Water sources: Carry sufficient water. There is one water source on the trail.
Take the trail that crosses the stream beyond the campsite and moves into the oak trees. The trail goes out of the forest cover within five minutes, with magnificent views of Bandar Poonch and other peaks. If in summer, start early. A 7.00 am start is perfect if you are a bigger group.
Keep the tree line on your left and climb up the ridge until you meet the trail that goes to Gidara Bugiyal. It is a breathless 1o min to the trail.
The early morning view of Dayara Bugiyal 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.
Stick to the trail as it naturally leads you out of the meadows to the north-western edge (your extreme right). On the edge, it descends sharply through a cluster of dwarf rhododendrons, flattening out to a clearing with a shepherd’s hut. There is a small water point here. Beyond the hut, the trail climbs again topping at a flat ridge of Devikund.
Devikund is a small junction that signals the end of Dayara meadows. A trail descends from Devikund to Dodital, two camps away.
Take the trail that climbs upward and to your right. It opens out to a flattish walk on the steep flank of a large mound. Ahead, Badarpoonch keeps you company, ever watching with its presence. The trail curves around the western flank of the mound before descending gently to the top of a ridge.
Oak trees flank the eastern edges of the ridge. Peep through the trees and spot Barsu many thousand feet below. Take the trail that veers off the ridge to the left and gently descends to a thick cluster of rhododendrons. The trail widens considerably and weaves a flattish trail through the rhododendrons before rounding a shoulder again regaining the ridge. The trail continues to weave in and out of the ridge and into clusters of rhododendrons, finally ending the ridge at the base of the climb towards Surya top.
The climb is short but steep, over a series of switchbacks topping at a tiny pass. From the pass, the view of the entire Dayara Bugyal is worth pausing a few moments for. In front, Bandarpoonch seems a touching distance away towering over the entire landscape.
The trail hugs the eastern side of the ridge, descending mildly in a wide curve to get to another pass in ten minutes. This is the Gidara pass. From the top of the pass, the trail bifurcates in opposite directions. The one on the right heads to Pichkiya and the one on the left leads to Gidara Bugyal.
If you’re short of time and want to end the trek quickly, head towards Pichkiya. If you have an extra day in hand, take the trail that leads to Gidara Bugyal. Gidara Bugyal is a longer trek and takes another three days to complete. But the trail towards Gidara is the way towards Siyaari campsite. Siyaari is visible from the top of the pass about 800 ft below.
Follow the trail to Gidara until it hops on to the ridge overlooking the Dodital valley. Catch the last views of the Bandarpoonch looming over the trail. Descend on the ridge until you get to a shallow, from where the trail to Gidara bifurcates to the left. You are at the tip of a valley that faces the Barsu direction. There is no fixed trail but numerous sheep trails descend to the valley floor. Descend to the valley floor and look for a perennial stream that cuts through the bottom of the valley from one end to the other. Establish your Siyaari camp anywhere near the stream.
Below, where the short valley ends, an abandoned cluster of shepherd huts perch on the edge of the ridge. Use the huts to fix your bearings on the location. In the evening, take short excursions to the various hill tops that surround the campsite. The view from the top of them displays the entire snow peak range.
In the morning, climb up the hill again to catch a spectacular sunrise from behind Mt Srikhant.
Day 5: Siyaari to Barsu
- Altitude: 11,700 ft to 7,400 ft
- Time taken: 4-5 hours
- Trek gradient: Easy. Short stretches of ascents and descents for 1.5 hours followed by a continuously descending trail
- Water sources: Carry 2 litres of water. You can refill your bottles from a couple of water sources along the trail.
Siyaari is a superb location to catch sunrise on a meadow. For that, though, you need to climb up about 200 ft to a flat turn to the left of the valley.
Get up on time to make the 10 minute climb to the flat. Carry enough woolens – it can get a little windy on the top. Perch yourself on a boulder or on grass and catch the rising sun behind the summit.
As a bonus, wait for the hundreds of sheep that the shepherd’s let out to graze in the morning light. Catch the first trace of the sun, bouncing off their backs as they bleat in the warmth of the sun.
It’s a long descent to Barsu. Start early from the campsite. Keep the stream to your left and take the trail that hugs the right of the valley, climbing slightly on its flank. At the end of the valley, the trail narrows and dips suddenly into the tree line. If there are mules with you on the trek, then, this is not the trail for them as it is too narrow. They need to retrace yesterday’s steps to the Gidara pass and head down to Pichkiya from the ridge above.
The narrow trail is just about wide enough for a person to pass through. The trail meanders in and out of roots of the oaks and rhododendrons, sometimes dipping sharply and at times, rising quickly but at most times having around the same altitude. The forest is thick and sunlight rarely reaches the trail. Within half an hour to forty minutes into the trail, take a break at a permanent stream that runs down a gully. The water is clean and pure.
Continue on the trail as it weaves in and out of the routes, until you get to a clearing with a terrific view of the summits in front and the meadows behind. The trail climbs and descends alternately through the thick undergrowth of oak rhododendron and occasionally mixed trees. The trail suddenly curves around a bend to give you a view of a shepherd’s hut perched on a ridge against the backdrop of an empty sky. Get to the hut to catch up with a friendly family of Gujjars. On the right are the last of the descending flanks of the Dayara meadows – a flank the locals call Ki’uttoral.
The shepherd’s hut is a junction of sorts, three trails merge here; the trail that descends from the Gidara pass, another that climbs from Barsu and Pichkiya, and the third, the trail we just came across – that leads to Siyaari and further on the Gidara. From the shepherd’s hut, take the trail that descends into the forest below. The trail gets wide, but descends steeper too.
Your next destination is Pichkiya – a large clearing in the forest, an hour and a half from the shepherd’s hut. Within 10 minutes of your descent, the trail flattens out to a big clearing surrounded by oak trees with langoors sleeping through the branches. In the clearing, cows graze about peacefully. Make your way through the clearing to the outer right and edge and catch the trail that again descends sharply into the forest.
Ten minutes later, over a curve, spot another cluster of shepherd’s huts peeping through the trees. Do not move to the hut but look for a sharp trail that weaves right from the trail and disappears into the thicket. This is the trail that you need to take. The trail that you see ahead ends at the shepherds’ huts.
The trail continuing to descend swerves further right to emerge at another cluster of shepherds’ huts in another couple of minutes. The trail starts to the left and switching back to the right to suddenly emerge into a cluster of trails sprouting out of it. This can confuse trekkers. From here on, and until Barsu, many side trails emerge and again converge together many times. To avoid getting the feeling that you are lost, always take a trail that is descending and moving to the right. Avoid any trail that looks flattish. Though, keep in mind all trails at some point converge and descend to Pichkiya and further on to Barsu.
Half an hour through the steep descent and further right into the mountains, the trail opens up to a large clearing of a grand view of snow peaks. You have arrived at Pichkya. A permanent water source flows on the extreme right hand edge of the clearing. Below the lip of the clearing, there is a small shady flat here, where the water source descends to a small watering hole. This is a favourite of animals to take a dip or simply drink from. There’s another water source a minute into the trail that starts from the outer edge of the clearing across the water source. This is your trail to Barsu.
Pichkiya is a lovely spot to take a break for lunch. In case the team is tired and sore from the long descent, then you can think of camping at Pichkiya too. From Pichkiya, it’s only two and a half hours to Barsu. So camping is an alternative only in an emergency or for the die hard.
The trail from Pichkya to Barsu is utterly beautiful and likely to stay in your memories for long. Take the outer trail from the right hand corner of Pichkya and begin your descent through the splendid foliage of oak trees. The brown carpet of leaves is a delight to walk on. To add to the charm, the trail splits and converges many times, sometimes over a height of only a few feet to lend a picture of fairy tale era. Pack your descent evenly because it is a fairly long descent of 2,000 ft to Barsu.
About an hour through the mystic forest, the trail suddenly plunges to the sound of roaring water to emerge at the foot of a lovely waterfall. The waterfall creates a few dark pools of water. This is a welcome break for trekkers to freshen up from the dust and grime of the last few days of trekking. Drink to your fill from the clean water and cross the stream over logs placed in the water. The trail climbs sharply out of the waterfall to leave the roaring sound behind in a couple of minutes. Soon enough, the trail again continues to descend through the enchanting oak forest.
Spot village women from Barsu foraging for firewood and dry leaves – and you know civilization is not too far off. Sure enough, an hour into the descent from the waterfall, emerge out into the open to a fantastic view of Barsu right below you. You are perched in an overhang of the steep mountain face that towers over Barsu.
Take in the beautiful view and continue your descent as a trail traverses the mountain face. On its descent to Barsu, the upper reaches of Barsu with its pretty wheat and poppy cultivation, soon falls on the trail. From here on, the trail dips towards Barsu quickly, traversing its upper meadows to get a spot close to the temple.
With a trail entering the village from its upper echelon, take your time, witnessing the life in the village of Barsu. Village kids scamper about around their homes, the women thrash wheat and some tend to their cultivation. It is a fascinating moment for trekkers to witness events from a world far removed from modernity. The trail gradually descends to the village square and a primary school surrounded by wheat fields. It brings to an end your enchanting 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.
In case you’re just starting with a regular fitness routine, you can phase out your distance targets in the following manner –
- Target completing 5 km in 45 minutes when you begin
- Gradually increase the distance to 7 km. Target completing this in 63 minutes
- Before you go on the trek, you should be able to walk at least 10 km at a stretch. Target completing this in 90 minutes
In terms of speed, make sure you’re able to jog 5 km in 35 minutes before the start of the trek. If you are 45 years old and above, your target should be completing at least 3 km within 29 minutes before you go on the trek.
This is another area you should work on. There is a lot of trekking distance that you will cover carrying your backpacks and trekking along with your backpack is not a very easy task. You have to walk on uneven terrain during the trek. It could be taxing for your legs. For this, strengthening your legs will help. You can do some squats to strengthen them. Do around 3 sets of squats, with 8 squats in each set.
Another aspect that will help you trek comfortably is flexibility. For this, you can do some stretching exercises – stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, lower back muscles and shoulders regularly. On your trek, it is important that you arrive on the slopes with your muscles relaxed. Carrying a backpack, however light, can become a strain after a while. These exercises will help you to be in good shape before the trek.
Here’s a guide to help you get fit for the trek.
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.
- Trekking shoes: The trek distance is long and you will have to walk for long distances which need you to have comfortable trekking shoes. You can watch this video to learn to choose the right trekking shoes.
- Backpack (40-60 litres): A backpack with sturdy straps and a supporting frame. Rain cover for backpack is essential.
- Three (Five in Winter) Warm Layers: You will be trekking and camping at high altitudes. So make sure you have the apt clothes for the climatic conditions. It will be cold at the higher altitudes so make sure you have at least three layers of warm clothes to protect yourself.
- Two trek pants: One pair of pants should suffice for this trek. But you can carry one spare pair in case the first one gets wet. Wear one pair and carry one pair.
- Two collared t-shirts: Carry light, full sleeved t-shirts that prevent sun burns on the neck and arms. Again, wear one and carry one. A common mistake that trekkers make is not changing their tshirts often enough. Regardless of how cold it is, the body tends to sweat a lot. Trekkers who don’t change to fresh clothes fall ill due to wet clothes and are often unable to complete their trek.
- Thermals (Optional): Those who are more susceptible to cold can carry thermals to wear at night.
- Suncap: The sun is more harsh at high altitudes so wear a suncap to protect your face and neck.
- Synthetic hand gloves: One pair of fleece or woolen hand gloves. One pair of water proof/resistant, wind proof gloves.
- Balaclava: You may use woollen scarves instead as well.
- Socks (2 pairs): Apart from two sports socks, you can take a pair of woollen socks for the night.
- Headlamp/LED torch: Mandatory
- Trekking pole: Watch this video to understand why you need a trekking pole.
- Daypack (20 litres): If you are offloading your backpack, you will need a smaller backpack to carry water, medical kit and some light snacks.
- Toiletries: Sunscreen, moisturiser, light towel, lip balm, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitiser. If you plan to use wet wipes to clean up after a trek, make sure you do not leave the used wipes/tissues back in the mountains since these are not biodegradable. The same holds for used sanitary napkins. Carry a zip lock bag to put used tissues and napkins. Bring this ziplock bag back with you to the city and do not dispose wet tissues and sanitary napkins in the mountains.
- Cutlery: Carry a spoon, coffee mug and a lunch box. We insist on trekkers getting their own cutlery for hygiene reasons.
- Two water bottles: 1 litre each
- Plastic covers: While packing, use plastic bags to compartmentalise things and carry few extra plastic bags for wet clothes.
Mandatory Personal Medical Kit
- Diamox – 10 tablets (to prevent AMS)
- Dexamethasone – one strip
- Nifedipine – 5 tablets
- Crocin – 6 tablets (fever)
- Avomine – 4 tablets (motion sickness)
- Avil 25mg – 4 tablets (allergies)
- Combiflam – 4 tablets (Pain killer)
- Disprin – 6 tablets (headache)
- Norflox TZ & Lomofen– 6 tablets each (diarrhea)
- Digene – 10 tablets (acidity)
- Omez/ Rantadine – 10 tablets (antacids)
- Crepe bandage – 3 to 5 meters
- Gauze – 1 small roll
- Band aid – 10 strips
- Cotton – 1 small roll
- ORS – 10 packets
- Betadine or any antiseptic cream
- Moov spray (aches, & sprains)
- Original and photocopy of government photo identity card- (driving license, voters ID, etc.)
- Disclaimer- Download PDF
- Medical certificate – Download PDF
Here’s a guide to help you pack for the trek –
Trek fee: Rs. 8,900/-
GST at 5% is payable on the trek fee
- Accommodation during the trek (camping – 3 per tent)
- All meals – vegetarian
- Trekking permits and forest camping charges
- Trekking equipment (tents, sleeping bags, ice axes, ropes, etc.)
- Safety equipment (first aid, medical kit, oxygen cylinders, stretcher, etc.)
- Services of an expert trek leader (qualified in basic/advanced mountaineering courses)
- Services of an expert trek team (guides, cooks, helpers, porters/mules)
- Transport to and from the base camp . Shared taxis will be arranged. It will cost approx. Rs. 5,500 per vehicle which trekkers are to divided amongst themselves and pay directly to the driver.
- Food during transit to and from the base camp
- Backpack offloading charges – Rs 250 per day + 5% GST. The backpack cannot weigh more than 9 kgs. No suitcases/strolleys/duffel bags will be allowed.
- Stay at Dehradun on the last day.
- Personal expenses of any kind
- Anything apart from inclusions
Terms & Conditions
1. Cancellation: If a trek is called off at the last moment due to a natural calamity/unforseen circumstances (like rains, earthquake, landslides, strike, bandh etc), Indiahikes will issue a trek voucher for the full amount. The voucher can be redeemed for the same trek or another trek in the next one year.
In case, you wish to cancel your trek, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cancellation requests are not taken over phone.
The cancellation charges are as under:
- Cancellations prior to 30 days from the start of the trek — full refund.
- Cancellation between 30 days and 20 days to the start of the trek — 50% refund.
- Cancellation less than 20 days to the start of the trek — no refund.
Please note: In case of refund, there will be a deduction of 4% (bank charges) from the total fee you have paid. Also, if you have opted for a trek insurance, the amount will not be refunded.
The trek fee includes all costs of the trek from the start and to the end of the trek.
2. Pick up: Trekkers are picked up from Dehradun railway station at 6.30 am. Usually, trekkers are clubbed together with other participants to make a group. The group travels together to Barsu in shared cabs.
3. Transport: Transport from Dehradun to Barsu and the return can be arranged by us at an extra cost. Participants are expected to share the cost of the cab (Rs 5,500 per vehicle). The amount is to be paid directly to our transporter. No GST is applicable on transport cost. Indiahikes only arranges the vehicle pick up and is not responsible for any issues during transport. You can choose to come independently to the base camp.
4. Backpack offloading: Indiahikes expects all trekkers to carry their own backpacks. All common gear will be carried by the support team. If for some reason a trekker is unable to carry his or her backpack, he/she can offload the same by paying an additional charge.
Backpack offloading charge is Rs 250 per day + 5% GST. Partial offloading is not allowed. Charges will vary for last minute on slope offloading. The backpack cannot weigh more than 9 kg. No suitcases/strolleys/duffel bags will be allowed.
5. Emergency during trek: In a trek a medical emergency or any other emergency may arise. If for any reason you are sent down from the trek then Indiahikes will make arrangements for your return to the base camp or nearest road head. A staff will accompany you. He may not be a trained personnel.
Evacuation or dealing with emergencies is extremely difficult in the mountains. It is time consuming as well. A normal trek of 2 hours may take 6 hours in an emergency (a sick person is not easy to evacuate). Doctors do not go along with a team. Doctors are not available at the base camp or nearest road head either. Indiahikes trek leaders are trained to administer first aid and know how to deal with issues related to the mountains. However, they are not doctors.
Registering for this trek is an understanding that you have read up on the difficulties of high altitude trekking and understand the risks. You have also understood what AMS, HAPE and HACE are. You have taken efforts to educate yourself and you are in a position to manage your own altitude related emergency.
6. Fitness: A high altitude trek in the Himalayas requires considerable fitness. Your body needs to train itself to process more work with lower levels of oxygen. Cardiovascular training before a trek is critically important. Training must include strength and flexibility workout. We have laid out the eligibility criteria here. Registering for the trek is an understanding that you will undertake the mandated fitness training. Indiahikes has the right to reject candidates who do not meet our eligibility requirement at the base camp.
7. Non-liability: Indiahikes is not responsible for any loss/damage of your gears/equipment or other belongings on the trek.
8. Payment: Payment for the trek can be done online through credit/debit card or net banking. Cheque/draft or cash is not accepted.
9. Drinking and smoking during the trek is strictly prohibited. If found flouting the rules, your participation on the trek will be cancelled with immediate effect.
10. Safety Protocol:
a. While our itineraries are designed to allow for adequate acclimatisation, most treks in Indian Himalayas climb quickly, which is called forced accents. Unavailability of camp sites and the Indian Himalayan terrain are the reason for this. There are chances that you will feel the effects of altitude sickness and oxygen deprivation while on this trek. Please be aware that your trek leader may deem it unsafe for you to continue trekking at any time, and arrange for you to descend to a lower attitude.
b. Our trek leaders will conduct routine health checks at all camps to measure oxygen saturation, pulse and blood pressure. Indiahikes reserves the right to exclude any trekker from climbing higher on the trek without refund if the trekker’s vital readings are below accepted norms for that altitude. These norms are available with Indiahikes trek leaders.
c. This is a high altitude trek. It is important that you are a fit and confident walker in mountain terrain, able to manage ascents and descents by yourself within a reasonable time. Indiahikes reserves the right to turn around a trekker if in the opinion of our trek leader they are unable to complete the itinerary without requiring exclusive assistance. Please realistically self-assess your fitness and suitability for this trek before registering.
What Indiahikes does to ensure your safety
Our philosophy is simple. We ingrain safety aspects in the people we work with, in the processes that we follow, and in the equipment we carry. All our trek leaders are trained repeatedly on safety issues and protocols. Most issues are resolved with their intervention.
Right from the time you decide to register for the trek till the last day of the trek, these safety procedures will be running in the background. We have listed a few of them below:
1. Fitness criteria before registration
Over years of organising high altitude treks, we have found that safety issues thrive amongst those who are unfit and unprepared for the trek. Anyone who wants to register for the 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.
1. What is the style of accommodation in this trek?
Dayara Bugyal is a 6 day trek. You will be staying in tents on all days of the trek. Each tent accommodates 3 trekkers. Sufficient number of toilet tents will be set up for the convenience of trekkers.
2. Will you provide us with tents and sleeping bags?
Yes, Indiahikes trekkers will be provided with tents and high altitude sleeping bags that can withstand temperatures as low as -10 ºC.
3. Which are the best seasons for the Dayara Bugyal trek?
Spring, autumn and winter are the best times to do the Dayara Bugyal trek
4. When will there be snow on this trek?
You are likely to find snow in patches on this trail in April. Sometimes, you can get lucky and see fresh snow fall in December.
5. At what time should we reach Dehradun?
It is advisable to reach Dehradun railway station by 6.30 am. Indiahikes pick up is lined up at that time. You can take the Nandadevi Express from New Delhi Railway station at 11.50 pm. It reaches Dehradun by 5.40 am.
The cost of the pick up is not included in the trek fee. This amounts to Rs.5,500 per vehicle and is to be paid directly to the driver.
6. What will we do if it rains?
If it starts raining while you’re trekking, we will continue on the trail as planned. Your poncho should protect you from the rain. Carry a backpack cover for extra protection from rain for your belongings. When it rains at the campsite, we usually get together in the dining tent and play games. The tents that you will be staying in, the dining tent, kitchen and toilet tents are all water proof, so you will stay dry inside.
7. How will we get back to Dehradun?
Indiahikes will arrange for vehicles (usually a Tata Sumo) to drop you back from Barsu at the end of the trek. The cost of transportation would be borne and shared by trekkers. It will amount to around Rs.5,500 per vehicle and is to be paid directly to the driver.
8. Will backpacks, raincoats and other equipment be available for rent?
No. There are several websites that rent out trekking equipment. Indiahikes does not rent any equipment. You can check our store for any equipment that you would like to purchase.
9. Is this a good trek for a first timer?
Dayara Bugyal is graded as an easy-moderate trek. Beginners can attempt this trek provided they stick to the fitness schedule and meet the health requirements. Kedarkantha, Deoriatal-Chandrashila, Har Ki Dun and Sandakphu are also good treks for first timers. As in all treks, physical preparation is mandatory.
10. Is there an option to offload my backpack on this trek?
Yes, there is an option to offload your backpack. This will cost Rs.250 per day + 5% GST if you inform us in advance. If you decide to offload once you reach Lohajung, the amount will be Rs.335 per day + 5% GST. The offloaded bag should not weigh more than 9 kg. Strolleys, duffel bags, suitcases etc. are not allowed. We suggest you read “5 Tips to make Carrying your Trekking Backpack Easy” before making a decision.
11. Can I take my child along on this trek? What is the age limit?
Dayara Bugyal is an easy-moderate trek and requires trekkers to be physically fit. Minimum age for eligibility is 8 years. If your child meets this criterion and is physically fit, you can take her/him along.
12. What kind of food is served on the trek? Should we carry any food?
Indiahikes uses a well planned menu suitable for high altitude treks. Breakfast varies from bread and butter, semia, poha to sandwiches and cornflakes. Lunch mainly comprises of roti or puri with sabzi. Dinner is complete with Dal, rice, roti and dessert. Dry ration of biscuits and chikki will be provided as well. You may carry nuts and dry fruits if necessary.
13. Who will be there with us on the trek from Indiahikes?
An Indiahikes team consisting of a qualified Trek leader, trek guides, porters and cooks will be with you throughout the trek.
14. What are the washroom/toilet facilities like on the trek?
During the trek, toilet tents will be set up along each campsite. There will be 2 to 4 of these toilet tents depending on the size of the group. A toilet tent will have a deep pit, where one can answer nature’s call. There will be a mound of soil and a shovel to cover it up. These are dry toilets, where you’ll have to use toilet paper. This is the most hygienic and convenient way to answer nature’s call in the wild. Please use plain toilet paper and refrain from using wet wipes since these are not biodegradable.
15. Will there be water sources on the way? Will two litres of water be enough?
Our campsites are pitched near water sources. For your day’s trek, two litres of water should be enough. On Day 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.
16. Is there mobile network on this trek? Are there any electricity charging points on this trek?
Idea network is available at Barsu. Signal on all other networks is available at Bhatwari, on the main road. Beyond that, the signal will be intermittent. There will be no charging points anywhere on the trek since you will be staying in tents throughout.
17. Do I need special snow shoes on this trek?
You don’t need special snow shoes. A good trekking shoe is sufficient for the trek. When there is snow, we provide microspikes and gaiters. In case you’re looking to purchase new trekking shoes before the trek, this video will help you choose the right pair.
18. Why is the trekking pole necessary?
A trekking pole gives you stability and balance, and helps reduce fatigue. We suggest you watch this video for a better understanding of why a trekking pole is necessary – https://www.youtube.com/
19. When it gets really cold can I consume alcohol?
Alcohol is dangerous in extreme cold, especially at high altitudes. Contrary to what people believe, alcohol does not make you warmer. Instead it opens your pores, making your body colder. Moreover, it dehydrates you very quickly. Hence consumption of alcohol is absolutely prohibited on all Indiahikes treks. Anyone found with alcohol is quickly removed from the trek. Smoking, similarly, is not allowed on Indiahikes treks.
20. How long do we trek every day?
Day 1 is when you reach your base camp, Barsu. This is a long drive from Dehradun and will take you around 7-8 hours.
Day 2, you trek from Barsu to Barnala in 3-4 hours. You gain over 2,000 ft in altitude.
Day 3, you trek from Barnala to Dayara Bugyal in 3-4 hours. You gain another 2,000 ft in altitude.
Day 4 consists of a 3-4 hours trek to Siyaari
Day 5, you return to Barsu. This will take 4-5 hours.
Day 6 is when you return to Dehradun.
Please refer to the trek itinerary for more details.
21. How do I manage the negative temperatures on the trek? Do I need special jackets?
At 11,648 ft altitude, temperatures are sure to dip into negative at nights, especially in the winter. For these extreme cold temperatures, you need to keep the rule of 3 in mind. The rule of 3 usually takes care of cold that dip to -10°C. It is a simple formula of wearing 3 layers of woolen, inners and lower wear.
Follow this guide:
Wear one thermal and two T-shirts, three layers of woolens (two sweaters and a jacket). For your lowers wear a thermal inner with two layers of track suit. If you are prone to more cold, just add a layer.
The temperatures dip only late in the evening and early mornings. During the day if the sun is out, then you may even be trekking in your T-shirts. Make sure you use your thermal wear only at night and not while trekking.
A woolen cap/balaclava and gloves are a must.
This video also has tips on how to stay warm on a high altitude trek.
22. What all do I need to carry on the trek?
Click here to get the list of all the things you need to carry on the trek.
23. Is it safe to trek with Indiahikes?
All high altitude treks come with their share of risks. At Indiahikes, we pay utmost importance to safety of trekkers. While we do our bit to ensure a trekker is safe, we also expect any trekker who is enrolling with us to know what could go wrong, and if it does, how to tackle it. Before you go on the trek, make sure you’re thoroughly acquainted with the safety procedures followed on a trek.
24. What are the places of interest that I can visit before or after the trek?
You can spend time exploring tourist attractions around Dehradun or Haridwar. Please note that these are suggestions and Indiahikes does not make any arrangements for visiting them.
How to get to the basecamp – Barsu
Delhi → Dehradun → Barsu
The Dayara Bugyal trek starts from Barsu, 181 km from Dehradun. Barsu is a small village.
Indiahikes organises transport from Dehradun to Barsu. The pick up is from Dehradun Railway station on Day 1. The cost of the cab is Rs.5,500 per vehicle. This is not included in your trek fee. It is to be shared amongst trekkers and paid directly to the driver. Transport can also be organised from Rishikesh (Tapovan) upon request.
You will reach Barsu at around 6.oo pm.
To reach Dehradun
The best way to reach Haridwar is to take an overnight train from Delhi.
- 12205 Nandadevi Express – 23.50 – 5.40
If you cannot find a train, then take a bus. To stay on the safe side, book buses online in advance. Book such that you have some buffer time to make it to Dehradun on time for the pick-up; buses usually get delayed.
Barsu → Haridwar → Delhi
The Dayara Bugyal trek ends at Barsu. It is again a 7 hour journey back to Dehradun. Indiahikes organises this transport for a fare of Rs.5,500 per cab. This is to be shared by trekkers and paid to the driver directly. You will reach Dehradun by 6.00 pm.
If you are travelling further from Dehradun, keep a couple of hours as buffer time in case of delay. Book your further travel from Dehradun post 8 pm. If you are travelling to Delhi, you can choose to go back by Mussoorie Express (21.20) or Nanda Devi Express (23.30).