Why Dayara Bugyal turns into a Fairyland in Winter
When snow falls in winter over Dayara Bugyal, a magic unfolds. The meadows that were a lovely green so far turn into a beautiful carpet of unending white.
The white, undisturbed snow is everywhere. It sits on rocks, pebbles and stones. It is on the grass and on trees.
Getting to Dayara from your camp at Gui is a delight. The forest floor has dollops of snow everywhere. Your feet crunch over snow as you climb to Dayara, only to find a towering Mt Bandarpoonch lording over the white meadows.
The entire winter trek to Dayara is very different from what it is in any other season. It is a new trek with a new experience.
Indiahikes has 6 other superb winter treks to do. But Dayara stands out among them in the complete experience of great campsites, great forests, great trails and astounding mountain views. It is also the least crowded among all of them.
Dayara is perfect for those who are trying out a trek for the first time.
Day 1: Reach Raithal
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 the John Lee and Draupadi ka Danda peaks.
- Altitude: 7,400 ft (2,256 m)
- Time taken: 7-8 hours drive
Day 2: Raithal to Gui
- Altitude: 7,400 ft (2,256 m) to 9,500 ft (2,896 m)
- Time taken: 4-5 hours
- Trek gradient: Easy-moderate. Gradually ascending trail throughout.
- Water sources: None. Carry 2 litres of water
At Raithal, you can see Srikhand Mahadev 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 part is a little steep and might make the trek seem difficult since your body is also trying to find its rhythm. But this is actually an Easy-moderate day.
The trail is very well marked. It goes through a forest which 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.
Continue on the marked path leading out of Gui. You will see a small clearing in about an hour. Trek through this for another hour and a half and you will reach a small hut. This is a good point to take a break. In winter, you will start finding snow from around here.
From here, the trail continues through the forest. You will pass another 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 Dayara Bugyal
- Altitude: 9,500 ft (2,896 m) to 11,100 ft (3,383 m)
- Time taken: 3-3.5 hours to Dayara Bugyal
- Trek gradient: Easy-moderate. Gradually ascending trail
- Water sources: None. Carry 2 litres of water.
Once you cross Gui, you start seeing mountains on the other side, which were earlier hidden from view.
It is a short trail today. As soon as you leave the campsite, you are in the midst of an oak forest again. After about 1.5 hours of trekking through the forest, you reach a hut. This is a good point to take a break.
From here, the trail winds up to a board which says ‘Dayara’. To the right of the trail, there are no trees and huge mountain views appear all of a sudden as you approach Dayara. The trail continues to ascend gradually all the way to the campsite.
The Dayara campsite is completely open and very windy. You get views of Bandarpoonch and Kala Nag on one side.
After lunch, stroll up to a higher point close to the campsite. In the evening, the rays of the sun falling on Bandarpoonch range to the left make for a beautiful sight. As your eyes move to the right, you see Kalanag, Srikhand Mahadev, and finally Draupadi ka Danda at the extreme right.
Dayara Bugyal’s expanse deserves a day of exploration.
Day 4: Dayara Bugyal to Dayara Top and back
- Altitude: 11,100 ft (3,383 m) to 12,057 ft (2,675 m) to 11,100 ft (3,383 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.
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. In winter, you can start by 9.00 am with a packed lunch to have at the summit.
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 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.
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.
Day 5: Dayara Bugyal to Barsu
- Altitude: 11,100 ft (3,383 m) to 7,400 ft (2,256 m)
- Time taken: 4-4.5 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. You can refill your bottles from a couple of water sources along the trail.
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.
In about 2 hours, you reach Barnala. You will find a lake here and a temple dedicated to Nag Devta next to it. Keep your bags near the forest hut and go explore the lake and temple. In peak winter, people visit Barnala to go skiing.
The trail from Barnala to Barsu is around 5 km. The amount of snow on the trail reduces from here. The descent is gradual till just before the village, from where it becomes steep again.
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 eventually descend to 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. Continue till you reach GMVN on the other side. 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.
On a trek, carry fewer clothes than you would normally need. Do not pack for ‘what if situations’. That will only add to the weight of your backpack and not be used on the trek. Once your clothes get warmed up on a trek, you will not feel like changing. Just maintain personal hygiene.
- 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. Denims/jeans and shorts are not suitable for trekking.
- 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. Let one of these be a dri-fit t-shirt. It will dry quickly in case you are trekking on a rainy day. 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 after reaching the campsite 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.
- Ponchos: At high altitudes, snowfall and rain are quite common and hence it’s mandatory to carry a poncho so that you don’t get wet.
Indiahikes offers rentals on this trek. You can now rent trekking shoes, trekking pole, padded jacket and poncho instead of buying them. You can collect these directly at the base camp and return them there after the trek. Get the details here.
- 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. Do not carry wet wipes since these are not biodegradable. If you do happen to use wet wipes to clean up after a trek, make sure you bring them back with you. The same holds for used sanitary napkins. Carry a zip lock bag to put used wet tissues and napkins. Bring this ziplock bag back with you to the city and do not dispose wet tissues and sanitary napkins in the mountains.
- 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)
- 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)
- Knee cap, if you are prone to knee injury
- Anti fungal powder
- Original and photocopy of government photo identity card- (driving license, voters ID, etc.)
- Disclaimer- Download PDF
- Medical certificate – Download PDF
Here’s a guide to help you pack for the trek –
What you need to know about the trek fee
The trek fee of Rs. 8,900 + 5% GST covers all costs of the trek from Raithal to Barsu.
Here is what the trek fee includes:
- Accommodation – Stay is included from Day 1 to Day 5 (Raithal to Barsu). You will be staying at a lodge at Raithal and Barsu and camping on other days of the trek (3 per tent).
- 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 – You will stay in high quality tents and sleeping bags in all the camps. Our high altitude sleeping bags can withstand temperatures as low as -10 ºC. We provide ice axes, roped, micro spikes, gaiters etc. as required.
- Safety equipment – First aid, medical kit, oxygen cylinders, stretchers etc. will be available at all campsites to deal with emergencies.
- Services of an expert Trek Leader – All our trek leaders are qualified in basic / advanced mountaineering courses.
- Services of an expert Trek Team – The mountain staff on this trek consists of well trained guides, cooks, helpers and porters.
Here is what the trek fee excludes:
- Transport to and from the base camp – We will arrange shared taxis for trekkers to pick you up from Dehradun and drop you back from Barsu. This will cost approx. Rs. 5,500 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 – The trek fee does not include meals purchased during the journey to Raithal and the return drive from Barsu.
- Backpack offloading charges – If you wish to offload your backpack, there will be an additional charge of Rs 250 per day + 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. Online offloading in advance is possible up to two days prior to the trek start date.
- 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 login to your account and cancel. Cancellation requests will not be taken over phone or email.
The cancellation charges are as under:
- Cancellations prior to 30 days from the start of the trek — full refund.
- Cancellation between 30 days and 20 days to the start of the trek — 50% refund.
- Cancellation less than 20 days to the start of the trek — no refund.
Please note: In case of refund, there will be a deduction of 4% (bank charges) from the total fee you have paid. Also, if you have opted for a trek insurance, the amount will not be refunded.
The trek fee includes all costs of the trek from the start and to the end of the trek.
2. Pick up: Trekkers are picked up from Dehradun railway station at 6.30 am. Usually, trekkers are clubbed together with other participants to make a group. The group travels together to Barsu in shared cabs.
3. Transport: Transport from Dehradun to Raithal 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 for a 5-6 seater 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. Online offloading in advance is possible up to two days prior to the trek start date.
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 at lodge in Raithal and Barsu and in tents on other 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 4.00 am and Dehradun by 6.00 am. Beginning 1st May, the pick up for this trek will be from Dehradun instead of Dehradun.
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. Are trek poles, jackets and other equipment available for rent from Indiahikes?
Yes, we offer shoes, jackets and trek poles on rent. We also have some equipment on sale. You can order both rentals and purchase online. Check out our store here.
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. Online offloading in advance is possible up to two days prior to the trek start date.
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, Raithal. This is a long drive from Dehradun and will take you around 7-8 hours.
Day 2, you trek from Raithal to Gui in 4-5 hours. You gain close to 2,000 ft in altitude.
Day 3, you trek from Gui to Dayara Bugyal in 3-4 hours. You gain over 2,000 ft in altitude.
Day 4 consists of a 5-6 hours trek to Dayara Top and back.
Day 5, you trek to Barsu. This will take 4.5-5 hours.
Day 6 is when you return to Dehradun.
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. Please note that these are suggestions and Indiahikes does not make any arrangements for visiting them.
How to get to the basecamp – Raithal
Delhi → Dehradun→ Raithal
The Dayara Bugyal trek starts from Raithal, 226 km from Dehradun. Raithal is a small village.
Indiahikes organises transport from Dehradun to Raithal. 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.
You will reach Raithal at around 6.oo pm.
To reach Dehradun
The best way to reach Dehradun is to take an overnight train from Delhi.
- 12205 Nandadevi Express – 23.50 – 6.00
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 → Dehradun → Delhi
The Dayara Bugyal trek ends at Barsu. It is again an 8 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 8.00 pm. If you are travelling to Delhi, you can choose to go back by Mussoorie Express (21.20 – Dehradun) or Nanda Devi Express (23.30 – Dehradun).
Here’s what trekkers have to say about trekking with Indiahikes
“Firstly, I have to thank IndiaHikes for recommending Dayara bugyal to my wish list. I was opting for Kedarkantha and ended up in Beautiful Dayara Bugyal.
Honestly, if somebody had to try a winter trek, this is a perfect one. Highly recommended for beginners/experienced trekkers who wish to do a winter trek. I’ve been to a summer trek and its not the same way the mountains behave in winters. Acclamatisation techniques/procedures are challenging. Allthough the trek states as easy-moderate in terms for difficulty however its definitely moderate in winter (be prepared enough).
The most challenging in this trek is surviving in the campsite. Acclamatisation is the key thing in winters and my Trek Lead Mr.Varun Sharma was fantastic in keeping the group engaged through out the camp stays. His ultimate thing is to ensure everyone in the group are interactive or atleast give them the space to discuss with him on anything that it concerns, I’m sure he succeeded. All the good feedbacks about Indiahikes will be around the food that they organise thoughout the trek, undoubtedly they’ve proved to be best again.
Yet again the technical team were awesome, I have to admit that I’m impressed with guide (Mr. Arvind Singh) who seem to have completed basic mountaineering course with IH and have shared a lot of techniques and appreciate all his work through the trek.
There are other few things which needs some attention from IH –
Firstly, the size of the batch was sooooo huuugeee. 34 in my batch(which is unusual with IH). Allthough IH ensured all arrangements are inplace and nobody had any issues throughout. We understand that due to few treks getting cancelled(HarKiDun) and they were given an option to choose Dayara however 34 is not a good number. Evacuation/emergency cicumstances might have been challenging.
We had couple of kids(9yrs) in our batch and obviously they nailed the trek with their energy. You must be proud that Indiahikes is hosting kids to the mountains. However, couple of things can be improved where there are kids in the batch, like
Small sleeping bags,
Gaiters/shoes/crampons etc that you rent/sale out,
Couple of more videos on tips and tricks for them.
Hope this been a constructive feedback, thanks again for all your efforts. Keep up to the best whatever you doing.” – Vamsee Krishna, batch of December 2017
“Loved the trek !!!
So before finalizing on indiahikes I found some reviews on net on other sites where it is mentioned that indiahikes is costly compared to other organizations. But they totally justify it and heres how:-
1. They help in organizing the transport to/from basecamp. This is very important for 1st time trekkers especially for lone female travellers.
2. They dont cram people in dorm like tents rather have decent size tents housing 3 people at max.
3. In the weeks preceeding the trek they send out informative mailers on what to take, what fitness routine to follow, important dos/donts.
4. They even make a whatsapp group of the trekkers so that people coming from same locations can coordinate among themselves.
5. The arrangements right from food quality, tents, toilet tents, itinerary planning is all very good.
6. The trek leaders alongwith the two main guides are well qualified individuals who ensure a disciplined alongwith a fun filled trek.
7. In the words of fellow trekker who had trekked with other organizations like yhai etc, indiahikes values lives of the trekkers and takes good care of them.” – Shagun, batch of December 2017
“This being my first high altitude Himalayan trek, was an exhilarating experience! and the contribution of Indiahikes towards making it memorable was immense- right from helping us to choose the suitable trek, the fitness regime, the constant reminders, the tips to pack our bags.
On the trek, the food, tent and medical arrangements were top notch! We had everything we actually needed and that made us realize the power of minimalism- I am extremely thankful to Indiahikes to show me that we need so much less to be happy and satisfied.
The trek leader, the co guide and the guide were really friendly and supportive. I liked how little things were taken care of- warm water in the morning, ginger water after dinner, the way the trek leader spoke while giving us the accomplishment certificates.
Ours was a group of 26- which I think was a bit larger than usual. Everyone has their own pace which resulted in different resting points. I am sure the trek leader gave us a lot of information on the flora and fauna, but because we were scattered in the trail, a lot of us missed it. I would suggest if feasible, to get the trekkers assemble at common points to make them aware of the flora and fauna. Or, the trek leader walking with each group simultaneously and give out relevant details.” – Jayashree, batch of December 2017
“At the age of 46 I decided to go on this trek because of 2 reasons – I wanted to break the rhythm my life had settled into and I wanted to wake myself up from the everyday monotony and challenge myself to do something I had never done before. Two of my friends had trekked with India Hikes and I took their recommendation and registered for the Dayara Bugyal trek.
The pre-trek experience was also quite challenging. I had to be very strict with myself so I could achieve the fitness standards set by IH. At that time, i was quite upset and negative about the strict fitness requirements. I had paid the money for the trek and that should have been enough I had thought. Moreover I hadn’t exercised in 10 years or so, so the very idea of going for walks or doing squats was incomprehensible and highly repulsive. But Vishnu’s persistent emails nagged me to take up a fitness regime and I managed to reach a 5 km in 45 mins. I did throw in some suryanamaskars and Pranayam and I felt I was ready to take the plunge.
But nothing prepared me for what I was about to witness when the trek started. As I sit back to share my feelings about the trek, I cannot stop smiling at how a group of 23 strangers and 3 IH staff members are now tied together with uncountable moments of joy and accomplishment. The virgin mountains, the pristine surroundings, the vivacious blue sky above and the untouched white snow below, the silence that spoke volumes, sprinkled with the positivity and momentum generated by the trek leader and my fellow trekkers – it was pure magic. I was transported into another dimension where nature and me had become one. Sometimes a shy me would try and resist the raw magnetism of the mountains and at other times I had to give in to the brazen forces of nature that waltzed into my consciousness and engulfed my senses. It stopped being just a trek. To my surprise, I had no control over my feelings as it bloomed into a full-scale love affair.
Five days and five million memories later, I feel that my conversations with nature and my affair with the mountains, has just begun. Inshallah, the mountains will beckon me yet again and I will happily sign up for treks on offer at India Hikes.
P.S. – A word of appreciation for Abiurup (excellent leadership skills as he built us into a team and got all of us to willingly follow all his instructions, drove every one of us to achieve the targets and own the journey as well), Arvind bhai (good manager and operations guy) and Maninder bhai (a good supervisor) as they shepherded us through the tricky terrain and ensured that we had the best experience possible. The coffee- flavoured cake on 31st December was amazing and very thoughtful. The only suggestion is to include a halt day for the return journey as well. The descent was rather steep and most of us were just busy watching our step. There was just no time to soak in the sights and sounds. I felt that the end of the trek was rather abrupt. The nurturing pace set for the ascent has left us greedy for a similar pace for the descent. However, I do understand the constraints of time and resources and I know you will have valid reasons for planning it the way you have. Nevertheless, I wanted to share this as a feedback. Thanks a lot for all the encouragement and for the lovely memories.” – Shatarupa Dasgupta, batch of December 2017
“Trekking with indiahikes gave us a memorable experience. Our group of 14 enjoyed a lot. U literally feel a part of a big family out there. Best part was food. They serve us hot, hygienic & tasty food in such harsh regions. The trek leader(Anuja) was amazing. She was caring, jovial and experienced. We captured all those memories. The sceneries are majestic. U just need to carry the right gear. I would like to thank trek coordinator(Mr. Vishnu), trek leader(Ms. Anuja), all the guides, cooks, helpers and the co-trekkers for such an awesome & learning experience” – Bhanu Pratap Reddy, batch of December 2017
“All the logistics were in place.. loved the team spirit and had an absolutely great time with the trek leader and trek guides. However, time management could have been slightly better.. Also, did not understand the point of the fitness proffs demanded through apps.. it can be very easily forged, besides, I believe, anyone coming on the trek would have had some prior training. Can we devise an alternative for fitness proofs?” – Vrinda, batch of December 2017
“It was my first trek and i absolutely loved it! Despite the fact that it was raining pretty hard, we managed to get some pretty good views. The organisation was brilliant. And our trek leader, Dushyant Sharma deserves a special mention. He was great with all of us and personally kept track of us. He has raised my bar for all future trek leaders. I have absolutely no complaints. The warm food and the mouthwatering desserts kept me happy and overall I couldn’t have had a better experience!” – Shalini Nair, batch June 2017
“This was my first trek with India Hikes and I must say that I had the most amazing time with the group of 21 other trekkers who finally made me feel like a family and helped me to complete the trek with a lot of positivism. I enjoyed the nature and felt more closer to mother nature. The team of people leading the trek were amazing. The credibility of having a positive and a cool mind frame goes to Venkat sir who lead the team. The kitchen staff was amazing and it was a treat to get hot food high up in the mountains. The India Hikes team looks after the health of each and every trekker and gives them advise for their well being and health. I loved the green revolution concept in the trek which made us aware of keeping the country and the nature clean.” – Anjali Jayant Bhatia, batch June 2017
“”When I first started browsing through IH for good treks I was confused which to chose because all of them seem wonderful. After a while, I ended choosing Dayara Bugyal trek as it fitted me best to go with, and as a first time trekker with IH, it was an unparalleled experience that I’ve ever had with nature. The coordination of the staff is good and it’s amazing how they dissolve with you from the first day itself. They make sure that we’re doing good. The best thing is but obvious the food though, it’s delicious! The organization of everything by staff members and leaders is always great at every step. Although, there have been a few times when we struggled to cope up with mother nature’s weather. But even then the staff made sure we were okay. Overall, it was a fantastic experience that I had during my trek!” – Vedant Rakholiya, batch of June 2017