Difficulty

Moderate - Difficult

Duration

7 Days

Highest Altitude

13,900 ft

Age

8 to 55 years

Duration

7 Days

Age

8 to 55 years

Difficulty

Moderate - Difficult

Highest Altitude

13,900 ft

optional additions

Trek fee

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Gidara Bugyal Trek

The Remotest and Prettiest of All our Meadow Treks

Gidara Bugyal is an ancient, pristine meadow that is known in trekking circles. It is one of the largest high altitude meadows you will set foot on. It is larger than its twin Dayara Bugyal. Possibly larger than the twin meadows of Ali and Bedni Bugyal as well. It takes at least two days to traverse!

Even though it is known in the trekking circles, Gidara is extremely secluded. There are very few people that trek in these meadows. The only signs of civilisation you are likely to spot are the shepherds and their settlements around your first campsite, Rikoda. You may see a mountain dog or two. But you are likely to be the only group trekking and camping in these meadows!

Geographically, Gidara is about 15 km away from Dayara. It is also at a slightly higher elevation. This means that the mountains you see from Dayara – Bandarpoonch, Gangotri I & III, Draupadi Ka Danda, Jaonli, and Srikanth – look much closer and much grander from here. It is especially fascinating to see these mountain faces from a slightly different perspective.

Having said that, the Gidara Bugyal trek is a moderate one. It has treacherous paths, steep ascents and descents. You need to prepare well for this trek.

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Gidara Bugyal Videos

Watch these videos to prepare for your Gidara Bugyal trek.

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Quick Itinerary

A route map of the Gidara Bugyal trek

Day 1

Reach Bhangeli (7,520 ft)

Drive distance: 185 km | Drive Duration: 7-8 hours

We will pick you up from Dehradun on Day 1. Transport will be organized from Hotel Grand Legacy Lalpul in Dehradun at 6:30 AM. Cab cost – Rs 6,500 per vehicle, for an SUV and Rs 9,500 per vehicle, for a Tempo Traveller. This fare is split among drivers and paid directly to the driver.

Day 2

Trek from Bhangeli to Rikoda

Trek Distance: 5.2 km | Trek Duration: 6 hours | Altitude gain: 7,520 ft to 10,857 ft

Trek gradient is moderate. Gradual climb for a few hours, after which the trail becomes steeper up to Rikoda. Carry 2 litres of water from Bhangeli. You will cross streams intermittently where you can refill your water bottles.

Day 3

Rikoda to Dokrani

Trek Distance: 3.2 km | Trek Duration: 4 hours | Altitude gain: 10,857 ft to 12,192 ft

Gradual ascent with initial rolling terrain through the forests and steep descent alongside the mountain. Carry sufficient water from Rikoda.

Day 4

Dokrani to Dokrani Top to Thalotya

Trek Distance: 2.2 km | Trek Duration: 3 hours | Altitude gain: 12,192 ft to 12,870 ft to 12,116 ft

Today is the easiest day of the trek. It is an hour's steep climb to the Dokrani Bugyal top and today serves as an acclimatization day. Carry enough water as there are no water sources on this day.

Day 5

Thalotya to Gidara Top to Thirya

Trek Distance: 9.7 km | Trek Duration: 10-11 hours | Altitude gain: 12,116 ft to 10,672 ft to 13,900 ft

The day is going to be long and tiring. A series of undulating meadows over gradual to steep ascents and descents. Carry sufficient water. Streams are flowing through the trail in case you run out of water.

Day 6

Thirya to Bhangeli

Trek Distance: 6.60 km | Trek Duration: 5 hours | Altitude loss: 10,672 ft to 7,520 ft

Gradual ascent followed by a series of descents on a familiar trail. Carry sufficient water, although there are multiple water sources along the way.

Day 7

Bhangeli to Dehradun

Trek Distance: 1.1 km | Trek Duration: 40 minutes
Drive Distance: 185 km | Drive Duration: 7-8 hours

A short walk from the village to the road followed by a drive to Dehradun. We arrange a cab from Bhangeli to Dehradun at noon. It takes 7-8 hours to reach Dehradun. It costs Rs 6,500 per vehicle, for an SUV and R .9,500 per vehicle, for a Tempo Traveller which will have to be shared by trekkers. You will reach Dehradun by 8.00 PM.

IMPORTANT POINTS

- Please note that you will be staying in tents on all days of the trek (three to a tent)

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

- We have rental gear available for the Gidara Bugyal trek. You will have to order it online in advance. You will receive the gear at Bhangeli and can return it at Bhangeli at the end of the trek.

- If you have excess luggage that you'd like to leave behind, we have a cloakroom facility at Bhangeli. Ensure you don't leave any valuables such as laptops or wallets behind.

Please note: Twin sharing tents may not be available in May, June, July and August. This is because raw materials for making tents are sourced from different countries. But their export has been affected due to international unrest. This has led to a global shortage of tents. Having said that, you'll still have comfortable space as these tents have been designed to accommodate three trekkers.

A route map of the Gidara Bugyal trek

PRO-TIPS

Book flexible flight tickets:

You are going on a Himalayan trek, where there are several unpredictable factors. It's best to book flexible flight tickets, which you can reschedule if required. These are available for a small added cost with most travel companies.

Choose trains over buses:

Trains are a lot more reliable than buses for your final journey to Dehradun. If you're coming from Delhi, the Jan Shatabdi or Nanda Devi Express (Kota SNN) are good options.

Day 1

Reach Bhangeli (7,520 ft)

Drive distance: 185 km | Drive Duration: 7-8 hours

We will pick you up from Dehradun on Day 1. Transport will be organized from Hotel Grand Legacy Lalpul in Dehradun at 6:30 AM. Cab cost – Rs 6,500 per vehicle, for an SUV and Rs 9,500 per vehicle, for a Tempo Traveller. This fare is split among drivers and paid directly to the driver.

Day 2

Trek from Bhangeli to Rikoda

Trek Distance: 5.2 km | Trek Duration: 6 hours | Altitude gain: 7,520 ft to 10,857 ft

Trek gradient is moderate. Gradual climb for a few hours, after which the trail becomes steeper up to Rikoda. Carry 2 litres of water from Bhangeli. You will cross streams intermittently where you can refill your water bottles.

Day 3

Rikoda to Dokrani

Trek Distance: 3.2 km | Trek Duration: 4 hours | Altitude gain: 10,857 ft to 12,192 ft

Gradual ascent with initial rolling terrain through the forests and steep descent alongside the mountain. Carry sufficient water from Rikoda.

Day 4

Dokrani to Dokrani Top to Thalotya

Trek Distance: 2.2 km | Trek Duration: 3 hours | Altitude gain: 12,192 ft to 12,870 ft to 12,116 ft

Today is the easiest day of the trek. It is an hour's steep climb to the Dokrani Bugyal top and today serves as an acclimatization day. Carry enough water as there are no water sources on this day.

Day 5

Thalotya to Gidara Top to Thirya

Trek Distance: 9.7 km | Trek Duration: 10-11 hours | Altitude gain: 12,116 ft to 10,672 ft to 13,900 ft

The day is going to be long and tiring. A series of undulating meadows over gradual to steep ascents and descents. Carry sufficient water. Streams are flowing through the trail in case you run out of water.

Day 6

Thirya to Bhangeli

Trek Distance: 6.60 km | Trek Duration: 5 hours | Altitude loss: 10,672 ft to 7,520 ft

Gradual ascent followed by a series of descents on a familiar trail. Carry sufficient water, although there are multiple water sources along the way.

Day 7

Bhangeli to Dehradun

Trek Distance: 1.1 km | Trek Duration: 40 minutes
Drive Distance: 185 km | Drive Duration: 7-8 hours

A short walk from the village to the road followed by a drive to Dehradun. We arrange a cab from Bhangeli to Dehradun at noon. It takes 7-8 hours to reach Dehradun. It costs Rs 6,500 per vehicle, for an SUV and R .9,500 per vehicle, for a Tempo Traveller which will have to be shared by trekkers. You will reach Dehradun by 8.00 PM.

IMPORTANT POINTS

- Please note that you will be staying in tents on all days of the trek (three to a tent)

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

- We have rental gear available for the Gidara Bugyal trek. You will have to order it online in advance. You will receive the gear at Bhangeli and can return it at Bhangeli at the end of the trek.

- If you have excess luggage that you'd like to leave behind, we have a cloakroom facility at Bhangeli. Ensure you don't leave any valuables such as laptops or wallets behind.

Please note: Twin sharing tents may not be available in May, June, July and August. This is because raw materials for making tents are sourced from different countries. But their export has been affected due to international unrest. This has led to a global shortage of tents. Having said that, you'll still have comfortable space as these tents have been designed to accommodate three trekkers.

PRO-TIPS

Book flexible flight tickets:

You are going on a Himalayan trek, where there are several unpredictable factors. It's best to book flexible flight tickets, which you can reschedule if required. These are available for a small added cost with most travel companies.

Choose trains over buses:

Trains are a lot more reliable than buses for your final journey to Dehradun. If you're coming from Delhi, the Jan Shatabdi or Nanda Devi Express (Kota SNN) are good options.

Campsites at a Glance

At Indiahikes, we are very particular about choosing terrific campsites. For the Gidara Bugyal trek too, after a lot of back and forth, we have settled on these terrific campsites, which trekkers have come to love.

Rikoda is a small clearing in an oak forest. A small stream trickles by. You camp in the middle of this clearing. Picture by Sarvotam Pai

The Thirya campsite on the Gidara Bugyal trek. Picture by Nitesh Kumar

The riverside Thalotya campsite. Picture by Nitesh Kumar

Why I Believe Everyone Must Trek: A Note from the Founder

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Trekking transforms lives. It has completely changed my life. When I see my colleagues at Indiahikes, all of them have been impacted greatly. The transformations have been profound and irreversible. 

I see it in our trekkers too. I have seen them change professions, careers or start a new life. I have seen them get in and out of relationships, and start new projects. These are life-changing experiences. 

I have seen children building resilience. I have seen families come together. When I see those above 55, I see them rediscover passion and a sense of purpose. These are not small gains.

In the mountains new professions, new economies and new businesses have opened up. Our staff no longer go to cities to earn their living. Their income has increased. Above all, they are happiest working in this world. Trekking has been truly transformative.  

Everyone must trek. It transforms lives far more than you imagine.

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Nitesh Kumar, Senior Trek Leader

Nitesh is one of the Senior-most Trek Leaders at Indiahikes. He has done over 27 treks in the Himalayas, and over 70 treks all over India. He is the mastermind behind the design of the Gidara Bugyal itinerary. He introduced the fantastic ridge walk above Gidara Bugyal, which trekkers have now come to love. Read what he has to say about the Gidara Bugyal trek here.

What I Like About the Gidara Bugyal Trek

What I Like About the Gidara Bugyal Trek

Nitesh Kumar, Senior Trek Leader

Nitesh is one of the Senior-most Trek Leaders at Indiahikes. He has done over 27 treks in the Himalayas, and over 70 treks all over India. He is the mastermind behind the design of the Gidara Bugyal itinerary. He introduced the fantastic ridge walk above Gidara Bugyal, which trekkers have now come to love. Read what he has to say about the Gidara Bugyal trek here.

1. The Ridge Walk to Gidara Top

The ridge walk to the Gidara Top is easily one of the best highlights of this trek. If you are lucky and there are no clouds, the view from here is a spellbinding panorama. Right in front of you are the Gangotri ranges – Gangotri I, II, Jaonli, Draupadi Ka Danda. Srikanth stands prominently among them. On your left, you see the indomitable Bandarpoonch etched in the sky. The entire Gidara meadows, right to the very end, can be seen from this ridge!

The ridge walk at Gidara is one of the biggest highlights of the trek. Picture by Nitesh Kumar

2. The climb to Rikoda

While a lot can be said about the Gidara meadows themselves, the climb to Rikoda under the shade of the forest is quite pleasant. The flora on the trail is quite dense. And even though the trail is quite steep and hard on your legs, you can’t help but be awed by the dense foliage. You pass by a lovely waterfall as well as Gujjar settlements on this climb. It’s quite fascinating to get a peek into their lifestyle as you trek along.

Trekking through misty forests towards Rikoda. Picture by Nitesh Kumar

3. The campsites of Dokrani and Thalotya

Gidara Bugyal is a trek blessed with unusual but striking campsites. Thalotya is a vision. It is set in a narrow valley, with a stream gently flowing through. The entire slope of Thalotya is lush, filled with lavender-pink rhododendrons! Then there is Dokrani, a clearing sitting on the slope of a mountain with a view of the Gangotri massif right opposite. The sunset from the Dokrani campsite is magical. The light plays with Gangotri massif and the valley the camp overlooks.

Our remote campsite in the grasslands of Gidara. Picture by Nitesh Kumar

4. Gangnani Hot Springs

The Gangnani hot water springs are something you will pass by on the way to Bangeli. Devotees on the way to Gangotri usually make a stop here to refresh themselves. These hot springs are very clean and well maintained. It makes for a wonderful rejuvenation after your trek.

One of the biggest highlights of the Gidara Bugyal trek is the ridge walk from one end of the meadow to the other. It stretches for almost 3-4 hours, and makes for one of the most pleasurable ridge walks in the country!

Picture by: Nitesh Kumar

The Famous Ridge Walk of Gidara Bugyal

Know Your Trek

We have always wanted trekkers to be well-informed before they go on a Himalayan trek. Knowledge is the difference between a safe trek and a dangerous one. It’s also the difference between a wholesome experience and a superficial experience.

Use this section to learn about the Gidara Bugyal trek. It has in-depth information about each day of the trek, what to expect, and how you need to prepare for it. Many years of expertise have gone into this content. Trekkers find that extremely useful.

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PRO TIPS

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Trek Trivia

Things Nobody Tells You About Gidara Bugyal

Did You Know Gidara Bugyal is Connected to Dayara Bugyal?

Gidara Bugyal is not very faraway from Dayara Bugyal. It might just be around 20 km away as the crow flies.

Our team recently explored a route from Barsu, one of the base camps of the Dayara Bugyal trek, all the way to Gidara Bugyal and Bhangeli.

It was a successful exploration, and makes for a terrific trek on its own!

Leaving Mountains Better

Green Trails is our promise to leave the mountains better. We have removed over 1 lakh kilos of the waste left behind by others on trekking trails. Yet this is a small percentage of what we do. Green Trails dives into reducing the use of resources, reducing our carbon footprint and bringing about a change in the daily practices of our trekkers too.

By signing up to trek with Indiahikes, you also sign up to do your part to ensure that the mountains are left in better condition.

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