Dayara Bugyal – Uttarkashi (Uttrakhand , India)

Dayara Bugyal : One of the most beautiful trek in Gharwal region is Dayara Bugyal (Meadow).One has to get there to actually believe the beauty of this place. Dayara Bugyal is located 42 kms from Uttarkashi and one has to take a detour 3 kms after Bhatwari village on Haridwar – Gangotri road to reach village Barsu. The trek starts beside the Barsu lake and cuts thru narrow lanes of Barsu village.The accent is quite steep in the beginning for about a 1 km or so. Do not expect respite from steep gradient for next 4 kms (Barnala Campsite) as well as there are hardly any sections with level path.

The path keeps rising after every turn you take. Soon you are under the shade of Oak and Rhododendron forest to give you company for the rest of route. If you are going in summers you will find heaps of Rhododendron flowers on the way, however during winters the path will give a different look with snow all around. An ideal campsite is located at Barnala Bugyal (2900 mtrs) (just 1 km short of Barnala lake).Since we visited the place during winters the campsite was full of snow. There are a couple of Shepherd huts beside the small meadow. A small source of drinking water makes this place ideal for campsite. From here you get wonderful view of Himalayan peaks of Gangotri I, II and III, Jaunli, Draupdi ka Danda , Srikanth and many more.

Aprox 1 km ahead of Barnala Meadows you see a small hut like structure at top of a hill , once you reach here you get the first glimpse of Barnala lake. During our visit in Dec 2014; the lake was frozen with snow all around. From here you trek for aprox 5 more kms to reach Dayara Bugyaal. The trail is well marked but quite steep at certain places. We had hard time crossing this section due to knee deep snow. Once you are at Bugyaal all that effort pays off. You get mind blowing semi-circle view of Himalayan range from the bugyaal. One of the prominent peak visible from Dayara Bugyaal is Banderpoonch. There is a whole range of peaks visible from Dayara including Gangotri I, II and III, Jaunli, Draupdi ka Danda , Srikanth , Thalayasagar , Khatling Glacier etc. You can further trek for about 4 kms to reach Bakaria Top. We have to give up at half way mark to Bakaria top as the snow was too deep and making things worse. There is a small temple and few Shepard huts at Dayara Bugyal as well. We checked GPS on mobile which showed Altitude of 3400 mtrs at Dayara Bugyal.

Road Map

Trek Kms

5 kms till Baranala Meadows + 6 kms till Dayara Bugyal + 3 Kms till Bakaria Top = 14 kms one way

Level – Moderate

Ideal Season – During Mid-June to Aug the Bugyal will be full of colorful flowers of all kinds. If you wish to see Dayara under snow try during late Dec to feb.

Altitude – Highest point Bakaria Top 3800 mtrs

Numbers of Days (Delhi to Delhi) – Minimum 5 Days

How to get there:

By Air: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport Dehradun, almost 240 Kms from Barsu. You will find taxis and cars in the Jolly Grant Airport which you can hire to Uttarkashi/Barsu.

By Train : The nearest airport is at Dehradun, almost 240 Kms from Barsu.You will find taxis and cars at Railway station which you can hire to Uttarkashi/Barsu or board a bus from Parade ground to Uttarkashi.

By Road (Car / Taxi / Bus):

There are 2 Routes –

Delhi – Roorkee – Haridwar – Rishikesh – Narendranagar – Chamba – Uttarkashi- Barsu (443 kms / 12 – 14 hrs by Car)

Delhi – Roorkee – Dehradun – Mussoorie – Bernigad – Uttarkashi – Barsu (483 kms / 10 – 12 hrs by car)

If you are traveling from Dehradun , it’s better to take Mussoorie route as it’s less time consuming.Road conditions are overall fine with both routes. I was surprised to see that roads conditions have drastically improved from last year. However, there are many sections which are still under construction which was washed in flash floods of 2013.

What we recommend

2 Options

Self-Drive / Taxi

Day 1 – Start early morning from Delhi (4 AM) and reach Uttarkashi by late evening. Hire a local guide/porters/equipment as per your group size and requirement. Uttarkashi is the last big town on this route so it’s better to stay here and make all the arrangements. However if you have all the equipment’s and stuff you can also stay at Barsu. There is a GMVN Guest house and 2 private owned guest houses at Barsu.

Day 2 > Start from Uttarkashi and reach Barsu by 11 or 12 AM (Uttarkashi – Barsu (42 kms 2 hrs).Start trek and you should reach Barnala Campsite by 3/4 PM.

Day 3 > You can leave your stuff at camp and start early for Dayara Bugyaal (9 AM).You should be able to reach Dayara Bugyal by 12/1PM.Ideally by 2 PM you should be heading back to camp in Winters as it gets really cold once sun goes down. So calculate you time to reach Camp site before you decide to go for Bakaria Top. Reach Barnala Campsite by 4 pm after exploring the Barnala lake on your way back.

Another option is to camp at Dayara Bugyaal on Day 2 and trek from Dayara to Barsu on 3rd day, we could not do this as there was too much snow and no water at campsite.

Day 4 > Back to Barsu Village (Trek) and then to Uttarkashi. Stay in Uttarkashi this day and explore the town and visit Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM) , one of the premier institutes of mountaineering in India.

Day 5> Start early from Utarkashi for Delhi.

Public Transport

Day 1> Take overnight Volvo from Delhi ISBT Kashmiri Gate for Dehradun ISBT. Reach Parade Ground in Dehradun via Autorikshaw. From here you can get a direct bus till Uttarkashi. Take the one which goes via Mussoorrie as it’s a less time consuming. You can also get Shared jeeps as well here for Uttarkashi. Reach Uttarkashi by 4 PM. Check in a Hotel, there are many options near the Bus Stand. Hire a local guide/porters/equipment as per your group size and requirement. You would also need to hire a Jeep to take you till Barsu Vilage. Hire the guide first, he will be able to arrange the rest for you. Uttarkashi is the last big town on this route so it’s better to stay here and make all the arrangements. However if you have all the equipment and stuff you can also stay at Barsu. There is a GMVN Guest house and 2 private owned guest houses at Barsu.

Day 2 > Start from Uttarkashi and reach Barsu by 11 or 12 AM (Uttarkashi – Barsu (42 kms 2 hrs).Start trek and you should reach Barnala Campsite by 3/4 PM.

Day 3 > You can leave your stuff at camp and start early for Dayara Bugyaal (9 AM).You should be able to reach Dayara Bugyal by 12/1 PM. Ideally by 2 PM you should be heading back to camp in Winters as it gets really cold once sun goes down. So calculate you time to reach Camp site before you decide to go for Bakaria Top. Reach Barnala Campsite by 4 pm after exploring the Barnala lake on your way back.

Another option is to camp at Dayara Bugyaal on Day 2 , we could not do this as there was too much snow and no water at campsite.

Day 4 > Back to Barsu Village (Trek) and then to Uttarkashi. If you are short on time plan your trek back in such a way that you reach Uttarkashi by 1 PM , have lunch and board the 2 PM bus for Dehradun. You should be able to reach Dehradun by 9 PM and board the Delhi bound bus to reach Delhi early morning.(Last bus to Dehradun leaves at 2 PM from Uttarkashi). However if you have time we recommend you stay in Uttarkashi this day and explore the town and visit Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM) , one of the premier institutes of mountaineering in India.

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