Stairway to Heaven – Dayara Bugyal

Are you a Bollywood fanatic who has seen all the classics and the new movies? Are you someone who can watch a movie repeatedly in hope to visit particular places from the scenes? Fret not! For India has alpine meadows that we yearn to walk on in Switzerland. WIth mountains in the backdrop, horses grazing over the pastures and the satisfaction of reaching on the top; talking a stroll on Dayara Bugyal is a unique feeling one experiences while embarking on the Dayara Bugyal trek. Dayara Bugyal, unlike Bedini Bugyal, is a less transversed upon trek nestled between the mighty Himalayas. An ultimate destination in itself, it is a stairway to heaven making it a favourable trek in Uttarakhand.

In our own country, there are endless numbers of such meadows and alpine beauty. And, when we say endless, it is actually endless. Just in Uttarakhand, you will see so many of them while you go for the Dayara Bugyal trek. The reason why you did not see these beautiful sites on your television is that you can only reach there by foot and not with production equipment with the whole cast and crew. This certainly makes it easier for you as all you have to do is take your important belongings with you and camp for a day or two. As these areas are untouched and haven’t been discovered much, it is a huge plus for you.

The Embodiment of Divinity

An instant familiarity with the bugyal is important! A bugyal means an alpine meadow, but it is not just any meadow, but a meadow in the state of Uttarakhand specifically. It comes from the state’s local language. If you ask around, some would say that it means high, and some might quote it a place on a high altitude. Whichever word we decide to go with, it provides the same alluring experience of standing in glory with the peaks surrounding us!

If we speak about the Daraya Bugyal height, you will be surprised to know that this alpine meadow is located at a height of 10000 feet above the sea level. Most of such meadows are located between 10000 to 13000 feet above sea level. The height makes it so much more thrilling as you can see the mighty Himalayan peaks in the background and add pictures to your postcards.

Dayara Bugyal peaks
Peaks like Srikantha, Draupadi ka Danda, Jaonli as seen from Dayara Bugyal; PC: Ashwini Paralkar

This meadow is an immense stretch of flat land, covering around 28 sq. kilometer in area, with gentle curvy slopes, covered with just grass. It is nothing but one of the most picturesque locations in Uttarakhand. By now, you must be thinking why don’t you find trees here on meadows? Well, as this bugyal and even other bugyals are located above 10000 feet above sea level, there’s no tree line above such a height. Trees do not grow above such a height. Thin soil layer and the slopes of high gradient do not allow the trees to grow.

Planning a trek to Dayara Bugyal?

This is one of the best places you can visit when in such a region. You can take a week off and embark on a 25-30 kilometers hike. When you start hiking towards the destination, you will encounter, meet and experience so many different things that the mighty Himalayan ranges are known for. Before heading into the wilderness, just as you begin, you will come across Barsu village, which is about 8-10 kilometers behind Dayara Bugyal.

Barsu lake
A small artificial lake at Barsu; PC: Arnab

Trekking in Himalayas simply means a lot of natural beauty and extravagant locations coming your way. So, when you start the hike, you will go through oak forests and then enter an area that is densely populated with rhododendrons and deodars. Keep walking, and in about 20 odd minutes, you will cross a herbal garden owned by the government. Now starts the real journey. After you have crossed the herbal garden, you will enter an even denser forest. The trail through which you do your trekking will be steep, as the trail goes to the top. When you have reached the ridge, the terrain will become gentle, and by this time, you will know that you are not far behind.

Barnala Bugyal
The meadow at Barnala in summer; PC: Arnab

By this time you can take some minutes off before you set off again. After a while of hiking, you will reach Barnala, which is really beautiful, providing you a teaser of what Dayara Bugyal would actually look like. Further, when you walk from Barnala, you will experience the forests again. Be on the same trail while the tree line vanishes. That will be the point when the Bugyal will start. All you have to do is hike through the grassland, and reach the point where you will see fir and oak trees on its fringes. While trekking, you will only think about the advantages of trekking in India, as you can see humungous peaks of Bhagirathi, Bandarpunch and Kalanag.

A Home to Animals

During your trek, you will experience the magic of flora and fauna diversity as you will come across many animals and birds. Even at the time you reach the bugyal, you will see the cattle grazing on the meadows along with sleeping dogs and crows flapping their wings all around. It is often been said that if you come down to this place in the winter months, you might see Himalayan brown bears hibernating throughout the season. Bears are not just the wild ones you will experience during such a time, but also the Himalayan and Tibetan wolves on these meadows.

If we talk about brids, know that it is a nature-made playground for bid predators as well. You will see the largest species of eagles, the golden eagle circling around the grassland. It is a good spot for bird watching.

The charm of the trek

Throughout your trip, you will experience quite many charms. Different seasons play a significant role to bring out the best every time you visit the bugyal. In the season of Spring, the meadows and grasslands begin to look colorful with blooming wildflowers. When the month of May approaches, the colors get deepened and become brighter. Such a thing continues all the way to the month of June. With Monsoons beginning in July till September, the complete grassland is at its greenest point. By the time Fall approaches, you will not see enough of grass on the grasslands.

Dayara Bugyal
Dayara Bugyal in October; PC: Arnab

One of the most beautiful things to see in the months of December, January and February is Dayara Bugyal weather. Not only will you see some breathtaking views but some heavy snowfall, turning green views to white ones. With such a sight, this green grassland turns into a paradise for someone who loves skiing. Ever seen something change, transform and evolve into such a beautiful attraction? Now, when you have no trees in and around the meadow, you can allow your inner self to run wild and enjoy every bit of what’s around you.

Dayara Bugyal in Winter by Arnab
Dayara Bugyal in late winter; PC: Arnab

If you are also thinking of exploring what is around this bugyal, you can always go to a famous lake, Dodital, which will not only provide you with amazing lake view between these mountains, but also with serene backdrops. To experience this beauty,book your tickets, travel to Haridwar or Dehradun and from there, either take a means of local transport or hire a cab. The nature awaits your arrival. For an easier and a much enhanced experience, you can get in touch with Himalaya Shelter for a guided tour.

Leave a Reply