Dayara Bugyal, a high-altitude meadow near Uttarkashi, is considered one of the most beautiful alpine meadows in India. Situated at an elevation of 10,000 ft. above sea level, this vast meadow spread over an area of 28 sq km provides one of the best Indian ski slopes in the winter months. The splendour of the high mighty Himalayan peaks like the Bhagirathi, Bandarpoonch, Draupadi ka Danda, Black Peak and others cradling Dayara is a truly breathtaking sight. Camping near Bharnala Tal, a small natural lake en route Dayara, is the highlight of the trek. Suitable for all almost age groups, this is considered as an easy trek.
Day 1: Rishikesh – Barsu
We gather at the Rishikesh bus station at 8:00 AM and make our way by car to Barsu a small village near Bhatwari (a little township on the Uttarkashi-Gangotri highway). Driving through the picturesque Gahrwal mountains, steadily gaining altitude, we follow the course of the river Ganga and thereafter the river Bhagirathi. Once there, we set up camp for overnight stay and explore the surrounding area.
Day 2: Barsu – Bharnala Tal
After breakfast we head towards Bharnala Tal, 4 km away from Barsu, through dense pristine forests of Oak and Rhododendron. This is from where the famed meadows of Dayara start. The undulating expanse of the meadows stretching as far as the eye can see and the reflection of the high mountain peaks in the lake is a visual treat. Overnight stay in tents.
Day 3: Bharnala Tal – Dayara Bugyal
A well laid-out trail through the pine forest will lead us to the high alpine meadows of Dayara, at a distance of approximately 5km from Bharnala. As one climbs on top of a mound, this vast meadow (mostly covered in snow) gradually unfolds itself; the view compels most trekkers to regard nature's wonders with nothing but awe and amazement. The Bandarpoonch and Black Peak can be clearly seen from here.
For many years, the nomadic gujjar and bakarwal tribes have been taking their flock to graze at these delightful meadows in the summer months. The locals consider the area sacred and believe that the bugyals are home to anjaris or angels.
Day 4: Dayara Bugyal – Barsu
In the morning we make our way back to Barsu village at a leisurely pace with a brief stopover in between for lunch next to the Bharnala Tal. Once at Barsu, there’s an option of going to a nearby waterfall. Overnight stay in tents.
Day 5: Barsu – Rishikesh
After an early start to the day and breakfast, we’ll make our way back to Rishikesh through the holy town of Uttarkashi – home to a number of ashrams and temples, and the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering.