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Gidara Bugyal Trek

Gidara Bugyal Trek 2022: Beautiful Alpine Meadow Trek

  • 7 Days
  • Group : 8-15 People
  • Guided Trek
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Start: Dehradun
  • Altitude
    Altitude : 4,240 m

Bugyals are a haven for nature and offer a fantastic view of the natural surroundings. They are well known as a nature lover’s paradise. The pristine surroundings and abundance of wildlife make it the perfect place to enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful spot to relax or an adventure-filled getaway, bugyals have something to offer everyone.

The Gidara Bugyal is an ancient, pristine meadow and is a hidden gem in the trekking world. Gidara bugyal is one of the largest and most beautiful high altitude meadows you will ever set foot on. It is larger than its twin Dayara Bugyal and similarly majestic to Ali Bedni Bugyal. It takes at least two days to traverse! 

Few people know about the Gidara Bugyal trek because it’s not easily accessible. Bhangeli is a small village in Uttarakhand located 1.5 kilometres away from the main road. The village is well known for its natural beauty and being the base camp for many adventure enthusiasts who enjoy trekking and mountain climbing. Drive towards Gangotri from Bhatwari and continue on the same route. Take the road going towards the Gangnani hot springs. This is the last point for vehicles. 

The lack of information about where this trek can be accessed has made it one of the best-kept secrets of the trekking world. This trek is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by adventurous hikers. The secluded location and lack of crowds make it a perfect destination for those looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. So, if you’re looking for an adventure off the beaten path, this is the trek for you. But now that you know add it to your list of treks to do!

Gidara is a hidden haven for trekkers and nature enthusiasts looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure. This little-known village is tucked away in the corner of the Himalayas and is home to some of the most stunning mountain views in the region. There are very few people that trek in these meadows. As you make your way through the vast and empty landscape, the only signs of civilization you will likely spot are the shepherds and their settlements around your first campsite, Rikoda.

These hardy folk have made their homes in this unforgiving land, and they offer a glimpse into a very different life from your own. Take the time to get to know them, and you may just find a new appreciation for this beautiful but harsh land. You may see a mountain dog or two. If you’re looking for an adventure and some peace and quiet, you’ll love trekking in the bugyal meadows. However, you’re likely to be the only group camping and hiking in this pristine natural area. This makes for an incredibly unique and memorable experience.

The Gidara Bugyal trek is an interesting one. It is located about 15 km away from Dayara and is at a higher elevation. The mountains you see from Dayara – Bandarpoonch, Gangotri I & III, Draupadi Ka Danda, Jaonli, Srikanth – look much closer and much grander from here. The trek can sometimes be treacherous, with steep ascents and descents, so it is important to be well prepared before embarking on this adventure.

Departure & Return Location

Dehradun

Meeting Time

7 A.M

Price Includes

  • Activity: Trekking, Camping, etc
  • Accommodation during Trek (Camping)
  • Meals during Trek (Veg)
  • All season Camping tents on twin sharing basis, Sleeping bags with adequate sub-zero temperature rating, comfortable mattress
  • Safety Equipment includes static rescue rope, seat harness, carabiners, pulleys, ice-axe, micro-spikes, slings
  • Forest Permits/Camping Charges/Permits, Trek Permit Fee/IMF Permission – up to the amount charged for Indian Nationals.
  • Mountaineering course certified Trek Leader with First Aid knowledge
  • Experienced Local guide, cook, helpers
  • Porters or mules for carrying common luggage
  • Exhaustive First Aid kit including portable oxygen cylinder, oximeter

Price Excludes

  • Transportation
  • Meals during the road journey
  • Insurance
  • Any expenses of personal nature
  • Mules or porter to carry personal luggage. (extra luggage, if any can be left at the base camp with the authorities)
  • Cost Escalation due to natural reasons
  • Any expense not specified in the inclusion list
What to Expect
  • Ridge Walk on Gidara Bugyal The trek to Gidara Bugyal is one of the most scenic in the region, with amazing views of the surrounding mountains. The highlight of the trek is the ridge walk to the Gidara Top, where you can witness a spectacular panorama of the surrounding ranges. Gangotri ranges – Gangotri I, II, Bandar Poonch, Jaonli, Draupadi Ka Danda, and Srikanth stand out among the rest, and the entire Gidara Bugyal (meadow) can be seen from this vantage point. Don't miss this incredible experience on your next trekking adventure!
  • The Rikoda climbThe climb to Rikoda is quite pleasant, as the trail is filled with dense flora. The trek is also steep and hard on your legs, but you can't help but be awed by the dense foliage. As you make your way up the mountain, you come across a beautiful waterfall and Gujjar settlements. It's fascinating to see how they live, and you can't help but admire their lifestyle. Keep going, and you'll reach the top in no time!
  • Beautiful Thalotya and Dokrani CampsitesIf you're looking for an amazing trek with some stunning campsites, you should definitely check out Gidara Bugyal. This trek is blessed with several amazing campsites, including Thalotya - a beautiful spot located in a narrow valley, complete with a gentle stream flowing through it. The entire slope of Thalotya is lush and filled with lavender-pink rhododendrons! Another great campsite is Dokrani, which offers views of the Gangotri massif. The sunset from Dokrani is truly magical - you won't be disappointed!
  • Gangnani Hot Water SpringsThe Gangnani hot water springs make for a great place to relax and rejuvenate yourself after your trek. The springs are clean and well-maintained and provide the perfect opportunity to refresh yourself before continuing on your journey.
  • The Brahma Kamal flowerThe Brahma Kamal flower is one of the most beautiful sights in Uttarakhand. This flower can only be found at high elevations, typically above 13,000 feet. The sight of these flowers in bloom is a breathtaking experience that is not to be missed.
  • Diverse Flora & FaunaThe Dayara and Gidara Bugyals will provide an excellent show for birdwatchers and nature lovers. With its many Monal pheasants, eagles, and butterflies, this trip is sure to please anyone with interest in wildlife.
Gidara Bugyal Trek Itinerary

Day 1Dehradun to Bhangeli

Distance: 185 km & 1.5 km (Trek)
Time Taken: 7 hours (Drive) & 45 minutes (Trek)
Altitude: 2,350 m (7,710 ft)

The Gidara Bugyal trek begins from Bhangeli village, located 185 km from Dehradun. The journey from Dehradun to Bhangeli takes around 7 hours and includes a stop for lunch in Uttarkashi. From there, we’ll be driving towards Bhatwari and take the right turn towards Gangotri. We’ll continue on the same route until we reach a small road leading to the left just before the Gangnani bridge. This road will take us to the Gangnani hot springs.

The last stretch to the Bhangeli village is a trek through a mixed forest of deodar, oak and pine trees. The path is steep and winding, so be sure to take your time and enjoy the natural beauty of the forest. This is just a small trailer of the days to come. 

The trail to Bhangeli village is well laid out, with stone steps that make the ascent gradually easier. After trekking for 20 minutes, you’ll come to a point overlooking a valley on the right side – the Bhagirathi river meandering through it. You’ll see the Bhangeli village – your destination for the day on your left.

It’s a 10-minute walk from here to Bhangeli, an ancient Himalayan village with around fifty stone and wooden houses. We will be reaching here by early evening and staying at a guest house for this night before starting the Gidara Bugyal Trek tomorrow. 

Day 2Bhangeli to Rikoda

Distance: 5 km
Time Taken: 6 hours
Altitude: 3,350 m (10,990 ft)

We will be starting the trek from Bhangeli and following the trail that leads to the village temple. The trek to Gidara bugyal is scenic, and it’s not too difficult either. The trekking trail is well-defined, and you’ll see curious villagers peeking out from their homes as you pass by. As you climb the inclined stone path to the temple, you’ll pass by farming lands with crops like ‘Cholai’, used during wintertime.

After crossing the temple, take the path to the left, and you’ll enter the forest. The forest path is wide and well-defined, with occasional rocks and stones marking the trail on turnings. Large oaks and maple trees form a canopy over you, providing welcome shade.

After a gradual ascending walk for about one and a half hours, you’ll come across a beautiful waterfall on your left. This is an ideal place to take a break and fill up your water bottles. There are multiple places on this trail where you can find water.

Once you’re rested, cross the bridge made of wooden logs to get to the trail on the other side. The views here are simply stunning, so make sure to take plenty of pictures!

The trek climbs steeply through a dense forest with various trees, including oak, blue pine, and bamboo. As you hike, look out for lichens on the rocky surfaces. After a few hours of hiking through the forest, you’ll reach a small Gujjar hamlet. This is a fascinating place to stop and explore, where you can see the animals that the locals rely on for their livelihood and the unusual architecture of their homes.

Before winter sets in, the locals dismantle their roofs and head to warmer regions. This is because the snowfall during winters can be several feet high, which would damage their homes.

From the hamlet, it’s a flat one-hour walk to the campsite in an open forest. The treeline clears up quite suddenly as you reach Rikoda. The view of the Great Himalayas from Rikoda is stunning. You can see the magnificent Srikanth, Gangotri I, and III as you camp for the night while gazing upon the breathtaking scenery of the greater Himalayas.

Day 3Rikoda to Dokrani

Distance: 3.5 km
Time Taken: 4.5 hours
Altitude: 3,750 m (12,303 ft)

As you begin your trek, you will gradually ascend through the forest for about 15 minutes until you reach a point where the trail forks off to the left. From here, you will see the Thirya river cutting through the mountain valley.

Once you start descending towards the river, take in the beautiful scenery around you. The trail can be tough and slippery, especially if there is any snow on the ground during the spring season. However, it is all worth it. Enjoy the wide-open field and the peace that comes with being surrounded by nature. You’ll be happy you made it.

The river is a beautiful and serene place to relax and enjoy nature. Depending on how fast you walk, it will take about 45 minutes to an hour to reach the river. The scenery along the way is worth it, so be sure to take your time and enjoy the view. When you get to the river, you’ll be able to sit back and relax in the peaceful atmosphere. Once you are there, look slightly to your right – you’ll spot a man-made bridge made of logs. Use this to cross to the other side. Remember to refill your water bottles here; this is the only water source on today’s trek.

After crossing the river, you’ll come to the Thirya campsite. There is a trail in front leading to the forest, but instead of taking this path, go left and start your climb towards Dokrani, today’s campsite.

The ascent starts with a steep climb through bushes. The path is overgrown, and the going is tough. But as you keep climbing, the bushes give way to a beautiful view of the valley below. The sun is shining, and the fresh mountain air fills your lungs. You can see for miles in every direction. It’s an amazing feeling to be so high up, thanks to your hard work! Do turn around to enjoy the open view of Mt. Srikanth with the Thirya field. The trail winds through the forest of Oak and Birch(Bhojpatra) trees. The Birch tree bark is white and smooth, while the Oaktree has a darker, rougher bark. After 2 hours of ascent, you will cross the tree line and enter the exposed side of the mountains with high grass and seasonal flowers. It’s a gradual descent, followed by a gradual ascent on this trail for 45 minutes to the Dokrani campsite.

Dokrani is a clearing sitting on the mountain slope with the Gangotri massif right opposite it. 

Rest up and enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets you will ever see. The sky is ablaze with colours, stretching out before you in a spectacular light show. 

The sun slowly disappears into the horizon, painting the sky with a spectrum of oranges and reds. Take a deep breath and relax, knowing that tomorrow will be a new day. Take it all in; let the peaceful quiet wash over you and fill your senses. As the day draws to a close, be grateful for the chance to witness such beauty.

Day 4Dokrani to Thalotya via Dokrani Bugyal

Distance: 2.5 km
Time Taken: 3 hours
Altitude: 3,800 m (12,467 ft) via 3,930 m (12,894 ft.)

This is an easy day of the trek and serves as a nice acclimatization day. You’ll start ascending from the Dokrani campsite to the Dokrani Bugyal top. It’s a steep climb, but it’s worth the effort. Reaching the top of a mountain is an incredibly rewarding experience – not only do you get a breathtaking view of your surroundings, but you also feel a sense of accomplishment knowing that you made it to the top.

This is your chance to take in the sights and sounds that make this place special. Whether it’s the panoramic view of the valley below or the sound of the wind whistling through the rocks, it’s an experience you’ll never forget.

You’ll see the Gangotri massif peaks –Gangotri I, III, Srikant, Jaonli, and Draupadi Ka Danda on one side, the lush Dokrani meadows from where you climbed, and then the patterned mountains on the other side of the valley. There’s no need to rush today. Make the most of the views by spending some time here. Relax and enjoy the scenery. Let the stresses of the outside world fade away for a while. This is your chance to recharge and rejuvenate.

The trail from here takes you through a meadow of undulating hills for about 40 minutes, where you will find small pools and clusters of dandelion flowers. After that, the trek is a gradual descent down to the village of Thalotya, where you will get a glimpse of the spectacular Gidara bugyal. The final stretch of the trail is about 15 minutes and takes you through a narrow valley with a river running through it.

The campsite is located right in between these two features. To witness a magical sunset, go east of the river to see Neelkanth peak light up in the sky. Watch as the sun sets behind it, lighting the entire mountain on fire.

Day 5Thalotya to Thirya via Gidara Top

Distance: 10 km
Time Taken: 11 hours
Altitude: 3,290 m (10,794 ft) via 4,240 m (13,910 ft)

Today is going to be a long day, so start early. Make your way across the stream right near Thalotya by hopping over the stones. After the stream, continue ascending for 30 minutes to come out of the narrow valley and into the vast meadows of Gidara. Here you will find rolling hills, beautiful flowers, and plenty of room.

There are plenty of places to sit and soak up the sun, or you can explore the meadows and enjoy nature. Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot to read a book or somewhere to have an adventurous day out, this is the perfect place for you. As the dawn breaks, take in the view of the meadow and the peaks around you. It’s a moment you’ll always remember.

There is a gradual ascent on the meadows for the next 30-40 minutes until you come across a small ridge. The view from Gidara Bugyal is truly majestic, stretching out before your eyes as far as the eye can see. This high mountain meadow is a sight to behold, and one can only imagine what it must be like to wander through its tall grasses and explore its many nooks and crannies. It looks never-ending! It is an experience that will leave you in awe and one that you will remember for a lifetime. 

The trek begins by gradually descending towards the western side. After 45 minutes, you will reach a stream where you can refill your water bottles and cross them. Trek for another hour over a flat meadow towards the west side of Gidara end.

Start climbing the mountain from the other side of the Gidara for 40 minutes to reach the ridge. This will allow you to see the mountain range from a different perspective. You may also encounter some interesting wildlife along the way. This is a steep climb, but the ridge walk after maybe one of the most unique experiences you would have on a trek. The highlight of the trek is the view from the top of the Gidara Bugyal. It was amazing to see all the way out to the horizon!

The view from here is a spellbinding panorama. The Gangotri ranges are right in front of you – Gangotri I, II, Jaonli, and Draupadi Ka Danda (6420m). Srikanth also stands prominently among them. You see the indomitable Bandarpoonch (6350m) etched in the sky to your left. At the mountain’s foot, you will see Bhimtal. This ridge provides a stunning view of the entire Gidara meadow! You can see all the way to the end of the meadow. It’s a beautiful sight.

The post-monsoon season is perfect to spot the Brahmakamal flower in bloom. This rare flower can grow on the ridge near the summit or in other nearby areas. This delicate flower is a sight to behold, and its fragrance can be enjoyed for miles around. You may even see its vibrant colours in the autumn sky if you’re lucky.

As you trek ahead, the snow-capped Himalayas come into view. To your right, in the distance, you can see Bakaria Top of Dayara Bugyal– a popular trekking destination. You can see Sangam Chatti behind you. It is the endpoint for the Bali Pass trek.

This is an amazing view that should not be missed by anyone!

The ridge walk experience is just the beginning – once you reach the top of Gidara, you descend down into the Dokrani bugyal meadow. From there, it’s only a 45-60 minute walk to the treeline. After that, the real adventure begins.

The trail used by shepherds is narrow and steep, but it’s worth it for the views. Once you reach Thirya, you’ll be rewarded with an unobstructed view of the forest below. Soak it all in – you’ve earned it! 

Looking for a breathtaking camping experience, look no further than Thirya. This serene clearing is nestled between a forest of trees and is home to abundant wildflowers. What’s even more amazing is that it’s fed by two streams of water that make a gentle sound as they flow. After a long and tiring hike, it’s a relief to finally reach this oasis and refill your water supply.

It’s a great place to camp. You won’t be disappointed!

Day 6 Thirya to Bhangeli

Distance: 6.5 km
Time Taken: 5 hours
Altitude: 2,350 m (7,710 ft)

Today’s trek starts crossing the river and ascending a forested trail towards Rikoda. After about an hour of ascent, the trail levels out, and you descend to your first campsite, Rikoda.

As you retrace the same route you trekked on your first day, take in all the beauty of the waterfalls and Gujjar hamlets once again. Enjoy this serene and peaceful experience to the fullest!

Day 7Bhangeli to Dehradun

Distance: 1.5 km (Trek) & 185 km (Drive)
Time Taken: 30 minutes (Trek) & 7 hours (Drive)

On the last day of the trek, you will head back to the Bhangeli road-head via the forest trail you ascended on day 1. This pristine forest trail is a great place to spend some more time and enjoy the natural scenery.

The descent is easy, so take your time and savour the experience. This may be the last chance you have to enjoy this trail before heading back to the civilization, So take advantage of this opportunity and explore the trail while you still can!

From the road head, you will drive back to Dehradun.

The Gangnani hot springs are a great place to stop and rejuvenate on your way back. The hot springs are located in a beautiful setting and offer a chance to relax and refresh. The natural springs are said to have healing properties that can soothe sore muscles and invigorate the body. Soak in the hot springs and let all your sore muscles relax before heading back home.

Gidara Bugyal Trek Map

Gidara Bugyal Trek Photos
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best time to do Gidara Bugyal Trek?

The Gidara Bugyal trek is best enjoyed during June and September when the meadows are covered in snow or autumnal colours. Each month provides its own unique charm.

In June, the Gidara Bugyal is covered in snow, while September offers clear blue skies and amazing views of the Bandarpoonch range and other mountain ranges such as Gangotri 1 & Gangotri 2, Draupadi ka danda.

Regardless of the time of year, Gidara Bugyal is sure to leave you with lasting memories.

How to plan the travel to basecamp of Gidara Bugyal?

Option 1: Flying to Dehradun

There are several ways to get to Dehradun from different parts of India. If you’re coming from a large city like Delhi, Mumbai or Chennai, there are direct flights that will take you to Dehradun. If the flight tickets are too expensive, you can also take a train or bus to Delhi and connect to Dehradun. Keep in mind that the Dehradun airport is not well-connected to the city, so it may be better to take a bus or train from Delhi instead. Once you’re in Dehradun, you can explore the city and its surroundings at your own pace. There are a number of tourist attractions in and around Dehradun, so you won’t be bored during your stay. 

Taxis are available from the airport (plenty). Prepaid taxis are available from the airport but are expensive, usually charging between Rs 800 to Rs 1,000 to Dehradun. 

Most passengers take taxis from the airport. However, if you want to save money, you can walk 1.5 km to get to the Dehradun-Rishikesh national highway just outside the airport terminal complex. Take a private/Uttrakhand Vikas Mandal Nigam bus till ISBT Dehradun, which will only cost you 50 rs. From ISBT Dehradun, take a shared auto (shared autos are called Vikrams) to Dehradun Railway Station. Shared autos charge about 10 rs.  

Option 2: Flying to Delhi & getting the connecting train to Dehradun

There are a few things you should keep in mind when flying to Delhi. The first is that the flight to Delhi is likely to be a lot cheaper than the flight to Dehradun. Make sure you fly into Delhi by 8 pm so you can catch the Nanda Devi Express to Dehradun. It’s a fully air-conditioned train that leaves at 11:45 pm from Hazrat Nizamuddin and arrives in Dehradun at 5:40 am.

By following these two tips, you can save yourself a lot of money and time when travelling to Delhi.

Option 3: By Bus to Dehradun

If you’re not able to get a train ticket, there are regular Volvo AC buses from Delhi’s ISBT Kashmiri Gate to Dehradun. These buses are usually not crowded and run frequently- you can get a bus almost every half hour. The trip usually takes around 6-7 hours. AC bus tickets cost about Rs 700.

 

Planning your return flight/train booking

When planning your return journey, it’s important to take some things into consideration. For example, if your trek ends on day 7, you can book your return flight or train tickets for day 7 from Dehradun. Make sure to make bookings after 9 pm.

To reach the Dehradun airport, you can take a shared taxi or bus from Rispana Pul until 7:30 pm. Take a Vikram (shared auto) from your drop-off location to Rispana Pul for 10 rs, and then catch a bus or shared taxi from there to the airport. The airport is 25 km away, so the journey should take around 45 minutes to 1 hour.

If your onward flight departs from Delhi, then you should book your tickets for day 8. Sometimes trekkers worry if they can book an early morning flight out of Delhi on day 8, but you can. Just make sure to book flights that depart no earlier than 8 am, as you may not reach Delhi in time if you book a flight that leaves any earlier than that.

How difficult is Gidara Bugyal Trek?

The trek itself is not overly long and the Gidara Bugyal trek difficulty level is moderate, but there are some sections that can be quite challenging, especially for those who are not accustomed to hiking or climbing.

The Gidara Bugyal trek starts at an altitude of 7,710 feet, and it climbs to a height of 13,910 feet. The first few days of the trek are relatively easy as you gradually gain altitude. However, the last few days are much more challenging, as you will be ascending to the highest point of the trek.

One of the most difficult parts of the Gidara Bugyal trek is the ascent to the top of the Gidara Bugyal top. This section is quite steep, and it can be challenging for those who are not used to hiking or climbing. However, the views from the top are absolutely breathtaking, so it is well worth the effort to reach the summit!

How is the temperature at Gidara Bugyal Trek?

Gidara Bugyal is located at an altitude of more than 13,910 ft above sea level. The temperatures here are conducive to the growth of wheat, barley, peas, and beans. The average annual temperature is about 10 degrees Celsius.

The months of June, July, and August are the warmest, with temperatures averaging around 15 degrees Celsius.

These are also the months when the most precipitation falls, in the form of rain and snow. September and October are cooler, with average temperatures of around 10 degrees Celsius. November and December are the coldest months when temperatures can drop to below – 10 degrees Celsius.

However, even in the winter, there are days when the sun shines, and the temperatures can rise to around the freezing point.

What are the requirements for participation in Gidara Bugyal Trek?

All participants are expected to be confident that they are physically and mentally fit and able to complete the itinerary of their chosen event as defined in the itinerary.

Any minors between 10 and 17 years of age must accompany their parent or guardian who assumes full responsibility for them to participate in the adventure activity or event. Any unaccompanied, underage minor will not be allowed to participate in the adventure activity.

How to make a booking with us?

You can make your booking at our website www.advenchar.com or you can contact us at hello@advenchar.com.

You must be at least 18 years old to make a booking with us. After the booking, our team will send you a confirmation of the booking.

We understand that you may have to change your travel plans due to the Covid-19 situation, so considering this we have introduced a Book Now, Pay Later facility for all the participants. However, you will be required to pay the full amount at least 15 days prior to the departure date.

How do I cancel/modify my booking?

If you wish to cancel/modify your existing booking, you can do so by logging in to www.advenchar.com, and pay through the dashboard or you can drop us a mail at hello@advenchar.com with all the details of your booking, and we’ll cancel it for you.

What is cancellation policy?

You can claim a 100% refund if you choose to cancel your booking before 15 days. The refund will primarily be in the form of a voucher valid for 12 months.  You can also opt for a cash refund provided the booking is not part of a promotional offer or a coupon code provided by Advenchar. 

Refund

  • Cancellation before 15 days from departure date – 100% refund.
  • Cancellation between 15 days and 7 days from departure date  – 70% refund.
  • Cancellation less than 7 days from departure date – You can modify your trek free of cost, and transfer it to a friend/family member.
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