“Best Trek for Beginners” – A Snowy Paradise

Dayara Bugyal, a velvety meadow sprawling over the verdant hills of Garhwal is one of the best treks for the beginners. Since the meadow experiences snow-fall in December, it makes it one of the best winter treks in Uttarakhand.

From December to February, the meadow remains blanketed in the sheath of snow. The snow melts in early summer and one can relish the snowscape even until mid-April.

Why visit Dayara Bugyal?

This enchanting meadow is bounded by thick woodlands and the exotic Himalayan flora-fauna.

One can see the gurgling streams, snow-studded peaks and the shepherd huts dotted near the trail of Dayara Bugyal.

On setting your foot at Raithal, the base camp for Dayara, one can see John Lee and Draupadi ka Danda painted in the crimson hues of dusk.

Shrikhand Mahadev and Gangotri peaks are also visible at a distance. The forest area is occupied by lofty oak and rhododendrons. On clear mornings, one can savour the view of Banderpunch.

Cattle at Dayara Bugyal

Dayara Bugyal Trek Details:

Region : Garhwal Himalayas

District : Uttarkashi

Altitude Range : 340mts to 3048mts

Temperature : Max: 25°C and Min: -4°C

Distance to Dayara Bugyal from Delhi : 425kms + 10km (trek)

Best season : May to July, August End to Mid October and from December to February

Snow : December to April

Dayara Bugyal Trekking Insights:

Base Camp : Raithal (6-7 hrs drive from Dehradun)

Trekking Grade : Easy

Trek Starts from : Raithal

Best Time to Visit : January to February, May to October and in December

Category of trek : Lake and High Altitude Pass

Duration : 05 Days

Total trekking : 20 km

Places to Cover : Rishikesh – New Tehri – Uttarkashi – Barsu – Dayara Bugyal

What to expect in Dayara Bugyal Trek?

  • Sprawling meadows
  • Himalayan flora
  • Low altitude lake
  • And stunning views of Himalayan Range.

Dayara Bugyal Trek Route From Delhi:

Delhi  Haridwar → Rishikesh → Barsu → Barnala Bugyal → Dayara Bugyal →Uttarkashi → Haridwar → Delhi

Location of Dayara Bugyal:

Dayara Bugyal located in Uttarkashi district is one of the easiest treks for beginners.

This high-altitude meadow is located at a distance of 9 km from Barsu village.

The tiny hamlet of Barsu can be reached by 45 km drive from Uttarkashi. Barsu serves as a base camp for the trek to Dayara Bugyal.

Dehradun railway station at 192 km is the nearest railhead from here.

While Jolly Grant airport at 218 km is the closest air connectivity from here.

Note: Remember that the road to Barsu branches off near Bhatwari.

Short Itinerary for Dayara Bugyal Trek:

1st Day- Dehradun to Raithal (6-7 hrs)

2nd Day- Raithal to Gui 

3rd Day- Gui to Dayara Bugyal

4th Day- Dayara Bugyal to Dayara top and back

Day 5- DayaraBugyal to Barsu to Dehradun

Dayara Bugyal Trek Itinerary in Detail:

Camping at Dayara Bugyal Pic: Aman Nautiyal

Day 01: Arrive at Raithal in Uttarkashi

The tiny village of Raithal, the base camp for Dayara Bugyal trek can be reached after 9 hours long journey. A swift drive will take you through the lush green woodlands.

You can savour the ravishing beauty of Bhagirathi river on most parts of the journey. Uttarkashi is the largest town on the route, from where one can head to Bhatwari.

On approaching the hamlet of Raithal, you can see the colours of sunset over the John Lee and Draupadi ka Danda peaks.

Altitude: 7,400 feet (2,256 m)
Time taken: 7-8 hours drive

Day 02: Raithal to Ghui

Altitude: 7,400 feet (2,256 m) to 9,500 feet (2,896 m)
Time taken: 4-5 hours
Trek gradient: Easy-moderate.
Water sources: None. Carry 2 litres of water

While traversing through, Raithal you can see Srikhand Mahadev and Gangotri group of I, II, III peaks at a distance along with other peaks mentioned above.

An easy to moderate climb will take you to Gui from Raithal. This well-marked trek meanders through a forest which mainly consists of green and brown oaks (moru and kharsu) and rhododendron.

Follow the marked trail and you’ll see a small clearing in about an hour.

Another half an hour trek will take you to a small hut, which is a famous stopover. During winters, you’ll find snow here.

Move further and after crossing a couple of clearings, you’ll reach the campsite at Gui. There is also a small Tal or lake nearby.

One can see few small huts around which are used by the villagers in summers. There is also a u-shaped forest department hut at some distance.

Day 03: Gui to Dayara Bugyal

Altitude: 9,500 feet (2,896 m) to 11,100 feet (3,383 m)
Time taken:
 3-3.5 hours to Dayara Bugyal
Trek gradient:
 Easy-moderate. Gradually ascending trail
Water sources:
 None. Carry 2 litres of water

On crossing Gui, you’ll be treated with the view of mountains on each side which were earlier hidden from view. On leaving the campsite, a short trail will guide you towards the middle of an oak forest again.

After trekking for an hour or so, you’ll reach a hut where many people halt. Follow the trail and soon you’ll see the signboard of “Dayara”.

After a short gradient, you’ll reach the campsite at Dayara which boasts of enigmatic Himalayan views. From here, one can savour a spellbinding view of Banderpunch and Kala Nag.

After having lunch, climb uphill and relish the gorgeous view of sunset pecking the Banderpunch range to the left.

Towards the right, you’ll see Kalanag, Srikhand Mahadev and finally Draupadi ka Danda on the extreme right.

Day 04: Dayara Bugyal to Dayara Top and Back

Altitude: 11,100 feet (3,383 m) to 12,057 feet (2,675 m) to 11,100 feet (3,383 m)
Time taken: 5-6 hours
Trek gradient: Moderate
Water sources: Carry sufficient water. There is only one water source on the trail.

Take the trail beyond the campsite which offers an awe-inspiring vista of Banderpunch and other peaks. Start early, if you are hiking in summers. For large groups, 7 am is a perfect time to tread.

In winters, start around 9 am with packed lunch to nosh at the summit. Keep the tree line to your left and climb up the ridge until you meet the trail that leads to Gidara Bugyal. It is a breathless 10 minute to the trail.

The early morning view of Dayara Bugyal is breathtakingly beautiful. Miles of velvety meadows stretch in every direction. In early (May-June), one can see thousands of Himalayan wildflowers blooming across the valley.

While in winters, the meadow remains snow-covered.Now follow the trail that will take you out of the meadow to the north-western edge (your extreme right).

On the edge, it descends sharply through rhododendrons, flattening out to a clearing with the view of shepherd’s hut.


Day 4 continues:

Beyond the hut, the trail climb upwards to a flat ridge called Devikund. It is a small junction that suggests the end of Dayara meadows.

A trail descends from Devikund to Dodital, two camps away. Choose the trail that climbs upward and to your right. It opens out to a flat walk on a steep flank of a large mound. While trekking, Banderpunch keeps you company.

The trail curves around the western fringe of the mound before descending to the top of a ridge. Oak trees flank the eastern edges of the ridge.

From here, one can catch a glimpse of Barsu lying thousands of feet below.Take the path that veers off the ridge to the left and gently descends to the dense rhododendron jungles.

The trail finally ends at the base of the climb towards Surya Top. From the pass, one can relish an entire view of Dayara Bugyal which is worth watching. In front, the Banderpunch peak seems at an arm’s length overshadowing the entire landscape.

The trail moves to the eastern side of the ridge, descending mildly in a wide curve to get to another pass in ten minutes. This is the Gidara pass.

From the top of the pass, the trail bifurcates in opposite directions. The one on the right moves to Pichkiya and the one on the left head to Gidara Bugyal.

Day 5: Dayara Bugyal to Barsu

Altitude: 11,100 feet (3,383 m) to 7,400 feet (2,256 m)
Time taken:
 4-4.5 hours
Trek gradient:
Water sources: Carry 2 litres of water. You can refill your bottles from a couple of water sources along the trail.

Start early, keep the stream to your left and move towards the right of the valley. At the end of the valley, the trail narrows and dips suddenly into the tree line.

Since the trail is narrow, you cannot cross it while riding on a mule’s back. After traversing for an hour or so, take a break at a permanent fresh stream that runs down a gully.

Take steady steps into the wooden haven of rhododendrons. Some it will curve around a bend to give you a view of a shepherd’s hut.

Day 5 continues:

On the right, you’ll notice the last of the descending flanks of the Dayara meadows which the locals refer to as Ki’uttoral.

From here, go downwards to the forest below. Within two hours, you’ll reach Barnala. Here you can see Barnala Tal here and a temple dedicated to Nag Devta next to it.


During winters, many people come here to ski. The trail from Barnala to Barsu is around 5 km.

The amount of snow on the trail reduces from here. The sight of the chirpy village kids playing around at the lush green fields will catch your attention.

Soon you’ll see the village square and the primary school surrounded by the fields. Continue till you reach GMVN on the other side. This will bring you to the end of Dayara Bugyal trek.


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