The Roopkund Rendezvous - Trek from Didna to Bedni via Ali Bugyal

Monday, November 02, 2009

Lohajung to Didna<<>>Bedni Bugyal to Bhaguabhasa through Ghora Lautani


Statutory Warning – Prolonged exposure to the bugyals (high altitude grasslands) can lead to awe-inspired delirium. Traveler discretion is advised.Oh, if I forgot to mention, Ali Bugyal is known to be Asia’s most beautiful grasslands

on the wy to bedni bugyal
SEE WHAT I MEAN? - LONE HIKER TOWARDS BEDNI BUGYAL



bedni kund
BEDNI KUND - AN EVENING TO REMEMBER


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TRISHUL RISING TO YOUR LEFT AND KALIDAK TO YOUR RIGHT


Day 3 – Didna to Bedni Bugyal – Distance around 12kms.

Yesterday we woke up at an altitude of 8600ft and today is no different. Our first night in the tents pitched in the Himalayas was very comfortable. We had a quick breakfast and I was very eager to start the trek considering today’s one of the most beautiful trails that we would be treading upon. 7.30 AM we were supposed to start and I was ready but I had the shock of my life when I came out of the tent only to find the campsite empty save the porters who were packing up the tents already! To my chagrin, rest of the team had left without informing me and Poonam who was still oblivious, packing her backpack. One of the guides was waiting for us at the far end of the campsite. It is 7.45 AM and we start the trek now. And now it seemed to me the rest of gang was way ahead and it would be impossible for me to catch up with them. Besides, the trail that goes up from Didna campsite passes through moss-laden forests and brown trails carpeted with fallen leaves – bottom line is it was scary to be walking alone. Poonam and our guide Mahendra ji were coming slowly and I was in a big dilemma that should I try to catch up with the guys ahead or should I stay back and come along with these guys. Now the catch was what if I was stuck somewhere in the middle of these two with no one around! Mahendra ji assured me it was a straight trail and all the trails lead to the same path and asked me to go ahead. The fact that I was furious at the abandonment added to my pace and within minutes I met Nitin ji and the Bengali couple. They told me the rest of the gang was nearby. A few more meters and I could hear them. And few more sprints, I could see them. At first I was glad that I reached my gang finally and then I was angry. So I bashed them a little and went up ahead while they were trying to find paracetmol for Raghu who was feeling a bit dizzy.

I caught up with Deepak, Smitha and Pavan while the Kailash-Manasarovar team was leading ahead. Now that all my anger was channeled out and with my head cleared, for the first time I was taking in the beauty of the forest around me. There could not have been a better time to start the trek as the sunlight filtered through the branches - the play of light and shadows was delightful beyond any imagination.

Since I have been blabbering so much about me which is of no use to the eager trekker, let me tell you some details of the trail. The initial part of the trail is a bit steep and within 30 minutes, the trail goes through the forest lands where the gradient is very gradual. The walk is effortless until you reach Tol Pani, letting you soak in the beauty. Tol Pani is an idyllic village of few houses which is inhabited only during the trekking seasons for the same reason that other times it gets very cold. This would be your last water source until Bedni Bugyal for the next 5 hours.

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THE IDYLLIC VILLAGE - TOL PANI

We reached Top Pani at 8.45 AM, filled our bottles and took some “been there, done that” snaps. But it was lovely sight – a few women going about their daily chores oblivious to the curious bystanders and children playing in the sunlit fields. After this, the trail goes up in a steep incline to reach Tol Top. This was the first time we could feel the thinness of air – I don’t know if it was for real or psychological, but the steep climb through the oak forest was exhausting. After this, we would be above Tree line. We reached Tol Top by 9.30 and Narayan ji was not allowing us to go ahead and so we sat waiting for all to arrive. We got a glimpse of Chaukhamba peak as we stood there.

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WAITING AT TOL TOP

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MISTY MOSS LADEN FORESTS - ON THE WAY TO ALI

The trail from here passes over the mountain top through the forest for a while until you can see a clearing and Viola! You are in the bugyals ala grasslands. Pavan, Ambareesh, Kunal, Raghavendra, Jagadish and I were one of the lucky few who got there first to see the beautiful vistas spread in front of us. We could see the villages, and the trails and we could get a sense of scale as to how high we were right now! It lasted only for a while before the clouds took over the show.

Photobucketon the way to ali bugyal

LAST OF THE TREES FOR THE NEXT FEW DAYS


man and the mountain
AS HE WALKS, NANDA GHUNTI RISES!


ali bugyal
NANDA GHUNTI SHROUDED IN CLOUDS - ALI BUGYAL

Now the trees were behind us and all we could see was green meadows dotted with various flowers. The walk from here eases down and while a few started running towards Ali Bugyal for the lure of Aloo Parathas, Kunal, Smitha, Deepak and I were taking it slow enjoying the beauty and trying to capture some moments considering the shutterbug that I was! A few more trees here and there, this would be the last you see any of them at your altitude and we left them behind..all of them. Now it’s only you and the grasslands. The climb is gradual just before Ali Bugyal at which a short ascent and you reach Ali. A small pond welcomes you and if you are lucky maybe an awesome reflection of Nanda Ghunti too!

Somehow today everyone was feeling extra hungry! Maybe the breakfast was not enough or we stressed ourselves too much but hungry we were. So when it was announced that we would be getting Aloo Parathas at Ali Bugyal, it was quite some motivation to reach there fast and everyone had dreamed of Aloo Parathas – mind the extra s in “Parathas”. Pavan and Ambareesh already had theirs and were looking at us with a funny expression when we reached. The anticipation was too much to care for their smirks and we headed to grab 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 Parathas (??!!) But..but..but.. it was not Parathas. Infact it was just a paratha for each. Now we understood the smirk on their faces as we ate our paratha. It made for a good story and topic for many discussions that day. It was 11.45. A few moments later we all started towards Bedni. You might think what motivated our insatiable souls to step towards Bedni with renewed enthusiasm. Well the scenery is just one part, the other part was the soup that would be waiting for us at Bedni. I told ya.. gluttons! :D

It is an easy walk all surrounded by greenery. We were having some leisurely moments. I guess this is the only place where we have lot of pictures of us on the way. Nowhere else we were so relaxed to stop and take group pictures. We could see the mark of Zorro on a distant mountain ahead of us. That was a small but steep climb again. We reached the temple which marks the end of Ali Bugyal at 12.30 PM. A group photo and then we started up again.
towards the mark of zorro
ALI BUGYAL ENDS WHERE ZORRO BEGINS


ali bugyal
TAKING A LOOK BACK - ALI BUGYAL

After climbing the mark of Zorro, it is an almost plain walk till Bedni. One look at what you left behind would make you want to just sit there and keep watching as the sun and clouds draw different shades on different patches of the Grasslands. You can see the treeline below you. I left the rest of the group and walked at a leisurely pace taking as many photographs possible. I just love green and with so much green around me it is impossible for me to keep my camera shut. But the downside was it started getting cloudy and cold. So I increased my pace and just when I was getting bored of this trail, I could see a small ascent and some people sitting above on the rocks. They showed me the campsite right below the ridge we were standing on. Elated Smitha and I ran for it and the hot soup was more than we could have asked for – divine! It was 1.30 PM and only couple of us had reached by then.

campsite at Bedni
CAMPSITE AT BEDNI


It was 3.00 PM and it started raining heavily. We hadn’t taken our sleeping yet and we missed them dearly while we felt the chill in our bones. Inside our tents we managed with what we had, thermals and a shawl and at 4 the rain showed some respite. And then sun was shining again – as bright as a sunny summer day. This is when Kunal exclaimed that he would like to see a rainbow now. We thought that was asking for too much and we headed towards Bedni Kund for some captures – yes, 4 shutterbugs. Well apparently Trishul, Nanda Ghunti, Kali Dak peaks surrounded us and I didn’t know that because it was all covered up until now. We caught some fleeting glimpses of awesomeness but it never fully cleared up. And then we spotted a rainbow, a huge rainbow right in front of us.

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RAINBOW DREAMS

We sat there until the sun set and then hot pakoras and Chai beckoned us back to the tents. A friendly banter with the rest and that was the end of one of the most beautiful days.

It is 8.15 PM as I sit in the tent and write this line in my scribble pad - “It is freaking cold!”

Fact File :
Distance Covered   – 12 kms
Time Taken            – 7.45 AM -1.30 PM, 5 hours at a leisurely pace.
Altitude Gained      – Didna (8600 ft) – Tol Top(10,000 ft) – Ali Bugyal (11,300 ft) – Bedni Bugyal       (11,800ft)
 Water Sources      – One just after Didna campsite and the next at Tol Pani and none after that till Bedni
Difficulty                – Moderate to Difficult, considering the altitude change.
Any snow capped peaks today? – Yes, Look out for Nanda Ghunti, Trishul, Kali Dak, Chaukhamba, NeelKanth, around the campsite.

Tomorrow, I shall show you some magnificent views of some magnificent peaks. No, these are not fleeting glimpses of awesomeness, but eternal etchings of magnificence. Stay tuned!

P.S – We(the girls) missed our “pink” tent very much!

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16 comments

  1. Beautiful. The pictures show the beauty of the place. Makes me want to pack the bags and get going.

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  2. Welcome to the next stage of the blogging world -Addiction and Desperation trust me its good.
    And regarding suggestions from previous posting
    1.Your picture placement is perfect
    2.Writing has also matured a lot
    3.Add some more humor :)
    4.Black background is scary , but i know you won't change , so no point :P
    5.Too many widgets , but i guess all the blogs i have been forwarded from yours are widgets lovers with similar layouts , looks like it's in demand contrary to ours -plain jean no fame types :)
    6.But i simply love the place and i am thinking i should have given it a try
    7.Keep going gal ,continue to take us around world from our living rooms.

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  3. Pics are awesome. I got so carried away that I did not read your post ;)

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  4. @ Arun - Thanks.. :) It's even better in June - the grasslands are greener than ever in that month! Do visit in june sometime.

    @ Joshi, Amrit - Thank you.. :)

    @ Clueless - better late than never.. thanks for the suggestions.. one thing is sure.. black is here to stay.. :P
    No, but sometime later i will work on the layout and color scheme more. :)

    @ Rupa - Thank you.. :) As i said in my FB post, the text is for search engines and my memory.. you guys just enjoy the visual treat.. :D

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  5. Breathtaking! I'm speechless!!! Look forward to more...

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  6. @ Roshmi - Thanks..the nest post is going to be even better! :)

    @ deXTer/Suryah - I am taking your dollars to be the worth of my post.. :P Thank you for that.. ;)

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  7. Wow!
    I have so many questions. Firstly how do you get time to click so many pictures on a trek with a group of people? I find it very hard and feel bad that I am keeping people back. I guess there were 4 of you which is a good thing.

    Second, who organizes these treks. Simply wonderful job. I can't get the picture of eating a Aloo Paratha, sitting beside the lake out of my head. I need more information on how such trips are organized. This is fantastic.

    Lastly, more a thought than a question, the pictures are what I call drool maal! To be put on the desktop and stared at forever. It actually looks like some exotic Swiss alp. Splendid pictures.

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  8. @ Mitr Friend - Bhushavali - It was totally amazing. Thanks for stopping by! :)

    @ Sid - Thank you so much! :)
    And answering your questions ... I walk at my own pace and fortunately i am not the slowest one yet! :D
    We were 26 on this trek and not four.. so i had lot of time before the whole group made it to the campsite.

    Indiahikes organized this trek. you can check their site Indiahikes.in. They did a wonderful job.

    And lastly, the place was amazing! Himalayas are totally super awesome. And so much more still unexplored. And thanks once again for the lovely comment. :)

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  9. amazing..!! Truelly amzing..!!1 I have registered for the trek this may...!!! I hope to experince the beauty in those pics in person..!!!!

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  10. ## Anoop - Awesome.. i would've liked to do this trek in May/June to see the bugyals is all their green splendor but September was not so bad either. :D

    Have a whale of a time and show me the pictures once you return. :)

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  11. Wow Neelima must say your pics are awe inspiring. I have a trip planned to Roopkund in Oct and i feel one month from now will be a long wait :).. So eager and excited to go there. By the way which camera did you use for taking the pics ?

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