Trek from Bedni Bugyal to Bhaguabhasa - A Date with Snow Capped Peaks!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Didna to Bedni Bugyal through Ali Bugyal<<>> Summit Day : To Roopkund and Junargali

Hello darkness my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again.
Because a vision softly creeping, left its seeds while I was sleeping.
And the vision that was planted in my brain still remains,
Within the Sound of Silence!
With Kali Dak rising just in front of me, I walked towards it only to reach the end of the meadow and a slope. It was now that I screamed my lungs out. In fact I was hysterical as I shouted out to the guys.

- It is at Ghora Lautani that you first hear the sound of silence. After a night above the Didna village and another night at Bedni along with many other hikers, Ghora Lautani offers one, the much awaited feeling of isolation from civilization!

Day 3 – Bedni Bugyal to Ghora Lautani
Day 4 – Ghora Lautani to Bhaguabhasa




After spending a cold night on the grasslands of Bedni, we set out in the morning towards Ghora Lautani, which is at an altitude of almost 13000ft. As a precautionary measure, we were camping here for one night before heading out to Bhaguabhasa to avoid Acute Mountain Sickness. Yes, we were in the radar of acquiring AMS by now. 

As usual, the departing time was 8.30 AM and somehow I was late by 5 minutes again. But Rajesh was briefing the team about the mythological stories of Bedni kund and Roopkund too, which gave me time to catch up with them soon. After hearing the stories, we set out towards the higher ridge right in front of us. 

All through the previous day, we could see our destination. It was high above on the mountains right opposite to us and right in between us and the mighty snowcapped peaks of Trishul and KaliDak. Nanda Ghunti was to our left and Gangotri range behind us (While we were facing east). From Bedni, you could either retrace your steps to the top from where you descended yesterday and go left along the trail towards Ghora Lautani or you could go up passing by Bedni Kund and reach the trail above through a tougher shortcut. We chose the shortcut and it was a tough until we reached the trail. After that, it was a walk along a nominal gradient. 



The green bugyals were gone giving way to a rocky landscape with a grassy brown spread. Clouds started drifting in from every direction and created magnificent scenery whilst it chose to show us some small glimpses of splendor around. We reached a point where we’d cross over the ridge from one side to the other at 10.30. This place is called Ghora Lautani and it has an interesting theory as to why it was named so. Seems during the British times, the horses couldn’t go further ahead from here due to lack of food i.e fodder. And hence the name Ghora – horse, Lautani – returned. (in Hindi)

From here, the trail goes down the mountain along a nominal slope and the last traces of green were all gone. Now it is all a golden hue and then there is the brown of the rock faces of the mountain – bottom line, all brown! Since we had lot of time at our disposal and there was no hurry to reach campsite early, we slowed down enjoying the views. We posed and took shots at a cavern sort of thing adorned with a variety of flowers. Huge mountains surrounded every side and somewhere the echo of a waterfall was being heard. And then finally we spotted small dots which were our tents at the campsite on one of the meadows on the mountain slope. We reached the campsite Pathar Nauchuni by 12.00 and today we got closer to the mighty peaks than yesterday. Now they were rising right above us. And it goes without saying that it was splendid. 





In these areas, reaching your campsite before noon is advisable as the weather tends to worsen after that. As expected it rained and it was freaking cold. We were all huddled up in our tents and then maggi was served in the rain. Now we huddled in the kitchen tent and had our lunch. It was today that we realized we should share plates so that someone could forgo the pain of washing those plates with the freezing water. Rain showed some respite by 1.30 and I decided to take a stroll around the place. With Kali Dak rising just in front of me, I walked towards it only to reach the end of the meadow and a slope. It was now that I screamed my lungs out. Infact I was hysterical as I shouted out to the guys. Nothing to worry, I just spotted one of the most awesomest rainbows ever! That too below us, in the valley – while it was still drizzling, Maiktoli and Mrighthuni peaks made their appearance and as the sound of the invisible waterfalls heightened ringing in our ears, we saw the most exquisite rainbow flashing its flamboyant colors below us! You know when they say, some memories are etched in your mind forever – this was definitely one such memory! I could show you the picture of the rainbow but that would do no justice to what we saw and what we felt standing there at the foothills reveling in the awe of the wonder called nature. Some things are best left to my memory and your imagination.


After this close encounter of the soul-stirring kind, we huddled back in our tents as the rain showed no respite. With a multitude of topics and as the peaks played hide and seek with us, time passed and soon it was dinner time. Tomorrow is a tough climb to Kalu Vinayak Pass at 14550 ft and with much anticipation we call it a night!

The next day we woke up after going through a 10 °C cold night. It was 6.45 AM and it was bright sunny day. I was soaking up in the sun sitting in front of the tent and then finally we started by 7.30 AM. The climb to Kalu Vinayak is a tiring one. Steep climb and no respite until you reach the pass. And add to it the fact that the air is getting thinner with each step you take. Today I was a bit late than usual. Struggling and dragging myself, I reached Kalu Vinayak at 9.15 AM. 



We were extremely lucky as it was a clear sunny day and we were all surrounded by majestic peaks on all sides. Nanda Ghunti, Kali Dak, Trishul, Chanyakot, Chaukhamba – you name it, you’ve got it all from here. We offered our prayers to Kalu Vinayak and then got down to the task of taking “been there, done that” pictures. After all we were 14550ft above mean sea level! From here we got a first glimpse of our final destination, far away on the mountain in front of us, in the cradle of the majestic peaks was a small depression in which the Roopkund Lake lies. A snowy path was leading to it. At 10.00AM Rajesh announced that since it was such a beautiful day with wonderful weather, we would be attempting Roopkund today itself. In a fit of frenzy we started towards Bhaguabhasa and Pavan, Sujeet, I and a couple of others reached the campsite in a record time of 20 minutes. Not once did I look up. My gaze was constantly fixed on the rocky trail that led us down to Bhaguabhasa. After we reached the campsite, we noticed that clouds were drifting from behind us and we would not be going to Roopkund today after all. But one good thing was we the girls got a pink tent today. 


Meanwhile we waited out in the cold waiting for the rest of our team to arrive and also the previous batch who had left for Roopkund today morning, so that once they come and empty the tents, we could occupy them. The previous batch returned and we had a small chat. Farewells and congratulations on finishing the trek and they left and we occupied the tents. 

Bhaguabhasa is a really cold place with neither flat nor soft surface for camping. It is all very rocky and we were told before hand that tonight is going to be a force to reckon with. And it proved to be very true. Inside our tents it was so cold; Smitha, Poonam and I huddled in the center of the tent to deal with the cold. With no sleeping bags to our aid, it was our only chance at getting some heat. Sometime later, Deepak and Pavan joined us and now that we were five, the air got a bit warmer. And now something interesting happened! It was raining, only it was hailstorms. It formed a pretty picture as the campsite was covered in a layer of white. Cold as it may be, we went out and played with the snow and took some more shots of yet another wonderful experience. 




Let’s call it a day and tomorrow I shall take you to the Roopkund Lake and Junargali heights of 16500ft!

Fact File –

Time taken  - Bedni Bugyal to Ghora Lautani – 3 ½ hours at a very leisurely pace

                  - Ghora Lautani to Kalu Vinayak – 2 hours
                  - Kalu Vinayak to Bhaguabhasa – 30 minutes to 1 hour (20mins for some of us)
Altitudes – Bedni Bugyal (11800 ft) – Ghora Lautani (13000ft) – Kalu Vinayak (14550ft) - Bhaguabhasa(14350ft)
Water Sources – One near Ghora Lautani. None until Bhaguabhasa again.
Difficulty – Bedni to Ghora Lautani – easy
              - Ghora Lautani to Kalu Vinayak – Difficult
             -  Kalu Vinayak to Bhaguabasa – easy
Any snow capped peaks ? – Trishul, Kali Dak, Chaukhamba, Chanyakot, Nanda Ghunti

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  1. Neelima,
    This is a fantastic post.Great narration coupled with awesome photographs. I think I am going to go here next year. Can you give me details in terms of how many days, how many kilometers, fitness level etc.

  2. fantastic images! the third image is too good with amazing quality to it! cheers!

  3. Breath-taking pictures Neelima!

  4. Absolutely breath-taking!

    India has such hidden treasures... thanks for introducing :)

  5. @ Vamsee - Thank you.. and Yaay! This would be my first post that inspired someone to take up a trip then! :)
    Here are the details.

    Next year June should be an ideal time for the trek.
    It is a moderate to at times difficult trek.
    We went through Indiahikes and they organized the trek extremely well considering all the risks and dangers. Arjun was one of the first few to tread upon this trail before it's popularity soared high and he is the organizer.

    we covered a distance of 70kms approx in 7 days. will give you more comprehensive information on this trek and in some days i will post a consolidated post with all the information and the links.. :)

  6. @ Joshi Daniel and Amrit - Thanks guys! :)

    @ Roshmi - Thanks dear.. there are many more such hidden treasures and i take it upon myself to visit them all.. :D

  7. Amazing....Loved the pictures and wondering how beautiful the experience coudl have been...

    Please share such info of treks..if possible i ll take part in it...i love trekking..provided its not too far from south india.


  8. @ Mahesh - Thank you so much! :) It was an amazing experience to be able to enjoy such pristine locations.

    Sure.. i will share more information soon on how to go and where to find info on such treks.

  9. idiot... pics r not loading.
    i even downloaded chrome.. still no use!!

  10. Wowwww... Breath taking pictures and sure sounds like one awesome trek!!!amazing...

    recently a cousin mentioned her bro in law had also scaled this mount...

  11. The images are superb. The rocky terrain actually looks like some eerie, sci-fi/fantasy movie setting. But the pictures of all the flowers after that prove otherwise. Very beautiful.

  12. @ Ajitha - Idiot, the pictures are loading fine for me.. maybe some stupid setting in your IIM.. :P

    @ Mahesh - you are welcome. :)

  13. @ Aaarti - Thank you so much! :)
    It was magical.
    Roopkund has become very popular of late.. Many people have been trekking there..

    @ Sid - At some point, after the greenery was gone and it was all rocks and snow, it did feel very surreal.
    And thank you. :)

  14. Wonderful Pictures....

    Himalayas ... Sigh !

  15. Hi Neelima! This is stunning!! I'm far from being climber, but your post made me tink of mountain trekking.. Some of the pictures are aweome!! Great job!!!
    Meanwhie Blogtrotter finished Turkey 2008 (with some colours you should see) and is back to a gem in Iberia fo you to comment on... ;) Enjoy and have a great weekend!

  16. Beautiful post and some of the landscapes are stunning. Awesome work Neelima...Thomas

  17. @ Aditi - Hey.. thanks for the second visit and the comment! :)
    Next time i go, you are welcome to join me.

    @ GMG - Oh that's so nice of you! I would be glad if my posts inspires someone to take up hiking. :)
    I have just returned from a weekend trip. Will visit your post soon.

  18. I'm just flattened by this post Neelima! Beautiful, beeeeeeautiful post indeed. Great pictures.

    My Birthday

  19. @ Bhavesh - Thank you! :)
    It's a beautiful beautiful place.

  20. wow - this looks like a fantastic trek!

  21. @ Bindu - was! you should try it out sometime. It's still a relatively unexplored trail.

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  23. Stunning images...enjoyed lots...

  24. @ Abhijit - Thanks..Glad you liked! :)


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