Sunday, February 18, 2024

Ali Bedni Bugyal Trek

The meadows of Ali and Bedni Bugyals are amongst the most beautiful meadows in India. It is located at the border of Garhwal and Kumaon in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. 

The beautiful trek to Ali Bugyal and Bedni Bugyal passes through the grasslands and thick forest with steep slopes and hills. 

We had planned to have small "small" trek during October first week and had decided Bramhatal for same. During further discussions with other fellow trekkers we finally zeroed in on Ali Bedni bugyal terk and also decided to explore options to go upto Roopkund.

Trek to Roopkund is banned by Government currently as per orders by Uttarakhand high court, so we decided to go up to last base camp of Patar Nachuni, from where the final trek to Roopkund commences.

We had discussed with Raftaar Adventures. Overall our experience with them has been quite good. Balbir Danu, our guide was quite good and helpful. Beerendra Rana from Rafteer Adventures helped us plan our trek and took care of tents and food etc.

Nitin and myself, took train to reach Haridwar, while Sahshank drove with his car. As we reached early in morning so took the opportunity to take bath at Har ki paidi. To take bath at Har ki paidi is always very blissful and pleasent experience.

Next was to take breakfast of Poori and "Kaddu" vegetable near ghat itself.

It was almost 10 AM, when Shashank reached and immediately, we took road for Lohajung, the base camp for Ali Bedini Bugyal.

Weather was good, we took lunch at Beasi and continued. Evening was approaching fast and so we had calculated that we will not be able to reach Lohajung tonight and so decided to halt at Rudraprayag or Karnaprayag.

As we crossed Srinagar and moved further, to our dismay, the road was blocked due to land slide. Big queue of vehicle was there. We also parked ourselves in the queue.

Soon the darkness enveloped us, there was still no hope of road getting clear and we realized that at max we can reach Raudraparayag, even if road gets clear.

After waiting for about 3 hours there, we decided to returned back to Srinagar. We took GMVN hotel there and took rest for night.

Early morning we left for Lohajung. Road was clear by now. Landslide had affected three different sections of road and it was god decision taken by us the return back to Srinagar.

It was afternoon around 3 PM as we reached Lohajung.

It is a very small town, with many adventure companies facilitating to hikes to Bramhatal, Ali Badni Bugyal and beyond.

The homestay of Raftaar Adventure is quite good and comfortable, though one need to park vehicle at road and then go down for about 200 meters to reach there. Going down is fine but coming back to road is a hike!

We relaxed there and discussed about the next day trek. We had plans to trek via wan village and Gehroli Patal and then night stay at Ali Bugyal, Next day we will trek to Patar Nachuni via Bedni Bugyal and night stay there, third day we will decide based on permissions and weather as well as our comfort level to proceed to Roopkund or revert back to Lohajung.

Trek Day 1 morning, we started early and took Jeep to Wan village about 15 KMs away. There is a famous Latu Devta temple here. This temple opens only one day in a year and that too only priest is allowed in sanctum with folded eyes. Others just pray from outside. 

We also bowed our head to almighty and took permission for successfull trek ahead.

Out of the other meadow treks in our country — Dayara Bugyal, Gidara Bugyal, and Bhrigu Lake trek — Ali Bedni Bugyal has the grandest of mountain views. That’s because of one thing —  the sight of Mt. Trishul and Mt. Nanda Ghunti jutting right out of the meadows.

Mt. Nanda Ghunti and Mt. Trishul show themselves next to each other following us along all throughout the trek. Though the best view one can get from Bedni Buhyal or enroute Patar Nachuni. 

During Spring and autumn, the mountain views are at their sharpest and clearest.

Those who trek directly towards Bedni, its little more steep.

We took the trek route towards Ali Bugyal.

The forest is dense and beautiful with birds chirping everywhere. I heard that it has Mammels also like bear etc., though we didn't encounter any. Its always advisable to be in a group and talk while trekking. This way bear, if there, will move away.

Soon the tiredness started raising its head, but we pressed further. There is a river Neelganga on the way through dense forest. For this we need to go down several hundred feet and then again ascend. I don't like descending while going for a trek, because it means that while returning, we need to ascend and which I don't like.

We reached Gehroli Patal, about 9 KMs away from Wan village at about 2 PM. This place is a campsite and a small hut is there to get Tea, snacks etc. We took our lunch there.

Bramha Kamal

The entire forest section is very calm and blissful. No pollution, full of oxygen, It feels so good to be there.

It started drizzling, though I was not in a mood to venture in rain, but there was no option as we had to reach Ali before dark. Consoling myself that rain will stop soon, we moved ahead.

Water Mill

Soon the rain became fierce and turned into a hail storm. Though our shoes were water proof and had our rain gear also, but still from somewhere water found its way inside us. Shoes got wet from inside also.

It rained heavily for almost a couple of hours and we continued our trek in that. Our guide Balbir gave his rain gear to another fellow traveler, who was not carrying it. So Balbir got fully drenched in that cold water, but I salute his immune system, he survived it without even getting cold.

Slowly we continued through the rain, as the forest started becoming thin, the rains also stopped slowly, above us we saw the green meadows were waiting for us, with bright sunlight. The tree line disappeard abruptly. We made it before dark, though tired and shoes wet.

The surprise of finding oneself in Ali Bugyal after trekking through dense forests is unbeatable. The moment we get out of the shades of the forest cover, there was acres and acres of green carpet sprawled out in front of us. 

Jim Corbett killed Man Eating Leopard here

Our porters had reached before us and were busy in setting tents. We removed our wet socks and waited for tennts to get ready. Once inside we changed our socks and other wet items.

Dhaari Mata Temple

One point to note is that remove wet items as soon as possible. It is dangerous to remain in wet conditions during trek and at low temperatures.

We took some rest before our dinner got ready, we took and then went for sleep. Though it remained elusive for me and I could not sleep properly.

Sky was clear throughout the night and in morning a warm Sunlight welcomed us.

Raghunath Temple at Devprayag

We put our shoes to get dried in Sun. One good part on this trek was that Jio network was working in patches almost entire route and Balbir told us that it works even from Roopkund.

Our shoes got dried fast and after a quick breakfast we got ready to move further. Our destnation was Patar Nachuni today via Badni Bugyal.

Day 2 Trek, the walk to Bedni Bugyal from here is exhilarating! The Bedni Bugyal is a strip of vibrant green, overlooking the valley. Among Ali and Bedni, the Bedni is bigger one. The view of Trishul and Nanda Ghunti from here is breathtaking. If one climbs the Bedni Top, other high risers of the imposing Chaukhamba range opens up as well. 

The famous Nanda Devi Rat Jat Yatra that took place every 12 years, passes from here. It starts from Nauti Village near Jarnaprayag and passes through Bedni Bugyal, Roopkund and ends at Homkund.

We stopped for some time here at Bedni. Shashank took some drone shots as well.

There is a Bedni Kund here. Not much water was there at this time (October First week). There are small temple also here of Nanda Devi, Shiva and Latu Devta.

From here we took the trek ahead for Patar Nachuni. Its a long walk and gradual ascend. As in high altitudes, here also clouds started coming down post noon and entire route got engulfed with them. Trekking through cliuds is fun but till rain starts!

Fortunately, it didn't rained till we reached our tent at Patar Nachuni at around 4 PM.

To our delight, tents were already set and so we quicklt took shelter. It started raining but fortunately it didn't last long.

As I was lying down, I felt earth shaking, was I feeling dizziness?? A few minutes later, when I called my mother, I came to know that tremors were felt across North India.

Fortunately there was no damage.

In any trek, proper sleep and rest is essential during night. Unfortunately we also could not get it that night so leaving us without proper sleep for two continuous nights. Next moring we were exploring the option to go to Roopkund. But that body state, didnt allowed us furtehr ascend. In another tent nearby one fellow trekker from Delhi was vomiting continuously. Perhaps he got affected with mountain sickness!

Trek Day 3 Morning, we decided to return from here after breakfast. As it was smooth till Neelganga, we walked slowly and reached Bedni soon. We took rest here and also some pics and drone shots.

Shashank got a Bramha Kamal by an army Jawan returnng from Roopkund. Nitin and myself got one each at a small shrine while descnding from Bedni.

I was very happy to get that.

It was late evening as we reached Wan. Jeep was waiting for us and we took the road to our Raftaar adventure Homestay at Lohajung.

We took early diner and a proper rest and sleep, rejuvenated us.

Morning we said goodbye to Lohajung and drove towards Rudraprayag. One the way we had to take a detour beacuse a bridge was under repair and hence closed.

Crossing Rudraprayag, we stoped briefly at Gulabrai. This is the place where Jim Corbett had hunted the notorious Man eater Leopard in 1925. The Mango tree atop which he took shot is still there and a small monument as well.

Before Srinagar, we also visited the sacred shrine of Dhari Devi, the guardian of all four major abodes of Uttarakhand. 

We reached Srinagar by evening and took the same two rooms again at GMVN hotel.

Next day morning, we drove towards Haridwar and stopped briefly at Devprayag. Here we visited the famous Raghunath Temple and then also the sangam (Confluence) of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi thus giving birth to Ganga.

Raghunath Temple is the place where its said that Lord Ram did penance to get rid of karma of killing Ravana.

Temples at Bedni Bugyal

Late afternoon we reached haridwar and took lunch. Shashank drove to Noida from here while Nitin and myself waited for train, which we got in morning almost 6 hours late!

Shashank had asked us to travel with him to NCR and take a train/bus from there but we misjudged the Railway schedule and so spend whole night at Haridwar Railway station!

We reached Lucknow next day late afternoon.

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