Rishikesh | India
Rishikesh | India
Rishikesh | India
Rishikesh | India
Rishikesh | India
The Ali Bedni Bugyal trek, best known for its beautiful sceneries, lush alpine meadows, and a picture-perfect view of many of the Himalayan peaks around that region, is unlike any other. For one, these meadows are among the largest high-altitude meadows in all of Asia! The grandeur of this place is unimaginable. The bountiful natural splendor soothes your eyes and soul to the fullest.
This moderately difficult trek in Uttarakhand is a much-coveted trek by not only Indians but adventurers from across the world. Beginners, as well as seasoned trekkers, undertake it.
This article discusses all the details you need to know about this journey in-depth and helps you prepare for it if you're planning to embark on it. So keep reading for some valuable information!
"Bugyals" in the local language of the area essentially mean meadows. The Ali Bedni Bugyal is located in Uttarakhand, at the border of Garhwal and Kumaon in the Chamoli district. This trek route passes through lush green meadows and dense forests. The route spans heights of 2300 to 3500 meters above sea level.
This calming and rejuvenating trek takes you through oak and rhododendron forests, hushed hamlets, and emerald valleys. The climb is a safe and gradual one with easy to moderate difficulty depending on the trekkers' experience. You can do this 31 km (approx.) trek solo or with a group depending on whether you want a solitary retreat in nature or a fun adventure with friends. The trek usually takes about 6-7 days, depending on your schedule and pace. The cost of the overall trip ranges from USD 110 to USD 200 (INR 8000 to INR 14500 approx.).
These Bugyals offer stunning sceneries with snow-capped mountain ranges, including the Trishul Peak (7120 meters) and Mt. Nanda Ghunti (6309 meters). En route, you can enjoy the dense alpine forests, including ancient oaks and ever-blooming rhododendrons. You can visit the Bedni Kund- a sacred crystal clear lake that, on a good day, reflects the surrounding mountain ranges on its surface.
The vast green meadows are grazing grounds for horses, foals, goats, and cattle who chomp away listlessly as their shepherds enjoy the scenic backdrop over a cup of hot tea and some light conversation. Of course, they offer excellent scope for photography as well. Wildlife, nature, and even casual clickers will love this place.
High Altitude Meadows in Asia
The Ali Bugyal and the Bedni Bugyal, the two adjacent alpine meadows in Uttarakhand, India, are considered among Asia's largest high altitude meadows. They are even big enough for an exciting high-altitude cricket match! These beautiful meadows are covered in a lush green carpet starting spring and until the season of fall, and you'll have to be there to experience its grandeur. They offer magnificent views of the surrounding Himalayas on a clear day because their height is 3,354 meters above sea level.
Oak Forest and Rhododendron Blooms
If you are visiting during the spring to monsoon period, you might get to experience the lush rhododendrons that grow in the dense forests surrounding this region. En route to the Ali and Bedni Bugyals, you will pass through the ancient, giant oaks and witness the vibrant rhododendrons in full bloom. The forests are dense, but the sunlight peeks through the ancient canopy and might even fall upon you like a spotlight. These make for an enchanting and mystique ambiance that is perfect for nature photographers and forest lovers.
Bedni Kund Lake
Bedni Kund is a sacred lake easily accessible from Lohajung Pass and is well connected via motorable roads. This is a pilgrimage spot for some tourists, but the locals visit this religious place regularly. The devotees worship Ma Nanda and Shiva in this lake, and every 12-14 years, the Nanda Devi Raj Jaat commences from this place. Because of its high altitude, the water is cold and crystal clear in this lake, and on a lucky day of sunshine, you might even be able to see the reflection of the majestic Trishul Peak on its surface.
Trishul Peak and Mt. Nanda Ghunti
These meadows offer the best views of the Trishul Peak and Mt. Nanda Ghunti. These mountains jut right out the meadows. Although the entire peaks are not visible, it is enough to get lost in their vastness. More often than not, these peaks are snow-capped, so they make for some breathtaking captures.
Nanda Devi Raj Jaat Yatra
The Nanda Devi Raj Jaat Yatra is a sacred pilgrimage that occurs here every 12-14 years. If you are among the luckiest ones and visiting at such an opportune moment- you might even get to see the pilgrimage in action and join the revelries. The pilgrimage commences from Bedni Kund and ends in Roopkund.
The Ali Bedni Bugyal trek is classified as an easy to moderate level trek. For most experienced trekkers, this might be an easy trek but moderately difficult for beginners due to multiple reasons. The trek is hardly without any risk, and the climb is pretty gradual. Only in some parts, it gets a little steep.
This same climb and descent make it moderately challenging. The trek spans heights of 2300 to 3500 meters above sea level, but altitude-related sicknesses are rare. Although the exhaustion is not as intense, it still requires a fit body and stamina to climb at a steady pace. In addition to all of that, it is very easy to get lost in these vast meadows. So if you're still a beginner, some basic direction training is recommended.
And finally, these regions are not exempt from sudden climate changes either. The weather can shift from bright and sunny to intense winds, fog, and rain, which are major hindrances to the trek and might even leave you stranded for a couple of days.
The Ali Bedni Bugyal trek best time is during the month of June- when it's summer. However, it is accessible and attractive throughout the year, and each season has its charm and offerings.
Summer (May - June)
During the May to June period, Bugyal's winter finally ends, and the meadows start changing to the iconic emerald green carpet look they are famous for. The mornings usually get clear weather perfect for mountain shots, whereas the evenings are often cloudy and might even get sporadic summer showers.
Monsoon (July - August)
During the monsoons of July to mid-August, the trek route gets filled with wild and mountainous flowers, and the meadows remain rich and brimming with green. For those who don't mind the constant rain and mist and are comfortable walking amongst the clouds on a solitary trail of green- this trek lives up to its hype and will certainly be enjoyable for you.
Autumn (September - November)
Up until the first half of September, residual rains continue. The Bugyals remain primarily green, and some flowers from the last season remain in bloom till the end of September. But from October, the meadows change the color to yellow, so you'll be seeing a completely new side to it. The haze gets cleared, and you will get distinct views of the mountain ranges too.
Winter (December - February)
The winter experiences the clearest weather of all seasons. The atmosphere is speckless, and the views are crisp and clear- offering visibility far and wide. From late December, snow begins, and it continues till the end of February. The Bugyals remain yellow to yellowish-brown for a long time, along with patches of white. If you're a winter lover- don't give this one up.
Spring (March - April)
Around March, the residual snow from the winters melts and clears up during this season, even though it sometimes snows in April. The mountain views remain clear, and on your way across the Bugyals, you encounter the fresh and blooming Rhododendrons in the forest.
The Ali Bedni Bugyal trek has no technical complexities, and thus, specialized equipment is not needed. Just the basic camping units like a sturdy tent, sleeping bag, portable pillows, and cushions. Bring waterproof units because the meadows may suddenly experience prolonged showers, which tend to make everything damp and cause discomfort. An insulated sleeping mat is a smart choice to prevent cold from the ground from affecting your body at night. A windbreak is advisable on this trek because the Bugyals are often very windy, and at night it makes things feel especially cold. A sewing kit and a basic tent repair kit are a must-have for emergencies. A bunch of spare newspapers also serve versatile purposes.
Clothing & Footwear
On the Ali Bedni Bugyal trek, the temperatures can go down to negative 2 or 3 degrees celsius. It can get even colder in case of rains and cloud cover- especially during the nights, so it's advisable to pack extra woolens. The Bugyals also get sudden showers and prolonged downpours, so it's best to carry waterproof jackets, windcheaters, easy-drying shirts, and trousers- ideally made of polyesters. Raincoats and umbrellas are always a smart choice. Alternatively, you can carry a waterproof poncho.
Layering up with inners, thermals, tee shirts, and jackets would help beat the cold on windy or chilly days. Lastly, always carry extra undergarments, slacks, and socks for emergencies. If you are traveling during late autumn or winter, carry woolen balaclavas and caps to protect your head and face. Scarves and mufflers will also ensure comfort. Few pairs of cotton, synthetic and woolen gloves are imperative to keep your hands warm.
When it comes to footwear, trekkers can take a pair of sandals for use in the tents along with a pair of sturdy, good-quality, waterproof hiking shoes that offer a good grip for outdoor use. While a gumboot is not compulsory, it's instrumental against the rains and wet terrains.
Health and Hygiene Essentials
Getting sick on a trek is the worst possible scenario, but it can be avoided, unlike the vagaries of nature. You should always carry your regular medications as your priority. Along with them, carry antihistamines, anti-nausea tablets, antacids, pain-relieving spray, gauze swabs, etc. A first aid kit is a smart choice and can come in very handy in case of minor injuries. For a trek, insect repellent and mosquito creams are also advisable.
Since caring for your hygiene is essential during a trek, you should carry important toiletry products like face masks, hand sanitizers, and anti-bacterial wipes. Don't miss out on toiletry essentials like soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, quick-dry towels, tissues, menstrual hygiene products like menstrual cups, sanitary napkins, etc.
On a camping trip, one is expected to be able to cook basic meals. You will need cooking essentials for meal preparations, and eating includes a portable stove or grill, pots, pans and kettle, chopping board, vegetable peeler, portable knife, paper plates, bowls, and spoons. Canned food and bottle openers come in handy.
Lighters and matches are vital to make a cozy bonfire. For fuel, you can use firewood, coal, or even bring your mini-gas. Bring dish sponges and soaps to clean the utensils. Finally, rubbish bags are a must because it's irresponsible to litter the mountains.
Carry all-purpose, heavy-duty power banks to charge your phones and cameras. Portable chargers and ports that can charge multiple devices are a boon. It is wise to carry extra memory cards because you don't want to miss out on anything. Spare batteries and a sturdy torch are useful at night. Carry weather-resistant protective casings to save your devices the extreme cold and dampness.
The Ali Bedni Bugyal trek is a test of endurance and stamina. Though the trekking route is easy and fairly simple without any technical preparations needed, this trek is still rated a moderate difficulty for a reason. The climb and descent, though gradual, puts a strain on the legs and the core if one is not prepared. Even though the exhaustion is not as intense, the body is still pushed, especially with altitudes of 3000 meters above sea level factored in. As such, the two most effective and common methods to train your body pre-trek, preferably from a month before the journey, are as follows:
Practice walking about 5-10 kilometers at least twice or thrice a week and keep a time check on those sessions. Covering such distances in 40-45 minutes is ideal, and when that goal is reached, your body is more or less prepared to handle the real trek.
Core Strengthening Exercises
Some core and knee strengthening exercises are also recommended. Crunches and planks are classic beginner core-building routines. Hamstrings, squats, and some stretching exercises are great for your knees to get strong and accustomed to the ordeals ahead. Mountain climber exercises are a great alternative that works in both of these areas. You can ask your gym trainers or health professional for advice before undertaking difficult and heavy exercises.
It must be noted that the last ATM is in Deval, 25 km before the meeting point in Lohajung, but very often without cash, so it's wise to carry enough hard cash beforehand. In terms of mobile connectivity, all major mobile networks in India work at the trek base in Lohajung on a "normal day." If the weather is terrible and the skies are cloudy, the network is not guaranteed.
The Ali Bedni Bugyal Trek is a refreshing one for most trekkers. The fact that the terrain is not treacherous and the climate is more or less friendly throughout the year makes this trek one of the most wholesome memories that you can cherish for a long time.