Uttarakhand – Dayara Bugyal trek with my pet dog :)

As usual our another adventurous trip started as another hectic year(due to Covid) ended. Time to utilize our remaining leaves from the office for a better plan. So the trip planning was for the week starting from 25 Dec 2021 to 31-Dec-2021. Last year we celebrated our New Year at Rishikesh. But this time due to increasing Omicron variant cases we thought to celebrate New Year at our home only. Again so many thoughts and brainstorming happened that where to go where not. It all came to an end when snowfall, Uttarakhand scenic views and trek planning popped up into our mind :) Last year in the end of 2020 as well we had our trip to Uttarakhand like Kannatal,Tehri,Chopta and Auli.

This time basically our trip is dedicated to one and only our pet dog a Siberian Husky “DOLLAR”. Obviously it is a heaven for a Husky if you show him the real snow world. To make it adventurous we searched for the best treks in Uttarakhand for beginners because we never did trekking. While searching we found ‘Dayara Bugyal’ trek one of the hidden gem of Uttarakhand. We did not have the option to go for higher difficulty level trek. Because we have to take Dollar as well with us and that too in snowy December end. Most of the hikers go for specialized hiking company for such treks. But we thought to go on our own. So here I go with my sort of unplanned plan :)

Trek story – Day 1 – 26th Dec 2021 – Noida to Dehradun

Okay so here we go bags packed, food items and treats for Dollar are packed. Checklist of items checked like medicines, first aid, extra gloves etc. We are ready for the drive till Dehradun. My uncle and his family lives in Dehradun. So we thought to drop our car there and then to take cab/taxi for our next stop. The roads were clear, the weather was clear, didn’t find any foggy streets. Took two breaks in between so that Dollar can feel comfortable. He must be tired by sitting in car continuously. It was like 4-5 hrs journey till Dehradun and we reached over there by following only Google Maps. We have to open our car windows in such cold weather because Dollar loved it. He had to take the cold breeze over his body :P

Drive towards Dehradun with Dollar

Finally around 4:30 PM we reached our uncle’s house. I must say Dehradun city is no less than NCR. Its a clean city with good number of showrooms, clubs and restaurants. And to add Mussoorie is just 2 hrs away from Dehradun wow!! I am lucky to have such a dog lover family. I felt happy that my uncle and his family welcomed us with such a positive friendly feeling.

Some Family Time :)

We got fresh and had our snacks, played with Dollar took him for a walk around. My cousin sister and her family also lives in Dehradun so we thought to go there as well. Due to office work we do not get time to go out of station and meet our close ones frequently. So we thought to meet all our relatives in Dehradun just to have some fun. Due to Covid situation and busy lives its very hard these days to get together with your relatives. So I think this was the better opportunity to meet them. We enjoyed took some selfies had our dinner and then back to our uncle’s house.

With my cousin sister and family

It was almost 10 PM. We have already booked our taxi for our next adventurous journey ahead. So we took nap as the taxi has to come next day early like 7 AM. Our next stop was Raithal village which is near Uttarkashi. We have already done our research like where we should stay before start of our trek to ‘Dayara Bugyal’. And we found a small village ‘Raithal’ for our stay. Its not a big place, no hotels around only home stays are there. Mostly its for hikers and trekkers, but due to our adventurous nature we gave it a try. My husband already had some contact numbers from internet of some homestays and he booked one of them. So lets see what happens next till then Good Night!!:)

Trek story – Day 2 – 27th Dec 2021 – Dehradun to Raithal

Hey Good Morning buddies its time to wake up soon and get ready for our next milestone. Our cab driver was waiting outside. We did light breakfast kept our jackets outside. As in case if it gets more cold then we should have the option in front of our eyes. To be very frank this was the first time when I repeated my clothes in a trip ha ha. We didn’t have the guts to take loads of winter clothes with us as we have Dollar also to handle. One thing about Dollar as a Husky is he pulls his leash too much. We have to keep our both hands free to keep him close as much as possible. So we packed our luggage in the Bolero. We booked Bolero as we need more space so that Dollar can feel comfortable.

Dehradun to Raithal is like about 7-8 hrs journey. I know its too much like whole one day in a vehicle but no pain, no gain. To enjoy the adventure and beauty of our trek we have to take this pain. So back to the time we bid goodbyes to our uncle and family, we took our seats in Bolero. As usual I sit in front seat near driver seat because I have no fear of hills. I am not allergic of anything while traveling. Also I am not habitual of sleeping in between so I took the front-seat. My husband and Dollar took back seats with our luggage.

Here we go the adventurous trip for my first trek started:)

What an adventurous beautiful journey it was with mesmerizing scenes in between. And on the top I loved how Dollar was enjoying the cold breeze outside. It was like a heaven for him. He had to pee so we took some little breaks in between. Two little breaks we had to take in between like in the starting we had our Maggi and Paranthe brunch. And second at Uttarkashi for some tea and snacks.

Somewhere at mid-way

We did not take much breaks because the journey was long and we need to reach Raithal before sunset as we all know its hilly area so the combination of sunset and hilly roads can be dangerous specially when we are travelling near snowfall area.

Towards Raithal

Its not an easy journey if I tell you but the music in cab and Dollar stills kept us busy and we finally reached Raithal. After Pangot(a small village near Nainital) it was my second village which I visited with no hotels no big buildings no restaurants. Just a few homestays of the locals with simple boiled food and clean pollution free atmosphere. As all other homestays were booked for trekkers and hikers we found one homestay named as ‘Aastha’ with only one vacant room for us. The homestay manager name is Rajneesh Rana. We bid goodbye to our cab driver, he took around Rs 5000 from us.

Just For reference you can search for Aastha homestay in Google search as well https://www.tripadvisor.in/Hotel_Review-g19516168-d19507957-Reviews-Aastha_Homestay_Raithal-Bhatwari_Uttarakhand.html

As it was going to be night and we were tired so we chose to spend that night there at Aastha. The homestay owner also arrange trekking arrangements for hikers till Dayara Bugyal. So we talked Rajneesh to give us the place to stay along with trekking guide and other arrangements till Dayara Bugyal.

Its time for some food :)

Okay now we are hungry and tired so we ordered food oh means you will not have options to eat much. You have to eat whatever its in the meal at that homestay. Both veg/non-veg are available. We were shivering and Dollar wants to go outside and have fun ha ha. The temperature was like around 4 degree Celsius and we came to know that it gonna drop below 0 soon. To our good luck and my husband convincing skills we got a separate room otherwise we have to share our room with other hikers. Because we had Dollar with us which can cause extra trouble to other hikers so the homestay manager gave us a separate room obviously with some extra charges but that’s OK. At that time after a long journey we just want some good rest and comfort.

We had our dinner and got fresh but you will need boiled water with you as touching tap water there like you are touching frozen water with your bare hands. Again next day we need to start our trekking so we finalized this homestay to spend our remaining night. Though we didn’t sleep well due to cold weather and minus temperature outside. The blankets were not working for us because for the obvious reasons that our body is not habitual and capable of tolerating such temperature. But still we got a room and not staying in camps so we were better. Another reason was that Dollar kept roaming here and there because he do not like close rooms, he always enjoy open and cold space.

Anyhow we managed one night there and took small naps in between. I can’t say Good Night here because we did not have a very good night actually.

Me with my kiddo Dollar

Trek story – Day 3 – 28th Dec 2021 – Raithal to Gui – Trek started

Good Morning Guys!! So I will not say that we wake-up because we did not sleep actually. Anyways we asked the homestay manager and staff for some boiled water so that we can at least wash our face and hands. And seriously we did not take bath, who will take bath in such cold temperature and cold place. And it obviously will take efforts to boil water for obvious reasons like solar energy use there so we did not ask for that. We packed our bags with fully packed ourselves in long warm jackets.

We are not professional hikers so we did not have the hiker bags or other utilities. But we just asked homestay manager to arrange two trekking poles for us so that at least we can trek easily with Dollar. We also requested Rajneesh to arrange a guide for us as we were not coming from any professional hiking company. Finally around 10 AM we started our trek from Raithal village.

Starting point of Dayra Bugyal trek from Raithal
Lots of love

Yeah!! Go Trekker Go!!

There were other trekkers too I think from Indiahikes organization(a very well known name in Hiking industry in India). So we enjoyed talked and get motivated by each other to complete our trek. Gui is actually first stop in the way to Dayara Bugyal. Some hikers completed whole trek in one day but beginners like us can stay at Gui village for one day/night and then next day can complete the remaining trek. And we followed the same. There is only way to go from Raithal village to Gui village so all hikers follow the same route. And who was the leader of the trek – Dollar :) And I was the at the first position, why because Dollar pulled me a lot without any halt in between and we continuously going up and up ha ha.

We were stopping by only when other trekkers want a selfie with Dollar. Because Dollar was the only pet dog who was going on a trek with us. Actually Dollar was taking us towards our goal so all were like we have to move ahead no matter what :) The trek distance from Raithal to Gui is around 3.5 kms and it took us around 4-5 hrs to reach Gui, all depends on our stamina and strength. But I would say in Internet you will find it an easy trek for beginners. But for us it was not.

Focus on the destination :)

Too much steepness in the route and melted snow made it hard for us. The route is not straight it is totally elevated and as a prerequisite cardio and exercises are required so that you can avoid pain in your legs and calves. It was not that hard for me as I use to exercise a little bit and use to walk on daily basis. But the good thing is that you will find some big stones to take rest in between, a small hut type shelter to drink water and to take rest.

Yeah Lets Trek
Dollar enjoying the trek and view

Finally we reached Gui around 3-4 PM. We did not book any camps as they were already booked by Hiking companies. There were two huts out of which one hut had the stay area alongside canteen area. The hut owned by Subodh a very famous name there even in Raithal you can ask for him. A very gentle and helping guy. There is one more guy with him, his name is Nitin Verma. Both are really very helping guys. There were already camps and tents of different hiking companies and there were already a crowd of youngsters and teenagers who were there for the first time. And Dollar was the only pet dog there so he enjoyed the love of everyone out there :) The weather was like a normal sunny day but as the sunset time was nearby cool breeze started coming in our way.

Welcome to Gui Village – the first stop of our trek!!

Using some references from our Raithal homestay we somehow managed to stay in Subodh’s hut cum canteen. A very good decision we made otherwise we were not in a position to stay in tents and that too with Dollar. Subodh provided us some blankets and sleeping bags and also he allowed to stay Dollar with us. Otherwise people don’t allow to stay with dogs but Subodh is a kind hearted guy. He even helping others like for boiled water, other trekkers coming in his hut/canteen to take shelter to avoid cold outside for a couple of hours.

Dollar at Subodh’s hut at Gui village

The night was here and the temperature started dripping below 0. But the heat due to hearth inside Subodh bhaiya canteen saved us from the cold outside. Then we had some dinner and as Dollar was also very much tired so he slept in a deep sleep after eating his food and treats. And one thing more there will be no fancy food items only simple boiled pahaadi food menu will be available just to fill you stomach and to save you from cold. Seriously I never have tea too much which I did there at Gui because of too much cold weather. Again it was like no sleep because outside other trekkers were having fun so there was a lot of noise coming up.

The only thing at that time we did to have our back and legs straight and to take some rest as next day we have to wake up early and get ready for the remaining trek till Dayara Bugyal.

Trek story – Day 4 – 29th Dec 2021 – Gui to Dayara Bugyal trek and vice-versa

Ohh Time to wake up buddies Good Morning all of you :) Now here is a little twist my husband was not feeling well he was feeling dizzy so now I have to take Dollar with me for the remaining trek. And to add this twist the weather was getting foggy and snowfall started all over there at Gui which means more snowfall in Dayara Bugyal which means it will not going to be easy for me at all. For Dollar it will be fun as it is his favourite weather but for me not. But I have to move forward. There was no facility of taking shower and for getting fresh there were only two small tents which can be used as washrooms. So you have to take some tissue papers with you as there was no enough facility of water there.

And to add for all trekkers there were only those two tents which can be used as washrooms, so I think it was not going to be easy for us. It was my first time and I have never faced such situation in my life, but no other option we have to do what the situation demands. Subodh bhaiya made some breakfast for us, we had it and then my husband asked Nitin to go with me and Dollar till Dayara Bugyal and then take us back at Gui safely. Because due to heavy snowfall it will not be easy for me if I go alone with Dollar all over till the top.

Dollar Guides

Ohooo!! Time for another hard day….Trek continued….

I took my backpack, took some treats for Dollar, packed water and some boiled rice with me and got ready to trek for the remaining route which is around 3-4 kms(as per the locals). I gave Dollar’s leash to Nitin and I took trekking poles because it gonna tough for me to trek in snow. Nitin is a local so he didn’t have any problem as according to him he became habitual of it. Salute to the locals there!! In starting the route was clear and easy but slowly slowly steepness started increasing with some melted snow on it and it started becoming tough for me.

Dollar was like a smooth trekker ha ha like it was nothing for him and he started jumping running. I need to complete the trek fast because weather was not good and the route can be more slippery for me so I started my pace. At this time, fresh snow started its way but in slow speed. We finally managed to reach Dayara Bugyal in around 3 hrs.

At the top of Dayara Bugyal
Does I need any caption to define my beauty

Same like Gui there were also a few tents(not much) and a small hut cum canteen so that trekker can have some mid-way tea and maggi. Salute to the locals there who always available for help in any kind of worst weather. We had some tea and maggi there and started trekking towards the top of Dayara Bugyal(Summit). And wow what a view it was and then fog was all over there, heavy snowfall started, everywhere here and there snow and snow. The trek becoming difficult as it was slippery and full of snow. To the opposite side it was very easy for Dollar even he started eating snow in between ha ha.

Lets eat some snow in lunch

Yuhooooo!! Finally!! First half of trek done

Finally somehow I managed to reach the top. Though its all snow around and unable to see any meadows as all were covered in snow but there is always some unique beauty of each hilly area. Not sure what but it always feel different and unique when we visit on any hill station. And seriously I wanted to sit and stay there for a couple of hours but the weather wanted something opposite of it. Soon fog was all over there and before it became worst we started trekking down towards Gui.

Foggy Foggy
Showing Attitude at high Altitude
Finally achieved my first trek

And as soon as we started going down snowfall increased its speed and it was a lovely feeling for both me and Dollar. But I caught a good speed and Nitin even asked me if I am a pahaadi then I say no I am not, I am simply a little bit of fitness freak :) It took us around 3 hours to reach back to Gui and the time was around 3-4 PM. And due to lack of network coverage there is almost no communication at Gui village. I didn’t talk anybody over phone like for complete 2 days. But it is also good for mobile/Internet lovers like me because at least you can find peace for a couple of days when you visit such place.

The wait is over ha ha :P

My husband was waiting for me and Dollar and we were all like with smiling faces with my jacket covered with snow. Even Gui also had a little bit of snowfall. The grasslands were covered with snow. It was almost evening but the temperature was not much less so it was a bit relaxed for us. But as there was no time to go back Raithal on the same day so we thought to spend the rest of the day and night at Gui only under the shelter of Subodh’s bhaiya hut. He started preparing our dinner and due to burning of coal and wood in the hearth it was warmth in the hut, so we felt good and relaxed.

Me and Dollar were tired a lot so we took rest and a nap after having dinner. Because the early next morning it was going to be more difficult and tiring for us as we need to go back to Raithal following the same trek route and then afterwards back to Dehradun on the same day. Okay guys as I am very much tired so need to take a long nap meet you tomorrow. Good Night :) Have a snowy dream :)

Trek story – Day 5 – 30th Dec 2021 – Gui to Raithal to Dehradun

Hey Good Morning my readers!! Welcome to the sunny morning of Gui village. For a good change the weather was good the temperature was good which was the good sign for us to get ready and move back to Raithal. Also there is a very famous thing about Gui in winters – its frozen lake. I took Dollar for some snowy exercises on the frozen lake. It was fun, he played with other hikers, he ran all over the frozen lake. Its a beautiful lake seriously when its frozen.

Dollar running on the Frozen Lake at Gui
Wow white white tasty tasty ice around

We already booked our cab from Raithal to Dehradun the same cab that drove us to Raithal from Dehradun. So the only worry was that to trek down from Gui to Raithal with ease. To go up the trek is easy as compared to go down the trek. And now the route is more slippery than before because of the snow it had previous day. Trekking on the fresh snow is easy as compared to trekking on melted snow as melted snow is slippery.

Dollar was first, me second and my husband was at the last motivating each other actually Dollar was showing us the way. It almost took us 3-4 hrs to reach back to Raithal. And we directly reached back to homestay where we stayed earlier to return trekking poles to the manager. Also we took some rest for an hour and get fresh a little bit because again it gonna be around 6-7 hrs drive from Raithal to Dehradun.

Dollar enjoying his first snowfall

Time to say bye :( Trek ends here

Our cab was already waiting for us and now we have to start the drive as soon as possible otherwise it going to be late night for us to reach Dehradun. And moreover its New Year weekend so we were expecting traffic and crowd because of hill stations Mussoorie and Dhanaulti near Dehradun. We started our drive at around 12:30 PM from Raithal and finally relaxed that our adventurous trip going to end soon but partially sad as well as we were missing the view and snow.

We again chose two stops in between like one in Uttarkashi to have some brunch and sort of light snacks. The time was like ticking down so we had to rush, we knew that it going to be night once we reach Dehradun but now there is no option.

I called my uncle where we have stayed earlier in Dehradun that we are coming back. The cab driver increased the speed of Bolero, its hard for us to drive at such high pace in the hilly roads but for the local drivers it is like nothing. As the passengers we can just trust on him that he drop us safely. The roads were clear and no traffic so it was a good indication for us and we reached Dehradun like between 7-8 PM. In mid-way when we reached till Mussoorie there were all around disco lights and crowd who was ready to welcome New Year.

New Year 2022 is in the way :)

At once we thought that we should stop in between at Mussoorie and enjoy the show but no we were not at all ready for it and with no advance booking at this time it was obviously next to impossible. No worries then we drove back to Dehradun. Our uncle and his family was waiting for us and our dinner was also ready. We were finally relaxed to be back at home. I checked my phone finally and a lot of missed calls and messages were already crowded my phone ha ha. My friends and family were a lot worried that how I became Mr. India oh sorry Mrs. India in the past few days. Jokes apart we finally had our dinner took a big time shower after almost 3 days and then took a big nap. Now I can finally wish you all a sweet and relaxed Good Night :)

Trek story – Day 6 – 31th Dec 2021 – Dehradun to Greater Noida

Good Morning guys!! The last day of our trip was here. And a mixed feeling of sadness(of going back and ending the trip) and happiness(finally going back into our normal lives and our home) started coming up in our mind. I think same feeling was going with Dollar as well :) We wake up at like 9 AM and then freshen ourselves took shower and sat for breakfast. My aunt made a tasty South India Dosa Sambhar breakfast for us. We had it took some family selfies and pics and got ready for the drive.

My uncle and family at Dehradun

We wanted to roam around Dehradun but Dollar was not feeling well a little bit because of lack of proper food and rest for like 3-4 days which we spent at Raithal and Gui. So we thought to go back without spending any more time there just for our fun but on the sacrifice of our Dollar’s health. So we took our seats and got ready for the drive. And this time we just took one break in between and reached to our home at around 3 PM safely. And here my blog ends and our trip ends. Hope you all like it because I always try to just convert my thoughts and emotions into simple words :)

****** If anyone needs any specific contact information or information related to expenses please drop the same in Comments section, I will try to explain it to my best knowledge. For more interesting blogs of mine you can refer https://www.ghumakkar.com/author/agrta13kansalgmail-com/

****** Wear you mask while going outside. Be Safe and have a happy journey :) Thank you so much for your valuable time!!

15 Comments

  • Richa Bharti says:

    I always knew you as full of energy…but never knew this side of you ..that you love to travel and can be sooo sporty❤️…Amazing Agi…well written kept me reading and imagining how you would have been

  • Nupur Gupta says:

    It seems that u had a great time there u embrace the beauty of Uttrakhand very deeply n enjoyed with loved ones also who lives there I hope u will explore more places there in future because it’s just a beginning there r lots of things to see n experience explained beautiful ur journey keep going like this

  • Pankaj kumar jha says:

    Good one Agrta & seems it has been memorable 2021 trip & you shared very detailed information of this trip that will really help for 1 st time movers to such places..
    Wish to have such happy journey ahead too

  • Kapil Dhingra says:

    One of the best reviews I have ever read. It covers a lot of details.
    Really loved how you narrate the whole experience.
    Keep it up and enlightening us.

  • Shivani Joshi says:

    Seems you had really good time, well written ❤️

  • Akash says:

    Good very nice….

    • Shipra Sharma says:

      wow… amazing experince and pics are awesome.. beautifully written.. while reading the post, it seems we are also with you on the trip.. ✌ Waiting for your next trip

  • Akash says:

    Good very nice…
    Overall good ☺️

  • Khushbu Katyal says:

    A great read!! One can imagine the whole trip while reading your blog..it can’t be more expressive and informative..Surely, your blog will motivate others to take this trek..Dollar is lucky to have you guys.:)

  • Nisheeth Singh says:

    Please to see someone from the team is enjoying from other’s behalf. Dollar is ❤️

  • Deepakshi Dhupar says:

    Well written!! I loved Dollar the whole while reading your blog. ❤️..You are one of the best Narrators I came across ..Keep Going!!

  • Munish goyal says:

    I am pleased to meet you at our residence, nice pics of trip . Day by day very well explained

  • Taru Singhal says:

    Wow! Amazing…it was really wonderful experience to be with you my dear Khushboo and Amitji…and with sweet and smart Dollar… beautiful n unforgettable memories..hope to have more…

  • Richa goyal says:

    Wonderfull! Khushboo we pleased to see u at our house, we spend happy time with u n amit also dollar ❤️❤️

  • Sunil Jain says:

    Awesome trip..and you explained about your trip in detail..one thing you missed… your pet Dollar shoes in the winter

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