The subtle delicacy of this Himalayan sojourn enamors one with the grandest grandeur of twin grasslands. Ali Bedni Bugyal trek is the beautiful amalgamation of 2 scenic meadows Ali Bugyal and Bedni Bugyal. These mammoth meadows stun you with an infinite expanse of green carpet flanked by Himalayan giants of Mount Trishul and Nanda Ghunti.
The gorgeous meandering meadows of Ali Bedni Bugyal are amongst the most beautiful alpine meadows of Uttarakhand. It is located at the border of Garhwal and Kumaon in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. Out of the other meadow treks in our country — Dayara Bugyal, Gidara Bugyal, Bhrigu Lake trek — Ali Bedni 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.
Jutting out doesn’t mean you see the tips of these mountains, you see the entire face — almost 6000-7000 feet of it — rising right in front of you.
Imagine the golden rays of the setting sun lighting up this grand face of the mountains.
The colossal Himalayan ranges stretching from Chaukhamba to Neelkanth to Mandani, Mrigthuni, and Kedarnath are the prime attractions of the trek. The imposing peaks resplendent with the golden rays of the sun at dawn and dusk are a sight to behold. Meandering trails through thick Conifers and deep dark woods are soaked with natural splendor. The winding trails are lined by the fauna of oak, rhododendrons, walnut, pear and Himalayan roses. As one journey along, the warbling wind and chirping of mountain birds are your constant companions. What strikes you in the face is the sudden epiphany of the lush blanket as soon as the dense tree line disappears. You spend 2 days in this lavish bounty of verdurous greenery.
This entire plus one gets a chance to explore the mountain villages of Didna & Wan and learn about the customs & lifestyles of the local populace. The temples of Nanda Devi and Latu Devta (local deity) offer a devout rendition to the trek. Bedni Kund at the Bedni top is a site of religious reverence for locals. The once famous Roopkund trek was a part of this trekking trail. In fact, the twin meadows were the major highlights on the Roopkund Trek. Due to the ban by the honorable High Court of Uttarakhand, Roopkund Trek cannot be undertaken until further notice. The Ali Bedni trekking trails are much quieter and calmer as a result of this ban.
GUJARAT / PUNE / MUMBAI / DELHI / RISHIKESH
1 Hour Before Departure Time
Lohajung is the base camp for the Ali Bedni Bugyal trek. You drive along mountain roads, through forests. You also get glimpses of the Garhwal Mountains in the distance on a clear day once you reach Lohajung, you find yourself face to face with the beautiful Nanda Ghunti peak. If you reach before sunset, the colours of the peak will enthral you. There are a couple of local stores where you can buy jackets, hand gloves, caps, shoes etc. if need be. You will have a mobile network in most parts of Lohajung. Lohajung, as the locals say, is the place where Goddess Parvati had a war (jung) with the demon, Lohasur. Hence, the name which translates to ‘War with Lohasur.’
This is a well-marked trail descending through mixed forests. All along your walk to Raun Bagad/Kulling you hear the whistles of the thrushes, the soft chirps of the swallows among the Rhododendrons. Below, the Wan river tumbles about as it rushes to meet the Bedni Ganga and seemingly out of the depths of the river, you’ll spot Lammergeiers, their massive wings stretched out catching the eddies. If you have taken the route on the road, Kulling village springs out on you at a bend (6 kms from Lohajung, 7,650 ft). Kulling is a cluster of 20 odd houses set against the emerald green of stepped hills. From the Kulling village, it is quite a descent to the Wan River. The trail starts to climb right after you cross the river. It is a zig-zag climb to Didna. The climb’s moderate but your legs tire easily. Breathing hard, you’ll reach Didna in about an hour and half’s time. Stretch it to two if your conditioning isn’t great. Didna village can be a bit confusing with many trails running into it. Stick to the trails that go around the village on the outer periphery — they lead directly to the Didna homestay, a clearing 200 ft above the village.
Didna is an ideal homestay with a clear stream running down to its right. The campsite gazes across the valley. Lohajung, Kulling and Wan span left to right in a sweep. Behind you through the Oak forest, high above is your highlight for the next part of the trek – the twin meadows of Ali and Bedni Bugyal. Start your day by walking towards Tolpani, a cluster of shepherd’s hut 3 kms away and a 1,000 ft higher. The trail to Tolpani moves away from the general direction of Ali Bugyal. The climb, however, is a good one through some of the densest oak you’ll see. Under you are a never ending brown carpet of leaves.
Once you are on the ridge leading to the twin meadows, turn around start walking towards them. The forest continues to flaunt the trail on either side. After walking for a shade under 3 kms, the landscape suddenly opens up. Soak in the mesmerising sight of the undulating meadows of Ali Bugyal. You are on the top of a ridge that spreads in every direction. Acres and acres of green meadow scooped out of the mountainside.
Ali Bugyal campsite is series of climb right out of the forest, a depression in the bugyal. Stay at Ali bugyal campsite the night here.
Clouds drift in from below, glide over the ridge and slide down the either side, all in a slow swift motion. You watch countless horses grazing on the bounty of nature. Foals tearing themselves across the turf in an uninhibited abandon, just being themselves.
The climb over, leisurely walk your way to Bedni Bugyal, 5 kms away and more or less at the same level. If you are tempted to take off your shoes and allow the feel of the carpet on your toes, just go ahead and do it! The weather fluctuates in these parts and you can have moments of wild sunshine followed by anxious cloud cover. Keep your raincoat handy. Sometimes it rains for a few minutes leaving you frustrated, at times it could rain for a few hours.
An “L” in the folds of the mountain and the Bedni Bugyal unfolds below you, a heavenly strip of green overlooking the western valley. Take the trail heading to back to Ali bugyal
From Ali Bugyal, it is a steep ridge descent to the Neel Ganga. Take your time because you will rarely see a more wondrous stretch of forest cover. The bridge on the Neel Ganga is an idyllic location to wash the dirt and grime of the long trek. Trees overhang the river and the water trips and falls over boulders in the shade. The water is cool and refreshing. From the river it is a short half-hour climb to the ridge above wan village. There are many routes to the bottom of the wan village, and all roads eventually lead down to the road junction (Kasar Bagad) near the hydel project.
It takes about an hour and half to get down to Kasar Bagad. It is a steep descent. There is an alternative longer route to get down to Wan. From the ridge top of Wan, take themain trail that runs to the right. Follow the trail until it reaches the Cyprus trees at the lower wan village. Spend time looking at the Cyprus trees because they are centuries old!
You’ll take a jeep from Wan to Lohajung.
You’ll leave for Rishikesh early in the morning and reach Rishikesh in the evening.
Check-in into hotel