Welcome to the 2nd part of my Roopkund Trek Experience series. If you haven’t read the previous post, here is the link for it.
Roopkund Trek Experience Part-2
Day 3: Ghaeroli Patal to Bedni Bugyal (Distance: ~5km; Altitude: 3570m/11712ft) via Ali Bugyal
Today’s trail was mind blowing. We passed through the thick rhododendron forests which lead to Ali Bugyal, on the way to Bedni Bugyal. “Bugyal” means alpine meadow or a grassland. Ali Bugyal and Bedni Bugyal are arguably the largest grasslands in India at over 11,000 feet from the sea level! There is also an evergreen debate between the trekkers as to which Bugyal is the best. Both are mindblowing-ly awesome! Miles of lush-green plain grasslands surrounded by the mighty Himalayas (Nanda Ghunti, Mt. Trishul, Kali Dak, Brahmatal) itself. What more could one ask for? Some people take this trail only to see these 2 beauties unraveling themselves. I have a very, VERY strong feeling that the good ol’ “green” Windows desktop background was inspired from this! Seriously, it’s too good to be real.
Ascending to Ali Bugyal
Once we ascended above the forests to the beautiful Ali Bugyal, we could trace the rest of the trail along the moutains. And for the next 2 days, we followed the same trail. One could see the towering Brahmatal, with pristine clouds hovering over it now and then, with a very close proximity to Bedni campsite.
Bedni Bugyal’s campsite looked so picturesque, with mules grazing on the grasslands, pitched neon tents and clouds playing with the Sun. I had a habit of maintaining a journal during the trek, and this is where I enjoyed writing a lot! My iPod didn’t as much as even attract me as I was completely sold out for the Himalayan beauty. I will let the pictures speak for itself, but mind you, the place is FAR more beautiful than any camera that can capture 🙂
Day 4: Bedni Bugyal to Pathar Nachauni (Distance: ~6km; Altitude: 3965m/13008ft)
The encounters with Bugyals continued the next day as well. We crossed Bedni Kund and started ascending. Today, we had to ascend till the moutain trail up and just follow it till Pathar Nachauni. Even after trekking for 2 hours (approx 3-4kms), one could spot the Bedni Bugyal campsite from miles away.
After walking on the mountain trail for a couple of hours, we descended for about 5 minutes to reach the campsite. Pathar Nachauni didn’t have much views as it was completely filled with fog. Every campsite was colder than the previous and this was no exception. Since we didn’t have anything else to do, we played cards, had dinner and tried to catch-up on some sleep.
Day 5: Pathar Nachauni to Bhagwabhasa (Distance: ~7kms; Altitude: 3965m/13008ft)
Now the altitude was creeping in, slowly, meter by meter 😛 We could trace the path to Kaluva Vinayak temple (~14,000 ft) from Pathar Nachauni camp from where we had to descend to Bhagwabhasa camp which is at approx ~13,000 ft. This was in a way good, as we would attain some altitude, acclimatize and then descend to a lower altitude for an overnight stay. As soon as I reached Bhaghwabhasa I had a headache. I sat down for a while, drank water and thankfully was good to go after few hours.
The sunset was the best one I have ever seen till now. I was in awe of the beauty. As the sun set, the horizons and snow-capped Mt.Trishul burned away to glory. Blazing yet calm sun, silhouettes of the Himalayan mountain ranges, glowing Mt.Trishul and the feeling of all these happening above clouds. I couldn’t have asked for more. This is the beauty of Roopkund trek. It tests your physical endurance, strength of your mind, determination and rewards you with mother nature and her pristine, rustic, beauty beyond any layman’s words.
Bhagwabhasa is the summit camp for Roopkund, where you camp above clouds. This is where I felt the coldest. Our guides were guessing that the temperature in the night had fallen down below -5! And also, it’s the rockiest camp you will ever find, I literally slept like a snake to avoid sharp rocks poking me. Since we had to start the summit trek the next day by 4 am, we slept really early, hoping to make it to Roopkund and Junargali.
The summit experience would be up in the next post. Do comment your thoughts!
More photos here: Harsha Photography