Best season: April till June, September till November.
Ever since the Beatles spent time at the ashram of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the late ’60s, Rishikesh has been a nest for spiritual seekers, yoga and meditation practitioners. A small town situated in the feet of the Himalayas gives opportunity to experience Hindu culture and lifestyle; one can truly relax and rejuvenate walking along river Ganga shores, visiting ancient temples and ashrams. It is a starting point of most of the Garhwal Himalaya treks. Dayara Meadow is a trek which is not only easy to do but also offers an amalgam of everything a Himalayan trek may offer. Surya Top presents spectacular views of the upper Himalayan peaks such as Bandarpunch, Dropdikadanda, Srikanth and so many more. This trek also gives an opportunity to experience at firsthand the life style of mountain people of the village Barsu and Agoda. You also get to walk through lush Deodar, Oak and Rhododendron forests as well as a high Himalayan meadow – Dyara, before finally reaching the summit of Surya Top. If luck favors, one might also catch a sight of a Himalayan black bear, musk dear or even a leopard while on the hike up through the forests. If one has a knowledge and fondness for birds and/or wild flowers then this trip with its rich variety of fauna and flora as Monal pheasant, eagles, butterflies etc., is an ideal trip for you!
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RISHIKESH / UTTARKASHI – 165km (102mi) / 5-6hrs drive
As for most Garhwal Himalaya treks, our starting point is in Rishikesh from where a 5 to 6hrs drive brings us to a small mountain town – Uttarkashi. On the way we can see huge Tehri Dam. In Uttarkashi evening visit an ancient Hindu temple Kashi Viswanath, a famous Shiva temple. Dinner and overnight in a hotel.
Uttarkashi / Barsu / Dayara meadow – 3,150m (10,334ft) / 5-6hrs trekking
After 2hrs drive we will reach our starting point of trekking, village Barsu at the elevation of 2,250m (7,381ft). Explore the nearby village and observe the culture and interesting lifestyle of its self-sufficient inhabitants. Meanwhile the staffs will load our mules and get ready to trek up! Today we trek from Barsu to Dayara with good views of the Himalayas all around! We camp overnight at a beautiful Dayara meadow. Overnight stay in tents.
Dayara meadow / Syari meadow – approx. 3,400m (11,154ft) / 5-6hrs trekking
This is an interesting day of trekking. The entire 5 hours from Darya meadow to Syari meadow is spent walking on the ridge of the mountain. It is a thrilling experience to actually walk with hundreds of feet of cliff below you! Exhilarated with the slight adventure we camp below Syari meadow for the night.
Syari meadow / Surya Top / Kurnkutta – 4,100m (13,451ft) / 6-7hrs trekking
Early the next day we finish breakfast and start our trek to Surya Top, which is a summit offering almost a 360 degrees view of the Himalayas with prominent peaks such as Bandarpoonch 6,350m (20,833ft), Dropdikadanda 6,420m (21,062ft), Jaonli 6,600m (21,653ft), Srikanth 6,133m (20,121ft), Gangotri I,II,III up to 6,672m (21,889ft) and many more, clearly visible. From Surya top we walk back on the ridge and divert to our campsite in Kornkutta at the elevation of approx. 3,000m (9,842ft). Overnight stay in tents.
Kurnkutta / Bewda – approx. 2,500m (8,202ft) / 5-6hrs trekking
The trail leads slightly downhill through a beautiful oak, cedar and rhododendron forest followed by the steep trek down to the stream and after crossing it, steep trek up till tiny mountain village called Bewda, where we find comfortable campsite. Overnight in tents.
Bewda / Dodital – 3,024m (9,921ft) / 5-6hrs trekking
The 3 hours gradual uphill walk to the tiny Sheppard’s village Manjhi at the elevation of approx. 3,000m (9,842ft) followed by the 1,5hrs straight hike to a beautiful Himalayan fresh water lake named Dodi, full of trout fish, which is surrounded by dense forests. According to one of the popular legends Lord Ganesha chose this place as his abode. There is a temple devoted to Lord Ganesh here. Overnight stay in tents.
Dodital / Sangamchatti / Uttarkashi – 6-7hrs trekking
This is the last day of trekking, we gradually hike down back through Bewda to another small Himalayan village named Agoda followed by the Sangamchatti, from where we will drive back to Uttarkashi – 30 min drive. Overnight in hotel in Uttarkashi.
Uttarkashi / Rishikesh – 5-6hrs drive
Drive back to Rishikesh.