Uttarakhand is a place that has nurtured a lot of Bugyals. Now, many people would ask what is a bugyal? Well, going by a prescribed definition, “Bugyals are alpine pasture lands, in a higher elevation range between 3,300 meters and 4,000 meters of the Himalayas.” Locals also call bugyals ‘nature’s own gardens’ that are very common in Uttarakhand. These are the places used for grazing cattle (except in winters). In winters these massive fields are completely covered in snow. One such place is Chanshal Bugyal or Chaainsheel Bugyal.
Chanshal bugyal is quite popular among trek lovers. It is situated in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand near the Himachal border. This place is prominent within the circle of locals of both states. The elevation of this place is approximately 12200 feet.
The journey commences with a drive from Dehradun to Dhaula. In Dhaula trekkers get to enjoy camping by the quaint Rupin river. Camping under a clear sky in mountains is definitely a lifetime experience. From Dhaula the trail full of pine trees and serpentine streams leads to Akhoti. During the trail, trekkers will encounter Estari Gad River and a small village called ‘Hadwari’. Finally, after walking arduously a refreshing view of Akhoti Thatch is unfolded in front of trekkers. After a small layover at Akhoti Thatch, the trail is continued till Chanshal bugyal. One complete day is devoted to imbibing the beauty of this wonderful place. A blessed way to start the day is by witnessing the sunrise from Chanshal. From this valley, one can get the breathtaking views of Bandarpoonch Peak, Black peak, Kalanag, Ruinsara lake, Bali Pass, and Swargarohini – I, II, and III and many other peaks like Kedarkantha, Har Ki Dun, and Rupin pass. In short, in this one trek trekkers can enjoy the whole of Shivaliks. During the whole trek, one gets to see rich forests with a wide variety of alpine trees such as pine, deodar, and eucalyptus, bird species of the mountains, small rivulets with chilled water, green meadows, wooden bridges (as if crafted by nature), and some man-made architecture in villages on the way to the trek. But the only experience you get is by visiting it yourself.
Time to visit
Well, Chanshal can be visited in any season depending upon your choice. During summer you get to see the alpine vegetation in full swing with lush green grasses, bloomed flowers, thick forests, and different shades of green. Whereas, in winters you get to see the winter-wonderland vibes with everything covered in thick snow. Chanshal is one of the best trekking destinations. This is not for the saying but in actuality, in 2017 Chanshal Bugyal was declared the “Trek of the year” 2017.