Meadows in an afternoon ire

Meadows at Dayara Bugyal, Uttarakhand, India

Meadows for the most part are a release, either from the claustrophobia of canopies, or the tiring, involuntary ballets of moraines and glaciers… colourful tapestries that seem as close to utopia as one can get, expanses and imaginations unbridled, hope taking wings to the horizon… ‘tis where the waters frolic, exulting over their escape from the cryosphere, and the bovine ruminate in sheer ecstasy… the world is almost always quite alright in the meadows…

Except for when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and one becomes cognizant of their deficiency… meadows may be akin to a kindred spirit for dispositions overwhelmed with the weight of the world, but try looking for a shelter against the elements within their folds, and you’d find them wanting… Elysian fields transforming into an Orwellian dystopia in a matter of minutes, leaving the wayfarer perplexed to begin with, and wizened at the end of it…

‘Tis an easy seven odd kilometres to Dayara Bugyal, and while ‘twas starting to get overcast as we started out from Barsu, it didn’t look very threatening… making our way up through oak and rhododendron forests lush with avian cacophonies, it began to drizzle as we reached the meadows at Barnala, a small pond and a Nag Devta temple punctuating the rolling fields…

Most of the livestock shelters were unoccupied… one’d expect that the shepherds would move up in end-April, but there were bad weather warnings till the end of the month, might be climate change, might be just another instance of moody weather at high altitudes… ‘tis is getting increasingly moodier though, one must admit, making the process of planning sojourns to the higher climes excruciatingly frustrating…  

The drizzle abated, or maybe we didn’t feel it, walking through another patch of forest… as we hit the meadows at Dayara, a brief drama unfolded… the wind reached a crescendo and the drizzle turned to sleet… I was hoping it’d stop there but soon it started snowing and within minutes, the brooding green landscape turned into a frigid white… we waited for half an hour hoping the weather would abate, and when it didn’t, decided to head down anyway, the forest promising some relief from the biting wind, a promise which it delivered on, and within five minutes, all was under control, no snow fogging the spectacles, no wind freezing the fingers…

By the time we descended to Barnala, it was drizzling again… one could only sigh in a relieved exasperation, realizing they’d been dealt a mischievous hand – ‘twas snowing only near the top, the rest of the world was enjoying a usual spell of afternoon rains… as we trundled back into Barsu, the valley had been washed clean, and green, the village oblivious to the travails of the incoming hikers… all in a day’s work, one muses, negotiating the fickle moods of the mountains…

Meadows at Barnala, Dayara Bugyal hike, Uttarakhand
Meadows at Barnala, a Nag Devta temple overlooking a small pond


Dayara Bugyal meadows, Uttarakhand, India
As we reached Dayara Bugyal, dark clouds and thunder dominated the landscape


Dayara Bugyal meadows, Uttarakhand, India
Within minutes, the landscape started turning white


Man walking in snowfall
The weather not relenting, we decided to head down anyway


Barsu village, Uttarakhand
The valley had been, in the meanwhile, had been washed and was gleaming in green


Notes from a hike to Dayara Bugyal, Uttarakhand

Author: Parth Joshi

Mountain lover ⛰️ | Hiker 🥾| Runner 🏃‍♂️ | Cyclist 🚴 | Photographer 📷... allured by the outdoors, the author is a quintessential lost soul craving nature while suffering in a desk job...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *