A 90 minutes drive from Uttarkashi took me to Raithal, one of the most fertile and prosperous villages of Uttrakhand. Trekking for the famous Dayara Bugyal (meadow) begins here. The twenty four hours I stayed there were engaging, exciting and breathtaking.
I waited for my host Sumit at the entrance of the village. A large clearing, a friendly policeman and a helpful passer by who offered me his mobile phone to call Sumit have already won my heart. The moment I started talking to the shopkeeper to buy some snacks, (like---- in the movie My Fair Lady) he asked me if I belonged to the Pauri region of Uttrakhand, because I spoke garhwali in a particular accent.
Sumit knew all the people we met on the way and greeted them with due respect. It was nice to talk to them. The basketful of foliage was neither fit for fodder nor for fire. They told me that they spread it on the floor of the basement rooms where cows are kept . It keeps them warm. It is removed after a couple of days along with the cow dung and stored in some place in the fields. Within a month or so the organic fertiliser is ready to use.
Landmark in the jungle.
First there was a little snow and then snow all around!
Woods are lovely, indeed!
Goi Bugyal, (4 km from the base) The group has left the camp to trek to Dayara. Only seasoned trekkers can reach Dayara in a day. I took another trail to reach Naag Devta temple.
Frozen pond on the way to Naag Devta temple.
Naag Devta temple, gram devta of raithal village.
Food n fire in the forest when I was hungry and cold after a really long walk.
In full bloom! These flowers should bloom in March, but the high temperature and no or late rains is the culprit.
It was dark by the time we reached home and this was the first thing I saw in the morning.
Thank you Mrs Raturi for the warm hospitality and sumptuous breakfast, dinner and packed lunch
The grand temple
Happier and healthier than his counterpart in the plains.
Spacious, warm and comfortable room with a view.
Famous Rajma of Raithal and daal nuggets (Bari)
On the way back to Uttrakashi.
Raithal was never in my bucket list, now I wonder why it was not? Now I know why it is called Homestay and not Housestay. Thank you Sumit for the wonderful time and lovely stories you told me while climbing down. And Baronmasa What are you going to offer me next?