The allure of Uttarakhand, lies not only in its majestic mountains and pristine landscapes but also in its rich cultural heritage and vibrant festivals. Our recent journey to the Butter Holi Festival at Dayara Bugyal, nestled amidst the breathtaking Himalayas, unveiled a tapestry of experiences we can only describe as magical.
Our adventure commenced with a 12-hour road journey from Delhi, weaving through captivating views of Mussoorie and Uttarkashi. As the wheels rolled and landscapes changed, anticipation filled the air. When we arrived in Raithal—our gateway to the enchanting world of Dayara Bugyal—the sun was beginning to set.
In the misty mountains, we were ensconced by the warm hospitality of Raja Raghunath Homestay, where we felt like cherished family members. The cosy abode came with a verandah that opened up to stunning vistas, and even more special was the homely food that became an instant favourite.
Energised by a quick breakfast of Maggi, buransh (Rhododendron), and orange juice, we set on our much-awaited hiking expedition. On our way to Gui, a quaint village that marked the midpoint of our trek to the Bugyal, we connected with many individuals set on the same adventure and stocked up on essentials for the challenging 11 km hike ahead.
On reaching the top, we were greeted by the beauty of the sun against the snow-clad peaks, including the majestic Bandarpoonch, the mountain massif in Garhwal Himalayas. Meaning "monkey's tail," the name Bandarpoonch finds roots in a tale in Ramayana, where Bheema and Hanuman met on the former's quest for the Saugandhika flower on Draupadi's request.
The lush and blooming Dayara Bugyal stood in contrast to the snow-clad peaks. Finally, the magic we were here to witness began. The Butter Festival commenced with the arrival of Someshwar Devta in a traditional palanquin, and the folk songs echoed far and wide. As villagers and tourists took part in the joyous festivities, the Bugyal lit up with colours and celebrations. The scene encapsulated the essence of tradition and community.
The journey to the Bugyal and the experience of witnessing the festival reminded us of the profound significance of expressing gratitude for the bounties of life. While we hope to rekindle the connections we made and create new memories, we carry the magic of Uttarakhand's hills and the vibrant spirit of the Butter Festival.
The journey was even more special and seamless because the local authorities guided us on the best route in harsh weather conditions. In addition, their synergy with the Uttarakhand Tourism Department ensured the festival's success down to the last detail.
Written by Aastha and Devanshi (@navigatiogirls)