Explore These Rustic Gems On Your Way To The Butter Festival In Uttarakhand

The Andhuri Utsav, popularly known as Butter Festival, is celebrated to honour Lord Krishna in Dayara Bugyal, Uttarakhand. This celebration finds expression in a unique butter and milk-infused version of the Holi festival
Photo Credits Uttarakhand Tourism
Photo Credits Uttarakhand Tourism

The famous butter festival (Makkhan Holi) is dedicated to the "makhan-chor" childhood form of the Indian deity, Lord Krishna. In the local legends, Krishna is considered a protector of the cattle grazing in the green fields of DayaraBugyal, Uttarakhand. Celebrating this festival is an excellent opportunity to explore the hidden gems of Uttarakhand. If you&rsquore planning to partake in this unique festival, bookmark this itinerary to explore possible scenic detours on your way.

Day 1 &ndash Stop at Uttarkashi City

Delhi to Raithal is about 11 hours (468.9 km) away via NH334 and NH 34 by car. Since this is a long journey, you can make your first stop at Uttarkashi, which is about 38 km away from the Raithal.Uttarkashi boasts of numerous temples dedicated to deities such as Lord Hanuman, Goddess Durga, Parshuram, Dattatrya, Bhairav, Annapurna, Laksheswar, Ekadashrudra, among others. The majestic Himalayan ranges, lush meadows, and several thermal springs envelop this scenic location. Visitors can opt to explore these attractions while gradually adjusting to the altitude.

To plan a stay in advance, don&rsquot forget to choose ahomestay from Uttarakhand&rsquos official website.

Day 2 &ndash Head to Raithal Village

Raithal Village is roughly an hour away from the main Uttarkashi. Visitors can hire a taxi to travel to this village.Raithal village is located in a charming location and is known for its prosperous agriculture, goat breeding, and traditional way of living.

If you&rsquore planning to stay in this area, you can check out possible options at the Uttarakhand government website. Some of the popular options are Raithal homestay&nbspand GMVN Raithal (Tourist Rest House, Uttarkashi 

Day 3 &ndash Join the Festivities At Dayara Bugyal

Every year, on Bhadon Sankranti, between August 16 to 18, the Butter festival, also known as Makhan Holi, takes place at a location in DayaraBugyal (not to be confused with the DayaraBugyal trek). Approximately 500 villagers climb uphill to participate in a procession where they play white Holi using butter and buttermilk in the meadows of Dayara. The locals sing and dance to the rhythm of Dhol-Damau (a Pahadi musical instrument) and express their gratitude towards Bugyal Mata or the &ldquoGoddess of Meadow.&rdquo The DayaraBugyal base camp is situated approximately 11 km away from the Raithal village.

After enjoying the festivities, mist-covered meadows might push you to stay in Uttarakhand longer. If that is the case, here are a few other options you can explore on your way to the butter festival.

Dayara Bugyal Trek

There are two base camps for this trek&mdashwhile one is situated in Barsu, you can also start from the base camp at Raithal. This trek takes about six days to complete (with the start and end point, both being Raithal) and is considered easy to moderate. On your way, you&rsquoll see rare alpine flowers dotting the mist-covered meadows. If you don&rsquot want to explore a 6-day trek, you can also explore options with a shorter duration with the guidance of a local expert or a trek guide. Don&rsquot forget to carry camping equipment on this trek.

Gidara Bugyal Trek

Gidara Bugyal is a hidden gem in the Garhwal Himalayas that offers breathtaking views of the Himalayan range turning golden during sunset. The vast expanses of lush green meadows in Dyara and Bugyal are truly remarkable. Although not many people have explored this high-altitude meadow, it&rsquos definitely worth a visit.DayaraBugyal is perfect for a weekend trek, while GidaraBugyal is recommended for experienced trekkers. This trek will also require overnight camping.

If you&rsquore not too fond of trekking, here are two other options that should be on your list.

Gangnani

Gangnani is located approximately 46 km from Uttarkashi and a 50-minute drive from Raithal along the route to Gangotri. This serene destination is perfect for those seeking peace of mind and spiritual solace. Gangnani is well-known for its thermal water springs, making it an ideal destination for rejuvenation. It is also an excellent location for nature enthusiasts to meditate and enjoy the natural beauty of the Uttarkashi district in Uttarakhand. Gangnani offers breathtaking views of the Gangotri mountain range.

Harsil

Harsil is a hidden gem nestled in the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand state. It offers plenty of opportunities for those seeking a peaceful retreat. Situated on the banks of the Bhagirathi River, Harsil sits at 2620 meters above sea level.&nbspIt&rsquos a charming village and cantonment area, also known as Harshil, that has gained popularity among travel enthusiasts and nature lovers in recent years. Harsil is about 2.5 hours away from Raithal.  

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