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Dodital Trek

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dodital trek
Source: IG handle @asailor07

Maximum Altitude: 13779 ft

Duration: 5 days

Difficulty: Easy-Moderate

Uttarakhand presents a dramatic terrain with beautiful lakes, serene rivers and rising Himalayan peaks. It also presents tales of mythology. This pretty state is known as the land of gods.  People believe that gods truly reside her. You will find temples on top of some of the toughest peaks. It’s hard to comprehend how these temples were constructed back in the days. Maybe gods actually lived here.

Dodital is said to be the birthplace of a Hindu deity who is worshipped first at any auspicious occasion.  Yes, I am talking about our friend Ganesha. The name originated from Dhundi-Tal meaning Lake of Ganesh. Legend has it that this was the lake where Goddess Parvati used to bathe, and Ganesha was beheaded by Lord Shiva in a fit of anger. There is a small temple beside the lake dedicated to him. There is one more explanation about the name though. The lake is also home to fresh water Golden Mahseer, one of most famous trout fish in the Himalayas. Locals call the trout as Dodi and so the lake has been named as Dodital. Whatever the origin of its name is, the lake is considered holy, and is the source of 80 rivulets that merge to form the Assi Ganga. This is the reason the valley is also called the Assi Ganga Valley. Further, the Assi Ganga meets Bhagirathi, the origin of River Ganges.

treks in uttarakhand
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Dodital is a a mysterious, shimmering, fresh water lake in Garhwal Himalayas surrounded by dense Oak, Pine and Deodar trees. Located in the border district of Uttarkashi, it is a popular trekking route through dense forested areas and deep valleys, which concludes at Darwa Top. Apart from the crystal clear lake and plenty of Himalayan trouts swimming in it, you’ll also see snowcapped Himalayan peaks like Bandarpunch and Swargarohini on this trek. The trek will give you some of the most spectacular views with multiple hues. Lush green meadows and thick forests are waiting for you. Be ready to get dazzled by the scenery.

villages in uttarakhand
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Blessed with elevated grassland that is bedded with snow during the winters, gurgling streams, dense alpine forest and rich variety of flowers, the Dodital Trek is one of the picturesque treks in the Garhwal Himalayan region. The trek starts from Sangamchatti near Uttarkashi. Here, you will see the confluence of the Varna and Assi Ganga rivers. The trail passes through the river Asi Ganga and is followed by gentle ascends and descends before passing through the secluded villages of Dundukola and Agora to reach Bhebra. Bahebra is an idellic village set near a gushing mountain stream, and is full of green fields. Here you can experience the mountain life and learn more about the culture and traditions of the region.

The trail then takes you through the beautiful forest of Rhododendron and Pine. The view becomes more and more attractive and scenic with every step taken towards the famed lake. As you get close to the lake, you’ll see a stream running down from it. This is your cue to pace up.  The emerald green lake is nestled inside a thick forest. Lie down on the grass and close your eyes for a second. When you’ll open your eyes, I promise the surroundings will be brighter and the lake will be prettier. The trees around the lake add to its charm, as the mixed Oak and Rhododendron forest assumes amazing colours depending on the time of the year, and the quiet surroundings of the lake presents an ideal location for meditation. Go for a walk around the lake and admire its enchanting beauty. Visit the tiny temple situated here and wonder how baby Ganesha might have run around the same lake. It is a haven for the bird lovers, as you get to see Grey Shrike, Bush Robin, Pink Finch, Munia, Common Chiffchaff, Himalayan Whistling Thrush, Himalayan Tree Pie, Tailor Bird and Himalayan Monal flying around the lake. Camping here is an overwhelming experience. When the lake reflects the star studded sky, it is something hard to describe. The sprawling natural beauty, refreshing climate and tranquil water of the freshwater lake make camping here an absolute bliss.

darwa bugyal
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Darwa Bugyal is an uphill climb from Dodital which will take you into thick forests of birch and then high meadows which are decorated with wildflowers in summer and dusted with snow during winters. You’ll be offered a breathtaking view of Bandarpunch and Swargarohini ranges from the top. This view is heavenly. There is a reason why the most stunning views appear after you have climbed till the top. The showstopper can’t be first one to reveal itself. You have to be patient and you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular view. After storing the images in your camera and your eyes, descend down to Dodital. You get to spend one more day sipping hot tea, talking to the local guides and just lying by the lakeside.

treks in uttarakhand
Source: IG handle @kuch.achha.sa

Dodital trek is a hidden paradise for trekkers who want a peaceful time away from all the hustle bustle of the cities and want to spend some time with the nature. Walking amidst dense forest, trading narrow trail by deep river gorge, crossing streams, camping in wilderness, and watching the sun go behind the snow covered peaks, these are not just experiences. These are memories which will be etched in your mind for a long time.

Best Time To Visit

This trek can be done all year round. The weather remains pleasing during summer (April – June). The Himalayas are distinctly visible and the cool breeze adds charm to the trek. Monsoon (July-September) paints everything in green. Although trekking becomes challenging and there are chances of getting roads blocked for a couple of hours due to landslides, the scenic beauty during monsoons is worth taking the risk for. The region gets blanketed in snow during the winter season (December- February) and trekkers flock here to experience the snow. Walking in snow is a little difficult but Dodital looks the best during winters.

How To Reach

By Air: Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest airport to Uttarkashi, which is situated at a distance of 215kms. Dodital can be reached easily from Uttarkashi by a motorable road. Taxis are available from Jolly Grant Airport to Uttarkashi.

By Rail: The nearest railway station to Uttarkashi is at Rishikesh, which is situated 225kms away. Rishikesh is well connected with major destinations of India. Uttarkashi is well connected by motorable roads with Rishikesh. Taxis and buses are available from Rishikesh, Tehri Garhwal and many other destinations to Uttarkashi.

By Road: Uttarkashi is well connected by motorable roads with major destinations of Uttarakhand.

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