Dodital, often believed to be the birthplace of Lord Ganesha!
A perfect short trek for beginners, through rhododendron and pine forests, past shimmering lakes and vast green meadows.
Revel in the beauty of Dodital, an alpine lake full of Himalayan trout (please get a permit if you plan to fish here).
Best time to go: April - November
Dodital, is a mysterious, shimmering, fresh water lake at an altitude of 3310m / 10,923 ft, and a popular trekking route in the Uttarakhand Himalayas. Located in the border district of Uttarkashi, the 30 KM trek through dense forested areas and deep valleys, concludes at Darwa Top at an elevation of 4100m. The entire trek passes through a rich forest of Oak, Rhododendron, Birch and Himalayan Maple, dominated by the high, glittering views of the Banderpooch Massif all along the way.
The lake encircles 1.5 KM amidst dense forest of Deodhar trees and is home to the rare Himalayan Trout (Dodi in the local language). The best time for this trek is from April to November. It is also a hugely popular winter trek, but be prepared for a lot of snow and chilly winds.The source of the river Asi Ganga, Dodital is, according to Indian mythology, the birth place of Lord Ganesha, and there is a little Ganesha temple at one corner of the lake.
When you trek with MHE, you can be assured that we are backed by many years in the business of providing safe and sustainable adventure trips. The staff you deal with in the office, all the way through to the guides and porters on trek, have years of experience in safe and enjoyable trekking behind them. We can advise you on the right gear, the right training, and no question is too crazy for us to answer.
Our trips are designed for your maximum enjoyment and comfort, taking into consideration the environment and conditions, wherever you are. And since we firmly believe that an "army marches on its stomach", our chefs on the expedition will try their best to cook up a storm!
We use the best available camping and safety equipment and try to ensure you are as comfortable as possible. Please remember though, that you are in a remote and difficult location, and your expectations should be reduced accordingly.
We believe in sustainable, ethical and responsible tourism. Our guides are all CPR-trained and First Aid certified, the porters receive above standard wages, and we do not allow them to carry more than 30 kg (the international standard set by IPPG). Our crew are all insured, and provided with suitable clothing and equipment.
We support the local economy wherever possible, and do NOT encourage giving any gifts of sweets, pens etc to the charming local children you meet along the trail. If you are really interested to donate something, please discuss with us first.
Our "all inclusive" trip means that you aren't constantly rummaging for money, and you know up front what is included.
Trip starts from: Dehradun/Haridwar No. of days of the trip: 8 No. of trekking days: 5 No. of rafting days: 1 Maximum altitude: 4,100m Darwa Top Trekking Grade: Moderate All-Inclusive Cost: contact us for details
DAY 1: ARRIVE HARIDWAR/DEHRA DUN
Transfer to Bull’s Retreat – MHE’s forest lodge in Shivpuri, Rishikesh. If you arrive before lunch, you can head for a rafting run on the Ganga. This is the time to check all your trek gear etc. and get anything you may still need.
DAY 3: UTTARKASHI - SANGAMCHATTI - BEVRA, 3 KM DRIVE/8 KM TREK, 4-5 HRS
After an early breakfast you drive 3 KM to Sangamchatti - the confluence of the Varna and Assi Ganga rivers. After the flash floods of 2012, there’s almost nothing here now – just a few huts, a broken down iron bridge and some concrete buildings that withstood the storm. You’re at an altitude of 1,591 m (5250 ft) and from here you start your 8 KM trek to Bebra.
At Sangamchatti you cross over a makeshift shaky wooden bridge to enter the trail which is initially steep but turns gentle as you gain height. The villages of Dundukola and Agora soon come into view and your first day’s halt comes about 2 KM after Agora, the last village on the trail. Bevra is an established camping ground enclosed by mountains on three sides – keeping you warm even in the winters. There are a couple of cafes here and even a restaurant. In the afternoon you can walk up to the ridge or take short walks in the nearby wilderness.
DAY 4: TREK BEVRA - DODITAL, 14 KMS
After breakfast you start your uphill climb. It takes about 25 minutes to get to the ridge and then you reach the mountain trail – on the opposite side is the Agora village you passed through the day before. The trail moves from one mountain to another shaded by Pines and Rhododendrons. A steep half-hour climb later, you arrive at your first rain shelter, a little circular area cleared of all bushes and brambles covered with a rain cover. Right opposite is Bakaria Top – the highest point of the Dayara Bugyal. From here, Manjhi, is about 5 KM away. Kucheri is mid-way and a good place to halt for lunch.
Another 2.5 KM and you can see the first shepherd huts of Manjhi – a huge slope with wide open spaces and Oak trees. From here, Dodital is a 5 KM flat walk which shouldn’t take you more than 90 minutes in the summer. In the winters, when the place is buried in snow, it could take around 4 hours. The first thing you see when you reach, is a stream running down from the Tal – even before you see the Tal itself. Dodital, at an altitude of 3310 m / 10,923 ft, is an open ground surrounded by mountains on all three sides.
Camp overnight at Dodital.
DAY 5: TREK DODITAL - DARWA TOP - BAKARIA PASS - DODITAL
Darwa Top is a climb of 760 m / 2,500 ft and the third day’s trek takes you to an elevation of almost 4100 meters at Darwa Top. You will get some awesome views of Bandarpooch and the surrounding mountains from here and a panoramic view of the Himalayas opens as you step on the ridge of Bakaria Pass. After spending few hours on the high alpine meadows you return to Dodital.
DAY 6: TREK DODITAL - BEVRA/AGODA
Time to turn back and take the same route homewards. Only this time it will be slightly faster – mainly because you are moving downhill. It’s a comfortable trekking day giving you enough time to wander and take in the amazing views before you return to Bevra/Agoda.
DAY 7: TREK BEVRA - SANGAMCHATTI AND DRIVE TO SHIVPURI
After an early breakfast you retrace your steps to Sangamchatti and drive to Shivpuri.
Overnight at Bull’s Retreat.
All costs will be based on a minimum travel group of 6 persons.
Six nights accommodation in hotels/expedition camping tents on twin sharing basis.
ALL MEALS. 6 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 6 Dinners and 1 Bonfire Snack.
Medical Evacuation and Hospitalization insurance
All government taxes included.
Costs Do Not Include:
International/Domestic air fare or train fare.
Pick up and drop off from airport/railway stations not included. We can arrange for it however, so let us know if you need to get picked up or dropped off. Nominal charges apply.
Unforeseen expenses that demand a change in itinerary like natural forces, changes in weather, road blockages, flight/train cancellations and illness.
Expenses of a personal nature - tips, laundry, phone calls, beverages.
• When we have groups of 4+ people we supply a comprehensive first aid kit carried by your guide. For individual trekkers and small groups (less than 4 people) we supply a basic first aid kit carried by your guide
• Your local trek guide and leader of the trekking crew (which depends on group size): Guides and Porters with equipment and clothing (snow gear, warm gear, sleeping gear) and with all accommodation, meals and insurance provided for your crew.
The first things you need: • Sleeping bag and liner – a 3 or 4 season bag is recommended, depending on your trek • Down jacket – need for this depends on the season and where you are going • Kit / duffel bag – required to pack your gear in (suitcases are not suitable) Please note: Unless you advise us otherwise we will assume you are bringing these items with you. If you need help to buy or rent them, please just let us know, we’re more than happy to help. Other items that we recommend you take on trek: • Loose comfortable T-Shirts NOT COTTON or long sleeved shirts for sun protection • Long trousers (for cultural reasons, we request you not to wear tight pants or shorts. If you really want to wear shorts, please make them loose fitting and long) • A warm jacket / fleece pullover • A thermal layer (shirt and pants) • A water and wind proof layer (jacket and pants) • Woollen or thermal gloves • Sun hat and sun glasses • Woollen or fleece hat • Scarf / stretchy ‘buff’ • Socks – depending on the season bring either warm, woollen socks or cool, breathable cotton socks • Comfortable and worn in trekking boots • Sandals or flip flops for camp • A comfortable day pack with adjustable waist and shoulder straps • Personal toiletries - shampoo, soap, shavers, moisturizer, travel towel, etc • Ziplock bags are handy for convenient leak-proof storage • Sun block and lip balm • Dust mask/ scarf / stretchy ‘buff’ for dusty trails • Personal first aid kit + any personal medications you need to take + water treatment tablets/drops • Camera, batteries and charger, music, book • Airtight and waterproof ‘dry bags’ are great for 1) keeping your clothes dry and 2) storing your dirty laundry separate from clean clothes! • Sleeping bag liner – either silk, cotton or fleece • WATER BOTTLES - please be able to carry 2 litres of water and have bottles that can handle boiling/hot water • HEAD TORCH and spare batteries • Your sense of humour and adventure!
What to take with you in your day pack: Please carry the following in your day pack, as a minimum: • 2 litres of water (please make sure your water bottles will take boiling/hot water) • sunscreen, sun glasses, sun hat, lip balm, dust mask / scarf / ‘buff’ to help on dusty trails • warm fleece or thermal layer and gloves • water proof layer • head torch • hand cleaner • your camera • any money you want for snacks/drinks along the trail • CRITICAL – take any personal medications you require during the day – you will not see your kit bag until evening.
The rest you can put into your kit bag which will be carried by the porters, whom you won’t see until camp in the evening. It’s a great idea to use dry bags (ie airtight/waterproof) in your kit bag to store your dry clothes in to keep them DRY in case it rains and one to put your dirty laundry in (to keep from making everything else in your bag smell bad!).
Food on trek: You will probably be surprised by the menu items on an MHE trek. We know how important food is, and we don't stint by giving you 2 minute noodles and Cup a Soup. You'll get teal food in a home cooked style. And plenty of it! If you have any special dietary requirements, please advise us when booking your trek so that we can cater for you. Note: sometimes not all dietary requirements are able to be met, but please inform us and we will certainly do our best!
Some tips for staying healthy: • Do NOT drink or brush your teeth with tap water or untreated water! • Drink only properly boiled water or use water purification tablets, such as iodine. Bottled water is available, but as the plastic cannot be recycled we request you to consider the waste impact of your bottles – we recommend you drink boiled water or use iodine. • Your hands are perhaps your biggest enemy in terms of your health as they get very dirty during the day. Wash your hands before every meal or snack. People often think they get sick from the food, but it’s far more likely they forgot to wash their hands! • During the trek DO NOT try to test your fitness and walk too high, too quickly! Listen to your guide and take their advice as they are trained to look after your safety. Altitude sickness is a killer and you MUST take it seriously.
First aid kit: When we have groups of 4+ people we supply a comprehensive first aid kit carried by your guide. For individual trekkers and small groups (less than 4 people) we supply a smaller first aid kit carried by your guide It is recommended that you bring a small personal medical kit including your preferred painkillers, throat lozenges, plasters, strapping tape for blisters, etc. If you are taking regular medication you MUST bring those medicines with you PLUS an extra supply in case one pack is lost. If you have any allergies and/or take any medications, you MUST advise us when booking your trek!
The trails: Trekking trails vary from wide, road-like avenues to narrow, slippery paths built out over enormous drops. In many places, a fall from the trail would be fatal. One must pay attention at all times to where you are placing your feet. Be especially careful not to move while looking through the view finder of your camera!
Be prepared for the weather: Each altitude has its own weather, from tropical heat to arctic cold. In the main trekking seasons in the spring and autumn, the weather is generally stable and even the high passes may be free of snow and relatively easy to traverse at times. Some trekkers who have encountered an easy day at altitude may spread the word that boots and warm clothing are not required. This is a mistake. Sudden storms occur at any time, dumping snow on the passes without warning. At that point, any one poorly equipped will not be able to proceed and may even be stranded for a number of days risking their life and the lives of others. You are heading into the worlds highest mountain range. Be prepared for changes in temperature and weather!! Altitude and preventing Altitude Sickness • Being in a hurry in the mountains can be deadly. Acclimatization is the word used to describe the adjustments your body makes as it ascends to higher altitudes. • Ascending slowly, with appropriate rest days and drinking plenty of water is one of the best ways not to get Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). Data indicates that drinking 3-4 litres of fluids (water, soup etc) per day to avoid dehydration helps in the acclimatization process. • You should not plan to go to high altitude if you have heart disease, difficulty breathing at sea level or are pregnant. You should consult your doctor about any known medical conditions if you are considering trekking in high altitude (over 2500m). • Avoid sleeping pills, alcohol and smoking while at altitude as they tend to decrease breathing and lead to AMS. • The first aid kit carried by your guide includes Diamox and other altitude medications and he/she is trained in the identification of AMS symptoms and their treatment. You MUST take their advice. If anything happens to your guide the first aid kit has a Wilderness Medicine handbook with comprehensive information about altitude sickness and other ailments. When relevant, your pre-trek briefing will include information about what to expect and what to do to avoid AMS before embarking on your trek.
Tipping and cash requirements: While all main meals are provided on trek, do not forget to bring some rupees for drinks or snacks that you might purchase on the way. You will be surprised by what is available on the popular trekking routes now! The amount to carry on the trekking routes depends on the area you are going to trek in, so please ask your guide for advice. Tipping is now common but there is no strict rule about how much the tip should be. You should only tip if you are satisfied with the service.
Photographing people: During your trek you will have many opportunities to photograph local people and the amazing scenery and you will use tons of film/memory space! When you want to take a photo of a person, please ask them first and respect their right to refuse – you will be surprised how easy it is to convey the request to take someone’s photo even when you don’t share a common language! If you have a digital camera it is considerate (and fun!) to show them their photo and if it’s possible to arrange to have copies printed and sent to them this is an amazing gift! However do not promise to do so if you are not sure you can deliver on the promise, so please talk to your guide about this! Photos can be a brilliant way to establish a connection with local people, but please respect their right to privacy.
Considering the Environment: While trekking you have to be careful not to destroy the very environment you are enjoying so much. It is not only for your enjoyment, people and wildlife rely on this environment for their drinking water and food supply and many places are of enormous religious significance to local people.
There are many ways you can help to conserve the environment of the area in which you trek. Here are some simple tips: • pick up any litter along the trail; • burn all your toilet paper and bury your faeces when not in camp, make sure you go at least 50m away from any water source; • do not make campfire, nor consume food cooked on wood fires; • drink boiled/treated water instead of mineral water as the plastic bottles are a problem; • stick to the trails to prevent erosion and damage to fragile alpine flora • ensure all rubbish is packed out (or burnt/buried if appropriate).
Insurance: All tour participants should obtain their own personal insurance which covers medical and emergency evacuation at a minimum. You will of course also want cover for loss or damage to personal effects, flight or trip cancellation etc.
Final tips! To ensure that you have the best time possible and that the local area benefits from your visit, please respect local traditions, customs, values and the environment. You will have a great time if you are open to the warm hearted local hospitality and if you respect their efforts to protect their local culture and maintain local pride. • Respect privacy when taking photographs • Respect holy places and dress appropriately • Refrain from giving money or food to children. There are many good organisations working to help street children, we recommend you support them instead of encouraging the kids to stay on the street. • Protect the natural environment, see above • Finally, respect local ways.