I figured out an escape from the humdrum of everyday life after being a victim of abundant work in an office and the infamous smog that engulfed Delhi. When I started looking for some unexplored and uncrowded winter destination for Christmas weekend, the wind whispered “Auli” and I responded immediately with a big ‘Yes‘!
The Chamoli district in Uttarakhand is the proud owner of this apparently secretive destination. For skiers, this place is a heaven; for nature lovers, a bliss; and for devotes, a step closer to God.
Blessed with the best of nature, Auli is a must-visit place to explore the hidden treasure nature has bestowed it.
We booked the hotel and the cab well in advance to avoid a long weekend rush during the Christmas. Here are the details-
- Delhi to Rishikesh Volvo(~600 per head)
- Hotel Mount View Annexy in Joshimath- Rs 8450 (for 2 nights and 5 people)
- Renault Lodgy(Vansh Travels) for round trip from Rishikesh- Rs 9500
- Rishikesh to Delhi Volvo (~600 per head)
- Travel time: 14-16 hrs
- Road Quality: 6.5/10
- Distance : ~ 487 km
- Mood: Crazy
How to Reach Auli?
Airplane- The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun, 268 km from Auli
Train- The nearest railway station to Auli is Rishikesh, 264 km
Auli is well connected by motorable roads to major destinations of Uttrakhand. State transport buses and taxi are readily available from Rishikesh, Dehradun, and Haridwar
|Volvo from Delhi to Rishikesh||3000||600 per person|
|Taxi for a round trip from Rishikesh to Auli||9500||Including night and driver allowances|
|Hotel at Joshimath||8450||For 2 days and 5 people|
|Chair Car||1500||300 per person|
|Volvo from Rishikesh to Delhi||3000||600 per person|
|Food items and 3 meals||4500||~300 per person per day|
|Total||30950||6190 per head|
Meet my travel buddies –
DELHI TO RISHIKESH
We all assembled near Kashmere Gate before the Volvo’s timing(10:15 PM). After roaming here and there, late night hunger pangs struck unexpectedly and we stopped near the egg vendor to stave off our craving. When the clock struck 10:30 pm and the Volvo started moving, everybody got excited about the most awaited girls trip of 2017. I was finally en route for Auli with my gang. Woo-hoo!!
At around 5:30 AM, we alighted, half asleep on the floor of Yoga capital of the world, Rishikesh. It was pitch-dark and a clear starry sky. The taxi driver came to pick us up; we dumped the luggage and crumbled inside the taxi to zonk ourselves out. The first rays of the sun started piercing the car window at around 6:15 AM and my eyes got the golden opportunity of beholding this aesthetic view of ‘Lakshman Jhula’.
The road from Rishikesh ran alongside the river Ganges up to Devaprayag, where the Alaknanda meets the Bhagirathi river to form the holy Ganga. The two rivers merge so gracefully amidst a perfect setting that one can’t take the eyes off from the picturesque confluence. Beyond the views, this brilliant emerald shade of water, in so tranquil a place stole my heart away.
The driver stopped the car and instructed us to have a breakfast. As I got off the car, there was a sense of calmness and bliss like some divine energies reverberating through the air.
As we started driving up-hills we could see the snow-capped mountains. A want to be there soon made the journey all the more enjoyable and captivating. Then, all of a sudden, the roads become narrower and some patches were even damaged. The journey was not so smooth but the sheer beauty of Uttarakhand never seized to amaze me with its charm. Time passed and Rudraprayag it was when the driver stopped the car for a lunch.
It was heavenly! Inviting! Serene! and what not? As the two rivers danced through their ways and merge into one, it produced the most dazzling sight. With a lot of excitement, we started the snap shooting.
The emerald colored water, white pebbles, the river flowing through the majestic Himalayas and the clear blue sky up above all made a tenacious bond with me which lasted throughout the journey.
On the way to Joshimath
These frightfully spiral roads make for the most scenic views but at the same time can make your head go la la la ♫ ♬ even if you’re sitting on the co-driver seat(shotgun) and I was no exception to it. I got a superb headache with a feeling of vomiting. Yuck!! A word of caution here -Add some distraction, music, for example, timely or take medicine at least half an hour before starting off your trip to prevent motion sickness.
This is the how the way to Joshimath looks like-(Well, you can try ignoring the music and our blabbering in the background)
We forgot all the bumps and the sharp hairpin turns after reaching Joshimath. Now, we could feel the most talked ‘Chillness‘ in the atmosphere.
Story Behind– As per local belief, the right hand of Lord Narsimha idol has become as thin as hair. On the day, when it will fall (end of Kalyug), the mountains Jay- Vijay shall become one and the way to Badrinath temple will disappear and re-appear at a new place called Bhavishya Badri which is around 20 kms from Joshimath.
This temple is dedicated to the fourth incarnation of Lord Vishnu(Narsimha avatar), in the form of half man and half lion. We reached there at the right moment when the place was buzzing with people for the evening aarti. Furthermore, we attended the aarti to have that divine spiritual experience.
This place is also known as winter seat of Badrinath as the Idol of Lord Badri is kept here during the winters.
PS: Photography was prohibited inside the temple.
After the dinner, our hotel crew arranged bonfire on request and we sat around it and played classic songs on the portable speaker.
The Conversation started with teasing each other, and then someone in the group said: “Let’s dance”. As a result, we started with graceful dancing but ended up doing Nagin and all vulgar dances in the world 😀
A ripple of laughter ran through the circle and made the atmosphere more melodious. The starry night, the fire and the Moon had created the memorable experience to cherish forever.
Click here for the follow-up post on Auli, mini Switzerland
WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
- Motion Sickness- Motion sickness is a really daunting experience. So, it is advisable to take front seats and take a respective medicine half an hour before the journey.
- Best time– Best Time to visit Auli is December– March to witness the snow-capped mountains. Also, this time is ideal for skiing.
- Snow boots- It is advisable to take snow boots on rent as the normal shoes will be quite slippery and will also get wet, especially if you are going to play amidst the snow.
- ATMs– ATMs are not easily available in Auli. Even if you manage to find one, chances are it is out of cash or out of order. There are few ATMs available in Joshimath. So carry enough cash for your trip.
- Pricing- The cable car goes from Joshimath till Auli at Rs 750 per person for the round trip and the chairlift goes from GVNM guest house till Auli meadows at Rs 300 per person for round trip
- Sking– Slopes covered with deodar and Oak forests helps skiers by reducing the velocity of chilling winds. Late December to mid of Feb is the perfect time for skiing
Kahin Beete Na Yeh Raaten
Kahin Beete Na Yeh Din
Gaata Rahe … Mera Dil
Auli meri Manzil
After traveling for straight 16 hours, I can hum this only 😛
I assure you that this stretch of drive through the lush green vegetation, scary roads, valley on one side and the mountains on the other would gonna be a memorable one for you as well!
This is the feeling you get after reaching the place. Hurrah !! Whoopee!!
Have you been to Auli? Which season was it? Are you still planning on it? Let us know by leaving a comment below!
Follow and Subscribe to get my upcoming travel posts delivered to your inbox. Click here for the follow-up post on Auli, mini Switzerland
#DelhitoRishikesh #Devprayag #Nandprayag #Rudraprayag #Joshimath #Narsimahemple #VishalBadri #Auli #snoweverywhere #BlueLake #Scenic #NandaDeviPeak #SecondHighestPeakinIndia #SnowcappedMountains #Majectic #Serene #Inviting #GirlsTrip2017 #WinterVacation
Never been … However going through your experience …Will definitely plan ….
Appreciate the way u described the journey
You can plan it now! The place is receiving heavy snowfall these days and thanks for such kind words. Stay tuned for further interesting posts on diextr!
Only one word… It’s just Lovely!!!
Highly impressed by great manifestation skills!!!
Keep up dear
Thanks Arpita for such kind words 🙂 Stay tuned for interesting travel posts!!
Awsome and Awesome narrative. …I am imagining as if I was there !!
Good job done !!
Keep it up!!
Thanks, jiju for such warm words. I am glad you liked reading through it. Stay tuned for more detailed post on Auli
Very well narrated…each and every details has been given for new visitor.
Will visit soon this place.
Thanks, Minny for reading through it and liking the content. Stay tuned for more detailed post on Auli.
A great idea for winters … The snow is just heart-stealing and commendable and clean weather too..
– Great piece of work by you
Thanks, Abhinav for such lovely words. Stay tuned for a detailed post on Auli!!
Amazingly narrated experience with all the necessary details… ✌️✌️
Thanks, Akshay! I am glad you liked reading through it. Stay tuned for further interesting posts !!
Awesome description of trip.. I missed this trip though..
Will for sure visit the place dost
Thanks, Swati. I missed you too on the trip. Hopefully, you will join us in next excursion. Til then stay tuned for a detailed post on Auli
Auli is One of the Best Place Its a Haven of Uttarakhand
For More check My video on Auli.
will it be good for travel in end of march ?
As generally snow falls until Feb end. So, I would advise visiting Auli from January to early March. Also, if skiing is on our mind then you must definitely think about preponing your trip.
Write back to us, if you need any help in planning a trip to Auli.
You have put in so much time and effort into your blog and the posts! It’s beyond beautiful!
Kudos for compiling every info that one will ever need to visit Auli in one place!!
Thanks for reading and appreciating the content! These words just made my day and it feels like being on cloud 9 for a moment.
Keep visiting diextr for more interesting travel tales 🙂
Auli is a beautiful place. You have jotted down well !!!
Nice narrative !!!
Can you please guide me, Actually we are planning for Auli during November,2018 with our 1year old BaBy.
Is it suitable for her on high altitude?
Thanks and Regard,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and regarding your questions, your baby will have the same tolerance for high altitudes as you do, provided that she has no special health concerns and is beyond 3 months of age. I would advice to take few pit spot on the way to acclimatize her well. Temperature is going to be really low(even below zero sometimes).So, cover your baby well.
Don’t forget to share your experience after returning 🙂
P.S. All the very best to the baby for her first high altitude expedition!
[…] The road from Rishikesh ran alongside the river Ganges flowing among the majestic Himalayas. Yet again, witnessing this scenery, is like wandering into a peaceful reverie(my previous post on the same route for Auli can be found here). […]
Beautiful and very informative Blog,
Actually i am planning a trip myself from 26th Dec 2018 to 30th Dec, could you kind enough to share if it will snow during that time.
Hey! I’m glad that you liked the content of the blog. Last time it snowed on 1 Jan. So, I would suggest you to push your dates a little as there would be better chances to witness the snow in January.