I woke up at around 7 AM and packed myself with 3-4 layers of clothing, keeping gloves and cap handy. We wanted to have something light in the morning but the fragrance coming from the nearest dhaba, run by this charming lady, ruined our plans. She served paranthas not just with butter but with a motherly touch too. Her smile just gave us a head start 🙂

Aunty Dhabaa

We got into the car and started singing our favorite numbers loudly. Well, the driver must be thinking these ladies are crazy but instead, he laughed softly and said, “We are almost there”. Auli, it was; and our car could not go the last few kilometers further due to weekend rush. We got off the car and with great vigor, dashed up to chairlift base terminal and bought tickets.

 ModeTimeCharges(inclusive of return journey)
Ropeway9 AM to 5 PMRs 750 per person
Chairlift8:30 AM to 4:30 PMRs 300 per person
Ski lift9 AM to 2 PMRs 50 to 100 per round


Chairlift gave a sensation of floating through the sky amid the majestic Himalayas. While staring at canyon from a thousand feet above, I almost forgot the fact that ground and I were separated only by the bundle of wires strung between poles. Goosebumps!


We got off the chairlift and walked down a little and as we approached the lake all I could utter was … Wait, wait, wait !!, I think it would be even better if you see it all by yourself –


Now let’s come back to what I was saying back then. The place was “unbelievably beautiful” and the blue lake beside it made it a little more unreal. Oh-so-gorgeous nature you stumped me all over again with your mystical charm!!

I went near the lake which is claimed as the highest artificial lake in the world. Then, I came to know that the lake is being used to create artificial snow during Winter Games if it doesn’t snow enough.

Here’s a short clip of my first encounter with Auli: a place in its most pristine state-



Considered to be the second highest peak in India, Nanda Devi, at a height of 7817m , can be witnessed in its profound wilderness from the meadows. The panoramic view of the sight was spellbinding.

Until one has loved mountains, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened!

Top View
Distant view of Nanda Devi

and as we walked little closer…

Mountains in the backdrop

I couldn’t see it more closely but my camera surely can 😉

Day2 agenda

I always get influenced by the movies I have been watching. One of my favorite dialogues from the movie Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani is “However hard you try, there will be things in life that you will miss out on. So just try to enjoy the present.” And that defined the agenda of Day2.

Literally high


The terrain slowly started turning white. The feeling was out of this world and inexplicable. It wasn’t easy to walk in the snow- Archana’s shoes were slipping like anything and then we saw Bhavini who was unknowingly creating little pits with her high-heel boots. That’s somewhat how we found our way 😉 I was planning that we would not be coming back on foot for sure. Offo, I just meant that it would be easier to slip over snow than to walk over it. Everybody agreed and followed the suit when the time came.

Snow covered Auli

We were enjoying the eternal bliss of the snow. We walked through the fresh snow and left behind our footprints or I would call pits for others to follow 😀


I just picked a chunk of snow and created a snowball out of it; adjusted its speed and angle! Then threw it on my target! Well, I missed my target but the creepy idea became a hit 😉 We had a hell lot of fun throwing snowballs at each other.


Then, we(Archana and I) saw a group sliding recklessly over snow and we gave each other a nod and in no time, we reached the place and took the position one after another. I adjusted my selfie stick to capture one of the best experiences of our trip.

Subsequently, we were called by the Fir trees and an amazing vista of entire meadow reminded us of Bollywood song…

Yeh haseen waadiyan

ye khula aasmaan

            Aa gaye hum kahan … ♫♫♫



Tapovan was around 14 km from Joshimath; it took us 40 minutes to reach the place as some patches on the way were under repair. We saw egg shells lying all over the sight and the steam coming out of water gurgling seemed polluted. But undoubtedly, the place looked mystical from distance.

Tapovan is known for its natural springs where hot water comes out of the earth. Locals believe that the water is medicinal and the soil of that place can be used as a face pack.

Hot Spring, Tapovan


We reached Rishikesh well before the Volvo’s timings and while roaming the streets, we found Santa Claus, a jolly man in Red, singing Christmas carols outside some hotel near Triveni Ghat. In no time, we reached porch of that hotel and started dancing on jingle bell beats. We wished each other Merry Christmas and left for Rajasthani Mishthan Bhandar to have dinner. Everything we tried there was tasty, be it Masala Dosa, Hakka noodles or tomato soup. Must try: Moong dal halwa.

Christmas time with Santa

After having a very delicious and pocket-friendly dinner, we took the 11:30 PM Volvo back to Delhi and reached Delhi early morning to re-experience the every day Monday blues.

What to know before you go

Woolens- Carry enough pair of socks, gloves, thermals, comforters, jacket, pullover, and trousers etc. as temperature dips below 0 overnight.

Things to carry– Carry a sunscreen (>=40 SPF) and a pair of sunglasses as the UV rays are much stronger in the mountain.

Nearby Treks- Gurso Bugyal(3km), Chattarkund(4km), Kwani Bugyal(13km), Chenab Lake(28 km from Joshimath)


Skii Courses- GMVN conducts 7 and 14 days skiing courses at Auli and special provisions for day tourists are also available. They provide modern ski equipment. Participants are advised to bring heavy woolen clothing like caps, socks, gloves, mufflers, pullovers, trousers, windproof jackets, dark glasses, gum/snow boots and a torch for personal use.


I could hear only the unsteady breaths which were asking “When are we going to meet again”?  “Before you know it” the heartbeat replied.
On this note, I bid adieu by embracing those snow-capped mountains in my arms and gave them a tight hug

Let us know how do you like the post by leaving a comment below! For planning a trip to Auli, you can visit my previous post here – Christmas vacation to Auli
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