Auli – Unadulterated beauty of Uttaranchal

All we wanted was to play in snow :D Auli Uttarakhand

It had been quite some time since we went on a trip and girls wanted to play in snow, real and unadulterated beautiful snow. Last year girls went on a girls only trip, this time Laks friends from Kerala was planning a trip this time and the single criteria was that they wanna play in snow :P . Step 1: Created Whatsapp group and started brainstorming about places. Budget, the main constraint which made things difficult since flight charges from Kerala/Bangalore to Delhi was not cheap. I started searching for places other than those obvious ones where you will be stalked by guides, photographers, salesmen and everyone else spoiling the moment.

We wanted to go to a less known but a beautiful place with less adulteration and Auli was the choice. Auli is approximately 500kms from Delhi and the best mode to reach there is by road, infact the only way to reach there from the airport (Dehradun) or railway station (Rishikesh or Dehradun). When I checked the budget it looked like a good deal. Place, dates and other logistics were finalized. We started our journey on Friday early morning( 4 am) from Noida and reached Rishikesh by8.30am. Since it was a less foggy morning, the journey till Rishikesh was pretty easy and beautiful. The actual journey begins here, roads winding over the hills with hairpin bends and unending turns giving you the feeling of an exciting adventurous journey ahead while unadulterated scenic beauty all the way.

The hilly roads we traveled all day long: Auli Uttarakhand

The hilly roads we traveled all day long: Uttarakhand

The dangerous roads in Uttarakhand

The dangerous roads in Uttarakhand

A view like this can never make your journey boring: Auli Uttarakhand

A view like this can never make your journey boring: Auli Uttarakhand

The drive from Rishikesh started at9:30am and with several pitstop and breaks, we reached Joshimath town at 7:30am. The journey became a bit tiring after Srinagar because of the roads which got damaged in the famous Uttarakhand flood and the terrain from Srinagar to Joshimath had lot of these bad patches and surprising turns and twists with no barrier on the edges that driving this part was more challenging than driving on a race. Joshimath is known for the famous Chardham yatra camp as a big small town close to Badrinath but actually should be also known as the main town close to Auli instead. Yes, Auli is 22kms from Joshimath by road and 4.5kms by ropeway While the road journey takes around 2hrs 30mnts.

The roads were this bad at some places: Auli Uttarakhand

The roads were this bad at some places: Uttarakhand

The roads were this bad at some places: Auli Uttarakhand

The roads were this bad at some places: Uttarakhand

Sun set in the mountains <3 : Auli Uttarakhand

Sun set in the mountains: What a beauty

Auli is a ski resort with few stay options most of them GMVN owned and one by Club Mahindra, we chose to stay in Joshimath. This was a short vacation and it made sense, but if you like a long vacation with 2 or more days stay, you should book stay in Auli, GMVN cottage or lodge. This season there was very less snowfall and hence the valley was not entirely covered in snow, but most of it were. The more you go to the top, the more snow you see and that is the key about Auli. A20 minute ropeway ride for Joshimath and you see the snow covered mighty Himalaya’s standing tall.

View of Himalayas from the Rope way to Auli : Auli Uttarakhand

View of Himalayas from the Rope way to Auli : Auli Uttarakhand

View of Himalayas from the Rope way to Auli : Auli Uttarakhand

View of Himalayas from the Rope way to Auli : Auli Uttarakhand

View of Himalayas from the Rope way to Auli : Auli Uttarakhand

View of Himalayas from the Rope way to Auli : Auli Uttarakhand

Ideally, a 5 -6days trip to Auli is best suited for folks who are serious about skiing. There are skiing courses conducted which span over a period of 4-7 days. The 2011 Asian Winter Games was conducted in Auli and unlike other ski resorts this is the one where there are snowguns fitted in the Skiing track where competitions are held and artificially made snow will be fired through these guns. This helps in conducting Skiing games at this place even when there is not enough natural snow.

A skiing trainer we met at Auli

A skiing trainer we met at Auli

MIghty Himalayas seen from Auli

Mighty Himalayas seen from Auli

Manali, Rohtang, Gulmarg are some very famous and upscale snow destinations. But these places are more commercial and a tourist who visits these places doesn’t have the freedom to roam around freely. Auli, on the other hand is still unadulterated where people genuinely like to help you and tell you about the place, history etc. Food in Auli is cheaper, for a ski resort of this class. You got budget stays at the GMVN here with good facilities while a person looking for an upscale ski-resort can check out the property like Club Mahindra resorts

All we wanted was to play in snow :D Auli Uttarakhand

All we wanted was to play in snow :D Auli Uttarakhand

Never ending gossip: Auli Uttarakhand

Never ending gossip :P : Auli Uttarakhand

Theknotstory Trip Planner:

  • It’s a long journey, Choose the right vehicle and the best driver and perfect travel partners.
  • It’s better to travel till Rishikesh, stay there and Go to Auli the next day to make the trip easy and less hectic.
  • The road to Auli is dangerous, Better to hire a driver who knows about Mountain roads, also it’s best to avoid night journey.
  • There are enough decent hotels on the way, mostly by GMVN where you can refresh & have food.
  • Book hotel in Auli if you are planning for a long stay, Else book in Joshimath.
  • Joshimath to Auli ropeway is Asia’s longest ropeway which takes 20 minutes for Joshimath to Auli.
  • Ropeway from Joshimath to Auli is till 4 pm only after which the only way is by road.
  • There is a road to Auli from Joshimath & you have to hire a local vehicle to go. They said it takes close to 2hrs by road compared to 22mnts by Ropeway.
  • Rishikesh to Auli takes roughly 12hrs since the road condition is very bad (atleast 150kms) post the Uttarakhand floods.
  • There is a tea shop on the way to Joshimath from Rishikesh which comes after 2hr from Srinagar town, try the Chai & Pakora’s there. Absolute bliss.

    Sardarji Pakode wale: We never miss to try the best food available :D

    Sardarji Pakode wale: We never miss to try the best food available :D

No journey is complete without a plate of maggi and cutting chai: Auli Uttarakhand

No journey is complete without a plate of maggi and cutting chai: Auli Uttarakhand

Approximate Expenses:
Hotel: We stayed at The Himalayan Abode(Read our review here) in Joshimath. Approximate cost per day 3500INR.
Rope way cost: 700 per person
Transportation: We hired a vehicle from Delhi and back. That cost approximately 20,000 INR(including tolls ) for 3 days & Delhi -Auli-Delhi.
Disclaimer: This is based on our travel experience and suggestions, advice is what we think is the best.

About the author /


The techie and soccer maniac, an avid twitter user. Goes by the name @metalsaint. Lazy blogger and foodie who loves to write about travelling, reviews, (movie, restaurant, gadget etc) and yes very hardly working :P

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20 Comments

  1. Vishakha@Reviewwali

    I so want to go there, my friend visited there and she was awestruck with the beauty of Auli. Lovely pictures.

  2. Perkymegs

    Wow. Auli has been on my wishlist since long. You pics are forcing me to plan a trip right now. Beautiful pics. Loved them :)
    Perkymegs recently posted…Blue Smokey eye lookMy Profile

  3. Vivek L

    Great post !
    Uttaranchal is a great destination for those looking for a hill destination.
    Do Check out Andaman for great beach Holidays

    Vivek
    Andaman Honeymoons
    http://andamanhoneymoons.com

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