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Auli Lake-  Highest Man Made Lake

Day 1: I am back,after a long time. So last year after our Tadoba trip we mostly had trips to beaches. In between we went to Ajanta and Ellora caves but my lazy husband did not give me any photos from his Pandora box for that trip. So I refrained from writting anything. I was determined not to start the new year with any more beaches and go back to my favorite mountains. One day while checking MakeMyTrip.com casually, found the tickets of Delhi to be very cheap. Without thinking of any destination we booked our tickets in the long weekend of January 2018. My birthday was nearby and all I wanted for my birthday gift was snow capped mountains. So Aniket decided Auli as our destination.

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GMVN Resort before Snow Fall
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GMVN Resort after Snow Fall

With all the excitements we packed our bag for Auli but with a disappointment in mind that the international ski festival which was to be held during January got postponed as Auli received no snow during December and January till then. Nevertheless since all our tickets  and hotels were already booked, we decided not to cancel our trip. After all no Sahyadri range of Western India can beat the beauty of Himalayan range.Be it without ice or with ice.

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Took Air India flight from Pune to Delhi around 10pm. After reaching Delhi at 1am, we booked an Ola to reach Kashmere gate ISBT from airport. Whole night one can get private buses plying between Delhi to Haridwar. Luckily we got a bus of Uttarakhand Transport which was  from Jaipur to Haridwar and boarded the bus at 3:30 am and reached Haridwar at 7 am in the morning. We spent the entire day on Rishikesh for adventure sports.

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Joshimath GMVN hotel

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Day 2:  We took a bus of Uttarakhand Parivahan Nigam from Haridwar bus stand which started at 5:30 am for Auli. Just to let you know, you can book the tickets from UTC website online 3 day prior but we missed it somehow. So a bit of struggle was there to find a seat in the bus. There is only one bus plying every day from Haridwar to Auli, so the bus remains overcrowded specially with the locals.

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By sitting in the cabin of the bus and chitchatting with the locals and the army jawans posted in Auli, finally we reached Joshimath around 5 pm. Yes,it takes almost 12hrs to reach joshimath from Haridwar by passing through three important Prayags ie Devprayag, Rudraprayag and karnaprayag. The scenic beauty of the entire road is breathtaking.

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As planned earlier we didn’t go till Auli that day itself as we didn’t get any booking for resorts in Auli. We stayed in GMVN in Joshimath for that day. One can book GMVN rooms online itself.

Day 3:  After having our breakfast we started for Auli. There are two options to reach Auli from Joshimath.

1) By bus/private taxi plying between Auli and Joshimath. The taxis charges between 600-1000 bucks.

2)By cable car which starts at 9 am. Price of cable car is ₹750 per person both way. For reaching Auli there are 10 towers in cable car. One can either get down at tower 8 or at tower 10.

From tower 8, one can trek down to Auli Lake – the highest man made lake. Also the only highest resort in Auli , Cliff Top Club resort is situated nearby tower 8. It is the only  3 star resort in Auli.

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 Cliff Top Club resort
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 Cliff Top Club resort

We took cable car and got down at tower 10. There is a GMVN canteen as well as some  small tapris who sells piping hot tea/coffee, maggi, momos etc. After  having fried momos and Maggi we went for a trek to Gurso Bugyal. Bugyal basically means meadows in garwali language. From this bugyal we got a very clear view of “Nanda devi”, “Dronagiri”, “Trichula” peaks. After taking some nice snaps, playing with ice and trekking on the ice fields for a while, we trekked down till our resort (Auli resort) which is near tower 3. Yes it took a while to trek down almost 5km. But Auli certainly offered a clear sky with all the peaks in front of us through out the day till the sunset.

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Auli Royal Village Resort

Day 4: My morning started with lazing around and enjoying the chilling weather of Auli. But as time passed we could see clouds forming in the sky and the locals said it might snow in the evening. We could not hold and exciting and waited patiently, prayed to God so that it’s snows. Finally it came true and it snowed in the evening. We experienced our first snowfall. We played,we danced, clicked photos to our hearts content and finally our trip felt all the more worth. I think this is the best gift of my birthday

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Auli – Joshimath Cable Car

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Day 5: Next day when we woke up in the morning the view was magical. The view from my bed looked like heaven. Snow,snow all around. Everything was white all around. Hope the pictures will speak for me.We trekked up to the lake in knee deep snow and the lake was entirely freezed. That was an experience of my lifetime. Auli rightly justify the title of “Mini Switzerland”

Bidding goodbye to Auli we left for Rishikesh again to head back to Delhi and then Pune….

As I said we did some adventure sports in Rishikesh, if anyone is interested to experience the adrenaline rush and overcome the fear of heights,do try bungee jumping. My husband did. I did Zip line/flying fox. You can directly go and book from their Rishikesh office or You can book online
Jumpingheights.com

Tips:
Please carry sufficient winter garments while visiting Auli in winter.temperature drops

drastically at night.

Cots wool is mandatory.

Contact us for any help ……..

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