Auli is a picture postcard kind of a place situated in Uttarakhand, India. I went there in the August of 2002, just after submitting my Ph.D. thesis and just before starting my first job that turned out to be an absolute horror. Rainy season, that is July and August are the worst time to visit a hill station in India but we wanted to take a break at that point anyway, so we went to Auli Uttarakhand.
One can reach Auli by going to Haridwar and from there taking a bus to Joshimath. The journey from Haridwar to Joshimath takes roughly 12 hours on twisting and bending roads, full of pot holes. We reached Joshimath at eight in the evening and it was raining lightly. I was dead tired and longing for food and rest. We checked into GMVN (Garhwal Viaks Mandal Nigam, a government run property) guest house where the room cost us Rupees 500 for the night. The next day we took the ropeway to Auli.
We again stayed at the GMVN guest house at Auli and it is one of the most horrible places I have ever stayed in. Nothing wrong with the surrounding as such, you can see from the picture above. But the rooms in the guest house gave such a terrible stench that it was a nightmare trying to fall asleep. We never stay indoors during the day, but still it was the most gloomy and badly maintained hotel room I ever slept in. There were not much option at Auli in 2002, just the GMVN property and one private resort which we thought to be expensive and never even inquired there.
However, one can never find a fault with the place itself. The most remarkable thing we did was to take a 7 kilometer walk with a guide partially through a trek route. Before the beginning of the journey, I was really tired as I had just toiled to submit my thesis and left to my own I would have skipped the walk altogether. But my sane and sensible husband goes completely berserk in hill stations and no trip is complete without one of these walks. In the picture below you can see the meadows, called Gurson Baghyal which we walked through. We were told that the real view, the snow clapped mountains, were hidden behind the clouds. It rained for part of the way and we reached back to our hotel soaked and dead tired in the evening. I have to add one thing, the cook at the GMVN guesthouse was excellent and we did complete justice to the food that night.
The next few days were spent in roaming about aimlessly in Auli. One day we saw this perfect rainbow and generally walked through fields and flowers, sat on huge stones, my husband philosophical and I generally jumping around.
On another day we saw apple trees laden with ripe fruits and we also met too small girls who chatted with us. They used to go to school and were on their way to gather the cows before the evening fell.
19 thoughts on “Auli: Beautiful Hillstation in Uttaranchal, India”
Your travels would make a good book. Maybe someday you could get all your blog entries published as a collection.
Lovely travelogue, Mridula.Somehow food seems to taste much better at higher altitudes…perhaps the cleaner atmosphere adds the flavour?BTW, your post reminded me of Kashmir ki Kali somehow…that was a very nice movie!
Auli is so beautiful….I love that place….like to visit again…thanks
Auli seems so romantic, very dreamy, and the rainbow must have been even more magnificent in person (your photo captures it well too)! Nature treks are awesome. It’s too bad the guest house was so unpleasant, and I’ve had my fair share of icky grossly-neglected hostels/hotels so now I try not to skimp on accomodations. Robi & I are hoping to visit Mexico City in November and I’m already starting to research boutique hotels.
I think a vacation right after a big accomplishment like your PhD thesis is perfect! You earned some time to relax and enjoy! And that looks like quite a beautiful place to do just that. 🙂
Teri, thanks for your kind words, if it ever happens it would be a dream come true.Deepak, I have seen Kashmir Ki kali on TV. And you are dead right about food tasting better at high altitude. Avik, even we plan to go back there, maybe in the summer of 2006 and trek there, as usual.Crystal, that rainbow was real magnificient but I had a very stupid camera then and it has not come out even half as well. I don’t know when we will graduate to better places. We are thinking of revisiting Auli and I told my husband I can never stay at that place again. He agreed to it. Mexico City sounds so exciting. I hope you will have a great trip.Momo, it was a Ph.D. earne with great toil but the job that came after it was real nasty. Maybe one day I will write about it.
my goodness! ur Doctor!? (^o^);;the photo of mountain is sooo beautiful! sorry to hear that u were dead tired~!!!!! its always nice to hear good thing and bad thing during ur trip. thanx a lot!!
Nice description, Mridula. Reading your write-ups makes me more and more interested in undertaking vacations in India itself.
Can u believe it I spent my whole life in hills of uttaranchal but never been to Auli….even I have been in joshimuth couple of times but never….anyway one day I will go.
Niki, in my day to day life I do not even remember that I am a doctor, and my nephews tell me I am anyway a fraud one (as in the real doctors are medical ones) 🙂 Thanks a lot for taking time and stopping here.Pooja, I guess many places in India are real gem and my current favorite is ladakh. It is an amazing place. Go there if you can.Tarun, you lucky guy you actually lived in Uttaranchal. But I guess the phenomenon of not visiting places close to home is comman. I have been living in Delhi for quite sometime now but never been to Red Fort!
i think teri has a good idea!like hitchhikers guide, maybe we can bring out sumthing like ‘mridula’s guide to the galaxy’ when all ur posts are bundled n published 😀
When you go back I hope there’s at least a nicer place to stay, although you’re right about there being nothing to complain about in the scenery.I have to be careful about going on “walks” with my husband. His legs are so long a walk for him may be a jog for me.
To think Uttaranchal is my home town and I have never really seen it . i know its breath takingly beautiful.. but guess need to make a more concious effort of visiting places there !
Thats a nice way of celebrating your thesis defense :)…waitin for mine!!
Beautiful pictures! Beautiful description! I have wanted to go to India on holiday for a while, but only for reasons of experiencing the culture. I didn’t realize I would get to see beautiful scenery too!
Poison, who is willing to play the publisher?My husband feels so happy that I am willing to trudge 10 kilometers with him that he lets me decide the pace. There is no other way we can do it! I too sincerely hope that we get a better place to stay.Thoughts and Tarun, you people amaze me. Not exploring Uttaranchal? Sounds almost like a sin. Mustang, good luck with your thesis defense. Mine was a nasty affair.TT, a few people have expressed their surprise at the images of India I post, it is contrary to their perception. But remember we have Himalayas in India and they are really something. Though, not always on normal tourist destination routes, Ladakh too is out of this world.
hithat was nice informative post love to go hereuma
the rainbow arc above the cloud – ah! – what perfect timing. into the great chasm we go. nice photos.
patina, how I wish I had a digital camera then, the real scene was so much more vivid. But maybe I will get lucky again.