With memories of the last trip to the Triund Mountains, this time, while my friends were pondering over our next destination — Auli, a silly thought, as it sounds to me now, kept knocking my fancy — to what extent can nature surprise us? After all, it will be the same trees and mountains, same solitary cafes and the solitude that the Himalayas offer?
However, leaving the entirety of thoughts behind, we left for our journey to reach Joshimath via Rishikesh, first and then Auli, by HRTC.
By the time we reached Auli, I was compelled to recall that silly thought of mine but this time, only to laugh at it. And at the same time, while I pitied my existence amid those Brobdingnagian Mountains, a lavish white carpet of fresh snow – expanding to the infinity, laid there to bless us. Sleeting lush-green oak and pine trees welcomed us. It was magical and breathtaking. With wide open eyes while trying to seize the panoramic view, “And here it is!” — whispered I to myself and moved forward to embrace it all in one breath.
Sunset the stage for us
To start with, Auli Bugyal is a ski destination in Chamoli District of Uttarakhand Himalayas, located at an elevation of 8,200 ft. to 10,010 ft. above sea level. With Asia’s longest ropeway of 4 kilometers along with a manicured trek route and a highest man-made lake, Auli is the perfect amalgamation of natural and man-made wonders.
Auli lies on the way to the Hindu pilgrimage destination of Badrinath and is connected via Joshimath. The ropeway from Joshimath to Auli takes you to the Ski Resort of Auli, passing the beautiful slopes of the Garhwal Himalayas.
And it got all Skyed up.
Auli is an assortment for adventure seekers and has Trekking, Skiing, Riding, Water-sports, Ski lift, Chai-Maggi, and pleasant stay options.
Being Bawray Banjaray we had our own plan of action and what followed us was…
And How Fantastic Can The Stay Get?
May God bless you all, with friends who can help you with such stay options. Yeah, this was our stay in Auli – at Army Base Camp. After exchanging the welcoming salutations with Jawans and breakfast served with so much love and royalty, we headed for our route to Auli Ski Resort which was only 15 minutes away from our stay.
Ski Resort at Auli provides the best conditions for skiing and is regarded as having one of the best skiing-planes in the world. I ask you, how can somebody miss a skiing experience at its best destination? Nops, one cannot. So, we too tried our hands at skiing and tasted our part of the snow.
After the refreshing skiing- morning, our next move was to do some trekking. As, apart from skiing, Auli provides many trekking options in the hills of Garhwal Himalayas i.e. Khulara (12 km), Kuari Pass (11 km), Tapovan (9 km) and Tali (6 km).
We opted for Gurson Bugyal – being the nearest one from the ski resort, just 3 Km’s away and barely 1.5 km from the last tower of the ropeway. It is at a height of 3056 mts. above sea level with a panoramic view of snow-covered peaks of the Himalayas. Our journey for Gorson followed…
The trek starts here…
With ski resort as the entry point for the trek, Gurson Bugyal is a huge meadow spread along the huge mountain peaks and the route takes you through a mixed forest of snow-laden oaks and conifers.
You will meet a few fallen trees on the way, which serve as the narrators, reciting the stories of ‘Wood and Snow. Try to listen and share some with us.
The route takes you deep into the forest. Keep walking and keep admiring the scenic lush green woodland. The most admirable thing about the route is its solitariness and rawness which keeps you fresh and alive all the time.
The route takes you through this
As you leave the woodland behind, You enter into the wonderland with endless snow-covered slopes. Enjoy the spellbinding 270- degree view of the snow-draped Mana Parvat, Nanda Devi and Kamet Dronagiri, as you move forward.
From here, It is a matter of your choice only to set an endpoint for your expedition, as it’s free to open ground now. We went along with our nomadic spirit, leaving the route behind and freeing us to explore ‘off the trek’.
Yun hi chala chal raahi, kitni haseen hai ye duniya…
After attaining every slope- peak, we kept on selecting another one as our next possible stopping point and went on wandering. This kept our motivation level high and wandering-lust higher. And see, what we were up to…
The Nowhere land
Choose a peak as It’s time to sit and experience the Auli-evenings, as they are no less than a spiritual spree. As the radiant sun goes down, the sky, like a chameleon, changes its color every minute and drifting clouds take shapes of your imagination.
You can see the magic happening and then only can understand, why Shiva opted The Himalayas for meditation and his adobe. The feeling of tranquility and oneness with nature fills you and leaves you with hovering memories for life. You get the true “peace of mind.’
Try to return before it gets too dark, as there are no accommodations except at Auli Ski Resort. A trekking guide is suggested for convenience and safe wandering.
Ever, try to meet yourself at Auli!