Uttarakhand Winter Roadtrip — Holidaying in Auli When There Was No Snow

Holiday in Auli, Uttarakhand

The reason we planned the Uttarakhand roadtrip last winters was for snow in Auli. In fact, we had booked Kashmir initially, but owing to the ongoing disturbances and curfews, we cancelled the Kashmir bookings, and went for Auli instead, thinking that the next best place for snow in the week of Christmas to New Year’s is definitely Auli! Sadly, we were wrong. Snow evaded Auli in December last year. It came on 2nd Jan, by when most of us had gone back to our schools and offices L We were travelling with friends, and both our daughters were particularly unhappy. So were we, for, we had looked forward to a snow holiday the entire year…

To be stationed in Auli for 2 days and 2 nights, we decided not to get depressed about the snow no-show. Instead, we cheered up the kids saying that we could go on a ‘picnic trek’ for the whole of the next day. And so, what we did in Auli, was mostly trek…

Walk down towards the Auli military base…

The sun was still out post lunch — we decided to make the most of it by walking down towards Joshimath. Yeah, the same road we had climbed a little while ago. But since the road, being the only one to Auli, had cars frequently on both sides, we took a narrow road on the right that went towards a few houses. This road, too, had a few military trucks coming in every once in a while, but we hurried off towards a little non-motorable land that overlooked the Nanda Devi…and loitered there for a while admiring the bare hills turning red with the rays of the setting sun…

 

Trek up the Auli Hills…

We went around asking everyone if it’d snow the next day. They confirmed our fears, saying that snow was another 2-3 days away. However, to lift our spirits, one of the desk staff at the Garhawal Mandal Vikas Nigam (Read: Auli Drive & Staying at the GMVN) , where we were staying, told us the hills higher up had some snow, and that, if we were interested, we could take the kids there the next morning. What more did we want?! The little girls had carried carrots all the way from Gurgaon for the ‘Snoman’s nose’, and this would be at least some salvaging of the situation.

And so, the next morning, after breakfast, we took the chair lift to the base from where the trek started. Walked past a little wood with lofty deodar and oak trees, lingered around the quintessential Shiva temple you tend to find in every forest of Uttarakhand, and when further up, we came to a little clearing completely bathed in sunshine. It looked so warm and inviting that we, the moms, immediately raised our hands to say, “This is it. We are lying down here….you guys do/go whatever/wherever you want to”. With that, we lay down in the slopes of that lovely meadow that looked into the snow-capped hills ahead. Bliss…

The fathers and the daughters walked up a little bit more where the snow was, and played there for the next couple of hours, throwing one another snowballs, and making their precious snowman. They didn’t miss us, the moms. We moms didn’t miss them either!

On our way back, we stopped by two shacks that sold Maggie , chips and juices…..we had them all… out of a sinister compulsive disorder to chomp  on something while loitering!

Perhaps not how we’d have loved to see Auli, but we made the most of the given circumstances…..

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For the complete Uttarakhand Winter Roadtrip itinerary, where to stay, what to see and what to buy, read — An Uttarakhand Roadtrip Last Winters

(P.S: We have chronicled the summer road-trip in Uttarakhand in a separate series. Should you want to plan a similar trip, here’s help with itinerary, stay suggestions, shopping tips and food tips! Read — An Uttarakhand Road-trip This Summer)

 

 

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