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Travel, Hiking & Trekking in Uttarakhand

Auli in the Indian region of Uttarakhand is one of the best ski destinations with dazzling natural beauty. This charming place in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand is situated at an altitude of 2800 m above sea level. Auli, literally means the meadow. This shopping center in ancient times is now well known as a destination for winter sports and pilgrimage. With snowy mountains and sweet cool breeze makes the mountains a skiers paradise. Auli is blessed with a wonderful collection of scenes in sight.

Thrilling for both experts as well as enthusiasts of ski beginners, the land is surrounded and covered with evergreen conifers and oak forests. The moderately cold temperature ensures a pleasant winter experience.

Upon arrival at the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, we move to our pre booked hotel at Auli. Later we enjoy a sumptuous local Indian dinner. After a long cold night, we wake upto some magnificent scenes of Auli. We have an early breakfast in the morning, and start our journey exploring the famous Valley of Flowers. We find here a wonderful collection of variety of bright flowers. This beautiful meadow located at a height of eleven thousand feet above sea level grabs the hearts of visitors.

Dwarf rhododendrons, ferns, dwarf iris, blue poppies and asters are some of the species found in Valley of Flowers. Then we move to the famous Gurson Bugyal, covered with oaks and conifers, which is located 3 Km away from Auli. It's a great place to enjoy the breathtaking views of the Trishul Parvat and Nanda Devi. The land slowly transforms from green to a snow covered pasture and it is spectacular. After seeing the panoramic scenes view of Gurso Bugyal, we return to the hotel and have another delightful dinner.

After breakfast, we start the third day of our trip exploring Chattrakund. It is located in the middle of the jungle and at a distance of 1 Km from Gurso Bugyal. We see here a small lake with crystal clear waters, which is slightly of sweet taste. After visiting Chattra Kund, we move to the famous Kwani Bugyal, located at 3380 meters above the sea level. The best time to visit Kwani Bugyal is from June to September and is one of the favorite destinations for trekkers. In the late evening, we return to the hotel. We have our dinner and enjoy a good sleep at the hotel.

On day 4, we have our english breakfast and get ready to explore the famous Bhavishya Badri. It is one of the five Badri shrines in the region. According to belief, there will be a time when the Badrinath shrine will get inaccessible due to collision of Nar and Narayana Mountain. Mana, inhabited by tribes known as Indo Mangolian Bhotias is another destination we explore later. Vyas Gufa, Ganesh Gufa and Bheem Pul are some of the main attractions of Mana. After enjoying the scenes of view of Mana, we return to the hotel. We have our dinner.

On day 5 we start our trekking towards the Roopkund, one of the best known in this part of the Himalayas trekking zones. The Roopkund lake, also called the mystery lake and the ending point of trekking is situated at 4778 m altitude at the foot of the massif of Trishul Parvat (7145 m). Due to weather conditions and heavy snowfall during the last days, we could not do the last stage and reach the lake and we had to settle by reaching up to 4000 meters altitude. Anyway, the trekking was wonderful and one of the most beautiful that can be done in the Indian Himalayas.

On day 6 after the first two stages from Auli to Kuari Pass we did another round of trekking from a village called Sitel (1830 m), which we arrive after 7 hours drive from Joshimath, thanks to the fantastic roads, which is well connected by taxis and buses. From there the first stage leads to the village of Kanol (2710 m).

Through forests and meadows in what is normally a quiet stage, a great detachment caused that the bridge to cross a river has been destroyed, with which we had to make the long way instead of the short one to arrive at Kanol. And this has made us learn that when in India they say long way, it means really long. Instead of the original 9 km, we had to do 25 km with 1400 m of positive difference and a total of 7 hours. But it has been worth it for the landscapes and the villages that we have seen along the way.

On day 7 from Kanol we go to another village called Wan (2500 m), on a stage with extraordinary views of Kanol and the surrounding mountains and the village of Wan, especially from the Paso Kukin Khal (3122 m). This day has been quiet with only 3 hours and 30 minutes of road, 500 m of positive gradient and 9 km distance.

On day 8 we leave at 10:30 of the morning and start the stage leading from the village to the Wan Bedni Bugyal camp at 3475 m. The word Bugial means meadow, but of meadows we have not seen because it has begun to snow and hail copiously. In any case the stage was very beautiful, with precious views from a hill that there was about Wan first, and then crossing the forest we arrived until Bedni Bugyal (3475 m).

As I said before, once out of the forest and before reaching the camp, it begins to snow and hail as I had rarely seen. At the end we managed to set up the shops and we started to drink some tea to get warm. After 4-5 hours of snowfall and hail storms, the panorama of the camp and the surroundings was not very encouraging.

But after the storm always comes the calm and the dawn of the following morning made it well worth the cold of last night. With stunning views of the Trishul massif, the Chaukhamba and more on the horizon of Shivalik massif, made it worth being there.

On day 9 after breakfast we were on our way to the Roopkund lake once again, passing by the Bagubasa camp (4700 m) with the idea to get back in the afternoon and sleep in the same camp. But after about 2 hours of walking and when we were at 4000 meters, we saw that it was impossible because there was too much snow and because the weather was getting worse quickly. At least I had time to take some photos of the spectacular Trishul and Chaukhamba and to return to the camp before it started to snow again.

Then we dismantled the camp under the snow and returned to Wan. After 6 hours and 750 m of positive difference and another 20 km of road we finish the trekking.

On day 10 after early breakfast, we dismantle our camp and take the return trip or odyssey to Joshimath at 7.30 am. I say it odyssey because the trip was first by a Jeep from the village of Wan to the village of Debal, then we change jeep to the village of Tharali, another change to the village of Narayanbagar, another change to the village of Karnaprayag, and finally take a bus to Joshimath, which arrive at 6.15 pm.

After a day's rest in Joshimath in my beloved Himalayan Abode, it's time to go home with wonderful memories of a memorable trek.

Uttarakhand Travel Tips

Mussoorie, Nainital, Kausani, Pauri, Lansdowne, Ranikhet, Almora, Pithoragarh, Munsyari and many other attractions for tourists are part of Uttaranchal. Alternatively, experience the spring fever of the beautiful hilltop town of Lansdowne, where the fruit trees bloom again and wildflowers invade the hills, and the villages are full of activity.

Uttaranchal is a paradise for adventure sports. The wide variety of activities ranging from mountaineering in Bhagirathi, Chowkhamba, Nanda Devi, Kamet, Pindari, Sahastrataal, Milam, Kafni, Khatling, Gaumukh, trekking, skiing in Auli, Dayara, Bugyal, Munsyari, Mundali, skating, water sports in all the lakes and rivers including the Tehri Dam to air sports such as parasailing and hang gliding in Pithoragarh, Jolly Grant, Pauri make Uttaranchal one of the most desirable places to the fanatics of adventure sports.

Besides the famous Corbett National Park, Uttaranchal has some stunning places for tourism in the wilderness like the Rajaji National Park, Govind Pashu Vihar, Asan Barrage, Chilla and Saptarishi Ashram, the last four appreciated by bird watchers.


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