Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 9th March 2018, 00:02   #1
BHPian
 
MandarMax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Pune
Posts: 189
Thanked: 389 Times
Default Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days

TL;DR

This travelogue is about our recent trip to Uttarakhand from 24th - 28th of February 2018.

I would like to begin with some teaser pictures:
Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-t1.png
Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-t3.png
Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-t4.png
Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-t5.png
Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-t6.png
Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-t7.png

The longer version starts from below. I have divided the content into the following posts:

1. Prologue

2. Day 1 - Dehradun to Auli

3. Day 2 - Auli

4. Day 3 - Auli to Ranikhet

5. Day 4 - Jim Corbett and back

Last edited by MandarMax : 10th March 2018 at 11:44.
MandarMax is offline   (13) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 9th March 2018, 10:54   #2
BHPian
 
MandarMax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Pune
Posts: 189
Thanked: 389 Times
Default Prologue

Prologue

Around 26th January this year, I was discussing with my cousin how I didn't get to see any snow during my last trip and I told him that maybe we should plan another trip to the Himalayas during Jan-Feb of next year. On hearing this, he said why do you want to wait until the next year? It's winter, we can go now! I laughed off saying that it's a good suggestion but like many plans we make, I said, I don't think we are actually going to do it. I think he took it quite seriously and he took it upon himself to plan something around my birthday weekend in the second half of February.

A week passed. My cousin went to Bangalore for a week for some training and I had almost forgotten regarding our conversation. But as soon as he got back, he spoke with my elder brother and another cousin from Mumbai and both agreed to join. This was happening quite fast and I couldn't believe we were actually doing a trip to celebrate my birthday.

It wasn't possible to get a long leave at such a short notice, but everyone confirmed that they could manage at the most 4 days. Now we needed to decide the destination.

Planning

Himachal was ruled out because I had recently been there and almost everyone in our group had been there. We thought we could go to Kashmir valley (fly to Srinagar) or to Ladakh (Fly to Leh) but both options were eventually ruled out for security/cost/weather reasons.

We started looking at options in Uttaranchal. We first zeroed in on Nainital because it was so easy to go to from Delhi. But snowfall isn't guaranteed in Nainital, especially in late February, so it was also ruled out. Next, we started looking at Chopta/Tungnath, Auli, Munsiyari etc. Of all these options we thought Auli was relatively easy to do, plus it is one of the very few Skiing destinations in India, so we thought we could have more fun there. However, once we started the research, we realised that snowfall in Auli isn't guaranteed. In fact, we saw many news reports suggesting that how Auli has been without much snow for the last couple of years. We also saw reports of an international event getting cancelled in January for lack of snow. But, around 13th of February, we saw reports of snowfall in that region and our hopes were up again. We thought maybe it's not such a bad situation and we decided to take our chances.

We soon came up with an itinerary:
  • Catch a red-eye flight from Pune to Delhi on Friday midnight/early Saturday (Cousins were to fly from Mumbai)
  • Take an early morning flight to Dehradun
  • From Dehradun hire a car and go to Auli which was about 275kms from the airport. We were also considering Zoomcar, but they don't have any presence in Dehradun, so we decided to book a Toyota Innova with a driver. (It proved to be an excellent decision as you will find out soon)
  • Spend a couple of nights in Auli and maybe go to some hill town like Kausani or Almora or Nainital before heading back to Delhi
  • Fly back from Delhi to Pune and back to the routine from Wednesday

It was a hectic plan but was doable. We booked our flight tickets and also booked the Innova via Savaari.com. We were a bit confused about the accommodation in Auli but after talking to a couple of friends who had been to Auli, we decided to book the GMVN resort. The resort was booked via the GMVN office in Mumbai.

D-Day!

It was Friday, 23rd February. The flight was at midnight (24th Feb). I finished work, went home, packed the bags with all the warm clothes I could find. Fortunately, I still had all the winter clothing from my Vancouver (Canada) days.

My brother and I went to the Pune airport around 11:30 pm, checked in our bags and started waiting for the Go Air flight to Delhi.

While I was waiting at the airport, I had an interesting conversation with my boss/CEO, who's British and lives in London. He asked me how long would it take to get to the destination? I told him roughly 19-20 hrs of travel from Pune. He jokingly suggested that I could reach Europe and start skiing much earlier than that. I realised that that was true. Although it would probably cost me 5x the money. As I started thinking about it, I realised how much improvement in connectivity is needed. China has already built excellent roads on their side of the border and hopefully, India will catch up soon.

The flight arrived as per the schedule but got delayed because of a drunk passenger who vomited everywhere after boarding the flight (Yikes!). I could not sleep well mostly because of the excitement but also because of the stench in the air and the poor attempts by the crew to cover it up using some cheap air freshener.

We landed at Delhi airport at 3:30 am on T2. The next flight was from T1. We followed directions outside of the terminal and boarded the "free" shuttle only to find that it was not free unless you collected the necessary coupons from the terminal. We were not happy that there was no clear information regarding the coupons. We paid Rs. 25 per person, which was still not bad. We reached T1 after a drive of about 15-20 mins. My cousins from Mumbai had already arrived there, so we completed the security checks for the Dehradun flight and went to the food court to have some food.

The Delhi - Dehradun flight was a short one and we were out of the Jolly Grant airport by 7:45 am. Our Innova soon arrived and we started our long journey to Auli.

Last edited by MandarMax : 9th March 2018 at 20:46.
MandarMax is offline   (7) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 9th March 2018, 11:43   #3
BHPian
 
MandarMax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Pune
Posts: 189
Thanked: 389 Times
Default Day 1 - Dehradun to Auli

Day 1 - Dehradun to Auli


Our route to Auli was following:

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-dehaulimap.png

The route elevation profile looked like the following. Auli isn't very high.

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-elevation.png

Google was suggesting about 8 hrs 30 mins and the total distance was 279 km. It did not seem too difficult. We estimated that including stops for food, fuel etc. we should be able to cover the distance in max 10 hours, so we should reach the destination by 6 pm latest. Little did we realise how wrong the estimate was going to be. First of all, as soon as we left Rishikesh, we found that road widening work was going on (The all-weather char Dham road project) which meant that there were many rough patches, man-made landslides (!) and one-way sections where the traffic was allowed from only one side at a time. This slowed us down considerably. Secondly, it was cloudy with a chance of heavy rains later in the day.

Views of Rishikesh:

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-rishikesh.jpg

We were hoping to cross Rudraprayag before lunchtime, but by 1 pm we had barely managed to reach Devprayag. Our driver was a very careful driver (read: slow ) so we soon realised that we were definitely not reaching before dark.

The only solace was the scenery. We were driving along the fast, beautiful aqua coloured Ganga river and its tributaries and it was very enjoyable.

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-gangaroad.jpg

We came across many people doing river rafting on the Ganga rapids. It was very tempting but considering our tight schedule we decided to stick to our plan.

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-gangaboats.jpg

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-gangarapids.jpg

The road rises higher before Devprayag and the river starts looking smaller:

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-gangahighview.jpg

Sangam at Devprayag:
Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-devprayagsangam.jpg

The mountains and the river make everything appear small. Do you see the cars and the trucks in the picture below?

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-roadtorudraprayag.jpg

We stopped at Hotel Samrat which is few kilometres before Rudraprayag.

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-samratrestuarant.jpg

It's a decent hotel and it is big enough so if you are on this route you just cannot miss it. It also has an excellent location overlooking the Alaknanda river. The food was good. We were on our way, after stopping for 45 mins, around 3 pm.

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-samratalaknanda.jpg

It also started raining around the same time and the rain continued all the way till we reached Auli. It also affected our speed to some extent.

We continued our journey through Rudraprayag, Karnaprayag, Chamoli etc. The roads were getting a bit narrower and a bit risky because of the rain. We also were glad that we had hired a car with a driver because we were very tired by afternoon and we were able to catch up on some sleep.

It was getting dark by the time we got near Chamoli. We also got our first glimpse of snow peaks around that time. Needless to say that we were very excited to see the snow.

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-snowview.jpg

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-villagesnow.jpg

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-sunset.jpg

Just after it became dark, we stopped for a chai near Pipalkoti. There was only one chai shop open at the time. It was raining and it felt extremely cold.

Our destination was still about 1.5 hours away. We continued our journey through some good and some really bad roads till Joshimath. The road leading to GMVN Auli was towards our right hand there was a board showing some 14 Km distance. We kept going through the narrow roads. It was raining heavily by this time and at one point, the rain turned into what appeared like snow. It wasn't proper snowfall though because the snow was turning into water immediately. After what seemed like an eternity, we saw another board saying GMVN Auli - 2 Km. We were finally reaching the end of today's journey and within a few mins, we were at the hotel.

We got out to find some snow accumulated on the hotel steps. It was very slippery! We soon completed the formalities and were handed over the room keys. The thermometer at the hotel was reading -3 degrees Celsius. It was really very cold. It also meant that there were very good chances of snowfall tomorrow.

The rooms were towards the higher part of the resort. We took a flight of stairs and after what seemed like 3-4 floors climb, we were near our room.

We realised that the room wasn't very tidy or well maintained, but we were too exhausted to care about it. Thankfully there was a room heater and it was working well.

We ordered some food in our room and were ready to go to bed by 10 am.

I told everyone how nice it would be if there is white snow everywhere when we wake up tomorrow morning.

Little did I know then that my prayers were about to be answered and how!

Last edited by MandarMax : 9th March 2018 at 21:48.
MandarMax is offline   (11) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 9th March 2018, 11:49   #4
BHPian
 
MandarMax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Pune
Posts: 189
Thanked: 389 Times
Default Day 2 - Auli

Day 2 - Auli

I got up early next morning. It was still dark, I looked at my watch and it was showing 6 am. I opened the curtains in anticipation and saw this:

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-0morningsnowview.jpg

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-1morningmountains2.jpg

I woke everyone up. To say that we were delighted would be an understatement. We were elated to see so much of fresh snow. We were soon out walking on the snow and taking photographs.

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-2morningviewtreesnow.jpg

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-4collage1.png[snow]

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-5snowbrownmountains.jpg

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-28mountainsbirdwhite.jpg

It was still dark and cloudy. We freshened up got dressed and went for breakfast.

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-6snowviewrestaurant.jpg

The ambient temperature was around -6 degrees Celsius. It is recommended to have proper layers of clothing in this kind of weather - thermals, sweatshirt and two easily removable layers of winter clothing, such as a jacket, windcheater etc. You also need hand gloves, cap and goggles.

View of the resort:
Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-4auliresort.jpg

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-8auliresortplaque.jpg

The cars in the parking lot were all covered with snow. Our driver was very happy:
Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-7snowcars.jpg

By the time we were going to the breakfast room, the sky had started clearing up and some shades of blue were visible through the clouds.

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-9bluemountainscentre2.jpg
Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-10bluemountainscentre.jpg
Attachment 1740095

The breakfast was subpar, to say the least, but what the heck! We couldn't care less about the food.

We walked around the resort, played with the snow for some time. It was getting brighter.

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-12blueslopeleft.jpg

Our next stop was the main ski slopes of Auli. There were two options to go to the top either take the cable car from Joshimath. or take the ski lifts which were just a few steps ahead of our room. We obviously chose the second option.

We purchased return tickets @ Rs. 300/- per person and soon we were ready for the chairlift ride.

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-13chairliftstartdown.jpg

The ski slopes as seen near the chairlifts:
Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-14auliskislope.jpg

The open chairlift provides an exhilarating ride and offers breath-taking views of the Himalayas.

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-15chairliftsleft.jpg

We reached the top after a 5 min ride. Once you reach the top, there is a small cabin next to the chairlift station where you can rent skiing equipment. Me and my brother had proper outdoor shoes, which were good enough for the snow but my cousin decided to rent snow boots. He paid Rs. 100/- and it seemed like a really good bargain.

The Ropeway station:
Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-16auliropewaystation.jpg

The views from the top were even better:
Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-17aulimountainscentre.jpg

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-18morningsnowtrees.jpg

We walked down from the ski station towards the artificial lake (I heard that it's the highest man-made lake in India).

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-19aulilakemountains.jpg


The snow was powdery white and the sky had totally cleared up. It was sunny and the sun was actually burning the skin. There was this weird sensation of coldness and sun burning at the same time. Also, it was impossible to walk around without sunglasses.

We literally became kids after seeing the snow and started playing like kids in the snow. We made snowballs and started fighting as if we were 10 years old again.

Yours truly, enjoying the snow like a kid:
Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-22meenjoyingsnow2.jpg

We also made a snowman.

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-21snowman.jpg

The views were getting better and better. From the top, we had a clear view of the snow peaks. In the photo below, you can see Dronagiri (Yes, the same mountain from Ramayana) to the left, Nanda Devi in the middle and Trishul to the right.

Nanda Devi peak in the centre.
Click image for larger version

Name:	19aulilakemountains.jpg
Views:	186
Size:	569.3 KB
ID:	1740113

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-20aulinandadevi.jpg

We spent a couple of hours on the top, but the sun was now shining with its full might, which was making things difficult. The snow had started melting slowly and it was getting a bit slippery.

There is a chai/Maggi shop at the top. We decided to stop there.

When it's cold outside but your tea is still too hot to handle:
Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-24aulichai.jpg

Took more pictures and came down to the hotel.

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-23chairliftbluesky.jpg
Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-25chairliftcomingdown.jpg

We had no other plans today, we just wanted to enjoy the snow and the beautiful mountain views outside of our window.

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-26mountainroadsverticalzoom.jpg

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-27mountaintreeszoom.jpg

After a brief siesta, we decided to take a walk down on the Joshimath road. We walked for a couple of kilometres, but it was getting dark so we decided to go back to the hotel.

The golden rays of the setting sun made the mountains look very pretty.
Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-30mountainsunset.jpg

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-31mountainroadwaydown.jpg

We also had to plan the next day. We wanted to go to Jim Corbett national park, but it was probably too far. We decided to plan the next destination on the move.

We have had good two days here. But apart from the location and the views, there were hardly any positives about the GMVN resort. The food ranged from bad to very bad. My cousin tried the chicken and it was not even cooked properly. The vegetarian dishes were equally awful. When we reordered some good dishes, the repeat dishes were not good. (Pro tip - pay the waiters Rs. 10 every time they provide room service. This ensured that at least we got prompt service.)

Last edited by MandarMax : 9th March 2018 at 23:36.
MandarMax is offline   (13) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 9th March 2018, 11:51   #5
BHPian
 
MandarMax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Pune
Posts: 189
Thanked: 389 Times
Default Day 3 - No fixed destination

Day 3 - No fixed destination

After a peaceful night's sleep, got up around 6:30 am on Monday.

It was all sunny, the sky had the darkest shade of blue that I had seen recently, and the mountains were looking even more beautiful than yesterday. There was hardly any snow left around us, it had all been melted down already.

How many times do you wake-up to such wonderful views outside of your window? How many times do you have such an exciting start on a Monday?

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-1morningsunrise.jpg.jpg

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-2blueskymountains.jpg

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-3bluskymountains.jpg

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-4blueskymountainsvertical.jpg

I was truly feeling sad when leaving Auli, but it was time to go.

After having another (awful) breakfast at GMVN, we decided to bid adieus to the beautiful snow peaks. I was wondering if that's why they have such awful food, otherwise no one would want to leave.

Bye bye Auli!

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-5mountainsbyebyeauli.jpg

It was 8:30 am and quite bright everywhere. It was dark when we came here and for the first time, we were seeing Joshimath during the daytime. We realised that much of the road was good too and there were a lot of scenic spots that we could not see on the way up.

Some views on the way back from Joshimath.

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-6mountainsjoshimathroad.jpg

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-7mountainroad.jpg

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-8mountainroadvillages.jpg

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-9mountainroadtreesbest.jpg

About half an hour later, we came to a sudden halt. The traffic had stopped due to a landslide. Fortunately, by that time we reached there, it was almost cleared up, so we were on our way within 10 mins.

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-10landslide.jpg

We came across more wonderful views. This view near Pipalkoti probably takes the cake!

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-11pipalkotivalleyview.jpg

We were soon on the familiar route to Karnaprayag and it was time to decide the next destination. We wanted to go to Jim Corbett (Ramnagar) but it was about 280 km / 10 hours away. We knew it would be ambitious but decided to carry on anyway.

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-auliramnagar.png

We reached Karnaprayag around 11:30 am.

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-12karnaprayagbridge.jpg

We soon took a turn towards the road that was pointing towards Nainital. This road was also a narrow mountain road but there was almost no traffic. We planned to reach Gairsain by 2 pm and then decide the next course.

We experienced a new thing during this trip - kids in almost every village were blocking the roads and stopping cars, asking for Chanda (i.e. money). We gave Chanda to few such groups but soon it got annoying as we were being stopped after every few kilometres or so. This slowed us down tremendously. By the time we reached Gairsain, it was 2:30 pm and Ramnagar was still about 150 Km away (another 6 hours). It didn't make sense to stretch so much, so we decided to go to Ranikhet for the night and continue to Jim Corbett in the morning.

Views along the road. "Tiger stripes" like shadows:
Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-13tigerpatternroad.jpg

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-14valleyviewsomewhere.jpg

Flowers they look slightly different than Rhododendron, not sure!
Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-15rohododendron.jpg

We reached Ranikhet by sunset and we were a bit disappointed to find that the place didn't seem as good as we had hoped. There were many expensive hotels few Km outside of Ranikhet but since we were going to stay for just one night we did not want to spend much money. We searched for a hotel on MakeMyTrip and it suggested: "Holm Heritage Hotel" at a good price. The reviews were good too. The hotel was not easy to find even though it was not very far from the main road. We reached there slightly after the sunset and we discovered that it was actually a Victorian-era house built in the 1870s by its (then) British owner. The location was excellent and it had a very old world charm to it. The hotel was secluded and we found that there were no other guests staying at the hotel that night. The rooms seemed too dark to my taste and floors were creaky. Seemed a bit haunted! I have no penchant for staying in old places so we decided to look elsewhere.

We soon found a decent hotel named "Mayur". It had good, clean rooms and it was cheap too.

We decided to start by 9 am next morning, which would allow us to catch the catch the 2 pm safari from Ramnagar.

Last edited by MandarMax : 10th March 2018 at 11:17.
MandarMax is offline   (10) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 9th March 2018, 20:42   #6
BHPian
 
MandarMax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Pune
Posts: 189
Thanked: 389 Times
Default Day 4 - Jim Corbett

Day 4 - Ranikhet to Jim Corbett

Next morning we woke up to find some good views of the Himalayan mountain range near our hotel.

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-0ranikhet.jpg

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-1ranikhet.jpg

After clicking a few pics, we walked around Ranikhet bazaar area, had a nice breakfast of Samosa chaat, Gujia (a sweet made around the Holi period) etc.

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-2chaat.jpg

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-3gujia.jpg

We decided to go to the Army museum but it is closed on Tuesdays, so we decided to head straight towards Ramnagar.

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-4ranikhet-ramnagar.jpg

The jungle seemed impressive as we were approaching Ram Nagar.

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-4road-corbett.jpg

After about 3 hours we reached the Jim Corbett park. Our driver had an acquaintance who arranged the Safari for us for Rs. 3500/- We didn't know much about the Corbett Safari then but we realised that the park was huge and there were multiple entrances ("gates") and multiple routes inside the park. We were told that the chances of spotting a tiger might depend upon which gate you enter from. Generally, the number of vehicles allowed through the popular gates are limited to some 30 cars or so, so you are advised to book in advance. In our case we were to enter from a not-so-popular gate called "Teda Gate" and this gate has no limitations, so if you are arriving without much planning, you are likely to enter via this or a similar gate without any vehicle limitations.

All the safari cars at Jim Corbett are modified versions of Maruti Gypsys, that can sit about 5-7 people excluding the driver. There are also elephant safaris but we didn't explore that option.

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-5elephant.jpg

We realised that there are a fair amount of villages and human population inside the national park.

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-6corbett-road.jpg

What is worse is for the first few km there is continuous traffic of other cars and mostly two-wheelers and everyone uses loud horns making the chances of spotting any wildlife extremely rare.

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-7corbett-road-bike.jpg

As you start entering deep into the Jungle, the civilian traffic becomes less and less and the forest starts becoming more and more denser.

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-8corbett-road.jpg

We soon left the tarmac and a rough road started. This is when we started spotting some wild animals. We saw plenty of monkeys, spotted deer, barking deer, horses, peacocks etc.

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-9corbette-trees-vertical.jpg

Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days-10horse.jpg

We came very close to spotting the tiger on a couple of occasions. A person from the car ahead of us claimed that he had seen the tiger at a distance but it soon disappeared. We believed him based on bird calls and other sounds coming from that direction. On the second occasion, we were almost out of the jungle area towards end of the safari, and we were near some small houses and suddenly dogs started barking and some started running away scared, the road had a bend ahead of us and as soon as we turned we saw a couple of teenagers on bike who had stopped, and they looked alert and scared. They told us that they saw the tiger crossing the road. We went ahead and waited with baited breath but no luck!

All in all, it was a good experience but we didn't spot many animals. I would suggest taking a morning safari to improve your chances.

We headed back to New Delhi soon after the safari. Stopped at a Dhaba around 9 pm for some cheap but delicious food and then went straight to the airport by 12:30 am. Our flights were in the morning, so I enquired at the Indigo counter if they could accommodate us with an earlier flight and they allowed us for a small fee. We were back in Pune before sunrise.

I was back to the routine from the same day. In the end, I thought it was tiring, but it was totally worth it.

Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed it!

Last edited by MandarMax : 10th March 2018 at 11:42.
MandarMax is offline   (21) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th March 2018, 18:47   #7
SDP
Team-BHP Support
 
SDP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 4,005
Thanked: 8,736 Times
Default re: Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
SDP is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th March 2018, 00:21   #8
BHPian
 
haria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: bangalore
Posts: 297
Thanked: 329 Times
Default re: Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days

Quote:
Originally Posted by MandarMax View Post
TL;DR

This travelogue is about our recent trip to Uttarakhand from 24th - 28th of February 2018.

Nice Travelogue, MandarMax! and quite lovely photographs. Nicely detailed!
haria is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th March 2018, 11:10   #9
Distinguished - BHPian
 
libranof1987's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: All over!
Posts: 4,394
Thanked: 4,566 Times
Default re: Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days

Wonderful pictures and a neat travelogue!

We self-drove our City on the same circuit during our Valley of Flowers trip, but from Delhi, many years ago; the drive is indeed stunning. Missed going to Auli though, as we'd gone in Aug and land-slides and inclement weather were in their true glory.

The "you just missed the tiger" or "the tiger just passed" is a common frustrating sentiment across all national parks/reserves.
libranof1987 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th March 2018, 12:22   #10
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Chennai
Posts: 338
Thanked: 800 Times
Default Re: Day 1 - Dehradun to Auli

Quote:
Originally Posted by MandarMax View Post
We came across many people doing river rafting on the Ganga rapids. It was very tempting but considering our tight schedule we decided to stick to our plan.
I've been there! There was (is?) an adventure tourism outfit run by retired Indian Army personnel. In March 2011, we took the following package offered by them; perhaps their name is 'Camp Sea Hawk' or some such hawkish name, situated off the Ganges near Hrishikesh -
1) Overnight camping by the Ganges, in well-made tents. They lit up a fire at night and we were seated by the riverside
2) Whitewater rafting
3) Food served. It was yummy!
4) Restrooms available
5) Cliff-jumping
6) Body-rafting (once the whitewater rafting is done)

Once we were done with this, we took an 8 hour trip as you did, only by bus though, to Joshi mutt. Then onwards to Auli and a futile attempt at learning skiing.

Glad you went there too. Great place it is indeed.

Sadly, the Valley of Flowers, which is the vicinity, was totally flattened in that deluge 3-4 years ago.
locusjag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th March 2018, 12:54   #11
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Thane
Posts: 100
Thanked: 41 Times
Default Re: Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days

Awesome pics MandarMax, next time, will plan to go. Is December good time to go.
dsnaveen21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th March 2018, 13:31   #12
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Chennai
Posts: 338
Thanked: 800 Times
Default Re: Day 1 - Dehradun to Auli

Quote:
Originally Posted by locusjag View Post
I've been there! There was (is?) an adventure tourism outfit run by retired Indian Army personnel. In March 2011, we took the following package offered by them; perhaps their name is 'Camp Sea Hawk' or some such hawkish name, situated off the Ganges near Hrishikesh -
Deep apologies for this back-to-back post, but I need to do this as the time-limit to edit my post is gone; Mods, please merge if need be.

I just found the name of the aforementioned camp that I had visited long ago - It is indeed Camp Sea Hawk - https://www.tripadvisor.in/Attractio...tarakhand.html

I recommend it
locusjag is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th March 2018, 14:31   #13
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Navi Mumbai
Posts: 21
Thanked: 20 Times
Default Re: Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days

Liked the pics and will surely visit Auli once!

Regarding the drive parallel to ganges, we returned from Kausani to Rishikesh via that route last October and we were all mesmerised by the scenic drive. It was as if the Ganges was with us throughout our 8 hour drive on Diwali day!

Ranikhet is a useless place which we realised only after staying there for a night, hotels are all antique and food not upto the mark. The Army museum was nice though which we visited.

I have also visited Jim Corbett and my guide only showed me tiger paw marks on some tree. I didnt even hear "Tiger just passed"!!!

Anyways inspired by the breathtaking snaps taken by you at Auli and looking forward to visit soon.
Subroto Bhowmik is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th March 2018, 16:01   #14
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Delhi
Posts: 38
Thanked: 22 Times
Default Re: Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days

Lovely snaps Mandar and a very well written travelogue.

I have been to Auli in summers for treks around the place. The whole place takes on a new personality in the winters. Must compliment you on the amazing snaps once again.
shekatkar31 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th March 2018, 23:12   #15
BHPian
 
MandarMax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Pune
Posts: 189
Thanked: 389 Times
Default Re: Chhota Break - Auli & Jim Corbett in 4 days

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
The "you just missed the tiger" or "the tiger just passed" is a common frustrating sentiment across all national parks/reserves.
That certainly seems to be the case, and not only in India. I know someone who recently returned from an African safari and he didn't spot any Lions. He told me that he met a co-traveller who'd been coming to Africa since last ten years but never spotted a Lion. Sounds like an extreme case. But you never know!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsnaveen21 View Post
Awesome pics MandarMax, next time, will plan to go. Is December good time to go.
I'm not sure if it receives snowfall as early as December, maybe towards the end of the month. I think the probability is higher in January and early February. In our case, I think we were really lucky.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Subroto Bhowmik View Post
Ranikhet is a useless place which we realised only after staying there for a night, hotels are all antique and food not upto the mark. The Army museum was nice though which we visited.
Completely agree! Ranikhet was a total letdown.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Subroto Bhowmik View Post
I have also visited Jim Corbett and my guide only showed me tiger paw marks on some tree. I didnt even hear "Tiger just passed"!!!
Haha. Thankfully I thought that our driver was at least trying hard - unless he's really good at acting!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Subroto Bhowmik View Post
Anyways inspired by the breathtaking snaps taken by you at Auli and looking forward to visit soon.
Quote:
Originally Posted by shekatkar31 View Post
Lovely snaps Mandar and a very well written travelogue.

I have been to Auli in summers for treks around the place. The whole place takes on a new personality in the winters. Must compliment you on the amazing snaps once again.
Thank you all
MandarMax is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Delhi - Jim Corbett abhinav.gupta88 Route / Travel Queries 45 5th September 2013 10:47
Different Shades of Green-A Trip To Jim Corbett National Park deky Travelogues 33 24th September 2010 12:27
Jim Corbett Weather in June ? whatcanthisbe Route / Travel Queries 4 17th June 2009 14:15
Need help for road trip from hyderabad to Jim corbett national park. joshuakeys Route / Travel Queries 7 24th November 2008 09:29
Jim Corbett & Naukuchiatal Country Road Travelogues 21 22nd August 2008 16:15


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 08:47.

Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks