Can we hire snow shoes in Auli in winter?
Sure. You will find local youth with snow shoes for hire at both the Joshimath end and Auli end of the ropeway. These shoes are basically “slip-on” rubber gum-boots and not the real snow shoes that can be laced up and combined with gaiters. But they are adequate enough for stomping around in Auli.
Usually the rates are around Rs 100/ per pair per hour. Rest depends on your bargaining skill.
How is the road condition from Rishikesh to Joshimath?
This note is datelined 10 December 2019
Normally it used to take around 8 hours to travel from Rishikesh to Joshimath. From Haridwar it used to be 9 hours. But since one year the Badrinath highway from Rishikesh to Joshimath is under extensive renovation and broadening works. The idea apparently is to convert this road into a 4-lane highway. Anyway, the current situation is that the hill-side cutting and other road construction works is causing frequent traffic jams all along the way. End result is that what used to take 8 hours can now easily take up to 10 hours to travel. There are only two ways to avoid this traffic jam: either start very early before others even get out of bed, or travel very late. If you are not a local, then just start early.
Update on 25 December 2019: situation remains the same. Most of the traffic jam is between Rishikesh and Rudraprayag.
Update on 27 February 2022: The road condition now is in an excellent condition between Rishikesh and Rudraprayag, since most of the construction work has been completed. However, due to the exposed hillside due to the hillside cutting for road broadening, we can expect frequent minor landslides during monsoon. However, all said and done, the roads have vastly improved during the last three years.
I must drink alcohol every day! Will I be able to buy whiskey, beer etc on the way?
Yes, that is a very important question because as a regular boozer myself, I can understand your anxiety on the matter! Fortunately, alcohol can be bought at most of the small towns on the Badrinath highway. But not all brands may be available, specially the high-end brands.
Is non-veg food available on the Badrinath route?
During the Yatra Season when the temples are open, none of the roadside restaurants and dhabas serve non-veg food. Even egg based dished can be difficult to get. Some of the hotels do arrange non-veg food for their guests discreetly, but it all depends on the discretion of the management.
What is the best route and travel time from Delhi to Joshimath?
The shortest and best route is Delhi- Roorkee- Haridwar- Rishikesh- Joshimath. Travel time from Delhi to Joshimath will be around 14 to 15 hours. It takes between 4 to 5 hours to drive from Delhi to Haridwar. From Haridwar it is roughly another 9 hours drive to Joshimath.
We want to trek to the Kuari Pass. Can the hotel arrange it for us?
Yes we can do that. It will require a minimum of 4 additional days. Otherwise we can just put you in touch with the agencies in Joshimath who organise such treks.
Can the hotel arrange our visit to the Valley of Flowers?
Yes we can do that. You will need at least 3 additional days for that purpose. Or four days if you also include Hemkund Sahib in the itinerary.
When is the skiing season in Auli?
The skiing season in Auli is generally from mid-January onwards and includes the month of February and the first week of March. The exact time each year will depend on the dates from which Auli starts receiving good snowfall and the ending will depend on the amount of snowfall received during the winter season. For the purpose of planning, February will be a safe month to plan in advance for skiing.
I need some more information about Badrinath.
Suggest a practical package/itinerary for visiting Joshimath area.
A typical itinerary during the Yatra Season, ie when the Badrinath Temple is open, would be as follows:
Day 1- Arrival in Joshimath. Night stay at the resort.
Day 2- Visit Badrinath and Mana Village. Return by evening for night stay at resort.
Day 3- Visit Auli. Trek up to the highest point Gorson Top. Return by evening for stay at resort.
Day 4- Depart early morning.
The package would thus include 3 night stay at the resort and any other arrangements such as taxi, picnic basket, guide etc.
How far is Badrinath and Mana Village? How much time will be required to visit these two places?
Badrinath is roughly 50km from Joshimath and it takes around 1 ½ hours to 2 hour to travel this distance. Mana village is another 6km ahead of Badrinath. The road ends at Mana.
How to reach Auli from Dream Mountain resort?
The distance between Joshimath market and Auli is around 10km. From the resort Auli is around 10km. You can reach Auli either by road, it will take you 20 to 30 minutes. Or you can go by the cable-car from the market, which also takes around 30 minutes. Return tickets are Rs 750/ per person.
How many days will I need to cover all the areas of interest around Joshimath?
At the minimum you will need two full days. One day for exploring Auli and Gorson bugyals, and another day for the rest of the places of interest. This means that you will be required to stay for three nights because for most guests it will already be evening by the time you reach Joshimath.
What are the places to see around Joshimath?
The main place of tourist interest is Auli, the high altitude meadow that is well known for skiing in winters. Other places of interest are Shankaracharya’s Math, the Kalpavriksha, Lord Narsimha Temple, Garhi Temple and the Tapoban hot springs.
A more detailed description of these places can be seen HERE.
Is there free wifi? Are mobile service provider signals good enough?
YES, we now have free wifi since September 2021! The average speed is 15Mbps. So if you are planning a working vacation in Joshimath, it is now possible, and we have already hosted several such guests.
Apart from that, Idea and Vodafone have pathetic coverage. Airtel has the best coverage at the resort. Jio is just about OK.
Does the resort provide accommodation for drivers?
Yes, we have bunker bed sleeping arrangement for drivers. We also serve complimentary food to the drivers, which is same as that for our hotel staff.
Can vehicles reach the resort easily?
The last one kilometre to the resort is a bit narrow and has hair-pin bends. Vehicles larger than a Force Tempo will find it uncomfortable to reach the resort although it is not impossible.
Does the resort have parking facility?
Yes the resort has parking area within its gates that can accommodate up to six vehicles. The largest size of vehicle that can be accommodated is an Innova or an SUV. Larger vehicles will have to be parked on the road outside.
We are a big group. What is the maximum guest capacity of the resort?
The maximum capacity is 20 if all the rooms, including the reserve rooms are in double occupancy. This can be stretched to 24 by using some of the rooms in triple sharing. We do not go beyond that as it starts to affect the quality of service.
How many persons can be accommodated in the rooms?
The rooms are designed for double occupancy. A third person can be accommodated if necessary. In such cases full extra bedding is provided, but not a bed. Extra charges are applicable.
Are room heaters provided in the rooms in the winter?
Yes, room heaters are provided in the deluxe rooms. The Fire Department does not allow room heaters to be used in the swiss tents for safety reasons.
However, the point to note is that even with room heaters the rooms remain cold when the temperature outside is sub-zero. This is because the walls have so much heat capacity that they act as a heat sink and manage to soak up whatever heat is generated by the heater. You feel the effect only if you are sitting close to the heater. Otherwise the best way to remain warm is to wear inner thermals and go to bed early.
Are the tents sound proof?
No, the tents are not sound proof because the sides are of canvas. This can have its advantages because if someone tells a good joke or farts loudly in one of the tents, the guests in the adjacent tents can have a good laugh!
Are the Swiss Tents comfortable?
The swiss tents are constructed of heavy canvas on a metal frame. All the tents are of the same size and design The room size is 12 ft by 12 ft, which is enough for a double bed, coffee table and chairs. All tents have attached bathrooms with geysers for hot water. The outer roofing layers of the tents have been reinforced with metal sheetings so that they can withstand heavy rains and even heavy snowfall. (Note: We now stand corrected because all our tents have either collapsed or got heavily damaged by the unusually heavy snowfall on 22 and 23 January 2019. We will not make such boast in the future! )
There are a total of five tents. Four of them are together in a line while the fifth is separate. Only four tents are listed for online booking. The last tent has been kept in reserve.
Can you describe the Deluxe Rooms?
The resort has got three deluxe rooms that are available for booking online and one deluxe room in reserve. All the rooms are of different layout and sizes. This is because earlier the place was a private villa that has now been converted into a resort. The three deluxe rooms that are available for online booking have individual balconies with mountain view. The reserve deluxe room is without a balcony.
All these rooms have LCD TV and Tata Sky connection. The bathrooms have geysers for hot water. Photographs of the rooms can be seen here.
Does the resort have a restaurant?
No, the resort does not have a restaurant but it has an in-house kitchen. Guests are served meals and snacks of the kind available in home-stays. However, fancy stuff of the kind served in regular restaurants will not be available.
Which are the nearest railhead and airport from Joshimath?
The Jolly-Grant airport between Dehradun and Rishikesh is the nearest airport. Haridwar Central is the nearest railhead. Both are approximately 250km from Joshimath. Travel time will be 8 to 9 hours.
How many rooms are there in the Resort?
The resort has three Deluxe Rooms with attached balconies; one Family Suite(2-room) with private porch; one Budget Room with verandah and a reserve Deluxe Room without balcony. Normal capacity is thus 14 guests. This can be increased to 17 with the addition of extra beddings. There can be maximum of one extra bedding per room.
All the Swiss Tents have been de-commissioned.