On two occasions we have received telephone calls from thoroughly confused Auli bound travellers. On the first occasion a car-load of young tourists from Delhi called to demand our hotel location in Joshimath as it was not showing on Google maps. They said that they were about 3 hours driving distance from Auli but Joshimath was not showing on their map.
On the second occasion a lady called from Chandigarh and wanted to make a quick visit Auli (and our hotel in Joshimath) before proceeding on to Mussoorie. The discussion on travel-time and distance that followed was like a dialogue of the deaf.
On both occasions it took some time for us to realise that we were both talking of two different places with the same name – Auli.
|Chandigarh to the fake Auli|
The real Auli is near Joshimath
Now the real Auli, the one famous as a tourist spot and a winter skiing destination, is in Uttarakhand near the town of Joshimath. It is well known, and can’t be missed if you know that it is right next to Joshimath town. For a person starting from Delhi , the route will be via Roorkee, Haridwar and Rishikesh. It is usually around a 5 hour drive from Delhi to Haridwar. From Haridwar to Joshimath the journey can take 8 to 9 hours.
The Fake Auli is in Himachal Pradesh
The problem is that there is another Auli, thanks to Google Maps, that is thoroughly confusing the picture. If you seek directions to Auli on Google Maps, it will immediately lead you confidently to the middle of nowhere in the jungles of Himachal Pradesh! Go on, try it out yourselves.
|Delhi to the fake Auli|
However, the fact is, this other Auli exists only on Google Maps. This could be just a mistake, but then the fotos associated with this imaginary place are those of the real Auli! Thus making it easy for unwary people to be misled. Its all so weird.
|Fake Auli is on Top-Left and Real Auli is on Bottom-Right near Joshimath|
Anyways, the best way to navigate to the real Auli will be by choosing Joshimath as your destination (unless you really want to go to the imaginary place in the middle of nowhere), because typing only “Auli” will mix-up your navigation and take you where (we presume) you don’t want to go. From Joshimath everyone knows how to go to Auli .