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Auli Tourism And Travel Guide
16° C / 60.9° F
January to April
3 to 5 Days
Jolly Grant Airport of Dehradun (149 kms)
Haridwar (273 kms)
Auli is the dream of Yash Chopra films; a mountainous town known for its specially maintained ski routes. Adjudged one of the best skiing grounds, Auli is situated in Uttarakhand, India, and lies lazing in the lap of the Himalayas. The best time to visit Auli for ski-enthusiasts is from January to April, while leisure seekers are welcome in summer for great sightseeing. The place is well connected and can be reached by air, rail and road. Cable Cars are also one of their special modes of transport.
When in Auli, you will find yourself spoilt for choice for the variety of things to do. From Cable Car rides and treks up Trishul Peaks, traipsing through Nanda Devi National Park for a glimpse of Snow Leopards and Foxes to pilgrim trips to Joshimath and Rudraprayag; a long itinerary awaits you. And of course, there is skiing too! Read on to get an overview of Auli.
How to Reach
Auli may be nestled in the hills, but with its world-renowned ski grounds and such enthralling views, the place has been well connected by major modes of transport. Joshimath is the nearest destination which is connected to Auli by road and ropeway (cable cars). Although air, rail and road, all three will take you to Auli, the cable car rides are thrilling to no end.
The Jolly Grant Airport (Dehradun) is 149 km away from Auli and the nearest airport. Buses, coaches, taxis or cars can be taken from here to Joshimath, from where either a remote road is taken or cable car ride to Auli.
Haridwar is the nearest railway station to Auli, located 273 km away. Again, there are buses plying from Haridwar to Joshimath or you can hire a car.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Auli has a beautifully pleasant weather almost all year round. Equipped with artificially distributed snow to maintain ski tracks in off season months, Auli becomes a coveted destination all year round. However, January to April becomes ideal for skiing and the summer season from April to June for sightseeing.
Temperatures range anywhere between 7-20°C, and never go above 20°C. The season is warm and sightseeing at its best. The Badri Kedar festival also falls in June, which means a crowd of pilgrims stopping over on their way to Kedarnath.
Auli is blessed with moderate amount of rain each year and this rain brings the blooming of flowers in the region. The Valley Of Flowers, a famous trek, opens its arms in this season. This season is mainly dominated by pilgrim tourists for the Mata Murti ka mela at Badrinath Temple, which takes place in September.
Winters are mildly cold for a town at this height. With temperatures dropping to -2°C, Auli is tucked under a blanket of snow. By January though, the texture of snow becomes powdered and thick, a perfect combination for skiing. Hence the major skiing season begins then and lasts until April, with skiing competitions and tournaments taking place.
Things to Do
Auli is a skiing paradise, but that does not mean it doesn't have much else to do. For nature enthusiasts, leisure seekers as well as pilgrims, this hill station caters to all.
Auli is known for its trekking routes as well as it is for skiing. You can hike up Nanda Devi, Trishul Peaks or Dron mountain. Trishul is a collection of three peaks, one of them being the first peak over 7000 m to be conquered in 1907. Gurson Bugyal is another famous trek that rewards you with a breathtaking view from the top.
The Gorson Reserve Forest in Nanda Devi makes for an enchanting nature walk. You are sure to spot musk deer, rabbits, foxes, hyenas and jackals. On lucky days, there are also bound to be snow leopards. Take this nature walk through the natural wildlife of Himalayas.
Auli boasts of some great sights. How could it not? With its ice-capped mountains, slashed curves of hills and lines of oaks and deodars, Auli offers a lot of tourist places to soak your eyes.
Go to the Gurson Bugyal, a spot at 3056 m above sea level offering the view of Trishul peaks. The Auli Artificial Lake is another beauty. Though man-made in nature, it is a marvel no less, for its use as a source of artificial snow for maintaining ski tracks during off season.
Chenab Lake is another marvel, natural. It is difficult to reach this lake and one is required to trek across inhospitable roads, cross Joshimath and Dang village. But the peace here is worth every effort.
Uttarakhand is home to many a pilgrimages of India, including Haridwar. Auli is situated very near to some of the prayags (confluence of two rivers) which are considered very sacred in Hinduism. Visit Nandaprayag for the famous Gopal (Krishna as a cowherd) temple and Joshimath for Narsimha Temple. This temple is supposed to house the deity of Badrivishal during the winter months when Badrinath freezes.
Cable Car Rides:
Aside from its use as a local mode of transport in Auli, the cable cars are a thrilling adventure ride. Especially the ride from Auli to Joshimath, which is 4 km long and one of the highest and longest in the country.
It is essential you take the cable car ride here, at least once. If you are doing so in the skiing season then the view is all the more beautiful with tiny human-ants zooming zig zag on the white that is a sheet of snow.
Skiing should be an unmissable item on your list in the land known for skiing. The two main resorts, namely GMVN (owned by Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam) and Cliff Top Resort are the best holiday destinations for skiing.
The snow covered grounds of Auli are perfect for skiing and if you don’t know it, you have ample opportunities to learn at their schools. The mountains of Kamat, Mana parvat, Ghori and Nanda Devi have some of the best ski routes. Hikers are also very fascinated with these routes, which are smooth and well-cleared, with powdered snow almost 3 m deep.
GMVN also has snow beaters that keep the snow prepped for skiing all year round. In summers or in times of dearth of snow, the Auli Artificial Lake supplies snow to these routes.
The best time to go skiing in Auli is between January and April; with perfect weather, perfectly textured snow and festivals and championships organised by the locals.
Auli boasts of rich Garhwali cuisine, filled with dals, leafy greens and rice. A speciality is Kachmauli, goat stuffed and tempered in mustard oil. The sweets of Garhwal are also famous and do good to the body in cold, dry air. Bal mithai and singhori are famous sweetmeats of this region.
You must also try the Bhotiya (green tea), specially concocted only in this region of Garhwal. It may not be easily available but is served at tea stalls on special request.