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Tourist Places To Visit In Auli
Cleanly sliced white mountains and chains of oak and pine trees fringe what is one of the cleanest, most beautiful destinations of Uttarakhand. Situated in the Garhwal Hills of Himalayas, Auli has come to become a famous skiing destination in India, one that rivals many international resorts. Apart from skiing and filling your soul with breath-taking sights, Auli is also home to a lot of touristy places to visit. Like the Auli Artificial Lake, which is used to supply snow to skiing grounds, Chenab Lake, Gurson Bugyal trek, mountain ranges of Nanda Devi, Gorson Reserve Forest; or if you are looking for some peace and spiritual light, Joshimath, Rudraprayag and Nandprayag.
The Tourist Places in Auli are sure to keep your soul asking for more. Read on to find out about each.
Auli grounds, erstwhile used by the Paramilitary Forces for training purposes, have been adjudged as one of the best skiing grounds by the French and Austrian experts. The mountains of Nanda Devi, Kamat, Mana Parvat, Dunagiri, Ghori and Nar Parbat become coveted skiing destinations in this quaint hill station.
The end of winter and beginning of summer is the best time to ski, trek and explore this place. Most festivals and championships are organised between January and April. Hikers may also find cleared marked walks, ski routes as well as trails of mountain bikes. If you are a skiing enthusiast, or are interested in zooming down snow-covered curves of slopes, then this is the place for you.
There are also learning schools for first timers, so novices need not worry.
Gorson Reserve Forest
Nature enthusiasts here must visit the Gorson Reserve Forest that is part of the Nanda Devi National Park. You will see some of the most rare mountainous wildlife here, those that are the natural inhabitants of the Himalayas. A trip here will be fruitful as you will sight Jackals, Foxes, Snow Leopard, Musk Deer, Wild Cats, Bears and Hyenas.
There is a popular walking trail for tourists too and it opens wide in summer for a lovely, sunshine-filled stroll through the lap of Garhwal.
Auli Artificial Lake
It is one of the highest man-made lakes in the world and was built by the government to supply snow for skiing when snowfall is scarce. The lake has obviously surpassed its original purpose as it doubles up as a popular tourist attraction today. You can walk around the edge of this lake, take a picnic basket down or just spend some leisure time with your beloved ones.
This is also the place for reflection and recharge if you are a solo traveler or want to be by yourself.
Location- Near Clifftop Club Auli
Distance from Auli- 5 km
Gurson Bugyal is a popular location to stand and soak in the sight of the magnificent Himalayas. It is located at a height of 3056 m above sea level. You can see the Nanda Devi, Trishul and Dron mountains from this perch, which is a 3 km trek from Auli.
12 km from here is another popular tourist spot, famous among trekkers. This is Kwani Bugyal, another spot for sightseeing, best visited during summer. It is higher than Gurson Bugyal, at 3380 m above sea level.
Joshimath is home to a number of Hindu temples and becomes a major pilgrim hub for Hindus from all over the world. One of the four seats of Hindu Religion, founded by Adi Guru Shankracharya, belongs here.
While temples of many incarnations of Lord Vishnu have been famous all over India, from Ram to Krishna; Joshimath is known for its Narasimha Temple, the half lion-half human avatar of Vishnu. Narasimha temple also houses the idol of Badrivishal of Badrinath in the winter months, when everything freezes up at Badrinath Temple.
Joshimath is also a stopover for Badri-Kedar pilgrims and doubles up as the gateway to the Valley Of Flowers.
Prayag means confluence. Rudraprayag is one of the five prayags or confluences where river Alaknanda and Mandakini meet. It is a spot to experience spiritual ecstasy, not necessarily for the temples and the mood of pilgrims thronging Badrinath and Kedarnath, but for the simple sight of two rivers coming together with quiet affection.
If you are looking at visiting some famous temples here, there is Rudranath and Chamunda Devi Temple, revered greatly in this area.
Nandaprayag is another pilgrim town near Chamoli, another prayag or confluence; this one of River Nandakini and Alaknanda. Nandaprayag becomes the gateway to Badrinath and Kedarnath, a scenic pilgrimage centre for one and sundry. One of the most famous temples on the bank of Alaknanda River is the temple of Gopal, the young form of Lord Krishna who herded cows in Gokul.
Chenab Lake is not easily accessible. If this statement is to discourage you from travelling here then probably you are not a real trekker.
Located across the pilgrim village of Joshimath, Chenab Lake is reached only after crossing the Dang village. You will have to hike because the roads are not well developed and the terrain is filled with snow. The crystal waters of Chenab are a healing sight to visitors though, fully worth the effort. The place exudes peace in cool bunches of waves.
The Trishul Peak is a collection of 3 summits that circle the Nanda Devi Sanctuary and become a coveted trek. At a height of 7120 m, one of its peaks became the first peak above 7000 m to be climbed in 1907. With this history and a view to die for, Trishul Peak of Western Kumaun becomes a must for seasoned trekkers.
If you want to just see the peak and soak in its sight, you can catch a glimpse of these mountains while on Gurson Bugyal trek.
Kwani Bugyal is a popular destination for trekking in Auli. Its height, at 3350 m above sea level, is perfect for those who come here seeking thrill and adventure. The views from this snow clad mountain are gorgeous, worth every drop of sweat shed on your way up. You get the uninterrupted chain of Dunagiri and Nanda Devi mountains in your sight. The trek from Auli all the way up here is populated in various flowers and meadows, a long beautiful stretch of 13 km that you sometimes wish never ends!
Cable car in Auli? That’s some grade A experience of snow and snow-clad mountains!
Auli to Joshimath is a line of ropeway which is the highest ropeway in India as well as the longest after Gulmarg. The cable car or gondola as the locals call it, takes you on a journey of 4 km between the two hill stations, zipping you at a height of 3000 m. The experience is out of this world, not only transporting you from Joshimath to Auli or vice versa, but gifting you thrill and adrenaline to go with it.
Nanda Devi Peak
One of the most famous peaks of North India, Nanda Devi Peak is is also the second highest in the country. Its name means the bliss giving peak, and it is so for every pair of eyes that catch its sight. Trekkers abide here, in almost all seasons. While sightseeing crowd prefer to pick a viewing platform or the Auli ropeway to get great views. Religious tourism is also high around Nanda Devi as it is revered by the Paharis and other locals. All the pines and snow call out to you. The mountains call out to you.
About 22 km from Auli, Chattrakund is a sightseeing spot, all tall deodars and pines and oaks, with a lake smack in the centre of them. The name itself suggests that it is a canopied lake. On harsh winter days, it is best to visit here to enjoy the sunset, to see the fluffy white clouds bathe in an orange glow. Sunrises are just as attractive in the sky from here.
Auli Ski Resort
Auli Ski Resort, run by GMVN, is one of the best skiing resorts in the area. It runs skiing all year round, thanks to the perfectly paved slopes that are maintained even in the summer seasons. With the natural beauty of the surrounding peaks, pine forests and deodar sentries, you are in for a treat here. The skiing slopes here are some of the best graded in the world, perfectly powdered and textured. The resort is 13 km from Auli’s bus stand.
Narsingh is an avatar of Lord Vishnu, come down to earth in the form of half human-half lion. There are very few temples in India that worship this avatar, and this one is Auli is one of those few. There is a popular prophecy here that at the end of Kaliyug, when the doomsday comes, this temple will be drowned in water and block the entryway into Badrinath. It is a must visit and only about 23 km from Auli bus stand.
A small village nestled in the pine and snow forests of Uttarakhand, Saildhar is also home to a splendid hot spring. You can easily reach here from Auli as it is only 15 km away. The pahari culture of the locals entices tourists and gives them a dose of their customs, traditions and heritage. You can eat locally sourced cuisine prepared with age old recipes, pick up handicrafts from their small village market and walk around undisturbed.
Vanshinarayan Kalpeshwar is a spiritual and religious spot, centred around the Kalpeshwar temple. Lord Shiv is revered here, at a pinnacle of 2000 m above sea level. Other important Shiv temples in the country are only open for certain periods of a year, be it Kedarnath or Tungnath or Rudranath. But this temple is open all year round and welcomes devotees.