Auli: India’s Premier Skiing Destination

Places To Visit In Auli

Places To Visit In Auli

Himalayan towns are popular tourist getaways in summer. They are known for their beauty and serenity in the midst of nature. These are summer destinations where people from the plains want to get away to. Auli, in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, attracts visitors not only during the summer months but largely during the winters. Located at an elevation of between 2500-3050 metres, Auli’s slopes are perfect for skiing – a rare pleasure in India. The views are breathtaking, the facilities world-class, and the call of the Himalayas impossible to ignore. It is one of the few places where you can catch a glimpse of majestic Himalayan peaks such as the Nanda Devi, the Kamat, and the Mana Parvat.

How to Reach Auli?

By Air – The airport nearest to Auli is at Dehradun. The Jolly Grant Airport of Dehradun is about 285 kilometres from here. It is well connected with Delhi, the national capital, by domestic flight services. From Dehradun, regular buses ply to Auli. A private taxi may cost approximately INR 4000 and is likely to be more convenient for larger groups.

By TrainRishikesh railway station and Haridwar railway station are 265 and 270 kilometres away respectively. Both connect the region with trains traveling to Delhi, Lucknow, and most other major cities of north India.

By Road – Like most Himalayan destinations, Auli is well connected by road with most of the other tourist destinations of the state and neighboring states such as Rishikesh, Pauri, Karnaprayag, Rudraprayag, Delhi, Chandigarh, and Lucknow.

Skiing in Auli

Auli is a ‘Bugyal’ – a vast rolling meadow. Come winter, heavy snowfall turns these meadows into a skiing slope – one of the greatest tourist attractions in Uttarakhand. Auli is not only one of the best skiing destinations in India, but it is also favourably compared with the best skiing facilities of Europe. The local administration and a number of private players offer skiing facilities in Auli. You are likely to find the best of facilities including instructors, skiing equipment, and ski lifts here. All you will need is your adventurous spirit. Fresh snow is beaten to created perfect short, long, and cross-country trails for both the novice and expert skier. In 2011, Auli also hosted the first SAF Winter Games.

Auli Ropeway

One of the experiences you must not miss when in Auli is a ride on famous Auli ropeway. Apart from the one at Gulmarg, the ropeway at Auli is the highest and longest cable car in the continent. The ropeway, which takes you to Joshimath and back, covers about four kilometres in 20 minutes.

The locals may refer to it as Gondola. Besides the thrilling experience, this journey is undoubtedly the best way to enjoy the vast snow covered slopes and the skiing competitions held on them. The Gondola is fitted with modern security features and is very safe. It is also one of the major attractions of Auli.

Places to Visit in Auli

Auli Artificial Lake – The artificial lake built at Auli is one of its kind. It is the highest such man-made lake anywhere in the world. While the lake was initially created to help create artificial snow for the skiing slopes, it is now perhaps Auli’s biggest attraction and most picturesque spot.

Joshimath – Joshimath, or Jyotirmath as it is more popularly called, is about 14 kilometres from Auli. The place is of great religious significance for Hindus by virtue of being the gateway to Badrinath. It is also the starting point of legendary Valley of Flowers.

Garso Bugyal – The Garso Bugyal is a stunning meadow about three kilometres from Auli. The trek between Auli and Garso is an experience that tourists swear by. The views of the Nanda Devi and Trishul en route and the beauty of the Garso in spring are a delight for trekkers.

Bhavishya Badri – The Bhavishya Badri or the Sapta Badri is a complex of seven shrines that are important destinations of Hindu pilgrims. The Badri Vishal or main Badrinath temple is the primary among these and every Hindu cherishes a desire to visit this shrine once in a lifetime.

Trishul Peaks – Auli offers spectacular views of the three Trishul peaks that form the legendary trident. While the peaks themselves lie in Kumaon, Auli definitely offers the best views. The highest of the three peaks is at an elevation of over 7000 metres.

Saildhar Tapovan – More than 10 kilometres from Auli, on the way to Joshimath, you will come across Saildhar Tapovan. This scenic spot is famous for its temple and the natural hot water spring found here. The spring waters, though scalding hot, are believed to possess many curative powers.

Chenab Lake – The Chenab Lake near Joshimath is a beautiful expanse of water you’re likely to find in India. Bright, blue and clean, this is a place to visit.

Best Time to Visit Auli

Most tourists keep off Himalayan destinations during the winters when temperatures dip sharply and the snow and ice seem to encase the picturesque valleys. But Auli is different.

  • This small town is buzzing with activity between December and March when the adventure lovers head to Auli to indulge in skiing.
  • April and May are pleasant and spring reveals itself in all its glory.
  • The monsoon, June through early August, is the favorite of nature enthusiasts who love to disconnect from the bustle.
  • Fall is once again beautiful with flaming ochres and fall colours filling up the valleys and golden streaks across the meadows.
  • November is cozy and chill but not uncomfortable.