Everything you need to know about “Auli”
Auli is a remote destination of Uttarakhand. Very few people have heard about it. That’s why Auli is considered as a pristine destination and an excellent choice to escape your fast-paced city life.
With stunning landscape and topography, this place is heaven for the adventure and nature lovers. This place is quite popular as a Ski destination and recently hosted National winter games. Yes, you get it right. I’m talking about Auli.
From the last 3-4 years, Auli is in the trending destination of Uttarakhand. Auli is a popular ski resort in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. The sheer beauty of Auli is divine & enthralls the tourists with scenic beauty. Auli is endowed with beautiful mountains, verdant rich Coniferous, Oak forests with the sight of glorious mountain peaks as Durnagiri, Mt Nanda Devi, Mana Parwat, Dunagiri, Kamet, Hathi Parbat, Ghori Parbat, etc. Snow skiing is the main tourist attraction at Auli. The ride on beautiful scenic trails is a great experience for all skiers. Apart from Skiing, this place has lots of interesting things to experience.
Amazing Things to experience in Auli:
The two different sides of Auli: If you are visiting Auli in winter then you’ll witness snow everywhere. But if you’re in summer, then the hills and neighboring mountains get covered with lush green conifers. And you’ll have fewer chances of seeing snow. I also experienced the same thing, as I happened to explore Auli in June. You can see it in my photos. Moreover, the climate was too pleasing – dripping down to 0-2 degrees Celcius. Nevertheless, the Auli will still excite you a lot (from my personal experience).
In order to reach Auli from Joshimath, there are a few ways. Either you can take a motor road to reach Auli (13km) or there’s a 4 km long ropeway (cable car) which connects Auli to Joshimath. I chose the latter. Probably the best method to reach Auli. So, this will be our first thing to see in Auli.
1- Asia’s 2nd highest and longest ropeway:
The hills of Auli are connected to Joshimath via a ropeway/cable car covering a 4 km long distance. It is the second-longest and highest ropeway in Asia after the “Gondola ride of Gulmarg (5.1 km) – Kashmir, India“. The cable car is run by GMVN and the tariff for it is Rs 700/- per person. There’s also a chair car (open chairs) which costs around Rs 300/- per person.
Auli ropeway provides some of the most scintillating views of snow-capped Himalayas (in winters) and lush green Himalayas (in summer). I still remember the row of oak and pine trees passing by our cable car, the clouds surrounding the high ended mountains showing the exemplary nature of Auli. I knew I started falling in love with Auli.
2- Highest man-made lake:
A beautiful artificial lake was created in the middle of Auli’s mountains. It is the world’s highest man-made lake. The reason for creating this lake is to produce synthetic artificial snow in international skiing season when there’s scanty of snowfall. Sometimes, in summer when tourists are high in number, the operators produce snow for their entertainment. In my visit, the tourists were pretty less. So, the snow production was at a halt.
Honestly, there was no snow at all. But, the flawless blue artificial lake surrounded by grasses had actually rejuvenated the mountain. Moreover, the tents and the resorts established on Auli’s slopes were looking quite outstanding. All in all, I was experiencing a different side of Auli. And, I’ll say that even this artificial lake is adding a lot to the beauty of Auli and also to my Auli travel blog.
3- The panorama of majestic Himalayan mountains
Besides the lake, green tinge slopes of Auli neighbors some of the majestic Himalayan mountain ranges. These lofty Himalayan peaks include the Nanda Devi peak (2nd highest mountain of India), Kamet Kamat, Garhwal mountain range, and Mana Parbat. Auli provides alluring panoramic views of these mountains. And the best part comes when these high ended mountains get wrapped up by a cling of clouds. During the winter season, these mountains get painted with a thick white blanket of snow.
4.>Skiing in Winters-
Auli is one of the best skiing destinations in India. Every year Winter sports and skiing championship organized here which attracts lots of tourists not only from India but all over the world. After the first snowfall of winter in December skiing start here. If you know how to ski than it is well and good but if you don’t then there you can enroll in a 1 to 2 week paid course which is organized by GMVN. This snowy excitement goes on all the way till March. The Ski resort provides skiers with the necessary equipment and all facilities. Facilities of the chair lift and a ski lift are also available for skiers with the objective of conserving their time and labor.
Trekking then this is for you. There are many trekking options around Auli where you can see the different colors of nature, meadows, and feel the exhilarating freshness that gives you enchanting experience during your trek. In winters these treks are covered with white snow trekking – Now come to my personal favorite part which is, trekking. If you love hiking and tREKKING but in summer the white sheet turns into green meadows. The options for trekking in Auli are Gursobugyal, Chattrakund lake, etc.
- Camping – Who doesn’t like to spend the night under the millions of stars? Are you? Maybe not. Camping is the most popular activity in the world. It will be a great thrilling experience where you can see the millions of twinkling stars, sitting around the bonfire, chatting with friends. This is a great feeling altogether but make sure you’re well-equipped to face the temperatures which can drop to 20 to -5 degrees.
7- Other activities to go for, in Auli
Besides the trekking/hiking in Auli, what’s more, can we do here…
- Camping under the night sky of Auli, gazing millions of stars and photograph them.
- Riding ATV bikes on the slopes of Auli
- Explore the streets and religious spots in Joshimath.
- Get yourself acquaint with Garwali culture, cuisines, and traditions.
- The last thing to do is go for Hemkund Sahib and Badrinath
HOW TO GET THERE :
By Road – Auli is 15 km from Joshimath which is connected with NH-58 from Delhi to Badrinath. Follow the route till Joshimath and then take public transport, cab or take a ropeway to Auli.
By Rail – Rishikesh is the nearest rail junction to Auli (which takes 5-6 hrs) and then you can take public transport to Joshimath or you can book a taxi directly to Auli.
By Air – Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun is the nearest airport. Everyday minimum of 3 flights flies from Delhi to Dehradun. After reaching Dehradun, you can take a taxi directly to Auli which is at a distance of approx 280 km.
Places of attraction near Auli
If you are in Auli then you can also visit these destinations of surroundings-
- Narsingh Temple, Joshimath – Joshimath, is a common halt for all the places like Auli, Badrinath, Valley of Flower, Hemkund Sahib. Narsingh Temple is a popular temple in the Joshimath which is within walking distance from the Joshimath bus stand. It is famous for its architecture and some prophecy.
- Valley of Flower- I don’t thinkValley of flowers national parks need any introduction. To go Valley of flowers you have to reach Govindghat which is 20 away from Joshimath. After that, you have to trek to 14 to Ghangaria and then 4km to Valley of Flower.
- Badrinath – Badrinath is one most important shrine among the Char Dham Pilgrimage sites & also highly revered among the PanchBadri. It is located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. It is 45 km away from the Joshimath which is easily accessible in just 2hr.
- Mana Village – It is located 03 km ahead of Badrinath temple & last village at Indo-China Border. Mana village is on the bank of river Saraswati. It is famous for woolen garments made for sheep wool as shawls, pankhi&, etc. The place has religious importance also; it is believed that Pandavas went to heaven from this village only.
- Trek to GursoBugyal -GursoBugyal is the place for trekking enthusiastic which is just 3 km away from the Auli. Tourists came here in daylight spends some quality time and back to Auli in the evening because of no proper staying option. Basically, bugyal means “Meadows” or “pasture”. These large land of green pastures surrounded by coniferous forest and oak tree which is soothing to the eyes. There is also a small sweet water lake known as Chattrakund in the mid of the dense forest which is at a distance of 1km from the GursoBugyal.
Finally, there are some important tips I’ll recommend
- No matter what’s the season, always keep some woolen clothes with you. However, if you are visiting it in winter, the temperature dips down to -10 degrees C. So carry gloves, mufflers, cap, woolen clothes, jacket, and a nice pair of shoes (for trekking).
- Book the resort’s tickets early before actually visiting Auli. The rates of resorts/hotels will remain low.
- Always carry an umbrella with yourself.