Auli – the Skiing capital of India

Auli is one of the newest places to have gained popularity with travellers from all over the world, especially travellers from India as it is seated at an altitude of 2505 metres above mean sea level, laden with stunning views of wintery lands and lush landscapes.

This hill station is nestled in the Himalayas and has become the most sought-after skiing destinations of India. The mountains in Uttarakhand, are mesmerizing as they are covered in snow for the most part of the year, baring the green landscapes for the rest of the year. The landscapes here are highly suitable for treks and the best part about trekking are the views of the white-capped mountains that are frequented by snow leopards and red foxes.

Along with being surrounded by the Himalayan mountains, Auli is also home to a small Hanuman temple. The belief attached to this temple is that when Lord Laxman was injured in the battle with Ravana at the Lanka (now, Sri Lanka), Lord Hanuman flew to the Himalayas to collect the Sanjeevani Booti to save Lord Laxman’s life. It is believed that, on His way back, Lord Hanuman had stopped over at Auli to take some rest before continuing his journey to the Lanka.

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Best time to visit Auli

Visit the hill station from the months of November to March as the Auli weather around these months is very suitable for skiing and for other outdoor activities. If you are going in the winter months, make sure to carry lots of warm clothes and thick thermal wear as the temperature goes from -4 degrees Celsius to -24 degrees Celsius. In the summer months, the temperature ranges from 15 degrees Celsius to 30 degrees Celsius. 

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Where is it?

Auli is located about 16 kilometres away from Joshimath, on the way to Badrinath.

How to reach Auli?

It can be accessed very easily by rail, road and even by air.

Rail: The closest railway station to Auli is the Haridwar railway station, which is about 273 kilometres away. You can take a train to Haridwar from major Indian cities.

Road: As already mentioned, the closest town to Auli is Joshimath (16 kilometres away). You can either hire a taxi that will drive you down to Auli or take the UPSRTC bus that plies from Rishikesh, Haridwar and Dehradun.

Air: The closest airport to Auli is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun which is about 279 kilometres away from Auli. The Jolly Grant Airport is the domestic airport which is about 20 kilometres away from the main city of Dehradun. The closest International Airport is the Delhi airport, which is about 500 kilometres away.

Tip: If you are planning a trip to Auli, you can club it with other travel destinations like Gangotari (about 9 hours away), Rishikesh (about 7 hours away) and Kedarnath (about 14 hours away), making it one big trip where you can explore all the neighbouring cities and regions. You can also visit some of the places close to Delhi.

Auli Manmade Lake for skiing

The Auli Manmade Lake is the highest manmade lake in the entire world. This manmade lake was mainly built to create seasonal artificial ski slopes. Water from the fresh water reservoir is used as fuel for snow guns that are placed on the skiing slopes which provide for an even surface for skiing enthusiasts.

Another benefit is that if there is lesser snowfall in a particular year, these snow guns and the reservoir water still make skiing possible, so there is no chance that you will be disappointed if you are visiting around that time. If you happen to travel in the months when there is no snow, don’t worry, you can head to this lake early in the morning and watch the most beautiful sunrise by the lake and then take a long stroll by the lake before you head to other sightseeing places.

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Where to stay in Auli?
Auli Ski Resort:

Being one of the most frequented destinations for skiing, there is obviously a high demand for comfortable accommodation options at this scenic hill station. The Auli Ski Resort is one such resort that caters to the needs of swarms of tourists who flock there all around the year, especially in the peak tourism months. The Resort provides all basic amenities that tourists look for and is also located close to the local bus stand, making it easier for tourists to travel from one place to another.
Location: Ski Resort, GMVN Limited, Joshimath, District- Chamoli, Auli.



Places to visit in Auli:

1) Joshimath
Joshimath is also known as Jyotirmath and is a quaint little town located in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district. Joshimath is home to the Shankaracharya Math and the Tapovan Natural Hot Springs. It is also the starting point for most of the expeditions to the Himalayas. If you think this town is only a touch point to reach Auli, you would be happy to know that this place also gives travellers lots of opportunities to participate in adventure activities like trekking, hiking and camping.



2) Auli Ropeway
The Auli Ropeway connects Auli with Joshimath and is one of the most visited places. This ropeway functions with the help of a ski lift and chairlift that are seated on ten steel towers. The ropeway slowly and steadily takes travellers to an altitude of 1110 metres and gives them a chance to grab some of the most beautiful views of snow-clad skiing landscapes.



3) Nanda Devi Peak

As we already know, Auli is one of the highest hill stations in India but most of us miss out on the surrounding peaks that make it the quintessential hill station. One of the most notable peaks is the Nanda Devi Peak that rests at an altitude of 7817 metres above mean sea level.

This peak is named after the Goddess Nanda, the Goddess of Bliss and is the place to go if you are looking at exploring the flora and fauna of the region. You will also get to see oak trees, deodar trees, pine trees, conifers and even rhododendrons, among many others. Another lesser known fact about the Nanda Devi Peak is that it is listed as one of the World UNESCO Heritage Sites.

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4) Trishul Peak
The Trishul Peak is another majestic peak that stands tall at an altitude of 23,940 feet, above mean sea level, surrounding this hill station. You might be wondering why this peak is called the Trishul Peak, the reason for this is that there are three different facets and faces of the mountain that can be seen when you look at the mountains.

The Trishul Peak is also the main place where competitions and skiing events are held every year. A visit to this peak is a must if you are looking for a day full of fun and scenic views, the base of the Trishul peak is characterized by the Roopkund Lake and is also neighboured by a national park.

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5) Chenab Lake
The Chenab Lake is one of the most pristine lakes in the Garhwal Himalayas and still remains untouched by man, making it one of the best places to visit in Auli. If you are an adventure lover and like trekking, Lake Chenab offers perfect trekking trails that take you through never seen before landscapes that are blanketed with greenery. You can also access the area on bikes or motor vehicles.



Tell me what you are looking forward to when you visit this hill station, in the comments below!

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