The famous Auli is also called Auli Bugyal in Garhwali. It is located in the tall Himalayan mountain region of Uttarakhand. Auli is popular as a tourist spot because it provides the best snow conditions for both hiking and skiing. It is one of the most beautiful places to visit as it is surrounded by tall trees and green bushes. People who don’t know how to ski also visit here because it has the best slopes for beginners and professionals. The Uttarakhand Tourism Department conducts winter sports competitions in Auli regularly. Hence, it is labelled as the skiing capital of India. The place, not just a popular skiing place. People from all over the country come here to experience the various treks of the Garhwal Himalayan region.
THINGS TO DO IN AULI
SKIING IN AULI
Auli is located at a height of 2500m and is one of the most well-known ski resorts in the country. Many years back it was opened for the Indian Army to patrol the Indo-Tibetan Border. Auli offers the most amazing view of the Nanda Devi Kamet, Ghori Parbat, Nar Parbat Dunagiri, Mana Parwat, Hathi Parbat, Beethartoli, and Nilkanth. But, when the mountain tips have been covered with thick white snow, it is a heavenly view altogether. Auli has 400 to 900 long slopes that are absolutely perfect for all kinds of skiers. Any person visiting here would not be disappointed. The thick snow bed gives you and your dear ones the best experience for skiing down the slopes in between the thick forests. People who are going to experience this adventure for the first time should not worry at all because there are many ski experts present here that guarantee your safety. Auli has two operators that offer skiing. First, is the government-operated that offers skiing from January to March. They are held in the form of batches. The price starts at 17,000. The course lasts for seven days. The other is a private organization. The course is for six days and charges start from 18,000. People who are willing to spend these many days and want to properly learn skiing can opt for any of these courses. The course includes your stay, food, skiing equipment, and instructor fee too. This place has been compared to the best ski resorts around the world by international ski experts. The first SAF winter games were also held in 2011.
NANDA DEVI NATIONAL PARK
The Nanda Devi National Park was formed in 1982. It gets it to name from the famous Nanda Devi found near it that is also the second-highest peak of India. It is also surrounded by many other peaks like the Dunagiri, Mangaron, Nanda Khat and Maiktoli. It has been divided into the inner and outer parts. The park is popular for being established on the massive elevation of 11,500 ft. It was named as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1988. In 2004, the park was also regarded as a World Network of Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. The best time to visit here is from mid-June to mid-September.
AULI ARTIFICIAL LAKE
The Auli artificial lake is located at such a height that it is said to be one of the world’s highest man-made lakes. This lake was created by the government to create artificial snow on the new ski slopes. The place received less snowfall during some months which made led a lot of tourists to skip Auli as their skiing destination. The water from the lake is usually used to fill the snow guns that have been fixed next to the ski slopes. The guns change the slopes into a smooth skiing surface, hence, extending the popular ski season. Apart from this, the lake is very beautiful to visit. Nature lovers can choose to sit next to it and admire its beauty and the sunset near the tallest mountains.
KWANI BUGYAL TREK
The Kwani Bugyal in Auli is one of the most famous treks of Auli. It has been frequently called a paradise for trekkers. The amazing view of the snowy mountains is an absolutely mesmerizing sight. The view offers sights of mountains like the Nanda Devi and Dunagiri. The trekking route starts from Joshimath and continues for a total of 13 kilometres. You will also pass Gurso Bugyal, and from there you can visit the lake of Chattrakund. The best time to visit here is from June to September.
GURSON BUGYAL TREK
A small trek of just 3 km away from Auli is the Gurson Bugyal. People who don’t want to try a winter trek can come here during the spring season. The place is covered with green grasslands. The trek takes you through the Nanda Devi, Trishul, and Dron peaks. Tourists can choose to set up a camp at the end of the day too.
The Trisul peak is the combination of three mountain peaks (Trisul I, Trisul II, and Trisul III) that is located in the Kumaun region. These three peaks resemble the shape of a trident which also is the weapon of Lord Shiva. The Trisul I, which was one of the most prominent peaks is over 22,970 ft. In 1907, Trisul I became the first peak over 7,000 m to have ever been climbed by someone. The Trishul group encloses the Nanda Devi Sanctuary like a ring. The Trishul peak treks are one of the most famous treks in this area. Every trekker’s dream location, this trek is absolutely breathtaking. It is said to be one of the toughest treks of the northern region, hence it is only done by experienced people. Beginners should avoid this trek at all costs. The peak has the Roopkund Lake at its base.
The Chenab lake is a famous lake near the Joshimath and Dang village. This lake is not frequently visited by many tourists because the road connecting the village to the lake is in a really bad condition. Hence, the only way through which you can reach here is by trekking to the Dang village. People who choose to visit through the trek would not be disappointed seeing the natural beauty that will surround them through their journey. This trek is perfect for people trekking for the first time. Tourists will have to drive to Vishnu Prayag that is just 10kms away from Joshimath. The trek will start from the Thaing village, which is 8kms away from Vishnu Prayag. An uphill towards Dhar Kharak will land you at the Chenab meadow.
VALLEY OF FLOWERS TREK
The valley of flowers is one of the most phenomenal and unbelievable treks of India. Any professional trekker will fall in love with this place because of the mesmerizing and majestic capabilities it carries. The trek is full of stunning flowers that are bound to leave you overwhelmed. Even the famous mountaineer Frank Smythe was short of words to describe the beauty of this trek. He called it the most beautiful valley he has ever come across. He also further describes it in his book as the noblest and purest mountains on earth. You will also spellbound by the valley just like Frank Smythe. The minute your trek will start your eyes will only be able to see a long and vast stretch of land filled with colourful and stunning flowers. You will be able to spot the beautiful Himalayan Rose, River Anemone, Snake Foil, Meadow Geranium, Hooked Stick Seed, White Leaf Hog Foot, Dog Flower, and Blue Poppy. The trek is perfect for people who love admiring the bright colours and fragrance of the flowers. Please keep in mind that this trek is not completely easy. There are some points in the trek that are slightly difficult. The best time to do the Valley of Flowers trek is between mid-July and mid-September.
The Pangarchulla peak is at a great height of 14,700 ft above sea level. On the scale of difficulty, this trek is considered at a medium level. The trek offers views of the greatest peaks like Ghodi, Mana, Mandir, Lampak Massif, Nanda Devi, Bertholi, Hathi, Barmal and Bertholi. The peak allows you to not only walk but to climb ropes, harnesses and crampons. Skill training is conducted before letting any person use any of the technical gears. Hence, a prior trekking experience and good fitness will help people to finish this trek. This trek is also done by many people as a practice trek for many difficult treks. You’ll be able to witness many red rhododendrons, oaks, blue pine, bhojpatra, and silver birch. Many wildlife creatures like the black beer, Himalayan tahr, and musk deer can also be found.
At an altitude of 3876m, the Kuari trek is the perfect trek for beginners and experienced trekkers too. Famous peaks of the country like Kamet, Bertholi, Hathi Ghodi Parvat, Dronagiri, Trishul, Neelkanth, and Mana can be seen during your trip. Not only the high peaks, but you will also be able to see the huge Rhododendron, oak, and deodar trees. Since this trek is mostly for beginners, an experienced trekker will surely not be disappointed. The trek was first explored by Lord Curzon and hence, was called the Curzon trail. The best time to enjoy this trek is from December to March.
BAGINI GLACIER TREK
The Bagini Glacier is located at a height of 14,816 feet on the outer region of the Nanda Devi Peak. This astonishing trek starts near the base of Trishul, and Changabang peaks, inside the Nanda Devi National Park. The view of many Himalayan peaks like Rishi Peak, Hathi Parvat, Ghodi Parvat, Satminal, Trishuli, Hardeul, Kalanka, and Dunagiri East makes this trek in Uttarakhand quite exciting. The trek passes through many Garhwali villages, forests, and grasslands. It takes around five days for the trek to be completed.
The most major attraction of Auli is the fun cable car ride. The cable ride is famously known as the Gondola. It is recognized as the second-highest cable ride of Asia. It runs at a length of 4 km, making it the longest cable car ride in Asia. The cable ride starts Joshimath and ends at Auli. The total time of the ride is around 24 min. The ride accommodates around twenty-five passengers. This ride is completely mesmerizing for visitors as it lets you view the amazingly huge peaks, oak trees, and meadows from the best seat. Weirdly though, there aren’t any seats present inside, hence, you will have to stand and witness the beauty for the entire ride. Tourists can choose either the cabin lifts or chair lifts as per your interests.
HOW TO REACH
Auli is a well-connected place that can be easily reached by road, train, or flight. The place is located at a distance of 290 km from Dehradun and 252 km from Rishikesh.
The Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is the nearest Airport. It is located at a distance of 279km from Auli and 20km from Dehradun. You can then book a cab from the airport directly to Auli.
The nearest station is Raiwala near Rishikesh, which is approximately 250 km away. You can then avail can then take a bus to reach Auli. It takes approximately 6 hours and 30 minutes to reach.
Auli is just 16 km away from Joshimath. State transport and Union buses play regularly between Joshimath and Rishikesh. Local Transport Union Buses and State Transport buses operate around Joshimath and Rishikesh, Haridwar, Dehradun and Delhi.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Auli generally has a cool climate throughout the year, hence, the best season to visit Auli is all throughout the year. The peak summer seasons of India (March to June) in Auli are extremely pleasant. The temperature goes around 15 degrees usually. The July to October season greets you with rainfall that can drop the temperature up to 10 degrees. The winter season can rand from 4 degrees to – 8 degrees. You will also be able to see snow. Therefore, people who love the snowy season should surely visit Auli.
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