Published: 03 Dec, 2018 Ashwini
Uttarakhand has got plenty of tourist destination which are blessed with the jaw-dropping beauty and the one such jewel on the crown of Uttarakhand Tourism is the astounding Auli. A fairytale destination which seems too surreal to exist amidst the wilderness of nature. One glance at the snow-capped peak surrounding Auli and you will be hooked with Auli, forever. From surreal mountain peaks to enticing Ski slopes fused with a sense of tranquillity makes Auli, hands down, a picture perfect winter destination in India. However, many still believe either Auli is overrated or Auli isn’t that beautiful. To break these myths and false advertisement about the gem of Garhwal Himalayas – Auli, we have discussed all the reasons why Auli is the perfect winter destinations in India.
A Little Background About Auli
Also known as Auli Bugyal, Auli is a Ski resort destination and a hill station in the Chamoli district of the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand. A white winter wonderland, Auli is famous for its Ski resorts, Ski slopes and Ski events that are organised every winter. One of the top tourist spots in Uttarakhand, Auli is one such destination where you can just sit back and soak in the tranquillity of the place. Auli is surrounded by tall standing, snow-covered mountains range which act as a perfect backdrop for your Instagram photographs.
Reasons to Visit Auli
For the Road Taken
They say that the journey is as special as the destination itself and we couldn’t agree more. Reaching Auli is an aesthetic delight in itself. When you wake up in the morning on the bus, you will be welcomed by the sight of such absolute beauty. The fresh winter breeze will bring a breath of fresh air on your face and you will feel alive for the first time in your life.
Sail Across the Valley
It’s not every day that you get to sail across the picturesque Himalayan ranges with an aerial view of mountains. If you get down at Joshimath, you can get aboard Asia’s longest Gondola ride to reach Auli from Joshimath. 10,000 feet of sailing in the sky for around 5 km, amidst the snow-capped mountains with little patches of green here and there, is quite literally a life-changing experience. Auli has two cable rides – one from Joshimath to Auli which is known as Joshimath-Auli Gondola and the other one is a chair ride from GMNV to Auli. These cable rides provide the breathtaking 270-degree view of Garhwal mountains, covered with snow.
Romance with Snow in Auli
Not many of us are fortunate enough to witness snowfall in our daily lives, hence we seek snow destinations in winters. If you are one such wanderer, Auli is the perfect vacation destination for you. A complete family destination in Uttarakhand, the winter white wonderland of Auli is quite literally a little heaven during winters. With snow-laden meadows and satiating snowfall, Auli will definitely fulfil your snow desire. But can’t you experience the same in any other winter destination? Well, honestly no – the unexplored snow slopes and the untouched offbeat snow trails in Auli is a unique experience.
Trekking in the White Wonderland
One of the best winter getaways in India, Auli is still somewhat an offbeat destination. The offbeat trails in Auli have no match whatsoever. Even the preferred common trails in Uttarakhand offer unique snow trekking adventures. The slopes in Auli are neither too easy nor too hard, with a perfect balance of adventure and comfort. The snowy meadows and the snow-covered mountains add a unique sense of adventure to the entire trekking experience in Auli. Gurson Bugyal is the most popular trek in Auli.
The one with the 360-degree view of Garhwal Himalayas and Nanda Devi
You can find hills all around the Uttarakhand but once you step in Auli, you won’t be blessed by hills but it would be mountains that would be welcoming you. One such mountain is the famous Nanda Devi. Nanda Devi is a revered mountain for its religious heritage and adventurous trails and it’s no less than a privilege to witness the beauty of the grand peak of Uttarakhand, that too so up close.
Hone your skiing skills
Skiing in Auli needs no formal introduction as Auli is believed to be one of the best Skiing destinations in Uttarakhand. Before much ado, let’s get into the technicality of it. Auli offers ski stretches ranging from 4 km to even 400 metres. Skiing in Auli is for everyone. Even if you have never ever thought of giving it a try, you can test your ski skills and body balance in Auli. You can opt from two options available – professional and tandem. For a beginner, it’s advised to go with the tandem where a local ski operator would guide you about the basics. The prices are also reasonable and you can have the ski adventure without hurting your budget much.
A feast for travel photographers and bloggers
Did we tell you this before that Auli is magical? If we haven’t, let us set the record straight – Auli is a work of magic. The serene meadows, the snow delight and some of the most picturesque sites in the world, Auli will leave you hoping you had a bigger memory card for your camera. The mountain peaks, the friendly snow fights and infinite stories are just some of the things you would definitely want to capture here within a lens. Also, trek to Gurson Bugyal for a 360-degree view of the Garhwal mountains.
Mesmerising sunsets and sunrises
There is something magical about the rising and setting sun in the mountains. It brings a sense of peace and calmness. The sight of the sun setting across the horizon while you sit with your loved ones sharing stories is something we all wish for during a trip and the sunset doesn’t get any better than Auli. Either sit back and cherish the special moment with your loved ones or take your camera and hunt for a destination from where you can get the best photographs of sunrise and sunset in Auli.
The taste of Garhwal Himalayas
Food is an essential part of any travel odyssey. A meal can either make or break your trip. While there is a common misconception that during travel food should just be a necessity, I say, food while travelling should be a luxury. You are here to have the best time of your life so why compromise on one of the best experiences of travelling. If you happen to be in Auli, you will get to experience the unique taste of food cooked in Garhwal Himalayas. Although, Auli itself won’t offer many options but Joshimath is the place to explore the diverse Garhwal cuisines.
There is no reason to visit Auli that can justify the breathtaking beauty of this winter destination. Auli is magic, Auli is not a destination but an experience and one visit to Auli and it would be really hard to go back.
How To Reach Auli?
By Road: Located close to Joshimath in Uttarakhand, the easiest way to reach Auli is through public buses which ferry from Rishikesh to Joshimath. Joshimath is just 16 km from Auli and you can either take the ropeway or hit the road to reach Auli
By Rail: The nearest railway station is Haridwar. From Haridwar, you can take a bus to Joshimath or hire a private Taxi to reach Auli.
By Air: The nearest airport is in Dehradun. From the Airport, you can either hire a taxi and reach Auli or take the state-run buses to reach Joshimath.
Best Time To Visit Auli
A trip to Auli is enchanting throughout the year. Auli, being a mesmerising hill station in Uttarakhand, is a perfect getaway destination even in Summers. The best time to visit Auli depends largely on what you wish to experience in Auli.
Summers: The summer season starts from Mid March till June and is perfect for outdoor activities like hiking and trekking.
Monsoon: Starting from July and lasting till October, monsoon in Auli is a little offseason but is the perfect time for those who love to experience monsoon in mountains.
Winters: From the months of November to early March, Auli becomes a heaven on earth with meadows laden with snow and Garhwal Himalayas in the backdrop complimenting the scenery. Skiing and Snowboarding are the must do things during winters.
Tourist Attractions Around Auli
If you are planning a mountain vacation, you must already know that Auli should be your choice. Auli has everything you expect from a picture-perfect winter holiday destination. However, you should also know a bit about the other tourist attractions around Auli. The nearest town is Joshimath which is a famous pilgrimage destination in Uttarakhand. Two of the must-visit places around Auli, Vishnuprayag and Narsingh Mandir are two of the top attractions around Auli. Joshimath is also the perfect place to have a taste of Garhwal cuisines.
Frequently Asked Questions About The Winter Destination Of Auli
When does it snow in Auli?
Although a perfect summer destination, winter is the time when Auli is at its prime best. The snow season in Auli starts around mid-December and lasts till early February.
Where to go between Auli, Manali, Ranikhet or Nainital?
All the above-mentioned destinations are some of the best winter destinations in India. Each of these places is famous for different reasons. While Manali is popular amongst Honeymoon goers, Nainital is famous for its lakes and Ranikhet is widely popular for its offbeat attractions and Auli is a popular skiing destination in Uttarakhand.
Is public transport easily available around Auli?
State-run buses ply regularly from Joshimath to all the major cities in Uttarakhand. You can either opt for public buses or you can hire a taxi which is also easily available from Joshimath.
What are some tips to know before visiting Auli in winters?
Auli in winters can really test your strength in extremely cold climate. It can get pretty cold during winters hence you must pack accordingly. Some things to keep in mind before travelling to Auli:
- Carry warm clothes and jackets as the day temperatures can touch zero, usually hanging around 4-6 degree.
- Carry comfortable boots or trekking shoes that you can wear if it’s not snowing.
- Umbrella would really come in handy when it snows.
- You can rent the ski equipment in Auli so you don’t need to worry about them.
- Don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated. Cold temperature can be deceiving and you might not feel dehydrated but remember to drink fluids as much as possible.
- Carry the first aid kit with basic cold medicines and remember to check your ski gear before partaking in any sport.
Accommodation In Auli
The best accommodation available to you in Auli is the Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam ski resorts near the ITBP camp. You can choose from basic accommodation to luxury rooms. There are also luxury ski resorts in Auli that you can choose to stay in. You can also choose to stay in Joshimath and you can travel to Auli for the day.
We hope this solves your dilemma of whether you should visit Auli or not. So don’t wait long, the winter season is almost here which means Auli is about to get magical. Visit Auli and delve into its beauty and don’t forget to share your experience with us.
For any queries, feel free to post your questions in the comment section below.