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Auli Travel Guide


Dotted with stunning apple orchards, fine deodar trees and gorgeous slopes fringed with dense coniferous & oak forests, Auli is a beautiful hill retreat snuggled in the lap of Chamoli district in Uttarakhand. It gets its breathtaking beauty from lush meadows, beautiful alpine lakes and jaw-dropping vistas of few of the country’s highest Himalayan peaks such as Nanda Devi, Kamet, Mana Parvat, Trishul and Dunagiri. No wonder, the town is visited by a large number of nature lovers and soul seekers, wishing to spend few days amidst calm and serenity, away from their fast paced lives. Additionally, the place is a trekker’s paradise, and is dotted with a number of enticing trails that lead them to some of the most untouched and unexplored treasures hidden in the region. A rendezvous with the unique Himalayan culture is an added perk and that leaves the adventure junkies with the most soul-enriching experience of their life.

In recent years, Auli has gained an international reputation for being one of the finest ski destinations, both in India and abroad. The pearly white slopes of this alluring town attract a lot of skiing enthusiasts from all over the world, who come here to test their skills as well as to revel in its incredible beauty.

For honeymoon couples and newlyweds, this little gem of Uttarakhand is like a cosy nest where they can spend a blissful time in each other’s company, enjoying the little pleasures of life while also creating some unforgettable memories, which they would cherish throughout their lives.

Seeking some more information on Auli, particularly the best places to visit, popular sightseeing attractions and amazing things to do when on your holidays here? Well, our Auli Travel Guide is complete with all the information that you may need. Just in case you are planning a holiday here, do check out our exclusive Auli tour packages that have been carefully crafted to suit every traveller.

Popular Tourist Attractions & Places to Visit in Auli

One of the most sought after hill destinations in India, Auli has a number of sightseeing attractions that captivate the tourists’ heart. Among numerous options, following are some of the must-visit places that make an important part of every travel itinerary.

Gurson Bugyal: Located at a distance of around 3 km uphill from the main city centre of Auli, Gurson Bugyal, perched at an elevation of 3,056 metres above sea level, is an expansive green pasture that is surrounded by tall oak trees and dense forests of conifers & pines. It is a trekkers’ paradise, and invites countless avid hikers from across the country to its entrancing trails that cut their way out through stunning fruit orchards, quaint little hamlets and remote Himalayan settlements. The magical vistas of the snow-laden peaks of Nanda Devi, Trishul, Kamat and Dron Parvat, are also a part of the trail, and watching them leaves every adventurer with the most blissful and soul-captivating experience of their life. Note that if you are up for some real adventure, and are seeking the most enthralling trekking expedition in Gurson Bugyal, you must travel here in the months starting December until February, when the entire region is transformed into a fairytale land covered under thick blankets of snow. Besides a beguiling winter trekking experience, you can also try other extreme adventure sports such as skiing, ice-skating and snow-boarding.

Chattrakund: Perched at an elevation of around 3,300 metres above sea level, about 4 km from Auli, Chattrakund is a pristine little lake known for its sweet waters. Its entrancing scenery, which is characterized by majestic mountains and a blissful aura soaked in umpteen calm and serenity, attracts many travellers wanting to experience the soulful magic of the place. A popular trekking spot, tourists can visit it through a 1 km scenic trail from the Gurson Bugyal,and spend a day picnicking or lazing around. Those on their honeymoon vacation in Auli, are sure to find this tranquil little abode, a romantic delight where they can spend a few cosy moments together, away from the town’s disturbing crowds.

Joshimath: Located amidst breathtaking natural scenery and bounded by the snow-crowned peaks of Himalayas on all sides, Joshimath, originally known as Jyotirmath, is a sacred little town near Auli. Believed to be one of the four cardinal institutions (“maths” or “pithas”) established by Adi Jagatguru Shankaracharya in 8th century AD, it is counted among the most important Hindu pilgrimage centres in the country, and is dotted with a number of revered temples and shrines that are a significant part of every tourists’ itinerary.

Among numerous options, tourists can start off by stopping at the ancient shrine of Narasimha Temple, which is by far the most popular religious attraction of the city. It is famous for being the winter abode of Lord Shri Badrinath Ji, whose idol is brought here during the peak winters, to be worshipped for six months. The temple is primarily dedicated to Lord Narsimha, half lion-half human avatar of Lord Vishnu, whose idol, as per local beliefs, is shrinking day by day. Legend has it that, the day the idol will fall, the route to Badrinath will get closed permanently by a major landslide.

While there are many more must visit places in this holy town, if time permits, do pay a visit to the sacred Kalpavriksha, which is believed to have stood here for more than 1200 years. It is said that the 8th century explorer, Adi Shankaracharya, meditated under the shadow of this beautiful tree, whose leaves remain still young and fresh throughout the year. The cave where he dwelled during his tapasya is also located close by, and is a must visit attraction.

Besides holding a great religious importance, Joshimath is also acknowledged as a popular adventure destination, and serves as the base for many famous trekking trails and Himalayan expeditions. Among all the expeditions, the one to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Valley of Flowers and the famous Kuari Pass are renowned, leaving all trekking junkies with an experience unparalleled. Additionally, Joshimath also serves as a base point to the very famous and revered Sikh pilgrimage site of Hemkund Sahib. Apart from Sikhs, people from all religions visit this place, not only to seek blessings from the almighty but also to revel in the most enchanting vistas of nature here, the beauty of which is beyond words.

Chenab Lake: Located in close proximity to Joshimath, Chenab Lake is one of the most offbeat wonders of Auli where nature still exist in its purest form. The untouched and unexplored aura of this pristine spot allows countless tourists to revel in the undisturbed company of nature. If you are planning a trip here, note that the only way to reach to this unconventional tourist destination is through an exhilarating trek, whose route navigates its way across the unpaved trails amidst dense forests of oak & deodar. A number of beautiful lakes, glittering streams and enchanting floral meadows follow all the way to keep the visitors enthralled and motivated. Once at the top, the gorgeous vistas of nature are a sight to behold, and leave the tourists dumbstruck for few seconds. Sit and relax for a couple of minutes before taking in the bewitching scenery of the place, which is dotted with a serene lake placidly sitting amidst the soaring heights of the Himalayan peaks that seem to be just an arm’s length away.

Kwani Bugyal: When it comes to enticing visitors with a pristine mountain scenery, Kwani Bugyal, located about 12 km from Auli, tops the list. It is often tagged as a trekkers’ paradise, luring countless trekking enthusiasts from different corners of the country to bask in its undulated beauty as well as to admire the glorious vistas of the towering summits of Mount Nanda Devi and Mount Dunagiri that encircle it. A standout amongst the best attractions in Auli, one must plan an excursion here during the summer months when the weather is absolutely pleasant, and the ambience perfect to leave you refreshed and energized from your hectic lifestyle. The basecamp for Kwani Bugyal trek is located at Joshimath, from where one can also hire porters, cooks, camping equipment and a guide.

Best Time to Visit Auli

Although Auli is accessible all through the year, it absolutely depends on what you wish to experience at this hill paradise.

Summers (March – June)

Summers in Auli begin from March and last until June. This the most ideal time to visit Auli, with temperature ranging between 10°C and 20°C. Clear skies and a cool and refreshing breeze all through the day offer the perfect ambience to enjoy sightseeing or simply sit back and gaze at the enchanting vistas of the mountains around.

Monsoon (July – September)

Monsoon time in Auli is from July through September. Heavy rains during this time bring out its surreal beauty. Although road blockages do occur, you can plan a trip during this time.

Winters (October – February)

Auli is a pristine little hill town best known for its winter sports activities like skiing, snow-boarding and ice skating. The winter season, especially the months of January and February, are ideal to get the most amazing experience.

How to Reach Auli?

By Road: Auli is connected with a good network of roads that connect it to every major town of Uttarakhand as well as Delhi. Tourists may either opt for a direct bus or a taxi to Auli, or split their journey in parts - or . On either of the route, buses and private/shared taxis ply on regular basis.

By Joshimath Ropeway to Auli: Those travelling to Auli by road and breaking their trip at the town of Joshimath, can also continue the rest of their journey via the cable car ride, which has been named among the highest and longest ropeways in Asia. Starting from the main city centre of Joshimath, it takes only about 25 minutes to reach the Auli terminus station, which offers mesmerizing views of the landscape below. Needless to say, it is one of the best and most exciting ways to travel to the famed skiing destination of India.

By Air: The nearest domestic airport to Auli is the Jolly Grant Airport located in Dehradun, around 286 km away, and the nearest international airport is located in Delhi, approx. 500 km away. The Dehradun airport is well connected with flights running from Delhi as well as other major cities in India on a daily basis. From the airport, there are various options to avail taxis as well as buses, which take close to 7 hours to reach Auli.

By Train: The nearest railhead to Auli is at Haridwar, located 207 km away. Tourists can either hire a taxi or catch a bus after deboarding. The journey from Rishikesh to Auli takes around 9 hours.

Where to Stay in Auli?

A well-known ski resort in India, Auli, along with its neighbouring town, Joshimath, offers several accommodation options, from luxury hotels and beautiful alpine cottages to rustic log hut stays that serve all types of budgets. For the best and splendid holiday experience, tourists may want to book the Clifftop Club Resort Auli, the town’s most sought after high-end property that is located in a scenic locale and offers a variety of impressive services. While staying here, guests can take part in complementary skiing sessions, embark on trekking expeditions or simply enjoy bonfire celebrations.

There are other hotels and resorts in Auli that offer equally good comfort at a reasonable price. Among all the choices available, the wooden cottages at the Blue Poppy Resort are an option which you must consider. The dainty huts, located amidst the alpine woods, are fully equipped with modern-day amenities. Spectacular views of the landscape and scrumptious homely meals are an added plus, which make your sojourn at this resort all the more memorable.

Besides these private hotels and resorts, the Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN) has set up its own guesthouse in Auli, where tourists on a shoestring budget, solo travellers and backpackers can find cosy and comfortable accommodation. The location of the guesthouse is extremely beautiful and offers 180 degree panoramic views of the Nanda Devi Peak. There’s an onsite restaurant too on the premises where guests can savour the local Garhwali delicacies.

Other Activities to Do in Auli

Auli is a picturesque little hill town nestled in the lap of Garhwal region in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. Its pristine scenic beauty along with the options for adventure and sightseeing make it one of the most sought after tourist destinations in India. Trekking, mountain climbing, paragliding as well as snow skiing and skate-boarding, are some of the activities which can be enjoyed by the tourists.

This town is also recognized as a popular bird watching destination in India. The major part in and around Auli constitutes the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, whose thick woods are home to several native and colourful Himalayan winged creatures. Owing to this reason, countless birders and ornithologists throng here from different parts of the country to be a part of its exciting bird watching tours, an activity that awards them with beautiful glimpses of rare Himalayan avifauna species such as snow partridges, Himalayan Monal, gold bellied magpie, yellow breasted greenfinch and rufous bellied woodpecker, among many others.

If you are at Auli, then taking a cable car ride is something which you should definitely try. Locally known as Gondola, it is the second highest and the longest ropeway in Asia, covering a total distance of 4 km, and definitely one of the top things to do in the beautiful Himalayan city. Spanning almost 25 minutes, the entire trip is a visual delight, offering scintillating views of the dense oak forests, majestic snow-capped peaks and the verdant meadows below. In case you are lucky and are travelling at the right time, you could also enjoy the skiing competitions from below.

Camping in Auli is another exciting activity which will leave you with some unforgettable memories to cherish for life. For the best camping experience, plan your holidays during summers when the snow-covered meadows are turned into canvases of green hues. Spend your entire day soaking in the vistas of imposing peaks or enjoying a trek. And as the sun sets in, set up your camp amidst nature and unwind with a cosy bonfire along with a sumptuous barbeque night. Exciting, right?

Well, no holidays in Auli are complete without trying its delicious Garhwali food. The town is home to a number of restaurants serving local cuisine. Some of the must try delicacies include the very famous gahat ke parathe, mandua ki roti, kafuli and phaanu. Non-vegetarians can enjoy Kachmauli, a dish made of stuffed goat meat and seasoned with mustard oil, chili and turmeric. Coming to Auli and not tasting its local sweets and mithai is a sin! One must look out for the iconic Singodi ki Mithai, Bal Mithai and Arsa among several others.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why Auli is so famous in India?

Ans: Located in the lap of Garhwal Himalayas, Auli is a quaint hill station blessed with abundant natural beauty, besides being one of the top skiing destinations in India as well as across the world. It also attracts adventure enthusiasts in large numbers, and offers scope for various adventure based activities like trekking, mountain-climbing, paragliding and camping.

Q: What is the best & convenient way to reach Auli?

Ans: The cheapest, best and most convenient way to reach Auli is by a train journey till Rishikesh, and then a bus or a taxi up to Auli. Those seeking a little more adventure can also opt to first travel to Joshimath, and from there, carry on with the rest of the trip via the famous Gondola cable car ride.

Q: When can tourists see snowfall in Auli?

Ans: Auli is undoubtedly one of the best places to experience snowfall in winters. One must travel here between December and February to enjoy skiing and appreciate its beauty at its finest.

Q: How far is Auli from Haridwar & Rishikesh?

Ans: The ski resort of Auli is located at a distance of around 207 km from Haridwar, and about 197 km from Rishikesh.

Q: When is the best season to visit Auli?

Ans: The best season to visit Auli solely depends on what you are after. Those who want to experience snow and enjoy activities like snow-skiing, ice-skating or snow-boarding, must plan their trip between the months of December and early March. Those who want to appreciate its lush greenery should visit it between April and June.

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