Auli - Skiing Destination of India

Auli is considered among the best skiing destinations of India, it is situated in Chamoli district of Garhwal region covering an elevation from 2,519mts to 3,050 mts above sea level. Auli is a "Bugyal" which means meadow in the regional language, these green Bugyals turn into a sheet of white during winters. Auli is often compared with best ski resorts of the world by the foreigners and has also hosted the First SAF Winter Games in the year 2011. Being blessed with invigorating views of the splendid mountain range of Himalayas, the slopes of Auli provide enough thrills to professional skiers and novices alike.

GMVN conducts a 7 day and  a 14 days skiing course at Auli and special provisions for day tourists are also available. The conditions for skiing are perfect at Auli. A 500mts long ski-lift and an 800 m long chair-lift links the upper and lower slopes.

The Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam Limited takes care of this resort and they have imported snow beater to maintain slopes. Walking through the misty slope provides one with the imposing spectacles of some of the lofty mountain ranges like Nanda Devi, Mana Paravat and Kamat.

Auli Skiing Destination

Auli has one of the most fascinating slopes in the world for winter skiing, especially from January to March. Slopes are covered with Deodar and Oak forests helping the  skiers by reducing the velocity of the chilling winds. It is a perfect place for all adventure skiers and people who have enthusiasm for sports in winters. The skiing centre has a foot chair lift and a ski lift for hauling you to the top of the peak.

The wonderful dawn as seen from  behind Nanda Devi, the open night sky filled with innumerable stars and the gentle snowfall, all these things makes Auli the top winter destination of India. Thus Auli is a must visit for all the nature lovers and of course for all those who are passionate for skiing.

Auli Ropeway

Auli also boasts of Asia's longest and one of the worlds highest cable car Gondola covering a distance of 4km. It also has a Chair Lift and a Ski-Lift. The ropeway of Auli connects Auli with Joshimath and it  takes 25 minutes to reach Auli from Joshimath. Auli ropeway has ten towers of self-supporting steel structures. The return cable car ticket from Joshimath to Auli and Auli to Joshimath will cost you around Rs.500. The enchanting Himalayas are distinctly visible when you are traveling in Gondola.

Auli also offers the luxury of an 800mts long chair lift linking the lower ski slopes with the upper region. This Chair Lift has remote-controlled hydraulic and pneumatic braking system, making it safe to travel. A storm warning device is also attached with it. The rope-way of Auli helps tourists to explore the region with unique and unsurpassed experience.

Slopes of Auli

The slopes of Auli are considered amongst the best skiing place in Asia by the skiers of different countries. There are four Ski slopes in Auli:

  • 10 No. Slope (White) is 900mts long
  • 8 No. Track (Blue) is 800mts long
  • Temple Track (Red) is for beginners and is 400mts in length
  • Composite Slopes is 3.1kms long

There are two international standard ski lifts for skiers which take them back to high slopes.

  • Standing Lift for pole shift costs Rs. 30 per person. Pole Shift standing lift joins Temple Track with Tower No. 10
  • Sitting Lift for chair lift costs Rs. 200 per person. Chair lift connects Auli to Clifftop Club.
  • During winter, Auli witnesses heavy snowfall. Light woolens may prove insufficient. It is advisable to carry heavy woolens when visiting Auli between October and March.
  • If possible, try to find an accommodation at Joshimath as pricing would be competitive there as compared to Auli. Also, Joshimath is enroute Badrinath.
  • Avoid travelling in monsoons, as the region is prone to heavy rainfall and landslides that could cause severe road blocks.
  • There are no ATM or petrol pumps at Auli. One would have to come to Joshimath, which is why Joshimath is preferable in every aspect as mentioned above.

History of Auli

Auli means ‘Bugyal’ in local language which literally suggests meadows. The snow-shrouded hill station of Auli was inhabited by the semi-nomadic Bhotiya tribes and was a hub for trade and business. For centuries, the Bhotiya people used to trade on the barter system with the neighboring country of Tibet (now a part of China). 

The Bhotiyas used to traverse on horses and on foot to trade with Tibet and the nearby tribes. They used the ski slopes for training the soldiers, who used to serve in the ruling king’s army. Later on, these slopes were used to train the forces of Indo-Tibetan boarder police and now it has converted to ski slopes for tourists.

Staying in Auli

One of the very few ski destinations in India, Auli attracts ski aficionados from all over the country and the world. Due to its elevation (3,000m) and relative remote location, only a handful of accommodations are available at Auli itself. A better option would be finding an accommodation at Joshimath where they are in abundance. At Joshimath you’d be able to find a place to stay according to your budget. Joshimath is few kilometres away from Auli.

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Activities in Auli

Skiing is one of the most sought-after winter activities tourists indulge in Auli. Only a handful of ski resorts exist in India and Auli is one of them, which offers various snow activities to tourists. 

Trekking is another options for tourists, as there are numerous trekking routes that commences from Auli. These treks take one through alluring meadows, green pastures, rivulets and verdant valleys. Some treks are shorter while other takes more than a week to complete. Here is the list of few treks that can be completed within a day: Auli - Gorson (7 km), Gorson - Tali (6 km) and Khulara - Tapovan (9 km)

Auli Food Guide

Being a sparsely populated place, Auli doesn’t offer you many options of restaurants and cafes. The in-house restaurants at the resorts and hotels will be your best options. However, if you have opted to stay at Joshimath instead, you would be delighted to know that there are quite a few restaurants to choose from. Some may even serve authentic Garhwali cuisine like Kachmauli (stuffed goat with oil and spice), Bal Mithai (a popular local sweet), and Singhori (a cone shaped sweet wrapped in Malu Leaf).

Auli is famous for?

Auli is famous among tourist as Winter Adventure Sports, Trekking and Scenic Beauty.

Auli is recommended destination for Couples, Family and Kids, Foreigners, Groups, Solo.

Auli is popular destination for following activities/ interests - Adventure, Base Camp (Trek), Camping, Christmas and New Year, Hill Station, Honeymoon Destination, Lakes, Meadows, Skiing.

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PHOTO BY: Nryadav

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