photo by: Kumar Ashutosh

Auli Hill Station

The snowy paradise of Auli also known as 'Auli Bugyal' can be best described as the ‘Ski Capital of Uttarakhand’. This snow-covered hill station is tucked away at somewhere between 2,500 to 3,050 meters above sea level, offering exemplary views of the crescent Himalayas that are partially covered in snow. 

Auli is an important hill station and ski destination of Uttarakhand. From here, one can have a panoramic view of the lofty snow-shrouded Himalayan peaks such as Nanda Devi, Mana Parvat, and Kamat. The slopes of Auli offer heart-throbbing experience to the professional as well as amateur skiers. The Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN), a state government agency and the Uttarakhand Tourism Department organizes winter sports in Auli to boost skiing in India.

Auli is round the year destination which offer lush green meadows during summers and monsoons, dry brown vistas during autumn season and lofty snow covered slopes during winters in Auli.

Why you should visit Auli?

Auli has had the honour of hosting the first South Asian Winter Games in 2011. The French and Austrian experts who hosted these games addressed Auli as the best ski resorts in the world. If you are staying here for a week then you must enroll yourself in the GMVN 7 days or 14 days ski course that will be held under the guidance of the experts. You will surely love this deal as there are special provisions for the day tourists. 

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.

To entice the biking lovers, Auli offers some of the enchanting mountain biking trails that can be dirt-off in summers. You can also enjoy the scintillating 4 km Gondola or the cable car journey at Auli which offers the magical views of the resort. 

To entice the visitors, Auli boasts numerous tourist places that are located in and around the hill station such as the Artificial lake of Auli, Gurso Bugyal, Chattrakund, Kuari Pass, Chenab Lake, Vishnu Prayag, Joshimath, Badrinath, Tapovan etc.  

Activities in Auli

Skiing in Auli  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 Festivals and Events

The Auli Skiing Festival: A grand skiing festival along with the National Championships of Snow Skiing is conducted here between the months of January to March. The pompous fest attracts a number of sports enthusiasts to visit Auli. 

Mata Murti Ka Mela: During the breezy month of September, the place is drenched in a spiritual aura as the ‘Mata Murti Ka Mela’ is organized in Badrinath, located nearby.

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.

Click here for Auli Hotels

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).

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.

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 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.

  • 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.

What is Auli famous for?

Auli is famous among tourist as Winter Adventure Sports, Skiing, Trekking, Himalayan Views, Camping, Hiking, Snowboarding, Snow Trekking.

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, Ropeways, Skiing.

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