Have you ever dreamed of skiing on the slopes of the Himalayas, surrounded by snow-capped peaks and lush green valleys? If yes, then Auli is the perfect destination for you. Auli is a small hill station in the state of Uttarakhand, India, that is famous for its ski resorts and natural beauty. Auli is also known as the “Ski Capital of India” and hosts several national and international skiing events every year. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, Auli has something for everyone who loves snow and adventure.
In this blog, I will share with you my experience of visiting Auli, and give you some tips and tricks on planning a perfect ski vacation in Auli. I will also tell you about the best places to stay, eat, and explore in Auli, and the best time to visit this winter wonderland. This blog is for anyone who wants to experience the thrill of skiing in the Himalayas, or just enjoy the scenic beauty and tranquillity of Auli.
My main goal is to inspire you to visit Auli and discover its hidden gems. Auli is not just a ski resort, but a destination that offers a lot more than you can imagine. Auli is a place where you can witness the majestic views of the Himalayan peaks, such as Nanda Devi, Trishul, and Kamet, and the longest cable car ride in Asia. Auli is a place where you can explore the rich flora and fauna of the Nanda Devi National Park and the colourful culture and traditions of the local people. Auli is where you can experience the magic of snow and nature, and create memories that will last a lifetime.
So, are you ready to embark on an unforgettable journey to Auli? If yes, then read on to find out everything you need to know before you go.
How to reach Auli
Auli is located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, about 250 km from Dehradun, the state capital. There are several ways to reach Auli, depending on your budget, time, and preference.
- By Bus – The most convenient and scenic way to reach Auli is by road. You can either drive your car or hire a taxi from Dehradun, Haridwar, Rishikesh, or Delhi. The road journey takes about 8 to 10 hours, depending on the traffic and weather conditions. The route passes through some of the most beautiful places in Uttarakhand, such as Devprayag, Srinagar, Rudraprayag, Karnaprayag, Nandprayag, and Joshimath. You can also stop at these places to enjoy the views of the rivers, mountains, and temples. The road condition is generally good, except for some patches of rough terrain and narrow curves. You will need to pay some tolls and taxes along the way. The last stretch of the road from Joshimath to Auli is closed during winter due to heavy snowfall. In that case, you will have to take the cable car from Joshimath to Auli, which is an additional cost and time.
- By rail: The nearest railway station to Auli is Haridwar, which is well-connected to major cities in India by train. You can book your train tickets online or at the station. The train journey takes about 5 to 6 hours from Delhi to Haridwar. From Haridwar, you can either take a bus or a taxi to Auli, which will take another 6 to 8 hours. The bus fare is cheaper than the taxi fare, but the buses are less comfortable and frequent. The taxi fare is more expensive, but the taxis are more comfortable and flexible. You can also share a taxi with other travellers to reduce the cost. The rail option is suitable for those who want to save some money and time and don’t mind the hassle of changing the mode of transport.
- By air: The nearest airport to Auli is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is connected to Delhi and other major cities by flights. You can book your flight tickets online or at the airport. The flight duration is about an hour from Delhi to Dehradun. From Dehradun, you can either take a bus or a taxi to Auli, which will take another 8 to 10 hours. The bus fare is cheaper than the taxi fare, but the buses are less comfortable and frequent. The taxi fare is more expensive, but the taxis are more comfortable and flexible. You can also share a taxi with other travellers to reduce the cost. The air option is suitable for those who want to save some time and avoid the long road journey, and don’t mind the extra cost and risk of flight delays or cancellations.
Where to stay in Auli
Auli offers a range of accommodation options for different budgets and preferences. You can choose from luxury hotels, cosy resorts, or homely homestays in Auli, depending on your needs and expectations. Here are some of the best places to stay in Auli, along with their features, prices, and ratings:
- Clifftop Club Resort: This is one of the most popular and luxurious resorts in Auli, located at an altitude of 10,000 feet, and offering stunning views of the Himalayan peaks. The resort has 43 spacious and well-furnished rooms, equipped with modern amenities, such as a TV, heater, geyser, and Wi-Fi. The resort also has a multi-cuisine restaurant, a bar, a spa, a gym, and a conference hall. The resort offers various activities, such as skiing, snowboarding, trekking, and camping, and provides ski equipment and instructors. The resort is also close to the cable car station and the artificial lake. The price of the resort ranges from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 15,000 per night, depending on the season and availability. The resort has a rating of 4.5 out of 5.
- Blue Poppy Resort: This is another excellent resort in Auli, located at an altitude of 9,500 feet, and offering panoramic views of the snow-clad mountains. The resort has 24 cosy and comfortable cottages, made of wood and stone, and decorated with local handicrafts. The cottages have attached bathrooms, heaters, and balconies. The resort also has a dining hall, a lounge, a library, and a bonfire area. The resort offers various activities, such as skiing, trekking, yoga, and meditation, and provides ski equipment and guides. The resort is also close to the Gurso Bugyal meadow and the Nanda Devi National Park. The price of the resort ranges from Rs. 6,000 to Rs. 8,000 per night, depending on the season and availability. The resort has a rating of 4 out of 5.
- Himalayan Eco Lodge: This is a budget-friendly and eco-friendly option in Auli, located at an altitude of 8,500 feet, and offering serene views of the green valleys and the blue sky. The lodge has 12 simple and clean rooms, with attached bathrooms, heaters, and electric kettles. The lodge also has a common dining area, a garden, and a terrace. The lodge offers various activities, such as skiing, hiking, birdwatching, and stargazing, and provides ski equipment and naturalists. The lodge is also close to the Joshimath town and the Auli road. The price of the lodge ranges from Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 4,000 per night, depending on the season and availability. The lodge has a rating.
What to do in Auli
Auli is not only a paradise for snow lovers, but also a destination that offers a variety of activities and attractions for all kinds of travellers. Whether you are looking for adventure, nature, culture, or relaxation, Auli has something for you. Here are some of the best things to do in Auli that you should not miss:
- Skiing: Auli is one of the world’s best skiing destinations, with slopes ranging from 2500 to 3000 meters above sea level. The snow-covered terrain, the panoramic views of the Himalayan peaks, and the strong winds make skiing in Auli an exhilarating experience. You can rent skiing equipment and take lessons from professional instructors at the ski resorts in Auli. Skiing is one of the most popular things to do in Auli in winter, especially from December to February.
- Auli Artificial Lake: This is one of the highest man-made lakes in the world, built to feed the snow guns for skiing. The lake is also a scenic spot, reflecting the blue sky and the snow-capped mountains. You can enjoy a leisurely walk around the lake, or take a boat ride to admire the beauty of nature. The lake is also a good place to witness the sunrise and sunset in Auli.
- Kuari Pass Trek: This is one of the most famous treks in the Garhwal Himalayas, offering stunning views of the Nanda Devi, Kamet, Dronagiri, and Chaukhamba peaks. The trek starts from Joshimath and passes through lush forests, meadows, streams, and villages. The trek is moderate in difficulty and takes about 4 to 5 days to complete. The best time to do this trek is from April to June, and from September to November.
- Visit Nanda Devi National Park: This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a biosphere reserve that hosts a rich diversity of flora and fauna. The park is home to many endangered species, such as the snow leopard, the Himalayan black bear, the Himalayan tahr, and the musk deer. The park also has many alpine flowers, such as rhododendrons, orchids, and primulas. The park is a paradise for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts and offers many opportunities for photography, birdwatching, and hiking.
- Ropeway Ride: This is one of the longest and highest cable car rides in Asia, connecting Auli with Joshimath. The ride covers a distance of about 4 km and takes about 20 minutes to complete. The ride offers spectacular views of the snow-clad mountains, the valleys, and the forests. You can also see the Auli Artificial Lake and the ski slopes from the cable car. The ropeway ride is a must-do activity in Auli, as it gives you a bird’s eye view of the landscape.
- Camping in Auli: If you want to experience the outdoors and the night sky in Auli, camping is a great option. You can pitch your tent, or book a campsite that provides tents, sleeping bags, and other amenities. Camping in Auli allows you to enjoy the fresh air, the bonfire, the starry sky, and the silence of nature. You can also interact with the local people, and learn about their culture and lifestyle. Camping in Auli is one of the best things to do in Auli in summer, as the weather is pleasant and the views are clear.
What to eat in Auli
Auli is not only a feast for the eyes, but also for the taste buds. The local cuisine of Auli is influenced by the Garhwali and Kumaoni traditions and uses fresh and organic ingredients, such as millet, pulses, vegetables, and spices. Here are some of the dishes that you should try in Auli, and where to find them:
- Madua Roti: This is a flatbread made from finger millet flour, which is rich in protein, calcium, and iron. It is usually served with ghee, jaggery, or spicy chutney. Madua roti is a staple food of the people of Auli and is eaten for breakfast or lunch. You can find madua roti in most of the local restaurants and dhabas in Auli.
- Gahat ki Dal: This is a lentil soup made from horse gram, which is known for its medicinal properties and benefits for the kidneys. The soup is flavoured with garlic, ginger, onion, and cumin, and is cooked in an iron pot. Gahat ki dal is a hearty and nutritious dish and is often eaten with rice or roti. You can try gahat ki dal at the GMVN Tourist Rest House in Auli.
- Kheer: This is a sweet dish made from rice, milk, sugar, and dry fruits. It is a common dessert in Auli and is prepared on special occasions and festivals. Kheer is creamy and delicious and is served hot or cold. You can enjoy kheer at the Cliff Top Club Resort in Auli, which also offers a panoramic view of the mountains.
- Buransh Juice: This is a refreshing drink made from the flowers of the rhododendron tree, which is the state flower of Uttarakhand. The juice is extracted from the petals, and mixed with water, sugar, and lemon. Buransh juice is a natural coolant and has many health benefits, such as improving blood circulation, reducing inflammation, and boosting immunity. You can find buransh juice in the local shops and stalls in Auli.
When to visit Auli
Auli is a year-round destination, as each season offers a different charm and experience. However, depending on your preferences and expectations, you may want to choose the best time to visit Auli. Here are some factors to consider when planning your trip to Auli:
- Winter (December to February): This is the peak season for skiing in Auli, as the slopes are covered with thick snow and the weather is cold and clear. You can enjoy the thrill of skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing, and witness the snow festival in January. However, this is also the most crowded and expensive time to visit Auli, and you may face roadblocks and landslides due to heavy snowfall. You should carry warm clothes, boots, and gloves, and book your accommodation and transport in advance.
- Spring (March to May): This is the best time to visit Auli for trekking, camping, and sightseeing, as the snow starts to melt and the flowers start to bloom. You can see the colorful rhododendrons, orchids, and primulas, and explore the Nanda Devi National Park, the Gurso Bugyal meadow, and the Kuari Pass. The weather is pleasant and sunny, and the views are clear and crisp. However, you may not find much snow for skiing, and you may encounter some rain and fog.
- Summer (June to August): This is the off-season for Auli, as the temperature rises and the rainfall increases. You can enjoy the greenery and freshness of the valley, and indulge in some adventure activities, such as rafting, kayaking, and paragliding. You can also witness the Nanda Devi Raj Jat, a religious procession that takes place every 12 years in honour of the goddess Nanda Devi. However, you may face landslides, roadblocks, and insects, and you may not get the best views of the mountains due to the clouds and mist.
- Autumn (September to November): This is another good time to visit Auli for trekking, camping, and sightseeing, as the weather is cool and dry, and the foliage is golden and red. You can enjoy the scenic beauty of the valley, and visit the Auli Artificial Lake, the Joshimath Temple, and the Chenab Lake. You can also catch the first snowfall of the season in late November, and enjoy some skiing. However, you may need to carry some warm clothes, as the nights can get chilly.
Auli is a dream destination for anyone who loves snow, mountains, and nature. It offers a range of activities and attractions that suit every taste and budget. You can enjoy the thrill of skiing, the beauty of trekking, the serenity of camping, and the culture of the locals. You can also savour the delicious and healthy cuisine of Auli, and witness the amazing festivals and rituals. Auli is a place that will leave you spellbound and refreshed, and make you want to come back again and again.If you are ready to experience the magic of Auli, then don’t wait any longer. Book your trip with Travel Acharya, the best online travel agency that provides customized and affordable packages for Auli. Travel Acharya will take care of everything, from your transport, accommodation, food, and activities, to your safety, comfort, and satisfaction. Travel Acharya will also give you tips and insights on how to make the most of your trip to Auli, and ensure that you have a memorable and hassle-free vacation.