Auli hill station has recently gained popularity amongst the adventure enthusiasts for its rugged snow-covered hilltops and mountains. The name that wasn’t known to many of us a few years back has suddenly become a top destination for adventure seekers around the country. It’s not just a hype that media has created, once you visit the place, you will get to know how amazingly unreal this place is for nature lovers. It is a secluded hilltop laid between the mighty Himalayas of the Uttarakhand.
Apart from being India’s best skiing destination, Auli is also known for its alpine pasture terrains, or meadows, also known as Bugyals. The Bugyals in the region are also known as “nature’s own gardens’ ‘ for its greenery and seasonal flowering. This terrain remains covered with snow in winters but in summer months, you can witness the colorful beauty of nature with grass-covered mountains and flowers with all kinds of vibrant colors.
Being located in the Dev-Bhoomi, Auli has also gained significance in terms of pilgrimage. For people who are looking to experience skiing, there can’t be a better place than Auli. This place offers different kinds of slopes, from gentle slopes for beginners to steep slopes for experts. Tall oak trees and coniferous species of plants surround the area. You will find different hilltops around it that are approximately 2050 meters to 3060 meters above the sea level.
Best time to visit Auli – In January the temperature in Auli remains extremely cold, ranging from 7 degrees to -4 degrees Celsius. So, if you want to experience skiing, it would be best to visit Auli between December to February. From March to May, Auli experience a bit of rising in temperature reaching around 4 degrees. June remains the hottest, while July and August again become favorable for tourists due to mild showers that bring out the life in the flora of the region.
Activities to do in Auli
If you imagine yourself sliding down the height of 2500 meters through the white sheet of snow covering the mountains, you have to come and experience it at Auli. The sheer beauty of nature around you will definitely mesmerize you and make it a thrilling experience for you. The best time to enjoy skiing in Auli is during the cold winter season i.e from December to February. Also, an artificial lake has also been made to let tourists experience skiing throughout the year. So, even if you visit Auli in the offseason when there is no snow on mountains, the artificial lake skiing can still be a great experience, especially for beginners.
Best season to visit Auli: January to March
Ropeway Rise in Auli
If you want to look for more fun and exciting options in Auli after skiing, ropeway riding can be another great activity you can do in Auli. It has Asia’s second longest cable car ride after Gulmarg in Kashmir. It starts from GMVN Clifftop and ends in Joshimath. Mid-way you will have a spectacular view of SanjivaniParvat and Nanda Devi range. The view from above and through the Himalayan ranges is something you would never want to miss when you are in Auli. The cable ride also passes through the woods of Nanda Devi that enchant you with its beautiful flora and fauna.
Budget – It costs around 750 INR for the cable car ride.
Camping in Auli
Camping in the wild has always been an exciting activity for adventure seekers and what could be better if it is on the top of a mountain. The winds gushing through the region and the view of snow-capped mountains in front of you seems alluring. Small river tributaries running near your camp can fresh up your mind and body with its cold and fresh glacier water. Camping in Auli is best when you plan it with large groups. The best season for camping in Auli would be summers when there is an abundance of greenery and temperature is bearably cold. You can even go for a trek or hike through the green meadows of Auli while you camp in summers. At night, camping is best accompanied by a bonfire, the time when you can sit and enjoy with your group. The warm and cozy night is meant to relax after the tiring adventure of the entire day.
Best Season for Camping in Auli – March to June
Auli has many challenging terrains when it comes to trekking. The AuliGorson Trek is filled with amazing scenes and rugged terrains that double your adventurous fun in Auli. Auli is also part of many other trek routes that stretch all over the range of Nanda Devi and other significant mountain ranges. The trekking route Joshimath-Auli-Gurso Bugyal-KwaniBugyal is surrounded with the green meadows and tall oak trees that make this route a true adventurous path. The trek is not very difficult and can be attempted by first-timers easily.
Best time for trekking – Throughout the year (except July and August)
Bird Watching in Auli
One of the most joyful activities in Auli is watching colorful and different species of birds. For people who love to discover unique birds or are interested in bird photography can visit the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve that encompasses Govindghat, Joshimath, and Pandukeshwar mountains. You will find different species of Himalayan birds like tits, eagles, woodpeckers, spotted nutcrackers, and many other exotic birds like Bushchat, Redstart, and Finch. Bird watching can be best experienced in Auli during the summer season after the snow settles down.
Places to visit in or near Auli
A picturesque town situated in the Chamoli district of the Uttarakhand, Joshimath is a popular pilgrimage site in the country. The town witnesses the constant visits of Hindu and Sikh devotees rushing to the beautiful temples of Badrinath and Hem Kund between May and October. The town is also the starting point of many famous treks such as Kuari Pass, Valley of flowers trek and Auli Trek. You can take a cable ride to reach this town from Auli.
ChandrakundLake is a small freshwater lake that is located hardly four kilometers away from Auli amidst a jungle. The crystal clear water of the lake amazingly reflects the blue sky and surrounding beauty of the forest just like a mirror. You can reach this lake by road and can spend your entire day sitting in quiet and peaceful surroundings. It can be a really romantic experience if you are on your honeymoon.
Nanda Devi National Park
Sitting amidst the transition zone of the great Himalayas and Zaskar range of mountains is the home of wildlife, which is protected by the state government as Nanda Devi National Park. It is around one hour away from Auli and one should definitely visit this place when in Auli. Of course, you would want an entire day for this trip if you really want to enjoy the trip to this park. It is huge and filled with beautiful wildlife that you wouldn’t want to miss, especially when you are with kids.
How to reach?
By Air – You will need to land in Dehradun airport from where you can take a bus or taxi to Auli
By Train – You can reach Haridwar, which is only 300 km from Auli. After this, you can travel via road. By Road – Direct cabs and taxis are available from Delhi and other major cities to Auli.