Winter makes the mountains come alive in all their glory. The soft, smooth sheets of snow that envelope them have an altogether different allure. While internationally, everybody heads to the slopes for their favourite sport – skiing, here in India, we have much lesser know-how of the same.
Auli is a popular ski destination in Himachal Pradesh’s Chamoli district. This hill station has earned the reputation of being the most sought-after winter destination in India, for those who want to enjoy a quiet winter break as well as for the adventure junkies who want to feel an adrenaline rush. The feeling of sliding down the slopes is unparalleled. The breathtaking view of the meadows will remain embedded in your heart and mind forever.
Places to see
The highest manmade lake in the world, the Auli artificial lake is one of the best places to visit in Auli. The lake was built with a view of creating perennial artificial ski slopes at this adventure destination. A prominent pilgrim centre among the Hindus, Joshimath hosts several temples. The least discovered and not so visited Chenab Lake is worth a visit for the calm and serene atmosphere that it offers. Perched at an elevation of 3,056 m above sea level Gurson Bugyal is a picturesque location from where you can view imposing Himalayas like Nanda Devi, Trishul and Dron. A 3 km trek from Auli will lead you to this scenic location.
Best time to visit Auli
Auli, being a popular ski destination, the best time to go there would be between December – March.
How to reach Auli
The nearest Airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is about 279 km from Auli. Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is a domestic airport located at about 20 km away from city center of Dehradun. Taxi cabs are available from Dehradun airport to Auli. The Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun operates daily flights to Delhi. Nearest International airport is Delhi, which is about 500 km away.
Nearest railhead is Raiwala near Rishikesh and Rishikesh railway station (250 km approx. from Auli); from here one can take a bus/tourist cars early morning to reach Auli Joshimath/Auli by evening. It is advisable to reach Joshimath by 4 pm, from where the ropeway chair can take you to Auli. Road to Auli is closed after dusk. If you are planning to visit Auli by train, you can get down at Rishikesh. It is the nearest railway station at a distance of 250 km.
Auli is only 16 km drive from Joshimath. State transport and Union buses play regularly between Joshimath and Rishikesh (250 km approx), Haridwar (280 km approx), Dehradun (298 km) and Delhi (500 km). From Joshimath onwards, both bus and taxi services are available for Auli. Frequency of these taxies between Joshimath and Auli is very good. The road to Auli is one of the most picturesque roads you would ever see.
There are limited hotel options in Auli as majority stay options are in Joshimath.