Table of Contents
- About Auli
- Things to do in Auli
- How to Plan a trip to Auli
- Places to stay in Auli
Auli is a hiking and ski destination in the Chamoli district in Uttarakhand. Surrounded by the Lower Himalayan Mountain ranges, it is the most non-commercial hilly getaway you can find in the state. If you love the mountains, snow, or just the pristine beauty of nature, Auli is indeed a paradise.
Blessed in its charm, this hilly homestead is a joy at every turn. Auli lies at a distance of 493KM from Delhi, 303KM from Dehradun, and 287KM from Nainital, far from the maddening crowd of other touristy places in Uttarakhand.
The place is also known as Auli Bugyal, in Garhwali, which means a “meadow”.
The location of Auli makes for spellbinding views of the landscape. The highest point of the district rises to 9200ft and is home to some of the iconic mountain ranges like the Nanda Devi, Mana Parvat, and Kamat Kamet. Because of such high altitude, there’s occasional snow in Auli in the winter months. While Auli in winter is like a white wonderland with frost covered trees and snowy blanket, Auli in summer is like a live painting. Between June and October, the valley regions are in full bloom, with rare and endangered species of flowers and other alpine plants, which aren’t even found anywhere else in the world.
[Also Read: Chopta: The Mini Switzerland of Uttarakhand]
Things to do in Auli
Auli tourism is more than its beauty. Apart from the standard sightseeing, you can engage in fun adventures on your tour.
- Auli is popular a popular ski destination and also known for other snow sports. You can stay book an Auli ski resort and spend a few days skiing across the snowy slopes. This is only available if there is snowfall during the winter months. You can also try snow camping here.
- Don’t miss the Auli ropeway. The ropeway or cable car in Auli is a local transportation system as well as a fun activity for tourists. The trip spans 4KM and lasts for about half an hour. It starts at Joshimath and ends at Auli, riding over 9875ft. with bird-eye views of the Himalayan peaks and valleys.
- Try a homestay. While there’s plenty of resorts and hotels, a local stay here will expose you to the daily life and the native people and give you the real flavour of this sleepy little Himalayan hamlet.
- Shop for local goods, handcrafted souvenirs and more at the Auli market. Although the market is not very prominent, it is a small community of skilled artisans and native Garhwalis and Nepalese where you can learn about local art and culture.
Places to visit in Auli
Most attractions are nature hotspots, hidden within the mountains and forests. Here are the best tourist places you can visit.
- Auli Artificial Lake – A pristine man-made lake perched atop a hill. It is one of the world’s highest man-made lakes, which was made to provide artificial snow on the ski slopes during scanty rainfall time. The lake and its surrounding areas offer pristine views and fun lakeside activities for tourists.
- Joshimath – The nearest major town, Joshimath is a significant religious site and pilgrimage destination for Hindus. The Badri idol of Badrinath is moved to Joshimath every winter for pilgrims to visit. It sits at a height of 6150ft, on the confluence of Alaknanda and Dhauliganga Rivers and offers stunning views of mountains and valleys.
- Gorson Bugyal – Sitting at an elevation of 9000Ft, Gurson Bugyal is a picturesque locale with alpine grasslands, lush meadows, pine forests, and trekking trails. It is a famous trek route from Auli. You can get panoramic views of the Nanda Devi, Trishul, and Dron peaks from here.
- Chattrakund – This small glacial lake sits at an elevation of 10000ft. and is surrounded by dense forests of pine, oak, and cedar. The lake area lies between Auli and Gurso Bugyal and is also great for virgin hiking trails.
- Kwani Bugyal – Located 12Km further from Gurso Bugyal is the grassland of Kwani Bugyal. It is also a popular trekking destination and offers mesmerizing views of the snow-capped peaks of Nanda Devi and Dunagiri. You can also camp in the grasslands. The grassland area has pine forests and breathtaking views of the Upper Himalayas.
- Chenab Lake – This is a small, artificial lake that has caught tourist attention for years. The crystalline waterbody in the middle of grasslands, overlooking towering peaks, surely makes for a magical view.
Places to visit near Auli
To make the most of your trip, explore these equally scenic places –
- Kalsi, 108KM – Sitting atop 2560Ft, this small mountain village is the meeting point of the Yamuna and the Tons Rivers. Kalsi is known for ancient monuments and sites of historic significance. Visit the Ashoka Rock Edicts, the original rock inscriptions by Emperor Ashoka when he submitted himself to Buddhism.
- Kedarnath, 52KM – Kedarnath is known for being one of the Char Dhams of Hindu pilgrimage and is also a great destination for mountain adventures. Visit the Kedarnath Temple, Vasuki Tal, Bhairavnath Temple, Gandhi Sarovar, Deoria Tal, Guptkashi, Ukshimath, and Sonprayag.
- Chakrata, 100 KM – This erstwhile cantonment town sits on the westernmost border of Uttarakhand and Himachal, atop 7000ft. It became a cosy mountain retreat for nature lovers. Visit the Kanasar Deodar Forest and the lush alpine meadows nearby or hike to the Tiger Falls for great views of mountains and valleys.
- Chopal, 45KM – The tiny Himalayan hamlet of Chopal is a charming settlement, dotted with pine and deodar forests, in the Upper Shimla region. With all-natural beauty, it is known for endless outdoor activities and give you the ultimate Himalayan experience. But the apple orchards are the highlights of Chopal. You can visit during the harvest season (August-November) and visit orchards for fruit picking and sampling the fresh produce.
Places to Eat in Auli
Check out some of these restaurants on your trip –
- Auli D’ Food Plaza
- Chauhan’s Diner
- Food N More Café
- Sanjiwani Shikhar
- Auli Café
- Ropeway UTP Canteen
- Pahadi Café & Restaurant
How to Plan a Trip to Auli
How to Reach Auli
There is no railway station in Auli. The nearest station is in Haridwar, at 273KM. The nearest major railway junction is in Dehradun, at 290KM. Both these railway terminals are well-connected to all major cities and towns across India. From Haridwar or Dehradun station, you have to take the local bus, a cab or rent a car to reach Auli by road.
Auli is well-connected to all northern cities and towns in India by road. You can travel from Delhi, Nainital, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Dehradun, Shimla, Manali, etc. There are regular state-run and private buses from all these cities/towns. You have to travel to Joshimath, which is at 10KM from Auli. From there, you can either trek or take the cable car to reach Auli. The best alternative to reach Auli by road is to take a cab or book a private car from any nearby major city and travel to Auli via the Upper Ganga Canal Road.
There is no flight service to Auli. The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport (DED), 180 Km away. Dehradun airport is well-connected to all major cities and towns in the north and other parts of India. From the airport, you can take a bus to Joshimath and then travel to Auli by cable car or road. You can also take an airport taxi to directly reach Auli.
Best Time to Visit Auli
The weather here is quintessentially alpine. Sitting high on the hills, the temperature here is pleasant throughout the warmer months and extremely chilly during the winters. The summers are cool and comfortable for outdoor activities, while winters are good for snow treks or celebrating the holidays. You can visit this place in January for a peak winter experience. Auli in November is also good to visit before the winter sets in. Check for the weather forecast before you travel to align your travel with the snowfall time and get the most scenic experience.
[Also Read: Mukteshwar – A Special Destination for Trekking]
Hotels & Resorts in Auli
Almost all hotels and resorts offer breathtaking views of mountains, valleys, or peaks, and each comes with incredible amenities. Check out these resorts in for a great stay –
- Royal Village Resort
- Dream Mountain Resort
- Ski & Snow Cliff Top Club Holiday Resort
- Himalayan High
- Cliff Top Club
- Blue Poppy Resorts
- Himalayan Abode Luxurious Homestay