Auli is a beautiful and exotic hill station at an altitude of 2,500 m in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. It is known as ‘Bugyal’ locally, which means meadow. It can be called paradise of Uttarakhand. It is a dreamland for nature, snow, adventure and photography lovers. The mountains, snow, greenery and the quiet atmosphere make the spot heaven for visitors. The enthralling view of snow covered Himalayan peaks like Trishul Peak and Dron Parvat can be witnessed along with Nanda Devi (7818 m). The breath-taking beauty and the peaceful silence of this location make the tourists spellbound. It lies on the way of Badrinath, the famous pilgrimage for Hindus. Tourists enjoy the magnificent beauty of Himalayan peaks surrounded by greenery along with skiing, trekking, Cable Car ride and others.
Auli is well connected to major cities by air, rail and road transport. The Jolly Grant domestic airport in Dehradun is the nearest airport. It is 279 km from this hill station. The nearest railway station is Haridwar at a distance of 280km. Another nearest railway station is Dehradun. The regular tourist bus, taxi services are also available from the nearest city Joshimath, 15 km from Auli.
The main attractions of Auli are:
Nanda Devi Peak
Nanda Devi Peak (7817 metres) is India’s second highest mountain. It is a part of Garhwal Himalayan range. The beauty of this snow-capped peak overwhelmed the tourists with splendour. Nanda Devi National Park encircles this summit. Nanda Devi National Park is UNESCO World Heritage site.
It offers the magnificent sight of natural beauty for eyes to behold. This spot is considered to be the famous skiing spot for its slopes. The skiing is practised here at a professional level. At the base of the peak, there is a lake called Roopkund. This lake is famous as ‘Mysterious Lake’ as the 600 skeletons of humans and horses were found in this lake. The mystery is still unresolved.
This is a lake of crystal clear blue waters. This pristine lake is surrounded by the oak and coniferous forests. It is a favourite picnic spot and the destination to relax.
Auli Artificial Lake
It is the world’s highest human-made lake. The lake was developed with the initiative of Government of Uttarakhand with the objective of producing artificial snow. This lake is surrounded by the snowy Himalayan peaks which make the spot a picturesque location.
It is a small temple. As per the legends, it is located at the spot where Sri Hanuman stopped to take rest while flying to bring Sanjivani herb to Lakshman.
Auli is a famous destination for skiing worldwide. It is considered as the paradise for the skiing lovers. The main attraction is the three kilometres long slope ranging from 2,519 meters to 3,049 meters. The slopes of Auli offer a thrilling experience to the skiers. Auli is mainly round-the-year destination but the ideal time to visit Auli is November to March. Auli also attracts tourists for its adventurous trekking trails. Trekkers gather here to un-wrap the wonders.
Auli has another marvel. You can find Asia’s longest cable car (4 km) here. Tourists can enjoy the enthralling beauty of valleys and the snowy peaks by the cable car ride.
The other beautiful places around Auli are Joshimath,Gurso Bugyal, Kwani Bugyal, Chenab Lake, Saildhar Tapovan, Vishnuprayag, Rudraprayag, Nandaprayag, Badrinath, Nanda Devi National Park, Valley of Flowers National Park etc.
Even at this height, you won’t find any problem in availing the accommodation suitable for your budget. Auli has budget hotels, luxury resorts and excellent guesthouses. These are mostly well-maintained, and all the modern equipment is available there. Due to the growing popularity, there is a rush throughout the year in the hotels. But these accommodations ensure comfort and feeling of staying close to nature which is most desirable for any visitor. You can try here vegetarian thalis (dal, leafy vegetables, rice) as well as non-vegetarian (traditional meat ‘Kachmauli’ or stuffed goat) and sweets.
In snowy Auli, you may miss shopping, but there are busy markets 15 kilometres away from Auli in Joshimath. There are an excellent collection of woollen garments, shawls, caps, blankets, souvenir and other gift items.