Auli is an important ski destination in the Himalayan mountains of Uttarakhand, India. Auli, also known as a 'bugyal' or Auli Bugyal, in the regional language, which means meadow, is located at an elevation of 2500 to 3050 meters above sea level. Auli is less known ski destination than Shimla, Gulmarg or Manali. Auli lies on the way to Badrinath. Auli is surrounded by coniferous and oak forests, with a panoramic view of the lofty peaks of the greatest mountain range in the world, the Himalayas. The slopes here provide enough thrill to professional skier and novice as well.Govt conduct winter sports competitions at this place to encourage skiing in India.
Auli also boasts the Asia's longest - 4 km - cable car (Gondola). It also has a Chair Lift and a Ski-Lift. Apart from Skiing there is an interesting trek route also. There is a training facility of Indo-Tibetan Border Police. A small temple having connection to great epic Ramayana is also present. Best time to visit is last week of Jan to first week of March for skiing. Though weather is highly unpredictable.
Elevation 3,049 m (10,003 ft)
Auli By Road: The road leading to Auli is in dreadful condition and subject to frequent rockfalls (as a direct result of major deforestation). Traveling this route in winter carries serious risk.
Auli is a popular hill station in India. Listed below are the tourist spots in and around Auli.
The world's highest man-made lake is at Auli, right next to the private hotel, Clifftop Club. The government has developed this in view of creating artificial snow on the new ski slopes in the event of low snow fall. The water from this lake will be used to feed the snow guns stationed along the ski slopes and thus provide a good skiing surface and extend the ski season.
Auli is surrounded by high peaks like Mana, Kamet and tallest of all Nanda Devi. The 270-degree view will be enough to make you forget the long and tiring ride to reach Auli. Once the Skiing is the best thing one can do in evening is to take the chair out and get treated to a great view of snow clad mountains as they keep changing colors every minute the sun goes down. Here you will understand why the Sadhus (sage) came to the Himalayas for meditation. The feeling of solitude and oneness with god will do wonders to your mind and have a positive effect on your body. You will get which no money can buy "Peace of Mind"
Cable car view, Auli
Apart from skiing there are some trek options available and below list is some of the trail normally completed in single day Auli - Gorson around 7 km Gorson - Tali around 6 km Tali - Kuari Pass around 11 km Kuari Pass - Khulara around 12 km Khulara - Tapovan around 9 km
The place Auli is surrounded by the mighty peaks of Himalayas. Most of them have some name of goddess or some mythological connection. The one that stands out is beautiful Mt Nanda Devi which stands 7,817 Mts (25,643 ft) in height. Even the Mt Neelkant visible. Auli lies in the way of the Badrinath route. So in winter there is a heavy snowfall in Badrinath and the temple is closed for 5–6 months. During this period the deity of Lord Badri Vishal is brought and kept in the temple at Joshimath. This is the golden chance for Hindus and not to be missed. In Auli there is a small Hanuman temple having some connection to Ramayana. The belief of people is when Laxman, younger brother of Lord Rama got injured fighting the Rakshas in Lanka (Sri Lanka). A medic ordered that only the herb name 'Sanjivani' found on Sanjivani mountain in the Himalayas can save Laxman. Lord Rama ordered Hanuman the task. Hanuman flew from Lanka and during his way to Sanjivani mountain he took some rest in Auli before continuing his journey.
There is a training facility of Indo-Tibetan Border Police. This force is responsible for guarding Indian borders at high altitude. They are subjected to hard training and it's amazing to see their stamina and skiing skills. This center is equipped with the best medical team for any emergency and tourist can use their help. If the tourist gets trapped then the chopper service can be requested for rescue or transfer to city medical facilities.
A Hydro Power project can be seen from Auli. A private company has trapped the flowing river Alaknanda and diverted its waters through a big tunnel that runs under the mountain and the force acquired is used to generate electricity. To see this you will have to travel some 5 km towards Badrinath.
Places around Auli
Vishnu Prayag - It is a holy confluence of river Alaknanda and Dauli Ganga. Accessible from the Joshimath.
Joshimath, derives from the word ‘Jyotirmath’ the place of Jyotirlinga of Shiva. Shankracharya founded one of the four piths “Centres’ for sanyasis here. It is the resting place for the pilgrims going to Badrinath. This is a sacred place for the believers of Badrinath better known as God Vishnu. Joshimath has a temple of Narsimha, an incarnation of Vishnu.
Badrinath - One of the four Dhaams. Very important for Hindus and who worships God Vishnu. Its closed in winter.
Tapovan - 'Tapo' meaning meditation, 'van' means forest in Sanskrit. The place is 15 km from Joshimath and has a temple and a natural hot water spring.
Events & Festivals in Auli
- January to March is attractive with Skiing festivals and National Championships of Snow Skiing.
- September is attractive here with Mata Mruti Ka Mela, which is celebrated in nearby Badarinath with many rituals and festivities.
Skiing is a major pastime in Auli. Facilities for skiing are available from GMVNL. There are certificate and noncertificate course provided ranging from 4 days to 14 days. The courses include stay, food, ski gear charges and guide. There are local people who provide Ski Equipment for the casual tourist and also help them to ski. If you have a weeks time, then it is possible to enroll in Ski courses and learn from experts. Auli along with Dehradun hosted the First South Asian Winter Games in 2011.