One of the less explored hill stations in India, Auli stands tall at an elevated height of 2500 meters above sea level. The Chamoli district of Uttarakhand is the proud owner of this seemingly secretive destination. For skier's, this place is a paradise; and for nature lovers, a bliss. Blessed with its own charm, a visit to Auli is the only way to explore this gem.
Starting Point: Delhi
Total Number Of Days: Five
Mode Of Transport: Road trip on a personal car
Total Distance: The road distance from Delhi to Auli is 487 kilometres
PC: Google Maps
Best Season To Visit Auli:
Auli can be visited all throughout the year, depending on the purpose of visit. As such, Auli is most famous for snow falls and skiing, so the best time of visit would be from January to March to enjoy the winter sports. For tourist activities, the best time of visit would be May and June. Those who want to make the most of the picturesque location can visit Auli in July and August. For honeymoon couples, the best time of visit would be October and November.
After an early morning breakfast, I left Delhi to begin my memorable journey to Auli. The first show-stopper along the way was Rishikesh, which took about 5 hours of driving. With no traffic to bother me in the early morning hours, it was great fun driving 225 km to Rishikesh.
Route Followed To Reach Rishikesh:
Upon arrival, I checked in at the Neeraj Bhavan Hotel. The hotel is very close to the railway station and only about 0.7 km from the Haridwar shopping road. The rooms over there were spacious with a pleasant balcony view. The hospitality and food were excellent as well. Overall, it proved to be a nice budget hotel. With accommodation taken care off, I was all free to explore Rishikesh. I visited a lot of popular tourist attractions such as the Ram Jhula, Neellkanth Mahadev Temple, Rajaji National Park, Bharat Mandir and Lakshman Jhul. After these visits, I can say that Rishikesh is a tourist destination that has something to offer for just about anyone out there.
After breakfast, I left early morning from Rishikesh to my next location, which was Joshimath. The road distance between Rishikesh and Joshimath is around 270 km. It took me 9 hours to reach Joshimath. Auli is located at a distance of 16 km from Joshimath by road. Since my visit was during the winter season, the roads leading to Audi were not operational. This is generally the case from December to mid-March due to heavy snowfall. So, the cable ride was the only means to reach Auli from Joshimath. I had to leave my car behind in the parking area of Rope Way Park.
PC: Priyanka Tyagi
Covering a distance of 4 km, the cable ride offered a magnificent view of the Himalayas. As such, the cable car can accommodate up to 25 passengers. The operators would not start the ride until they have at least ten people on board. It took about 25 to 35 minutes of cable riding to reach Auli. Once there, I checked in at the Devi Darshan Lodge to free myself from the travel exhaustion before exploring Auli. The lodge was simple and not flashy, but it was situated in a stunning location where you can get a breathtaking view of the Nanda Devi Peak, which stands 7817 meters in height. The rooms were clean, and the food was hygienic and tasty. Overall, the stay there was good value for money.
PC: Mandeep Thander
I got up early for skiing and trekking in Auli. With no prior experience, I realized that skiing or snowboarding is not an easy sport. However, it was exciting to give it a try. There are plenty of instructors in Auli who offer their services for few hundred bucks a day. One of the instructors told me that it takes at least seven days for proper learning. I surely knew that I didn't have the running hours to learn skiing on this visit. But, I spent the morning hours learning this sport. It was great fun. The rest of the day was spent trekking and exploring other famous attractions in Auli.
My first visit was a picturesque location, Gurso Bugyal, from where I enjoyed the amazing view of Dron Parvat and Trishul Peak. The Trishul Peak has a Roopkund Lake at its base and is encircled by a national park. From there, I visited the nearby Chattrakund Lake that is popular for its crystal-clear blue waters. Located only 1 km away from Gurso Bugyal, it's a favourite picnic spot for tourists.
PC: Priyanka Tyagi
I also enjoyed my visit to Auli Artificial Lake, where artificial snow is produced. The lake was nicely surrounded by the Himalayas. For a moment, I thought I was in Switzerland. The later part of the day was spent trekking at the Kuari Pass. Located at a height of 4268 meters above sea level at Garhwal Himalaya, trekking over there proved to be the richest manner to get a full view of the splendid Himalayas.
PC: anurag agnihotri
On day 4, I stared again on my skiing endeavour, trying to get better at it. Yet again, it proved to be an exhilarating experience. After devoting few hours for skiing, I visited the Vishnu Prayag, located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. A popular Vishnu temple built in 1889 is a good spot to spend hours to marvel the magnificent creation on a visit to Vishnu Prayag.
PC: Sumeet Dubey
After my visit there, I decided to indulge in some shopping. Shopping in Auli was an absolute delight too. I brought some souvenirs for myself and some gifts for my friends. From dress materials, interesting souvenirs to sweet stalls, the shopping options were plentiful.
Day 5 marked the return to Delhi. I returned to where my car was parked to start my journey back home with a heavy heart. I plan to come back to Auli again for an extended stay and to learn skiing. It's indeed a beautiful gem nested in the arms of the great Himalayas!