Auli, (alt. 2915 mts-3049 mts ) is an important ski destination in the Himalayan mountains of Uttarakhand, India. Auli is known as 'Bugyal' in the regional language which means meadow. In fact some French and Australian experts said that Auli is comparable to the best ski resorts in the world. Auli is a lesser known ski destination compared to Shimla, Gulmarg or Manali. It was only recently, after the creation of the new state Uttarakhand (formerly Uttaranchal) carved out from Uttar Pradesh, that Auli was marketed as a Tourist Destination. Auli lies on the way to Badrinath. Auli is blessed with a breathtaking panoramic view of the lofty peaks of the greatest mountain ranges in the world, the Himalayas. The slopes here provide enough thrills to professional skiers and to novices as well.
The Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam Limited (GMVNL) a govt agency which takes care of this resort has imported snow beaters to maintain the slopes. Auli also boasts 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. The best time to visit is from the last week of Jan to the first week of March for skiing. But the weather here is highly unpredictable.
Auli is starting to get popular among ski-lovers. But the long, tiring travel and unpredictable weather can be a mood killer. Few lucky ones can gets to enjoy snow fall and skiing. If luck is not on your side snow storms can lock you in your room for days. For some its hard solid snow which take away the skiing pleasure. Though the GMVNL has imported snow beaters it cannot give the same experience of fresh snow. There is a long Ski-Lift connecting the lower slopes to the Top.
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 less 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 the tallest of all- Nanda Devi. The 270 degree view is enough to make you forget the long and tiring journey to reach Auli. Once the Skiing is over the best thing one can do in the evening is to take your chair out and get treated to the great views of the snow clad mountains as they keep changing colours every minute when the sun begins to go down. Here you will understand why the Sadhus(sages) came to the Himalayas for meditation. The feeling of solitude and oneness with god will do wonders to you mind and have a positive effect on you body.
Apart from skiing there are some trek options available and some of the trails normally completed in a single day are 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.
Auli is surrounded by the mighty peaks of Himalayas and most of them have the name of some goddess or some mythological connection. The one that stands out is the beautiful Mt. Nanda Devi at a height of 7,817 Mts (25,643 ft). Even Mt. Neelkanth is visible. Auli lies on the Badrinath route. During winter there is heavy snow fall in Badrinath and the temple remains closed for 5–6 months. During this period the deity of Lord Badri Vishal is brought and kept in the temple at Joshimath. In Auli there is a small Hanuman temple. People believe that when Laxman, younger brother of Lord Rama got injured while 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 to undertake this task. Hanuman flew from Lanka and during his way to the Sanjivani mountain he took some rest in Auli before continuing his journey.
How to Reach Auli by Air
The nearest airport from Auli is in Jolly Grant Airport near Dehradun (approx 300 kms away). Quite a few airlines operate flights to and from Dehradun connecting it to other Indian cities.
How to Reach Auli by Road
Although Auli is located in the remote parts of the Garhwal Himalayas, a good network of roads cover the place. In fact the best idea to reach Auli is by road from Joshimath from where Auli is only a 13 kms drive. Other prominent cities in Uttarakhand and north India, such as: Rishikesh (253 kms), Haridwar (277 kms), Dehradun (298 kms) and Delhi (500 kms) lie in proximity to Auli and are connected by drivable roads.
How to Reach Auli by Rail
The nearest railhead from Auli is at Haridwar (approx 300 kms). Several important trains link Haridwar to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Allahabad and so on.
How to Reach Auli by Cable Car
The most popular way to reach Auli is by cable car. The last 3 kms journey from Joshimath by the ropeway would drop you right in Auli. Apart from the convenience, the bird’s eye view you get from the cable car is an irresistible charm.
October is a good month to visit Auli. The temperature varies from 5 to 14°C. October welcomes winters with all its majesty. The climate is moderately cold.