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Auli the best place to be in snow - A must go place
I am heading to Auli
Auli, located in the Chamoli District of Uttarakhand, is a sylvan ski destination frequented by skiing enthusiasts from all over the world. Considered among the world’s top skiing destinations, Auli is nestled in the Garhwal Himalayan ranges, at an average altitude of 2800 meters above sea level.
History of AuliAuli is a lesser known hill station when compared to its counterparts - Shimla, Gulmarg and Manali. It gained prominence in the tourist map of India only after the formation of Uttarakhand in the year 2000. The slopes of Auli were the training ground for the Indian Paramilitary Forces and Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force. Today, Auli is known for its snow covered slopes and panoramic views of the surrounding lofty peaks of the Himalayas like Trishul, Nanda Devi, Kamet, Mana Parvat, Beethartoli, Nilkanth, Hathi Parbat, Ghori Parbat and Dunagiri.
The word Auli stands for ‘Bugyal’ which means meadow in the regional language. Hindi and English are the languages spoken here. Auli, in its initial days, was a prominent trade centre. The trails of Auli were frequently traversed by the semi-nomadic Bhotiya tribes who maintained barter trading with Tibet for centuries. According to legend, the revered Guru Adi Shankaracharya visited Auli during 8th century AD. He built a math at Joshimath, which still is intact and is known by the name Sankaracharya Tapastali.
Things to do in Auli Though Auli is a lesser known hill station, it has gained significance as a ski resort and a winter resort. Auli was the venue of Skiing Festivals since 1986. Today it also hosts National Championships, under the aegis of Winter Games Federation of India, in the months of February and March. Skiing events of the 1st South Asian Winter Games were held in January 2011, in Auli.
For adventure lovers, especially skiers, late November to March is the ideal time to visit Auli. The Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam Limited (GMVNL), a government agency in charge of maintenance of this ski resort, provides courses for beginners and professionals at Auli, which are held for 7 to 14 days from December to March.
Details of the course can be obtained at www.gmvnl.com or by contacting the General Manager of GMVNL at 0135-656817. Ski equipments are provided by GMVNL. However, participants need to bring their own clothing. Heavy woollens, gloves, wind cheaters, snow jackets, snow boots, etc. are required.
Long stretches of 10-20 km of snow is the highlight of Auli’s ski slopes. Ski lifts cost around INR50 and operate from the months of November to March. Those not into skiing can opt for the cable car which costs around INR200 (free for children below 5) and operates from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (November to April).
Besides being a snow sports destination, Auli is also nearby to famous pilgrimage spots. Narsimh Mandir and Sankaracharya Tapastali of Joshimath, Nandaprayag, Rudraprayag and Pandukeshwar Badrinath Mandir are the pilgrimage destinations in and around Auli.
Gurso Bugyal, Chattrakund, Kwani Bugyal, Hot Spring Point and Chenab Lake are the other popular attractions of Auli. Excursions to Hemkund and Valley of Flowers are also popular among the wayfarers visiting Auli.
If planning to go during the winter months, in a hilly region like Auli, it is best to stay updated on weather conditions during the period of travel.
Travelling to Auli Auli is well connected to all the major destinations in Uttarakhand. Auli is accessible by roads from places like Joshimath, Rishikesh, Pauri, Nandaprayag, Rudraprayag, Karnaprayag, Ukhimath, Chamoli, Srinagar, etc. Jolly Grant, which is situated nearby Dehradun, has the nearest airport at 280 km to Auli.
Rishikesh railway station is situated at 264 km, serves as the nearest railway station to Auli. Taxis and buses are available from Rishikesh to reach Auli,
Travelling within Auli
Tourists can opt for buses or cable cars for to travel around Auli. Cabs can be hired from other cities and to travel in Auli.
Accommodation in Auli
Tourists in Auli can avail accommodation options, ranging from budget hotels to 5 star hotels. Some hotels in Auli offer spectacular view of peaks of the Himalayas.