Auli, Spectacular Hill Station of Uttarakhand

Perched in the Himalayan Mountains of the Uttarakhand state in India, the town of Auli is a key skiing spot with varying altitudes of 2915 m to 3049 m. This is inevitable as even a few French and Australian experts have considered Auli to be one of the best ski resorts on the planet. However, Auli is not that famous as ski resort as Shimla, Gulmarg or Manali. For its current tourist fame, thanks to the formation of new state Uttarakhand made from Uttar Pradesh. This state is considered as an abode of Gods and has four vital pilgrimage destinations namely ‘Char Dham’ (Gangotri–Yamunotri–Kedarnath–Badrinath) where Auli comes before Badrinath.

Snow Covered Hills of Auli

Auli offers a captivating panoramic view of the towering peaks of the Himalayas such as Nanda Devi, Kamet, Mana Parvat, and Dunagiri, while its slopes are well-scoped with thrilling skiing for both a professional and a beginner. The harsh cold winds, the expanse of snow-clad territory, and the sylvan mountains are all what make the town the perfect haven of skiing.


It is believed that in the 8th century, the great Guru Adi Shankaracharya had walked on the land of Auli and built the yet existing sacred temple at Joshimath. Since 400 years, the semi-nomadic sects of the Bhotiyas inhabit the region and are also called Thatauli who have flourished the trade with the neighboring Tibet.

In the past, prior a ski resort, its slopes were where the men of valor and courage were trained – typically that of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force. To mark one of the legendary peaks around Auli, the 23,490 feet Trishul (meaning the strident of Lord Shiva) was trekked by the adventurous in 1958 that took four days and 90 minutes for skiing down.

Tourist Attractions


Auli Skiing

Auli is a paradise for skiers with its three km long slope. The only problem is the uncertain weather where you cannot be sure even at the end of the sport as to whether fresh snow will be there. If you aren’t lucky, you can be facing a snow storm that will keep you lock in your rooms for hours. The pits can be that there is no snow fall for days and that you ski in the presence of rock solid snow that is not at all enjoyable. The slopes are devoid of any construction and that there are only deodar trees and snow sheets. The Skiing Centre was established here in 1984 and now it is the third best skiing site in India. The ropeway from Joshimath, chair lifts, skiing lifts, snow beaters, skiing gear hiring agencies, huts, and restaurants just provide a memorable skiing experience. From the month of January until March, skiing competitions and many events take place wherein the National Championships by Winter Sports Federation of India is a prime skiing event at Auli. The Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam Limited (GMVNL) – a government agency is in charge of the resort and planted the snow beater to assure snow all the time. Here, do not miss the Asia’s longest – 4 km – cable car (Gondola) with a Chair Lift and a Ski-Lift. From December to March, the GMVNL offers a 7-day and 15-day courses for both beginners and advanced skiers.

Artificial Lake:

Auli Artificial Lake

This is the highest man-made lake on the planet located besides the private hotel, Clifftop Club. Built by the government, it was done so with the purpose of making artificial snow on the new ski slopes in case if there is low snow fall. This would be done by feeding the lake’s water into the snow guns perched along the ski slopes, which would provide snow for a good skiing surface.


If you are really tired due to a long journey to reach Auli, the town’s high peaks such as Mana, Kamet, and tallest Nanda Devi along with the 270 degree view will reward you for your wish and effort. Alternatively, when you are done with skiing, in the evening, the ideal way to spend time is to have a grand vista of snowy mountains whose colors changes each minute as the sun sets down the horizon. This is precisely the time to be in solitude and obtain the peace of mind. It was here I understood why the Sadhus (sages) come to Himalayas to meditate.


Try some trekking that can be done in a single day – Gorson around 7 km – Tali around 6 km – Kuari Pass around 11 km – Khulara around 12 km – Tapovan around 9 km.

Snow Boarding:

This is another famous sport here that allures great throng of tourists every year. Altitudes ranging from 2500 to 3050 m, they offer thrilling snowboarding along with discovery of the magnificent areas of the Garhwal Himalayas. Suitable both for beginners and experienced seekers, it challenges you to conquer the pinnacles of Nanda Devi, Kamet, and Dronagiri between the months of January and March. Necessary equipments can be hired from either Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam or private operators.

Spiritual Worships:

The wonderful Mt Nanda Devi at 21,000 feet and the Mt Neelkanth are considered sacred. Due to heavy snow fall in Badrinath, the temple there remains closed for five to six months during which the deity of Lord Badri Vishal is kept at Joshimath’s temple. Do visit this temple at Joshimath. Next, a small Hanuman temple is worth visiting that has a legend. According to that, when Laxman the young brother of Lord Rama got injured after a battle in Lanka, Lord Rama asked Hanuman to obtain the herb name ‘Sanjivani’ from the  Sanjivani Mountain in Himalayas to save Laxman. On his way to this mountain, Hanuman had rested here in Auli.


Joshimath Town

Obtained from the word ‘Jyotirmath’, meaning the place of Jyotirlinga (phallic form) of Shiva; the name of the town was founded by Shankaracharya who made this among the four piths (centres) for sanyasis. Pilgrims for Badrinath take a rest here. It is the holy place for the followers of Badrinath or Hindu Lord Vishnu (perpetuator of life) for it houses the temple of Narshimsha who is a manifestation of Shree Vishnu.

Indo Tibetan Border Police Training:

This police force’s duty is to protect at the Indian boundaries by being at heights. They undergo tough training during which it is a great opportunity to pay a tribute to their endurance and skiing talents. The center affords the ideal medical team in case of any emergency that is available to tourists too.

Hydro Power Project:

At some 5 km towards Badrinath, you can observe this site where a private company has harnessed the waters of the river Alaknanda and have changed its flow via a big tunnel running under the mountain. The force obtained by doing so aids in generating electricity.

How to Reach Auli

By Air:

Jolly Grant of Dehradun is the closest airport at 275 km from Joshimath.

By Train:

The closest station is at 300 km at Haridwar.

By Road:

Long distance buses run between Joshimath and Rishikesh (254 km). Further, buses are also available from Delhi, Dehradun, and Haridwar. After reaching Joshimath, you need to travel further 12 km via a jeep.

Best Time to Visit

November to March

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