The scenic hill town of Auli was on the top of my travel list for the past so many years, but each time I planned the trip, I had to cancel it for one or the other reason. Finally, I was able to visit this fairyland last year—a journey offering a unique, unforgettable snow experience probably difficult to get at any other place in India.
Nestled in the lap of snow-clad peaks in Chamoli district in Uttarakhand, Auli is one of the top skiing destinations in India. Auli is basically a meadow (or a bugyal as it is called in local language), situated at an altitude of about 2520 to 3050 meter. This beautiful pearl in the Greater Himalayas is considered a paradise for skiing enthusiasts. People who visit this ski resort can expect all the fun, thrill, and adventure usually sought in a trip. To get to Auli, you first need to reach Joshimath—the same town that takes Chardham yatris to the holy temple of Badrinath. From Joshimath, you can reach Auli, either via road (a drive of 15 km) or through cable car ropeway (about 4-km long). The road usually remains closed during winter months (January to March) due to heavy snowfall, so you are left only with cable car option to reach the Auli skiing resort.
Once you reach Auli, the scenic beauty of the exotic surroundingsmesmerizes your brain, heart and the soul. The high peaks of Mana Parbat, Nanda Devi, Dunagriri, Nilkanth, Beethartoli, Ghori Parbat and Hathi Parbat create an awe-inspiring sight for the eyes.
And then you have complete liberty to indulge in all forms of fun-filled snow activity at this place. You may walk on snow or lie over it, make snow balls and throw them at your friends, try your hands at creating a snow man or slide down over the slopes. There are so many options! If you are an expert skier, you’ll definitely enjoy almost 20 km of snow-clad slopes of Auli offering perfect opportunities for cross-country and down-hill skiing events. If you are a professional skier, you’ll definitely enjoy travelling in cruise control down the winding slopes in Auli and leaving a trail of white snow behind.
During my three-day Auli trip, I learned the basics of skiing under the guidance of instructors from Gio Adventures. But, skiing is not an easy sport to master in just three days; you need at least a week to learn even the beginner level of this trade. I tried skiing only for a few hours each day, and felt exhausted after just 1-2 hours, may be due to my inexperience (or may be low levels of oxygen). The rest of the time was spent on exploring the areas nearby, including a man-made lake that is used to create artificial snow during Winter Games in case there is not enough snow in slopes. My stay was at Himalayan High Auli—a nice place with a beautiful setting. They are really providing quality service (including delicious food) at very reasonable price.
To sum up, Auli trip was one of the best trips of my life and I plan to revisit this charming town soon.
What about you?