Posted 25 November 2022

Why Auli in Uttarakhand is a magical place to be experienced during winter

Winters are an exciting time in India as the cool weather conditions are a welcome change to the heat the country experiences for most of the year. If you want to travel across India then winters are the best time to do so. Visiting hill stations during winters is the best as you get to experience snowfall and enjoy warm beverages on cold winter mornings.

One of the best winter travel destinations in India is Auli. Nestled between the Garhwal mountain ranges, this stunning hill station is a place that will make you not want to leave. Auli is located in the northern part of Uttarakhand where the Garhwal range is located. The Garhwal ranges are part of the outer ranges of the Himalayan mountain range. Auli is regarded as the best skiing destination in the country as the snow-capped peaks provide the perfect course to ski.

The town of Auli looks like a beautiful painting with cosy resorts and an exhilarating view of the natural surroundings. The town is a natural reserve and there are more than 520 species of mountainous plants that grow in and around it. Oak forests and coniferous tree forests add to the beauty of the place. A visit to Auli is one of the best ways to enjoy your winter break. Auli is the perfect destination to enjoy a holiday, as you get to enjoy the majestic scenery and also engage in exhilarating activities like skiing, hiking, trekking and camping.

Here are some of the reasons why you should consider visiting Auli for a memorable winter trip:

Breathtaking scenery

Visiting Auli for the scenery itself is enough. Auli is a scenic town located 2909 metres above sea level, offering a close look at the majestic Himalayan range. The snow-covered mountain peaks are mesmerising especially when the rays of the sun glisten over them early in the morning. The town is surrounded by coniferous forests and it adds to the natural beauty of the place especially during winters. Even during the sunset, Auli has a vibrant aura, as the clear sky makes way for the night sky to exude its brilliance in full glory. Experience the freshness of the mountain air as you soak in the wonderful scenery of the place. Try waking up at the early dawn hours to catch the enthralling view of the sun and the moon on either side of the hills at the same time.

Great places to visit

There are quite a few places in and around Auli that make the experience worthwhile for visitors. When you visit Auli during your winter break, make sure to visit these amazing places:

  • Auli Artificial Lake: Auli Artificial Lake is one of the most popular tourist sites of Auli. This is the highest man-made lake in the world and the lake looks fabulous throughout the year. It is located next to the Clifftop Club Hotel, which you can visit and enjoy a nice hot beverage while overlooking the pristine turquoise-hued lake. The lush green grass cover near the lake is covered with a carpet of snow during the winters, and it is a great place to take a stroll and enjoy the scenery of Auli.
  • Nanda Devi: The Nanda Devi peak is one of the tallest mountain peaks of India (ranked as the 2nd tallest mountain in the country). This snow-capped mountain peak is 7817 metres tall and looks majestic when the sun falls over it. Nanda Devi peak is part of the Garhwal range where Auli is located and it is surrounded by the lush forest cover of the Nanda Devi National Park. The National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site as it is home to rare flora and fauna of the region that is endangered. The Himalayan snow leopard is one of the most endangered species that inhabit the National Park and the mountain itself. To enter the Nanda Devi National Park, you will need to pay a token entry fee.
  • Trishul Peak: The Trishul peak is actually a cluster of three mountain peaks that look like a trident. The Trishul peak is another mesmerising slope that is part of the Garhwal mountain range. The peak overlooks Nanda Devi National Park and encloses it on one side. Trekking to the mountain peak takes around 1-2 hours, and the view from atop is beautiful.
  • Chattarkund Lake: Chattarkund Lake is a quaint sweetwater lake that is located in the Joshimath region of Auli. The lake reflects the pristine sky and shades of green from the lush forest cover surrounding it. Trekking through the forest and swimming in the lake makes for an exciting experience and worth your time.
  • Saildhar Tapovan: Located 15 km away from Auli, Saildhar Tapovan is a small village in the mountains. Surrounded by coniferous forests, this village is famous for hot springs. There are numerous natural hot springs in and around the village where you can take a quick dip. A hot spring in nature during the chilly winters makes for an amazing travel experience.
  • Gorson Bugyal: Auli is a place full of trekking and camping spots. The lush green pastures of Gorson Bugyal is one of the most popular and scenic trekking and camping spots in Auli. Surrounded by oak trees and a coniferous forest, Gorson Bugyal is a treat to the eyes. Camping out here is one of the most wholesome experiences in Auli, as the starry night sky will lull you to sleep.
  • Joshimath: Joshimath is a laid back town located in the Chamoli district. You can take a cable car to Joshimath and enjoy a day strolling exploring the small town. It is the starting point of many treks and skiing courses. You can also visit local temples in Joshimath, which already attract many pilgrims throughout the year.
  • Mana Village: This village is the last Indian village from the Indo-Chinese border near Auli. The village is located approximately 60km away from Auli and lies on the bank of River Saraswati. You can shop for exquisite local woollen products like shawls and ‘pankhis’, in this village.

Activities

1. Skiing

Auli is most famous for being one of the best spots for skiing in India. There are only a few skiing spots in India, and Auli tops the list since it is a renowned ski resort. The skiing slope is 5km long and great for both beginners and professionals. There are a number of ski resorts in Auli where you can book your stay and enjoy skiing throughout the day. The slopes are covered by almost 3 feet of snow throughout the winter season, which makes it the perfect time to experience skiing in Auli.

2. Trekking

No visit to the hills is complete without trekking in the snow-covered mountain trails. Witness the Himalayan wilderness and the enthralling view it offers when you go trekking across the various spots like Kwani Bugyal. The Gorson Bugyal trek is one of the most popular trekking trails in Auli. Exploring the place on foot is an amazing way to soak in what the place has to offer and you also get to meet some friendly locals who can give you insights about Auli.

Read more about: Ten winter treks in Uttarakhand you should go on at least once in your life 

3. Camping

Camping out in the hilly trails of Auli is an exciting experience. You can book camping trips where you get to set up a tent and spend a cosy night with a bonfire and friends. Auli is breathtaking at night because the clear winter sky gives way to the dazzling stars right above you.

4. Cable Car Rides

Auli is home to the largest ropeway ride in Asia. A cable car connects Joshimath and Gorson Bugyal. It is one of the highest ropeways in Asia too, and when you travel the 4km long stretch, you can get to experience a view of Auli unlike no other.

5. Bird Watching

Auli is home to a variety of Himalayan flora and fauna. People into bird-watching can enjoy it thoroughly in Auli, especially during the winter season. Bird watching can be done in the Nanda Devi Biosphere, Joshimath or Pandukeshwar. So grab a set of binoculars and step out into the wild.

Cuisine

When in Auli, make sure to try out the Garhwali cuisine. Joshimath has a few restaurants that serve authentic Garwahli cuisine, like Kachmauli (a goat dish), Kafuli (a spinach and fenugreek gravy) and Bhang ki chutney (a hemp seed and spices chutney). The soulful food of Auli is sure to keep you warm in the chilly weather.

Souvenir Shopping

There aren’t that many exclusive shopping options in Auli but you can visit Joshimath and shop for local handicrafts, woollen garments and souvenirs. Saildhar Tapovan near Auli is a great place for shopping too, and they are renowned for their handicrafts and woollen products.

Travel tips

Here are some handy travel tips for when you visit Auli:

  • It is important that you carry a set of very warm clothes as temperatures fall below zero in the winter.
  • Bargain with shopkeepers when you go to shop for handicrafts and local woollen products.
  • Keep a cash reserve with you when travelling to Auli, as there aren’t many ATMs accessible there.

How to reach Auli?

  • By road: Auli is connected to the rest of the state of Uttarakhand by a network of well-maintained roads. You can reach Auli from all major parts of Uttarakhand by availing a bus. You can take a bus from places like Rishikesh, Rudraprayag, Ukhimath. You can even drive to Auli from nearby cities like Delhi, Nainital, and Bareilly. To travel around Auli and nearby places, you can opt to take taxis or avail buses.
  • By rail: There is no railway station in Auli and Haridwar is the nearest point from Auli where you can travel on a train. You can take a train to Haridwar and take a bus or taxi from Haridwar (approximately 280 km away from Auli).
  • By air: There is no airport in Auli and the nearest airport is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is approximately 279 km away from Auli. There are numerous daily flights operated by IndiGo that fly to and from Dehradun. You can take a flight to Dehradun and avail a taxi from the Jolly Grant Airport to Auli. IndiGo offers daily flights to Dehradun from major cities. You can avail round-trip tickets for IndiGo flights if you have your Auli vacation planned, and save a lot on your travel costs.

Best time to travel

Auli is a hill station and experiences chilly weather throughout the year since it is located approximately 2909 km above sea level. The months of December till February are the best time to visit Auli as you can experience snowfall and enjoy the beauty of the place. You will get to experience sub-zero temperatures during these months. Auli is one of the best winter destinations in India due to the snowfall.

Accommodation in Auli

There are some great accommodations in Auli where you can enjoy a cosy and luxurious stay. Some of the best places to stay include:

  • The Royal Village
  • The Tattva Resort
  • Himalayan Abode camp Auli
  • Blue Poppy Resort
  • Blackberry Cottages
  • XRA Cottage
  • Mountain Rover
  • Himalayan Eco Lodge and Camps

Conclusion

Make the most of your winter break by planning a visit to Auli. Book non-stop flights to Dehradun to get to Auli in the quickest way possible. With many options like skiing, camping, and trekking, Auli makes for an exciting trip. You can also choose to enjoy a lazy time admiring the beauty of the place or have fun making snowmen or have snowball fights with friends. Hassle-free travel with IndiGo makes it very easy to get to the place without burning a hole in your pocket.

Related travel blogs

1700+ Daily flights
75+ Domestic Destinations
25+ International Destinations
500M+ happy passengers
300+ Fleet tall