Saturday, September 23, 2023

Auli Uttarakhand: Let’s Help You Plan a Seamless Trip

Your heart skips a beat every time you watch James Bond skiing in the Austrian Alps to dodge or hunt his foes. You want to emulate such a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, isn’t it? Do you know of any such ski heaven in India? No? Well, I do. It’s Auli. As someone who has been there and done that, let me take you through the sights, sounds, and smells of this sleepy little hilly town in Uttarakhand.

Auli Bhugyal, Uttarakhand: An Overview

Auli appears to be a picturesque European hamlet, encircled by snow-kissed peaks, lush forests, humble cottages, cafes, and a calm ambiance. Tucked away in the Himalayan wilderness, the town keeps a steady stream of adventure enthusiasts, nature lovers, and peace seekers. However, we know it best as a globally acclaimed ski destination for beginners and professionals.

District: Chamoli State: Uttarakhand Country: India
Language: Garhwali Time zone: UTC+5:30 (IST) Website:

Auli: Location

Where is Auli? Well, it lies in the Garhwal region of the Chamoli district in Uttarakhand, India. The town finds itself at an altitude of about 2500 meters above sea level with slopes tailormade for skiing. It is considered the entryway to the Nanda Devi Peak, the second-highest peak in India.

Elevation: 2,909 m (9,544 ft) Coordinates: 30.52892°N 79.57026°E Geo Hash: tv2kmzs

You need to cover 108.8 km via NH 7 from the district headquarters, Chamoli to get to Auli. The Jolly Grant, Dehradun is the closest airport (270 km), and Rishikesh Railway Station, Rishikesh (250 km) is the closest railway station to Auli. Joshimath (11 km), Badrinath (52 km), and Tapovan (63 km) are the major attractions in its close proximity. The nearest major city, Dehradun is 295 km away.

  • Auli: Surrounding Peaks

Nanda Devi (7,816m) Trishul (7,120m) Gauri Parbat (6,719m)

The surrounding areas of Auli are also popular among tourists and are flocked all around the year.

Auli: History

Like many historical places in Uttarakhand, Auli has an unclear history. As a prominent historian, Dr. OP Sharma puts it, “We don’t know much about the town’s origins. The area owes its existence to Adiguru Shri Shankaracharya who ventured into the region in the 8th century. Besides building and renovating temples like Kedarnath and Badrinath, the theologian established one of the four Mathas (monastic orders) at Joshimath, just a few kilometers from here.” The four Mathas include:

Sri Sringeri Sharada Peetam, (Karnataka) Kalika Matha, Dwarka (Gujarat)
Govardhana Matha, Puri (Odisha) Jyotir Matha, Garhwal (Uttarakhand)

Dr. Sharma further stated, “Thanks to the Jyotirmath, the region earned the moniker, the ‘Gateway of the Himalayas.’ Historical evidence suggests that traders from Tibet, Mongolia, and other regions used this area as their stoppage during their trade journeys. They used to restock their supplies and feed their yaks here. In modern times, Auli caught the attention during the Sino-Indian War of 1962. Back then, the locals stood up against the aggressors and extended full support to Indian troops.”

Auli: Etymology

On how Auli got its name, Dr. Sharma had this to say, “The name “Auli” has nothing to do with history or even mythology but the local Garhwali language and the area’s geography. The locals refer to the place as ‘Auli Bugyal.’ While we have no clue what Auli means, ‘Bughyal’ stands for ‘meadows.’ Given the sprawling meadow surrounding the town, it is easy to understand the connection.”

Why You Should Visit Auli?

Every vacationer heading to Auli has his/her reasons. Read on, if you are struggling to find yours.

  • Skiing Hub:

The “Skiing Capital of India” fascinates you with a variety of well-groomed slopes ideal for skiing. You can trust the slopes and the snow cover while also enjoying some world-class facilities. With the increased demand in recent years, several ski resorts have cropped up in and around Auli, offering smooth and safe skiing experiences. The town even hosted the first-ever SAF Games in 2011.

  • Stunning Beauty:

Auli has nature at its fingertips. When here, be enamored by the stunning landscapes dotting the entire area. It’s a vantage point for the perfect views of the surrounding snow-clad Kamet, Nanda Devi, Dunagiri, and Mana Parvat peaks. In warm months, Auli dons lush greenery, and in winter, it converts into a winter wonderland draped in pristine snow. No matter when you visit, the town has what it takes to leave you speechless at first and then turn you into a storyteller.

  • Flora and Fauna:

Auli and its environs are a part of the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its alpine meadows are home to 520 high-altitude plant species, of which, 498 are flowering plants. Oak, Deodar, Rhododendrons, and Conifers like pine, fir, and spruce add to Auli’s already rich flora. When it comes to fauna, expect to catch a glimpse of Himalayan Monal, Himalayan Tahr, and Snow Leopards, alongside various birds (griffon, vulture, eagles & finches), and butterflies.

Auli is not all about nature and skiing. It has something to do with religion as well. Just 52 km from here lies Badrinath, one of the most revered Char Dham locations. En route to Badrinath from Auli, you will come across another religious destination, Joshimath, just 11 km away. When heading to Badrinath, feel free to spend some time here to soak in the ravishing landscapes.

Skiing is just a part of the thrilling action that awaits you in Auli. Trekking, camping, or cable car rides – whatever your idea of adventure may be, this charming town has you covered. Think of Auli as your ultimate adventure destination that offers different excursions in different seasons.

Complete Auli Skiing Guide

Each year during winter, ski enthusiasts from across the globe flock to this quaint town for a thrilling experience. Why is Auli such a rage among skiers, you might wonder? Well, let’s discuss it in detail.

  • Plenty of Snowfall:

Snow is the first requirement for skiing. And, Auli receives plenty of it from December to February. The snow cover is thick enough to form a thick base for skiing. Since the temperature is low during winter months, the snow melts slowly. That ensures a long skiing season, lasting till March. In case the town runs out of snow, there’s an artificial lake to replenish the slopes. So, breathe easy.

  • Well-Groomed Slopes:

The perfect angular slopes of Auli also promote skiing. At an elevation of 2,909 meters, the strong winds push you downwards but the woody slopes slow you down. As such, you can enjoy a smooth and safe skiing experience. Also, the slopes are professionally groomed to make them ski-friendly.

  • Varied Slopes:

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced skier, Auli has you covered. With four slopes available, you can choose the one that suits your needs, skills, and preferences. Here’s a brief breakdown.

Slopes Name Length Ideal for
Slope Number 10 White Slope 900 meters Experts
Slope Number 08 Blue Slope 800 meters Inter, Experts
Temple Track Red Slope 400 meters Beginners
Composite Slope 3100 meters Experts
  • Great Facilities:

Besides tailormade slopes, Auli has all the modern skiing facilities for your comfort and safety. From ski lifts and rope tows to a cable car system and certified trainers, you name it. You can make the most of the following two ski lifts to access different slopes and enjoy uninterrupted skiing.

  1. Standing Lift: Board it to get to Tower 10 from Temple Track or vice versa for INR 100 per person.
  2. Sitting Lift: It will take you to Clifftop Club from the town comfortably for INR 300 per person.
  • Skiing Events:

Every winter, Auli comes alive with activity during the winter sports event, UTSAV, organized by the Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN) and the Uttarakhand Tourism Ministry. Here are the details:

Event Competitions
Contact Details for Participation
  • Alpine Skiing
  • Giant Slalom Snowboarding

Auli was named one of the top ski resorts in the world by the Europeans who staged and managed the South Asian Winter Games in 2011. Coming from seasoned skiers, that’s some recommendation.

  • Training Facilities:

So, you love to pursue skiing and snowboarding but don’t know how to start. Just head to Auli and enroll in a skiing institute to learn the ins and outs of the sport from expert trainers. You can choose from 3, 7, and 14-day Certificate Courses, depending on your learning needs, time, and budget.

Top Skiing Providers in Auli

When it comes to skiing providers in Auli, you are spoilt for choice. With so many of them out there, let’s narrow down your options to the top three. These recommendations are based on feedback.

1. GMVN Auli

It’s a budget-friendly 2-star accommodation, offering comfortable stays and easy access to skiing slopes. Enjoy some delectable food in the in-house restaurant and great views from the balcony.

  • Prices: ₹ 4,753 onwards
  • Google Rating: 4.1/5
  • Facilities: Terrace, Lawn, 24/7 Front Desk, Parking, Airport Shuttle
  • Food: Multi-cuisine Restaurant, offering Indian, American & Italian cuisines
  • For Bookings, click here.
  • Location on Map: Here.

2. Ski & Snow Cliff Top Club Holiday Resort:

You’ll love the stunning views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks, delightful accommodations, great amenities and service, and palatable food that the Cliff Club Holiday Resort has on offer.

  • Google Rating: 4.3/5
  • Rooms: Studio, Single and Family Suite
  • Winner: Gold Crown Award Resort of International Distinction Award
  • Food: An on-site Multi-cuisine Restaurant
  • For Bookings, click here.
  • Location on Map: Here.

3. Himalayan High, Auli, By Himalayan Eco Lodges

Sitting pretty in a sprawling apple orchard, the luxury resort offers great views, spacious and well-kept rooms, fine dining, good service, and plenty of skiing opportunities for a memorable trip.

  • Prices: ₹ 5,992 Onwards
  • Google Rating: 4.2/5
  • Facilities: Terrace, Garden, 24/7 Front Desk, Parking
  • Food: Multi-cuisine Restaurant, offering Indian, American & Italian cuisines
  • For Bookings, click here.
  • Location on Map: here.

Note that, DKG does not work as an affiliate to the recommended hotels and service providers. All recommendations are unbiased, based on the writer’s personal experience.

Auli: Weather

Like any hill station with an altitude of over 1200 meters, Auli experiences distinct weather patterns throughout the year. Let’s take you through a season-wise overview of the weather conditions here.

Climate At a Glance:
Hottest Month: June (29 °C avg) Coldest Month: January (14 °C avg)
Wettest Month: August (673.6 mm avg) Windiest Month: April (3 km/h avg)
Annual precip.: 2115.4 mm (per year)

Winter (December to February):

  • In late November, winter sets in, bringing heavy snowfall in Auli.
  • The town is under the spell of a cold wave with daytime temperatures dipping to -2°C (28°F).
  • The heavy snow paves the way for skiing and winter sports.

Spring (March to April):

  • By early March, the town starts experiencing the spring season.
  • You can notice a gradual rise in temperatures and the melting of the snow.
  • At this time of the year, the mercury hovers around 7°C to 15°C (45°F to 59°F).
  • The town experiences light showers, mostly in March, averaging 5.5 inches.
  • Auli’s meadows present a lovely sight with the blooming of alpine flowers.

Summer (May to June):

  • Lasting for two months, the summers are short and mild in Auli.
  • You can expect daytime temperatures averaging between 15°C to 20°C (59°F to 68°F).
  • Occasional showers aside, the skies are mostly clear and the weather is pleasant.
  • The conditions are, thus, ideal for trekking, camping, and other outdoor activities.

Monsoon (July to September):

  • The monsoon season gets underway in early July in Auli and lasts till mid-September.
  • During this period, the town receives mild to heavy rainfall, maximum in August (673.6 mm).
  • The humidity levels rise drastically and the mercury stays between 12°C – 20°C average.
  • Avoid visiting, as you might have to deal with landslides, flash floods, and road closures.

Autumn (October to November):

  • By October, the autumn kicks in and lasts till mid-November.
  • The weather starts to cool down with the temperature ranging from 7°C to 15°C (45°F to 59°F).
  • The clear skies and pleasant weather make it an ideal time for sightseeing and outdoor activities.
Months Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg Temp. -2.6 -1.3 1.6 5.8 9.5 12.9 14.4 14 12.1 7.7 4.5 0.9
Precip. 129 168 132 85 100 251 633 564 209 65 54 66
Humidity 47% 52% 55% 62% 70% 80% 92% 91% 81% 64% 53% 45%
Sun Hrs. 7.6 7.9 9.1 9.8 9.2 7.4 4.1 4.0 6.8 8.5 8.1 8.2
Rain Days 10 12 11 10 14 17 22 21 16 09 06 06

Temperature: In Celsius, Precipitation: In Inches, Humidity: In Percentage. Sunshine: in hours

Data Courtesy:

Places to visit in Auli

An amalgamation of nature and adventure, Auli Chamoli is one of the most amazing destinations you’ll ever come across. Regardless of your interests, you will find something to explore and indulge in here. Let’s walk you through your best options to make the most of your Auli trip.

1. Gorson Bugyal

Gorson BugyalGurso Bugyal, also known as Gorson Bugyal, is a beautiful grassland bordered by a thick forest of oaks and coniferous trees about 3 kilometers from Auli. The grassland, located at a height of 3,050 meters, dazzles in a green blanket in the summer. While in winter, it is a snow-covered enchanting paradise. It is an amazing trek with stunning scenery of the Nanda Devi, and Dron Parvat, Trishul peaks. This location is about 2 kilometers from Auli’s last ropeway tower.

2. Auli Artificial Lake

Auli Artificial LakeThis artificial lake is considered to be the highest in the world. The amazing crystal clear blue lake, encircled by verdant green highlands, can be reached by cable car. When the meadow is wrapped in the snow in the winter, the lake gleams like a pearl. The lake serves as a snow backup. When Auli runs out of snow, the lake can replenish the snow on slopes to make them skiing-friendly.

3. Kwani Bugyal

Kwani BugyalThis beautiful meadow, located at 3,390 meters above sea level, is a delight for nature enthusiasts and hikers. This Bugyal or meadow is around thirteen km from Gurso Bugyal and one can easily go on a hiking trip in groups. It offers panoramic beauty, fresh air, plenty of action, and some of the most amazing scenery of the Great Himalayas.

4. Saildar Tapovan

Saildhar TapovanIt’s a small hamlet around 15 kilometers from Auli, India noted for its hot spring and monastery. You can explore the region’s traditional handicrafts and make yourself comfortable with friendly locals. The weather in summer is pleasant for a perfect outing.

5. Chattrakund

ChattrakundChattrakund is around 5 kilometers from Auli hill station, just one kilometer past Gurson Bugyal. This little lake, located at an elevation of 3,200 meters, is covered with dense foliage and provides breathtaking views of the surrounding Nanda Peak. The gorgeous landscapes and peacefulness of this location captivate visitors. It’s one of the best places to visit in Auli for any nature lover.

6. Ropeway from Joshimath to Auli

Ropeway from Joshimath to AuliThis breathtaking ropeway is the longest and the highest in Asia. It offers some mesmerizing views of the Great Himalayan peaks of Kamet, Nanda Devi, Dunagiri, and Mana Parvat. You can hop onto the ropeway and go up to the ski point and enjoy skiing during winter. During summer, the green meadows are eye-soothing and calming for the mind.

  • Length: 4.15 km
  • Connects: Auli with Joshimath
  • Elevation: 3016.3 meters
  • Travel Time: 25 Minutes
  • Speed: 3 Mts/Sec maximum
  • Ticket per person: ₹ 1000 (Round trip)
  • For Bookings, click here.

How to Reach Auli?

Planning to visit Auli? Here is how you can visit the ski resorts of India.

  • Airport– Auli’s nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport of Dehradun, about 286 km. You can book a cab to Auli from the airport.
  • Railway– Rishikesh railway station about 250 km from Auli is well-connected with railways and has passenger trains plying at all times of the day.
  • Road– Auli is well-connected by road to all major towns and cities around it. You can rely on either state-run buses of UTC (Uttarakhand Transport Corporation) or private buses and cabs to get to the location.


Auli tourism is flourishing. That means it has an extensive range of hotels, hostels, and resorts to suit every pocket. Some good options include:

Hotels Price range( in INR) Google Rating
Snow Mount Hotel 2200-2600 3.8/5
The Tattva- A Booking Resort 5500-6500 4.2/5
The Maple Leaf 2500-3000 4.7/5
The Sleeping Beauty Hotel 6500-6900 4.8/5
The Royal Village 2600-3200 4.3/5


On your visit, don’t forget to sample authentic Garhwali and Uttarakhand dishes, such as Kachmauli, Singhori, and Bal Mithai. Being a tourist town, Auli offers plenty of Dhabas and restaurants that offer tasty, hygienic, and affordable meals. If budget permits, try some exotic cuisines at one of the 5-star hotels with in-house restaurants. I have rounded up a few great places to eat below.

  • Suggested Reading: Famous Food in Uttarakhand
Auli Café Auli ‘D’ Food Plaza Panchvati Inn
Auli Rishta Dil Ka Auli Chai Pahadi Café
Auli Restaurant Ropeway UTP Canteen Hariyali Restaurant

Best Time to Visit Auli:

Auli welcomes tourists all year round. As such, the best time to visit can vary depending on your interests and the experiences you seek. Here’s a breakdown of the best time to visit Auli based on different preferences:

Skiing and Winter Sports:
  • Best Time: December to February
  • It’s the peak tourist season in Auli as skiers and snowboarders from across the world throng this little town. Even if you are not a winter sports enthusiast, visit it for its snowy charm. The time is also ideal for honeymooners looking to start their married life on a high.
Trekking and Hiking:
  • Best Time: April to June, September to November
  • The spring season is best suited for trekking and hiking when the temperatures are bearable and the weather is pleasant. The sight of blooming wildflowers in the lush green meadows is a bonus. However, autumn can also be considered.
Sightseeing and Nature Lovers:
  • Best Time: March to June, September to November
  • If you want to get up close and personal with the natural beauty and panoramic views without engaging in winter sports or treks, visit during the spring or autumn. The landscape is vibrant, and the weather is comfortable for sightseeing.
A Peaceful Escape:
  • Best Time: Anytime except monsoon and winters
  • Auli offers a peaceful environment throughout the year, except during the monsoon when landslides are common. Even winter can be crowded since it is the peak season. So, choose a time that works for your schedule.
Budget Travelers:
  • Best Time: September to November
  • September to November, after the monsoon season, is relatively less crowded compared to the peak winter and summer months. You can enjoy a quieter experience and cheaper accommodations.
Culture Exploration:
  • Best Time: September
  • Consider visiting during September when Badrinath hosts the famous Mata Murti ka Mela.


Auli is heaven for both peace lovers and adventure enthusiasts. We hope we have given you enough reasons to get your act together and book your tickets for Auli. Plan your stay and have an amazing time skiing around and camping in the vast meadows. Don’t forget to tell us about your experience in the comment section below. Or, you can even use the space to ask questions, provide feedback, or tell us which destination you want us to cover. We will be quick to respond.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Where is Auli located?

It is located in the Chamoli district of the Indian state of Uttarakhand, nestled in the Garhwal Himalayas.

2. What is the best time to visit Auli?

The best time to visit Auli depends on your interests. For skiing, December to February is ideal. For trekking and pleasant weather, visit from April to June or September to November.

3. Is Auli a good destination for skiing beginners?

Yes, there are beginner-friendly slopes and skiing instructors available for lessons.

4. How can I reach Auli from Delhi?

You can reach it from Delhi by taking a train to Rishikesh or a flight to Dehradun, followed by a road journey to Auli. It is well connected to both destinations via road.

5. Are there any trekking opportunities?

Yes, the town offers trekking opportunities, including the Kuari Pass Trek and Gorson Bugyal Trek.

6. What are the nearby attractions to visit from Auli?

Nearby attractions include Badrinath, Joshimath, Valley of Flowers, and Hemkund Sahib.

7. Is there accommodation available in Auli?

Yes, you can find a wide range of accommodation options here, including hotels, resorts, and guesthouses.

8. Can I visit during the monsoon season?

The town stays open but you might have to deal with the risk of landslides and road closures.

9. Are there any skiing festivals or events here?

Yes, the town hosts various skiing and snowboarding events, including the UTSAV, annually.

10. What is the famous Auli Ropeway and how can I experience it?

The Auli Ropeway is the highest and longest ropeway in Asia. Consider boarding it to experience the stunning views of the Himalayas and the birds-eye view of the town.

11. Are there medical facilities available in Auli?

Basic medical facilities are available in Auli, but for serious medical issues, it’s advisable to visit Joshimath or Dehradun.

12. What is the Nanda Devi National Park, and can I visit it from Auli?

Nanda Devi National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its biodiversity. While it’s nearby, visiting requires special permits and is subject to certain restrictions.

13. Is Auli a family-friendly destination?

Yes, Auli is family-friendly and offers activities for all age groups, including skiing, trekking, and sightseeing.

14. Are there adventure sports other than skiing in Auli?

Yes, Auli offers adventure activities like trekking, snowboarding, and camping.

15. What is the local cuisine in Auli, and where can I try it?

Local cuisine includes Garhwali dishes like Aloo Ke Gutke, Baal Mithai, and Mandua Ki Roti, which are available at local eateries.

16. Is Auli a good place for photography and nature enthusiasts?

Yes, Auli offers stunning landscapes and is ideal for photography and enjoying nature’s beauty.

17. What should I pack when visiting Auli?

It depends on the season. Pack warm clothing, including layers, gloves, and a good jacket for winter visits. For other seasons, pack comfortable clothing, trekking gear, and sunscreen.

18. Are there any restrictions or permits required to visit Auli?

There are no specific permits required to visit Auli, but certain areas like Nanda Devi National Park may have restrictions.

19. Can I visit Auli in the winter even if I don’t plan to ski?

Yes, you can visit Auli in winter for its scenic beauty, but skiing is a major attraction during this season.

20. What is the spiritual significance of Auli?

The area is associated with Adi Shankaracharya’s visit in the 8th century when he built and renovated temples and established Jyortimath (Joshimath) here. Also, it falls on the route to Badrinath.

Feel free to use the comment section below to ask if you have more questions or need further information! Someone who has visited the town will respond with experiential insights within a day.

Mamoor Ahmad
Mamoor Ahmad
My name is Mamoor Ahmad, and I graduated as a Mechanical Engineer. My passion for researching and writing about technological breakthroughs, tourist destinations, traveling, and new innovations allows me to provide enterprises, websites, and startups with the boost they need to grow their business.

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