Auli Auli Auli!! An Instagrammable destination
It is all about my Trip To Auli in search of live snowfall.
Auli is around 260 km drive from Rishikesh, it is located at the Chamoli district of Uttrakhand. It is not as famous as Gulmarg in Kashmir but it is also beautifully covered with apple orchards and pine trees. Auli is the prime location to see the snow-capped peaks of Nanda Devi, Trishul peak, Hathi peak, Mana Parvat, and Kamat Kamet. This is a famous destination for winter sports as it is completely covered with snow in winter. It is less crowded when compared to touristic hubs like Mussoorie and Nainital. So you can have some peaceful days in Auli.
An instagrammable destination-
It is somewhat difficult for me to explain in words why Auli is an Instagrammable destination. The road becomes picturesque once you start moving up towards the mountain of Garhwal. The river Ganga -which is the junction of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi, in Devprayag – flows alongside the road. On the other side, we see huge mountains and, at various points, beautiful agriculture fields which force me to pull aside to take some pictures for my Instagram.
Ropeway or Gondola ride-
It is one of Asia’s highest and longest ropeway that stretches from Joshimath to Auli. It covers 4 km which can be made in 22 minutes and cost around 750/- rupees. The cable cars have glass windows and provide beautiful views. Another option is the chair car, which rides from GMVN to Auli, covers 800 m and it costs you around 400/-. Of course, it is much more adventurous and challenging!!!
World’s highest Artificial Lake-
It is amazing and one more Instagrammable spot in Auli. It is located in the middle of the slopes and mountains and it has been built to retain snow and keep it even during the summer. This lake is the perfect place for skiing and winter games.
Heaven for Skiing-
This lake is really heaven for ski lovers and allows skiing here all year round. It keeps the snow during the summer as well because it is a man-made project. Anyone can try to ski here at a cost of 500/- per hour per person. For adventure lovers, the best time for skiing is from November to February. GMVN conducts professional training program which lasts from 7 to 14-days skiing courses.
Winter, Summer and Rainy season In Auli–
During winter months – from November to February- you can enjoy live snowfall, snow-capped mountains shining like diamonds under the sun rays or with a beautiful full moon. Both sides of roads get white due to the accumulated pile of snow. There are abundant trees adorned with heavy snow. But if you want to see a greeny scenario, then Monsoon months – from July to October- is a perfect time. I strongly suggest visiting during Monsoon because in Summer months – from April to June – Chardham yatra fills up all roads with huge traffic jams. You probably will see is much more vehicles than the beautiful scenario.
Auli has very few hotels. There are some nice but quite expensive resorts. GMVN has dormitory facilities but I suggest that you book online in advance. If you do not want to spend too much money staying in Auli, then you can opt for a day excursion from Joshimath. Joshimath has various hotel categories. If you are not used to a very cold climate, then I recommend that you carry warm clothes. Once you reach Auli, vendors will charge you a very high price to rent warm clothes.
I have done Kedarkantha trek in winter but Auli offers some hidden pathways to explore the real beauty of the Garhwal mountain. Here are some optional trekking spots:
. Auli -Gorson (3 KMs);
. Kuari Pass;
. Roop kund and…
. Nanda Devi
How to reach-
By Cable Car or Ropeway- Auli is connected to Joshimath by Ropeway up to 4:30 pm daily.
By road- Joshimath is well connected by road thru NH-58. Bus departs from Dehradun to Joshimath daily at 5 am and takes 8 to 10hrs. Rishikesh to Joshimath bus departs at 6 am.
By Train– Nearest rail connectivities is in Haridwar(270km) and Dehradun(290km)
By Air- Jolly Grant Airport Dehradun is the only nearby airport to reach Joshimath(270km)