Duration of Auli trip – 4 days
Budget – INR 4,500/-
Delhi – Rishikesh – Auli – Joshimath – Rishikesh – Delhi
One interesting thing about Auli is that not many people have heard of this place, making it a pristine destination. Another one is, this place is surrounded by the apple orchards and pine trees. During winters you can enjoy snow all around the place and during summers you can get lost amidst the picturesque mountains.
Are you looking to go here as well? This guide will answer all your questions about this place. Auli is famous as a skiing spot of India, which is connected with two cable cars running – one from Joshimath and another one in Auli itself. In here, you will be able to see the snow caped beauty of Garhwal Himalayas, along with Nanda Devi, Mana Parvat and Kamat Kamet.
Below I have talked about the detailed itinerary to follow, along with the nearest trekking points, typical cost and accommodation options.
5 Interesting Things to Know about Auli
There are several places to see and experience in Auli. Auli is a really small place and reaching from one location to another is easy. Auli offers a breathtaking view of several mountains so it is easy to sit and have tea and relax. Although there are several places near Auli that one can visit, however, below you will find all the details of the places you can visit in Auli.
1. Highest Man Made Lake
Auli has the world’s highest man-made lake. It is so picturesque and beautiful, lying right in the middle of the slopes and high mountains. The reason behind the construction of this lake was to produce snow even during the summer time which makes it the perfect place for skiing as well as for the winter games.
2. 360-degree view of the Himalayas, Nanda Devi
Auli provides beautiful panoramic views of the mountains from wherever you look. From here, you can see the second tallest mountain of India – Nanda Devi (the sleeping beauty), along with Mana Parbat and Dronagiri. The best part would be if you experience these hill station during the winters as the mountains are painted beautifully with snow, making it glisten amidst the sun rays.
3. Asia’s Longest Gondola Ride, Chair Car Ride
So there are two ropeways running in Auli. One is known as Gondola – Asia’s longest ropeway that stretches from Joshimath to the skiing spot, covering a track distance of 4.15 KMs in 22 minutes and costs around INR 700/-. The other one is the chair car ride of INR 300/- which stretches from GMNV to Auli. Another difference between the two is that Gondola is a small cubicle which is covered with glass windows; tourists stand inside it and covers a stretch of 5 KMs, however, chair car is an open stack of chairs (literally).
How thrilling, floating midair and seeing patches of snow and greenery down below you in open.
4. Experience Skiing amidst stunning views
Auli is regarded as the best destination for skiing in India and one can ski here all round the season as the artificial lake here helps in making the snow during summers as well. One can ski here as a professional or as a tandem. The tandem ski costs around INR 400/- per hour per person. A person can also take a ski training program which is a 15-day program.
The best part is, if you are skiing for the first time, don’t worry, you can come here and trying skiing as the trainers are always with you guiding you on how to ski.
5. Go Trekking on well-known routes
If you are a trek lover, you can also trek through the hidden pathways to explore the real beauty of the Garhwal hills. Below is a list of trekking spots one can go on to –
- Auli – Gorson (3 KMs)
- Gorson – Tali (6 KMs)
- Tali – Chitrakantha (4 KMs)
- Chitrakantha – Gailgarh (3 KMs)
- Gailgarh – Kuari Pass (5 KMs)
- Kuari Pass – Khulara (12 KMs)
- Khulara – Tapovan (9 KMs)
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In here, Vishwajeet and I screamed a lot of swear words to each other, for he was afraid of me slipping from the slope of this gigantic rock. Little did we know it would turn out to be an epic experience to climb it using both our hands and feet just to reach to the top and feel the fresh air of panorama.
Best Time to Visit Auli
Winters: November to February
Summers: March to June
Monssons: July to October
Auli can be visited all around the year, however, if you want to experience snow and cold, January and February are the best time for this and if you want to escape the heat of your city, you can go in May and June to this location, however, snow will be dire at this time. The other months will give you a pleasant weather and picturesque sites. Basically, you can go to Auli any time, it will totally depend on the purpose and kind of weather you are looking for.
Although, I would highly recommend you to avoid going here during the rainy season. Not only because Himalchal is prone to landslides, but also because you might be stuck in your hotel rooms for days not able to explore anything if it is raining.
How to Reach Auli
The nearest airport to Auli is Dehradun – Jolly Grant Airport and from here one can take either take a cab to Auli or follow the bus route that I have mentioned below. A side note though, the distance between Dehradun and Auli is around 300 KMs away.
If you want to reach Dehradun via train, take Dehradun Shatabdi Express that reaches Rishikesh early in the morning. From here you can take a bus or a tourist car. I would suggest you to book the train well in advance on the irctc website since the seats on trains book fast.
The start point to take a shared tazi is Rishikesh. You can take any mode of transport to reach Rishikesh – either flight, train or bus and from here you can opt on a shared taxi. In fact, we ourselves took a shared cab from Rishikesh to Auli and paid INR 700/- per person. However, the price can vary between INR 300/- to INR 1,000/- depending on how good you are at bargaining.
Also, if you are not able to find a shared taxi (which is not possible though), don’t worry! Cabs are also available early in the morning from the Rishikesh bus stand.
If you want to travel on a budget, buses are the best option. There are no direct buses from Delhi to Auli, however, you can travel to Rishikesh overnight and then take a bus from Rishikesh to Auli which starts early in the morning.
The bus leaves some time between 5-7 AM and costs somewhere around INR 300/-.
Another option could be to take a bus to Joshimath which runs more frequently from Rishikesh. Further, then from Joshimath, there are numerous routes that you can opt – bus or a cab or a cable car. The distance between Joshimath and Auli is around 16 KMs.
By cable car
If you want best of both the worlds, one option is to reach Joshimath from Rishikesh by following any of the routes – car, shared taxi, buses. You can stay here and from Joshimath you can take a cable car that costs INR 700/-. The gandola ride is the longest in the whole of Asia and definitely worth the experience.
Where to Stay
You can stay in Joshimath and travel from this place to Auli. But to really soak in the surroundings of Auli, best is to stay in Auli itself.
We booked ‘Manik hotel‘ on the spot and got a room for INR 1500/-. You will also find resorts and other expensive hotels here. However, since Auli has a limited option to stay, it is best to book beforehand during peak seasons, as well as, during extended holidays.
Auli’s 4 Days Itinerary
While the number of days can be extended as per your preference and things you want to do. If you want to commence on treks, you will be needing more days of course. Below, I am providing the itinerary for those who just want to explore only the areas in Auli.
Day 0: Begin Your Journey From Delhi
Board an overnight bus from any of the two points – ISBT Kashmiri Gate or Anand Vihar ISBT. The bus usually takes about 6 to 7 hours to reach till Rishikesh
Day 1: Rishikesh to Joshimath to Auli
Like I said above, you can follow several routes to reach Auli. You would be able to find a shared taxi easily. Buses leave early in the morning. Once we reached Rishikesh bus stand, we had a cup of tea and snacks at the dhaba which was right outside the bus stand. Although buses were available for Joshimath, we took a shared cab since it would have been faster to reach.
Note that, you will only be able to reach Auli by afternoon. So today, it would be best to relax in your hotel and soak in the surrounding viewpoints which are absolutely gorgeous.
Day 2: Cable Chair and Skiing
Today, after breakfast, go to the cable chair for a ride which will take you to a little height. From here, you will be able to see the man made lake. Walk a little towards the left and you will reach the skiing point of Auli. Even if you are not a pro at skiing, there will be guides to help you with your first experience.
Remember, it gets a little cold as you reach a height. Do carry warm clothes and jackets. You will also be able to find 2-3 food joints that serve snacks and tea.
Alternatively, if you are in Joshimath, you can take the gandola ride that takes 25 minutes to reach Auli. It directly stops at the skiing point itself.
Day 3: Explore the town and the temples
Auli is famous for its spiritual presence as well. There is a Hanuman temple here and it is believed that in Auli, Hanuman Ji rested here when he was carrying ‘Sanjvini’ herb for Laxman. Mythology says, while fighting a war in Sri Lanka, Lord Rama’s younger brother Laxman was badly hurt. Only the ‘Sanjivini’ herb would have been able to cure him and this herb was only found in the Himalayan region.
Day 4: Auli to Delhi
The bus leaves early in the morning from Auli for Rishikesh. However, here is a pro tip: If you are comfortable in a shared taxi only, best is to take the number of the driver that dropped you off to Auli on the first day and make arrangements with him to drop you off till Rishikesh as well.
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I quit my job last week and to be honest, my life since the past one week has been a complete mess. I don't have a sleeping or an eating pattern. I don't remember what's the day tomorrow. I don't know how much money I will be able to earn in a particular month. I don't know where I will be traveling after two months from now. But all this really excites me you know. The idea of fighting reallyy really hard now to do what you love and love what you do, excites me. Since past one week I have been doing the things I really like with the hopes that someday, some fine day in the future all this will materialise into something fruitful even though I am not getting anything in return at the moment. I remember, I was once told that it starts with a simple passion without any hopes of getting anything in return in the future. I won't mind that at all. Being a millionaire does not matter anymore. What really matters right now to me is I have never been this happy in my life before. Heading off to Manali today with @campingkona @campostel.in @stayonskill. Heard that it snowed over there 🙂 #Nomllers
Clothes to Wear – Checklist
Well if you are travelling here during winters the temperature goes down to as low as -8° C, thus it is essential to keep all these during that seasons, however, in summers the temperature goes up till 20° C.
- Woolen Cap
- Dark glasses
- Warm jacket
- Snow boots/trekking shoes – You can get snow boots and equipment for skiing from the operators only
- 2-3 pair of socks
I think Auli is the best place to go to for four days, and especially during the winters. It is not only picturesque but a perfect getaway for adventurous activities like skiing. If you are a trek lover then Auli can be a base camp for you. If you are planning to go to Auli, just go ahead with the plan without giving a second thought.
Do let us know if this guide helps you in any way, and comment below your queries, we will get back to you! 🙂