Auli - Introduction
The steep slopes of Auli seem to beckon all the adventure seekers. There are the snow capped Nanda Devi, Kamet and Mana Parbat of the Himalayas, the whistle of the winds and the scintillating skiing. The nature at its beautiful best brings out for the tourists to remember forever. Auli is one of the very few places in India where skiing is a major pastime. For all the ones who dare and long for a tinge of adventure, Auli is the place to be.
Auli - Location
The adventure destination of Auli lies towards the north of the state of Uttaranchal and forms a part of the Garhwal mountain range. Auli is 16 km away from Joshimath. The steep slopes of Auli are as high as 9000 feet above sea level. The deodar and oak forests cover the slopes and reduce the velocity of the chilly winds to the minimum. The slopes offer a panoramic view of many a famous Himalayan peaks like Nanda Devi, Kamet, Mana Parvat and Dunagiri.
Auli - Past
Way back in the 8th century ad, the great Guru Adi Shankaracharya is believed to have tread on these snowfields of Auli. You can still visit the temple built by him at Joshimath. For hundreds of years, the colorful semi-nomadic tribes of the Bhotiyas, of the Mongolian stock, traversed the trails at Auli, locally called Thatauli. Their longhaired yaks, laden with an assortment of goods, assisted them in conducting a flourishing trade with neighboring country of Tibet.
Before Auli was developed as a ski resort, its slopes were the training ground for men of valor and courage, the ski-equipped men of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force. Among the awesome, legendary peaks ranged round Auli, is the 23,490-feet-high Trishul. It 1958 in an expedition mountaineers took four days to climb the peak and only 90 minutes to ski down to the base camp.
Auli - Adventure Sports
While in Auli you get to be on clean stretches of 10-20 km of snow-covered mountain slopes. Besides, there is a descent of 500 m from the ridge over a stretch of 3 km. The forests on the slopes also seem to help the skiers by reducing the wind velocity. From early morning, you can see the first of the skiers and other adventure seekers. Until evening, when it gets chilly, cold and dark, the skiers make most of the slopes. For the best part of the winter season, Auli is blessed by an unusually large number of sunny days, but there are times when it snows heavily. It is linked with Joshimath with a 3.9-km-long cable car linking, besides the 16-km-long motor able road. One can also find a 500-m-long chair lift linking the lower and upper slopes. Ski equipment, snow beaters are available on hire. Special ski packages, including all meals, lodging, equipment, hire and lessons are provided for casual tourists. In order to avail such packages, one has to contact the General Manager, Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN) at 0135-656817 (telephone) or 6544078 (fax). A useful institutional office for casual tourists is the GMVN office at Landswone Marg, Dehradun. At Auli, GMVN provides meals at regular intervals for both trainees and holidaymakers. Efficient communication facilities are also available in this small town. The army and civil hospitals in the Auli provide for medical attention. Rescue operations are also carried out competently using helicopters.
Auli - Best Time To Visit
For the adventurers Auli is at its best in winters. The snow on the steep slopes makes the spectacular ground for skiing. Skiers from far and away throng Auli from late November to late March. In case you plan your visit to Auli between December and March then you may check out the ski courses conducted by Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam. These courses are conducted for both amateurs and advanced learners.
Auli - After Hours
In the evenings, the activity shifts from the slopes of Auli to the bukhari-warmed huts and resorts (bukhari: a quaint, wooden stove). People then generally pass their time listening to folklore and reveling in the local music of Garhwal in the lamp-lit rooms or besides the bonfires.
Auli - What to Buy
Holiday without shopping is not complete. You may pick up woolen caps, blankets, shawls from Joshimath for gift items and souvenirs.
Auli - How to reach
The nearest airport is Dehradun, about 298 km away. Rishikesh, about 235 km away, is the nearest railhead. Regular road services are available from Delhi, Dehradun, Rishikesh and Hardwar to Joshimath, 16 km away. From Joshimath one can hire jeeps to Auli. One can also trek the five kilometer between Joshimath and Auli. For further information, contact the GMVN office at Rajpur Road, Dehradun or the UP tourism offices located all over the country.
Auli - Where to Stay
Simple hotel accommodation and tourist rest houses are available at Joshimath. It is linked with Joshimath with a 3.9-km-long cable car linking, besides the 16-km-long motor able road.
Auli - Fairs and Festivals
Auli plays host to the National Winter Games in the months of February and March.
Auli Travel Information
Although one usually carries pullovers and other woolen wear while visiting tourist spots during winters, one has to remember that Auli is not just another winter tourist spot. The freezing temperatures force the visitors to carry such winter wear in adequate quantity and of good quality. One good practice is to carry a first-aid kit. All those interested to explore the snowfields of Auli should necessarily carry with them dark glasses, snow/gum boots, and a torch. All visitors are also advised to carry with them adequate number of spare cells or candles, as there is an acute power crisis in the region.