Nestled high up in the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand, Auli is a scenic hill station that offers breathtaking vistas of the surrounding mountains. Known as India’s premier ski destination, Auli attracts tourists from across the country and the world for its gentle slopes and powdery snow during winters.
But there is more to Auli than just winter sports. The majestic peaks, refreshing climate, and wealth of natural beauty make Auli an alluring destination throughout the year. From trekking to camping, paragliding to photography tours, Auli caters to adventure junkies, nature lovers, and spiritual seekers alike.
This travel guide takes you through everything you need to know to plan your perfect trip to Auli – how to reach, where to stay, things to do, places to visit, travel tips, and more. Whether you are a first-time traveler or a seasoned pro, use this guide to craft an Auli vacation catered to your interests and make memories that will stay with you long after you leave.
So let’s get started!
How to Reach Auli
Nestled in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, Auli is easily accessible by road, rail, and air.
The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is located around 279 km away. Taxis and buses easily connect Dehradun to Auli.
Some other nearby airports are:
- Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi (493 km)
From Delhi, one can take overnight trains or buses to reach Rishikesh and Auli on next evening.
The nearest railway station is Haridwar Junction, located around 273 km from Auli. Haridwar is well connected to major cities across India.
From Haridwar, taxis and buses regularly ply to Auli. Some buses connect directly while others require changing buses at Rishikesh or Joshimath.
Other nearby railway stations include:
- Dehradun Railway Station (278 km)
- Rishikesh Railway Station (251 km)
Auli is connected to major North Indian cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, Haridwar, and Dehradun by state-run and private buses.
Buses usually stop at Joshimath, from where Auli is a short 14 km drive away. Joshimath is connected to Rishikesh and Haridwar by regular buses.
The drive from Delhi to Auli takes around 10-12 hours covering a distance of around 500 km. From Haridwar and Rishikesh, Auli is 270 km and 250 km away respectively by road.
Best Time to Visit Auliplaces visit auli
Auli enjoys pleasant weather throughout the year but the ideal time varies as per your interests:
- December to March – For winter sports like skiing and snowboarding. This is peak tourist season with full-fledged snowfall.
- March to June – For trekking and camping amidst wildflowers in full bloom during spring and early summer.
- July to October – For Valley of Flowers trek, mountain biking, and other outdoor activities during monsoon. Peak season for honeymooners.
- November – Moderate temperature and limited rainfall. Offseason with budget stays and fewer tourists. Ideal for solo travelers.
So choose your ideal months based on whether you wish to enjoy skiing, marvel at the meadows, embark on treks or simply want to beat the crowd!
Top Things To Do In Auli
Here are the top experiences and activities that no visit to Auli is complete without:
The powdery slopes of Auli set among the Himalayan peaks are every skier’s dream. With beginner, intermediate and advanced runs spanning over 16 km, Auli offers slopes catering to all expertise levels.
Skiing season is from late November to March which is when Auli hosts winter games including national championships. Special ski packages include accommodation, transport, gear and guidance by trained instructors.
![Skier enjoying the slopes against snowy peaks][image1]
A ride on the 4 km long Auli ropeway is an experience in itself. It offers panoramic views of the Garhwal Himalayas from its glass-enclosed cable cars. Starting near Joshimath, it traverses through pine forests before reaching Auli.
Trekking & Hiking
Trekking enthusiasts have plenty of scenic trails to choose from. Popular routes starting from Auli include treks to Kuari Pass, Gorson Bugyal (meadow), Tapovan via Nanda Devi National Park and the revered Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara.
Marvel at the mighty Nanda Devi which at 7,817 m is India’s second highest peak. Visit Hindu temples like Badekund and Rudranath andpay your respects at the peaceful Gurdwara Sri Hemkunt Sahib. Enjoy sweeping valley views from Chenab Lake.
![Nanda Devi mountains against a blue sky][image2]
Get your adrenaline pumping as you paraglide over the verdant hills or bounce along the rocky terrain on mountain bikes. The rugged terrain is ideal for exciting activities like rappelling, river crossing and rock climbing.
Explore Joshimath Town
Gateway to Auli, the town of Joshimath serves as a basecamp for treks to Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib. Explore its ancient temples like Narsingh and Kalpeshwar and pay a visit to Adi Guru Shankaracharya’s math.
![Joshimath town with mountains in the backdrop][image3]
Pitch a tent under the starry night sky surrounded by the mighty Himalayas for a camping experience unlike any other. Some top spots are Tali Gorson bugyal, Khulara bugyal and Auli Artificial Lake which offer stunning mountain views.
Places to Visit Near Auli
Make the most of your Auli trip by clubbing it with a visit to these must-see destinations nearby:
Valley of Flowers National Park – A UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its meadows blooming with hundreds of flower species. Treks from Govindghat and Ghangaria lead here.
Hemkund Sahib – A revered Sikh pilgrimage site situated at a height of 4,329 m which is connected to Auli via an arduous trek. Offers pristine lake views.
Nanda Devi National Park – Home to the awe-inspiring Nanda Devi, this national park lies on the legendary Valley of Flowers trekking route.
Chopta – ‘Mini Switzerland of India’, Chopta is known for Deoria Tal lake and Tungnath temple, apart from its evergreen meadows and forests.
Badrinath Temple – One of the holiest Char Dham sites, this revered Vaishnavite temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu lies in the Chamoli district near Auli.
Mana Village – The last Indian village before Tibet, Mana is famed for its Vyas and Ganesh caves and its proximity to Badrinath temple.
Vasudhara Falls – Tucked away in Mana village, these captivating falls have religious significance with a stunning 125 m high cascade.
So while in Auli, be sure to venture out to explore these gems located close at hand!
Where to Stay in Auli
Auli offers a range of stays for every need and budget:
Luxury resorts like Clifftop Club offer premium amenities like restaurants, spas, room service and recreation facilities along with jaw-dropping Himalayan views. High-end chains like Leisure Hotels also have properties here.
GMVN Ski Resort is a popular mid-range property managed by Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam. Other decent options include The Royal Village and The Bisht Brothers’ House.
![A hotel on a hilly slope surrounded by snow][image4]
Several decent budget lodges provide clean, no-frills rooms for less than `1000 a night like Hotel Snow View Auli, Hotel Hanuman Samba and Hotel Siddhartha. Limited food options though.
For an authentic local living experience, consider homestays run by Garhwali families. Top picks are Parwaz Homestay, Zostel Auli, and Shantam House which offer home-cooked meals and village walks apart from comfy rooms.
Pitch your own tent or live in luxury tents equipped with beds and heating at campsites like Dronagiri Camps and Leisure Camp Tent. Enjoy being close to nature at affordable rates.
So whether you prefer luxury or budget, hotels or camping, Auli has a stay option for your needs. Advance booking is recommended for the peak winter months.
How To Reach Auli From Haridwar/Rishikesh/Delhi
Here are the details on how to reach Auli from major nearby cities:
- Distance – 270 km
- Route – Haridwar – Rishikesh – Devprayag – Rudraprayag – Karnprayag – Joshimath – Auli
- Time – Around 8 hours
- Buses – Regular buses from Haridwar ISBT to Joshimath. Then hire a taxi for Auli (14 km, 30 mins)
- Train – Haridwar to Dehradun train. Taxi/bus to Joshimath and then Auli.
- Private Taxi – Can hire taxi for entire route. Will cost `4000-5000.
- Distance – 250 km
- Route – Rishikesh – Tehri – Rudraprayag – Joshimath – Auli
- Time – Around 7-8 hours
- Buses – Frequent buses available from Rishikesh to Joshimath. Onward taxi to Auli.
- Train – Train from Rishikesh to Haridwar, then proceed as above.
- Taxi – Can hire direct taxi from Rishikesh to Auli. Will cost `3500-4000.
- Distance – 500 km
- Route – Delhi – Meerut – Haridwar – Rishikesh – Joshimath – Auli
- Time – Around 12 hours
- Bus – Volvo buses from Delhi to Rishikesh/Haridwar. Onward as above.
- Train – Overnight train to Haridwar. Continue journey as explained earlier.
- Flight – To Jolly Grant airport Dehradun or Pantnagar. Then taxi.
- Taxi – Hire taxi for entire journey. Will cost `7000-8000.
Plan your onward journey from major hubs like Haridwar or Rishikesh to Auli using bus, taxi or train as per your convenience. Advance booking recommended for smooth travel.
Auli Travel Tips
Keep these tips in mind for a hassle-free Auli vacation:
- Carry heavy woolens and snow boots in winter
- Bring motion sickness medication for windy roads
- Keep sunglasses, caps and sunscreen for summers
- Carry energy bars and bottled water while trekking
- Walk carefully on snowy trails to avoid slips
- Obtain trekking permits in advance from forest department
- Travel in groups for safety, especially for treks
- Carry ID and ISD cards on remote treks
- Book skiing, accommodation, etc in advance for winter months
- Avoid drinking tap water, carry purification system
- Don’t litter; follow responsible tourism practices
Following these tips will ensure you are prepared for the terrain, weather conditions and activities. Advance planning is key for a hassle-free experience.
Why Visit Auli?
Here are the top reasons why Auli should be on your travel bucket list:
- Get a taste of adventure sports like skiing, hiking in the Himalayas
- Chance to get mesmerized by stunning snowy landscapes in winter
- Explore one of India’s most scenic high-altitude meadows in spring/summer
- Embark on exhilarating treks to spiritual sites like Hemkund Sahib
- Soak in tranquility with yoga/meditation sessions in pristine settings
- Revel in the ancient cultural heritage and charming Garhwali hospitality
- Savor delicious cuisine from Garhwal region like Aloo ke Gutke, Dubuk, and more
- Spot exotic Himalayan birds and rare wildlife at Nanda Devi National Park
- Experience surreal natural beauty from forests to peaks to flower valleys
- Enjoy a perfect family vacation full of snow, slopes, temples and trails
With its breathtaking scenery, action-packed adventures and spiritual charm, Auli offers an unforgettable travel experience that appeals to every kind of traveler.
Auli’s dazzling landscapes, historic significance, and thrilling adventures make it an essential addition to any travel itinerary. Whether solo or with family, this Uttarakhand gem caters to all interests.
Follow this guide to decide when to visit, how to reach, where to stay and what to do in Auli for a vacation that exceeds your expectations. Let Auli’s magic enthral you with its wealth of snow, slopes, flowers and scenic trails for an uplifting rendezvous with the Himalayas!