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    Snow meadows of Auli are one of the best winter treks in Himalayas

    It’s January, it has snowed, and you are sitting home, almost wasting your weekends. But we know how to evoke irresistible wanderlust! So this time, we take you on a virtual tour of a snow meadow, Auli. Auli in winter is an exhilarating experience if extreme cold and lots of snow don’t bog down your spirits. And to boast of it, you need to move out of your bed and get going.

    You are missing heaven and that’s why we are compelled to give you 10 compelling reasons to resent staying home over the long weekend, last month.

    1. The Journey – An excuse to find yourself through the bus windows

    Alaknanda River

    Alaknanda River spotted en route Auli

    Enough of the glorious roads. Let’s drive through the mountains, over the rivers, by the rivers and keep aside the excitement of reaching somewhere. The entire journey in itself is a true revelation of the self. Numerous hills, several streams and uncountable seconds – the views on the way to Joshimath(base to Auli) will compel you to break from the monotones of your daily life.


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    2. Best of Sunsets and Sunrises – where Moon shares the sky with the Sun

    View of sunrise in Auli

    View of sunrise in Auli

    So, how many times has that sun, out of your window, caught your eye? Get rid of meaningless stares at the dark blank skies of your city. Get some life, reach some heights. Thanks to the highs of Joshimath, Pandukeshwar, and Gopeshwar — the hills, here, embrace and nurture the sun – only to radiate the saffrons, yellows, oranges and even reds at times. Also, the beloved Moon gets to share some space and time with the Sun. If you’d love to witness the unusual meeting, spot them both on the either sides, early morning.

    Suggested Read: Kheer Ganga Trek: Whispers From The Parvati Valley

    3. 360 degree view of the Himalayas, Nanda Devi in particular – all snow clad, white desert

    Nanda Devi Peak viewed from Auli

    Nanda Devi Peak viewed from Auli

    Once you enter a hill station, there are mountains on one or the other or both sides. Now, Auli or the area near Auli are not hills – they are the mountains themselves. And shouldn’t they say – “when in mountains, see what the mountains show”. Nanda Devi – the sleeping beauty, Hathi Parvat – the elephant, Trishul, Beethartoli, Dunagiri, Ghori Parbat, Kamet, Mana Parvat, Nar Parbat and Nikanth – these peaks narrate their own stories amidst the serenity of the tree lines dotting their height.

    4. Snowfall in Auli’s most quaint lands – to forget the rains on your little terrace

    Walking on snow

    Walking on snow

    Is there any other reason? Yes! You can experience snowfall in Shimla, Kullu and Manali and at several other hotshot hill stations. But, what makes Auli different is the serenity that it’s unexplored and unexploited snow slopes offer. Acres of snow fields, up to 5 feet of snow — fresh enough to leave behind distinct footmarks and clean enough to taste the snow. Surely, this is one of the best places to visit in India in December, or other winter months.

    Suggested Read: Chadar Trek: A Complete Guide For That Walk Of Life

    5. Trekking to the Gurson Bugyal – a snow meadow

    Gorson Bugyal

    Gorson Bugyal

    The snow slopes of any hill station are generally known for their winter sports. Now that’s for a tourist to know and boast about. If you happen to be a traveler, you will find the hidden, keep it with you and live with it for life. Gurson Bugyal is a meadow mistress – one that can not be encompassed with your naked eyes. Carry a lens or two and let the shutter talk till you hear the hills talk back. It’s so quiet up there, even the camera shutter echoes back.

    6. Skiing makes a great escape to Auli in December 2017, and months following

    Skiing in Auli

    Skiing in Auli

    Now, this does not need any elaboration. Auli is one of the best destinations for skiing in India, and everybody knows it. So we directly move to essentials. Auli has ski stretches of 400 m to 4 km. There are two types of skiing that one can do, here – Tandem and Professional. For starters, it’s best to go for tandem skiing with local ski operators in Auli. The charges would vary from INR 300 to INR 500 (till you get tired or the snow gets hard enough to ski). Various tour operators along with Govt. run week long and 15 days ski training programs that include accommodation and food.

    Plan accordingly and do not ski after the snow gets harder (after 2 pm).

    7. Snow games and amazing photos – for the photograph lives forever

    Playing with snow

    Playing with snow

    Remember those childhood days– sand castles and water splashes? Only if you do not want to ski, splash some snow at each other, make some ice sculptures or throw snowballs at your travel buds. Relive your childhood days and give a new hope to the long lost child in you when you head to Auli in January 2018. This surely is one of the best places to visit in Winter in India!

    8. Asia’s Longest Gondola Ride, Chair Car Ride

    Collage showing Auli-Joshimath ropeway

    Collage showing Auli-Joshimath ropeway

    10,000 feet of literal sailing in the air for around 5 km over the white serenity,  and some green patches here and there – this is a glimpse into the longest Asian ropeway ride.

    Auli has two different ropeway rides — the Joshimath-Auli Gondola (the longest) and the chair car ride from GMNV to Auli (800 m). The gondola rides are closed boxes with glass windows while the chair car is an airborne stack of chairs at your office reception. Can you fancy the thrill? Try these chairs and the 270 degree view of the valley will kill all the fears of height and landlessness.

    There is also a third ropeway — the ski lifts. They are operational only for professional skiing and are used to pick up the skiers from the bottom of the hills. The panoramic views will convince you this is one of the best things to do in Auli in December.

    Suggested Read: 13 Stupefying Winter Treks In Himalayas

    9. Trips and sojourns through the legends of Devbhoomi

    A jewel in Devbhoomi

    A jewel in Devbhoomi

    Badrinath, Pandukeshwar, Gopeshwar, Nanda devi, Neelkanth, Trishul, Sanjeevani Mountain, Lord Badri Vishal’s temporary residence and many more – the route to Auli, and also the surrounding area, is full of mythological and religious attractions. Auli falls on the way to Badrinath and during the winter months, Lord Badri Vishal is brought to Joshimath. Pandukeshwar has some connections to Mahabharata while Sanjeevani Mountain is the famous mountain, a part of which was carried by Hanuman to cure Lakshman. If temple visits interest you, there is a lot to see and visit in Auli.

    10. Best of the Garhwali Cuisine

    Delicious Garhwali cuisine

    Delicious Garhwali cuisine

    Image Source
    Alright. So the place does not have a lot of eateries. Joshimath does have a handful of good restaurants and they have tried to maintain a cosmopolitan menu. However, if you want to taste the fingerlicking authentic Garhwali cuisine, try Kachmauli (stuffed goat with oil and spice), Singhori (sweet wrapped in malu leaf), Bal Mithai and the local version of pulses(daal), and leafy vegetables.

    Jaw dropping, isn’t it? Okay! You can get back to your normal face. Allow us to help with some basics so that you can do Auli like a pro.

    Best time to visit Auli: January to early March – didn’t we say Auli in winter is a delight!

    How to reach Auli: Reaching Auli is quite an adventure in itself. The area does not have a motor connectivity owing to the snow and the mountains. The nearest airport is Jolly Grant at Dehradun while the nearest railheads are Haridwar and Dehradun . Haridwar is 275 km from Joshimath. Joshimath is the base for reaching Auli. You can either take a bus (INR 300 per person) or a shared cab (INR 500) from Haridwar railway station. These services are available from 4 am to 7 am and there is no bus after that. A privately hired taxi from Haridwar costs INR 5,600 for 4 people.

    Where to stay in Auli: GMVN, Auli

    Snow covered landscape

    Snow covered landscape

    The Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam has its own ski resort in Auli, near the ITBP camps. The resort offers both luxury and affordable stays and is a smart pick when visiting Auli in winter. There are dormitories available on a sharing basis. The resort also organises adventure trips and provides ski trainings. It, also, has an artificial snow beating factory to make ice in case the snowfall is low.
    Website | Reviews

    For Skiing in Auli in December (or any winter month), camping and other adventures, visit, XRA Asia or contact Vivek Panwar at 8126965636 or 9412018299.

    Pack up! Take the warmest of the clothes, some packaged food and a camera. Will see you when you come back!

    Is December a good time to visit Auli?

    December is indeed a good time to visit Auli. Being the Skiing capital of India, you must visit this place for some snow fun. However, it is suggested you visit during the end of the month as the chances of snowfall during this time is higher.

    Which is a better place to visit – Nainital, Mussoorie Ranikhet or Auli?

    The best of all the listed places depends from person to person. Nainital is known for its lake, while Mussoorie is popular with its Mall Road, Ranikhet makes for a great offbeat escape, Auli is known for skiing.

    Further Read: 10 Heart Stirring Treks Near Delhi Waiting To Be Explored By You


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    Category: Uttarakhand

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