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Auli in Uttranchal – skiing heaven




Altitude : 2915 mts. to 3049 mts. (expandable if you include Gorson, to 3400 mts.)
Area: 5 Sq. kms.
Temperature: Summer – Between 13° C and 29° C; Winter – Between 9° C and 2° C
Rainfall: 180 cms.
Average yearly Clothing Summer-Light woollen Winter- Heavy woollen

More and more people are starting to hear of this great skiiing location called Auli. Competitions are starting to happen over there, and with current security related problems in the ski resort type location, Gulmarg (In Jammu and Kashmir), Auli has become known as Indias skiing capital. Inside Auli, Auli Ski Resort is India’s currently best ski resort (resting at 8,200 feet), in the Chamoli district of Uttaranchal. The resort is close to China and Nepal. It is a place where you just want to ski for the fun of it. The awesome beauty around is extremely pleasing.

Map to get to Auli

The skiing opportunity in Aui is located at an altitude of 2,500-3,050m above sea level, and the 3 KM long slope in Auli offers some exciting skiing opportunities to both beginners as well as professional skiers (in these 3 km, the height drops by 500m). The background of lofty snow clad mountains heightens the sprit of the skiers.

History of Auli: Way back in the 8th century ad, the great Guru Adi Shankaracharya is believed to have tread on these snowfields of Auli and he built the temple at Joshimath, which you can still visit. For hundreds of years, the colorful semi-nomadic tribes of the Bhotiyas, of the Mongolian stock, traversed the trails at Auli, locally called Thatauli and conducted trade with neighboring Tibet, using their yaks laden with goods.
Before Auli was developed as a ski resort by the Government (including getting experts from abroad to view the slopes), 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.
In the summer, Auli looks down, but is nothing compared to the view and pleasures in winter. In the winter it is irresistible with some excellent snowy mountain slopes and incredible skiing facilities. From January to March, the Auli slopes are usually covered with a thick carpet of snow, about 3m deep. The stretch of 3-kms with a drop in elevation of 500m is considered to be a very good skiing ground by international standard. The skiing season starts around December and goes uptill March. It is during this time only that the resort sees maximum visitors, mainly ski lovers from across the country. It is also during this time that the ski festivals and National skiing championships start. 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.
An 800m long chair lift connects the lower slopes with upper slopes in Auli, making it easy for skiers to zip up in moments. Once reaching the ski start point they can ski down rapidly, while other can walk down the snow-paths at leisure. Auli has about 10-20 km of ski slopes for all elevels from beginners to advanced skiers. You can enjoy downhill skiing, cross country skiing and slalom on the slopes of Auli, (and these very same slopes also host the National Winter games in India).
Part of the reason it is even more popular is because of the surroundings; Oak and Conifer trees flank the slopes, you get a 180 degree view of the Himalayas and the prominent peaks, Nanda Devi, Kamet, Mana Parvat and Dunagiri hills. The beauty of the place is awe inspiring and this is what makes Auli ski resort such a hit with the tourists.
To get there, from Joshimath, Auli can be reached by road or ropeway. It provides an excellent panoramic view of the giant mountain peaks like Nanda Devi, Kamet and Dunagiri. The 500m ski-lift system, the longest such system in Asia, or the trolley, as it is known locally, connects Joshimath with Gorson, located above Auli. A short distance beyond Gorson lies the hill of Gorson Top, which provides excellent views of the mountains and also lies on the 24-km trek to Kauri Pass. From Gorson, Auli’s only chair lift travels to the base lodge, which is a small building that marks the starting point of all the ski runs.
By road, Auli is accessible from Joshimath through a 16 kilometer drive.
However, it is not as close as you might like, and is actually quite distant, with
the nearest railway station being Haridwar at 299 kms and the closest airport is Jolly Grant, Dehradun, 273 kms.
On the way to Auli there are various food-outlets private as well as government run restaurants available. in terms of equipment, tourists are advised to bring woollen clothing’s, cap, socks, dark glasses, gloves, mufflers, pullovers, wind-proof jacket, gum/snow boots and a torch light in their travel kit. These accessories are a must for the tourist, keeping in mind the weather conditions of Auli, where the temperature drops to as low as – 8 degree Celsius in winters, although it is moderately cold in the summers.

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.

BY ROAD – 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.

Places to stay:

1. Cliff Top Club, Auli
2. Auli skiing resort

Places nearby:

Hemkund Sahib: Considered to be one of the most sacred Sikh pilgrimage centre, Hemkund Saheb also makes an ideal trekking spot.

Valley Of Flowers: If one is fond of flowers then is a must visit place for him.Witness the endless galore of multihued blooms and you’ll just wish to stay in this oblivion flowery world forever.

Articles:

India Travelogue (link)
India Travel Forum (link)
Skiiing in Auli (link)
Walks in India (link)
Kauri Pass (link)
Travel Pod (with lots of photos) (link)
Sankalpindia.net (link)
Travelworldzone.net (link)
Youngsters Ignited (link)
Shrirang Patil’s Blog (link)
India Travel Blog (link)
Trekking around Auli (link)

Photos (all from flickr):
Snow Boarding, Snow storm, Landscape, Sunrise, Himalayas, Rainbow, Trekking, Clifftop Club Auli




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