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Auli, STATE UTTARAKHAND

AuliIf you are looking for an alternative to the Manalis and Shimlas of Himachal Pradesh, you can straight away head to Auli. The best part of visiting Auli is that it would be less crowded in any season than a Manali or Shimla. Moreover, it is one of the finest places to catch the snow in the winter season.

Auli is also a popular ski resort in the country. And in fact many say Kashmir's loss is Uttarakhand's gain, as Auli has come up nicely as a ski resort, which host many winter sports. It may not be as large as Gulmarg but it is beautiful and draws a number of tourists every year. The skiing area of Auli is spread over 5-7 km and the fact that it is located at an altitude of between 9,500 and 10,500 ft, it provides spectacular views of the surrounding peaks which rise well over 23,000 ft.

A visit to Auli grips a traveller, the experience of being surrounded by high rise mountains and the thought of touching the fresh snow overwhelms a visitor. Auli is nestled in the Garhwal Himalayas and offers a 180-degree view of snow-clad peaks - well-known being the Nanda Devi, Chaukhamba, and Panch Chuli.

Auli is located just 12 km from Joshimath, which serves as base to many travellers heading to Badrinath - one of the Chardhams of Uttarakhand. In fact a tour to Auli is best combined with a visit to Badrinath, which is close to 50 km from Joshimath.  Auli can be reached either by road or one can opt for a cable car ride, which, no doubt is more appealing to travellers than taking a jeep ride.

There is limited accommodation available in Auli. There are not many hotels and resorts and one has to choose from the handful Auli hotels and resorts that are available there. If you could not find a hotel in Auli, the second best option is to stay is Joshimath, which comparatively has more places to stay than Auli. If you are staying in Joshimath, Auli can be visited as a day trip, where you can try your hand at skiing, if you are visiting Auli in ski season.

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