The land of the shimmering snowy mountain peaks, shining slopes, delightful apple orchards, mesmerising artificial lakes, tranquil sacred temples, adventurous trekking spots –this is Auli for you. Ensconced in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, Auli is a stunningly beautiful hill station in India. The tired traveller is welcomed with frosty mornings, lavish green landscapes and fresh, cool and kissing breeze all of which are a complete feast and for the body, mind and soul. Also called the ‘white winter wonderland’ Auli is a serene and quiet place with particularly beautiful golden sunrises and saffron sunsets. Chilling in winters and moderately cold in summers defines the weather of the place by and large. Auli encapsulates everything that a travel enthusiast aspires to explore. It is also known for ski slopes, ski resorts, and events that are organised for tourists every year during winters The place is brimming with tourist attractions that are worth visiting. Let’s take a peek.
Auli Ropeway is by far the most memorable experience that anyone can ever have. Auli offers two cable rides – one from Joshimath to Auli, called as the Joshimath-Auli Gondola and the other being a chair ride from GMNV to Auli.
When you get aboard Asia’s longest Gondola ride, 10,000 feet high up in the air and sail for 5 kms, catching the expansive view of snow-laden majestic Himalayas with small lush patches of greenery off and on, the thrill is insurmountable. Mesmerising sunsets and sunrises
Located at an altitude of 3,056 meters above sea level, Gurso Bugyal lies snuggled in thick blankets of snow that makes for captivating beauty of the place. A trek of mere 3 kms from Aulin this paddock of land dotted with oak and coniferous trees.
Expansive views of the popular Nanda Devi, Dron, and Trishul mountain ranges are clearly visible from here. The place comes even more spectacularly alive during spring season when the snow starts melting and the pasture becomes carpeted with colourful flowers of all varieties.
Three Himalayan peaks of the Western Kumaun club together to form a trident- Shiva’s Trishul, in shape and hence come to be known as The Trishul Peak. This peak rests at an altitude of 7,120m from ground level and forms the Southwest corner of the rings of the peak that encloses Nanda Devi Sanctuary. The place is a delight for the trekking junkies and lies about 15 kilometres west-southwest of the colossal Nanda Devi.
Dedicated to the fourth incarnation of Hindu God Vishnu, this ancient temple is a popular destination in Joshimath for devotees. It is believed to be established by Indian philosopher and theologian Adi Shankaracharya. Narsingh Lord as the name suggests is a combination of the words 'Nara' and 'Simha' which mean Man and Lion respectively. He who is ferocious, half man half lion, is said to be the destroyer of all evil and end religious persecution. This temple stands surrounded with scenic views of the mountains and is considered to be the home of Shri Badrinath. Famous for being a part of SaptBadri, this is one of the most sacred places in Joshimath. As per a legend that circulates, a catastrophic landslide will occur towards the end of ‘kalyug’ and when the right hand of the idol comes off. This in turn would end up blocking the road that leads to the shrine of Badrinath. The. Both reverence and curiosity draws the travellers to this temple.
Lodged between the Auli slopes, a short trek from road will lead you to this stunning, crystal clear man-made lake. Even today it is considered as one of the virgin, less explored areas of Uttrakhand and can be best experienced either by foot or by camping amidst the quiet greens and massive mountain range. Sitting prettily at a staggering height of 3056m above sea level, this is one of the highest artificial lakes in the world. It’s shining clear water acts like a prism to the mountains and an ideal place to sit around in peace just soaking in the divine view.
Chattrakund is a small lake, located in the middle of thick oak forests, at a distance of about 4km from Auli and 3km from Gurso Bugya water. It is famous for its sweet water so much so that one can actually sip from it. There is a romantic vibe about the place due to its surrounding beauty and is therefore a perfect spot for honeymooners and couples.
Hanuman Ghat is significant for both religious and historic reasons. Set up in 16th Century by the distinguished Saint Tulsi Das, it is one of the most sought after tourist spots in Auli. It is believed that prior to Tulsi Das, Lord Rama established this ghat and in that period it was known as Rameshwaram. The several mystical tales and the spiritual vibe attached to it add to the beauty of this Ghat. Not only that, you can also go for boating with your friends and family, making it a perfect place to spend one of your evenings in Auli.
Auli has much more to offer besides the beauty of panoramic views of the nature. For all those who love to explore the wildlife, there is the Nanda Devi sanctuary in Auli. You get to check out many of the exotic animals of the Himalayan region like Snow leopard, Asiatic black bear, Himalayan brown bear, Himalayan musk deer, Bharal and Himalayan tahr. Nanda Devi Park was extended to enclose the Valley of Flowers and both of them put together formed a bigger area that was renamed as Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks and declared as a World Heritage site by UNESCO thereafter.
The Valley of Flowers is enriched with 520 species of high altitude plants with 498 being floral in nature making the place spectacular esp with the riot of colors.
Close to the Mana village, the natural Vasundhara waterfalls cascades musically along the stoned path. Perched at an enormous altitude of 12000 feet and flowing down till 400 feet , this waterfall is a sight to behold being cuddled between the lush greens and tall mountains. If it is seen from a distance the water appears like pure white milk flowing down the mountains.The waterfall is also in close proximity of Badrinath so you can also trek from the Mana village.
Gopeshwar is a tiny, picturesque town of the Chamoli region that houses several ancient Hindu Temples mainly the Shiva temple, Anusuya Devi temple, Chandika Devi temple and Gopinath temple. Each year the temple complex is thronged by locals from the nearby areas to pay homage to their deities. Named after Lord Krishna, this town offers grand view of the Garhwal Himalayas loaded with thick plantations of deodar and pine trees. This place serves as a perfect weekend getaway far from the crowds to absorb the simple and serene environs as it enjoys perennial pleasant weather . The locals are friendly and the Garwali meals are a delight to relish.
Located close to Joshimath in Uttarakhand, the easiest way to reach Auli is through public buses which ferry from Rishikesh to Joshimath. Joshimath is just 16 km from Auli and you can either take the ropeway or hit the road to reach Auli.
The nearest railway station is Haridwar. From there, you can take a bus to Joshimath or hire a private Taxi to reach Auli.
Book a cheap flight ticket online to the nearest airport is in Dehradun. From the Airport, you can either hire a taxi and reach Auli or take the state-run buses to reach Joshimath.
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