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Adiguru Shankaracharya on his visit to Uttarakhand had founded Joshimath which is 47 kms from Badrinath and this snow-covered mountainous region is well known for its winter sports, especially skiing. The third most famous skiing spot in the country is Auli which is just 12 kms away from Joshimath. There are dozens of areas for trekking where a tourists can take a walk and the scenery is extraordinary.
Auli - Gurso Bugyal (3 kms),
Auli-Kwanri Bugyal (30 kms),
Auli - Chattrakund (4 kms)
Auli - Joshimath (4 kms)
Auli - Tapovan ( 10 kms)
One road from here leads to the famous Valley of Flowers. The hot water springs are also wonderful.
The skiing center was set up in Auli in 1984. The Uttar Pradesh State Government has a branch called Garhwal Mandal Corporation which runs this center. Professionally trained people have been employed for teaching. This spot was discovered by the Indian Army which was posted on the Tibetan border. The army has its own skiing center here.
Auli is considered the best skiing slope in Asia. Both sides of the slope are covered with oak and coniferous trees which break the speed of the wind and this makes it ideal for skiing.
Another attraction here is a sight-seeing trip between Joshimath and Auli by a ropeway. This ropeway is 4 km long one and is called the Rajju and is at a height of 1917 mts to 3027 mts above sea level. This is the longest and the second highest ropeway in Asia. Two passenger cabins are used in this. Each cabin can accommodate from 20 to 25 people. This whole trip passes through ten towers. On the eighth tower of the ropeway one can stop because this is where one gets off for skiing and looking in and around Auli. It takes about half an hour to complete this trip. This service operates from morning to evening.
Right in front of Auli, is one of the highest peak, Nanda Devi. Along with it can be seen the Hathigauri, Neelkanth, Comet and Eravath mountains.
Auli is a grazing land spread over 6 kms. In the local language they call this "Byugal". In summer, in the old days, the local villagers used to graze their cattle here. During monsoons thousands of different variety of flowers bloom here.
Gurso Bugyal: 3 kms from Auli, Gurso Bugyal is a huge meadow spread amidst a mixed forest of oaks and conifers. Gurso Bugyal is at 3056 mts above sea-level. One can reach Joshimath via the ropeway. It is barely 1.5 kms from the last tower of the ropeway.As there is no accommodation available here one can only admire the scenery during the day and return to Auli by night.
Chattrakund: 1 km from Gurso Bugyal, in the middle of the jungle is a small lake of sweet water called Chattrakund. This place can be visited when visiting Gurso Bugyal.
Saildhar Tapovan: 15 kms on the Joshimath road is a small village where there are many hot-water springs. 3 kms ahead in Saildhar are hot water fountains where the water is almost at a boiling point.
Kwanri Bugyal: 12 kms from Gurso Bugyal Kwanri is a very interesting place for trekkers. Its at 3350 mts above sea-level. Many tourists camp here in summer. Nanda Devi hotel in Joshimath organises such camps where porters, guides, cooks and camping equipment are available. June and September months are the best time visit.
Joshimath: 12 kms from Auli in the Chamoli District is this town
with many temples and memorials. It is a gateway to Badrinath and the Valley of
Vanshinarayan Kalpeshwar : 12 kms from Joshimath, 10 kms from a village called Helang, this is a beautiful valley where there is a cave called Kalpeshwar. 10 kms further down the road is a spot called Vanshinarayan which is unmatched in its beauty.
Bhavishya Badri: 3 kms by foot from Tapovan this spot is situated in the midst of a dense deodar forest.
Clothings: Light woollens in summer and heavy woollens in winter .
Hotels: Garhwal Mandal Corporation has 19 huts for tourists. 3 fiber glass huts have also been constructed. Altogether 105 beds are available. There is a canteen and a restaurant also where both vegetarian and non vegetarian food is available.
Travel Plans: Auli is about 500 kms from Delhi. The last stations before Auli are Rishikesh, Haridwar and Dehra Dun. From Rishikesh, there are daily buses and taxis. Rishikesh is 253 kms, Haridwar is 277 kms and Dehra Dun is 298 kms from Auli.
Services available at the Auli skiing center: