Auli is a city in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. Auli is nestled in the lap of snow-capped peaks of Garhwal Himalayas, in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, near the religious shrine of Badrinath. At an altitude of 2,500 to 3,050 m above sea level, Auli’s slopes are flanked by coniferous and oak forests, which offer a panoramic view of mountains such as Nanda Devi and Mana Parbat.
For those travelling by air, the nearest airport is Jolly Grant, Dehradun, 17 km from Rishikesh, 273 km from Joshimath.
Coming from any part of India, the nearest rail head is Haridwar 299 km from Auli. Catch a train to New Delhi Station. From New Delhi one can catch a train for Haridwar. It takes more than 7 hours to reach Haridwar (Shatabdi/JanShatabdi takes 6 hours).
Auli is only a 13 km drive from Joshimath. State transport and Union buses play regularly between Joshimath and Rishikesh (253 km). Local Transport Union Buses and State Transport buses operate between Joshimath and Rishikesh (253 km), Haridwar (277 km), Dehradun (298 km) and Delhi (500 km). From Joshimath onwards, both bus and taxi services are available for Auli. Deluxe coaches can also be arranged with prior notice for the group of 15 people or more. If you are dropping at New Delhi and want to go by Bus then take a Metro Train to ISBT - Kashmere Gate. From there one can catch Bus of DTC/UPSRTC/UTC. Only problem is that there are no fixed timetable and every person in charge will promise you many things. Don't fall in the trap of private tour operator. They all will say bus is just leaving and what not. So be prepared for confusion. You may loose your temper. Check the bus condition before boarding as road from New Delhi to Haridwar is long [7-8 hrs] and some patches are in very bad conditions, comfortable seats are must. Once you are at Haridwar stay overnight and catch a bus leaving bus stand opposite railway station at around 3:30AM. This bus is the only way to reach Joshimath in 10 or more hours if you are planning to catch Cable Car (last ride 3:30PM). Other option is to book Car from the Car Union Off opposite Bus stand they normally charge ₹3000 or more for Joshimath Dropping for Ambassador which is best for 4 people. Whether in bus or car please sit on right hand side window for magnificent view, road to Joshimath runs parallel to holy river Ganga and Alaknanda which falls on right side.
By cable car
The most popular way to drop in at Auli is by the cable car service which runs for 3 km. This cable holds a record of longest in Asia with total length of 4.15 km. Its lower tower is at 1906 m from MSL and the upper tower is at 3016 m. It takes around 15 minutes to complete this ride at a speed of 5 m/sec. Charges are ₹400 for return.
16 km from Joshimath and accessible by a good motorable road is the ski resort of Auli. The season extends from January to March, during this time skiing festivals and the National Championships are held. The Auli slopes, descending from 3049 to 2915 m, are flanked by conifers and oaks, which cut wind velocity. You get a 180-degree view of Himalayan peaks, which include Nanda Devi (7817 m), Kamet (7756 m), Mana Parvat (7273 m) and Dunagiri (7066 m).
A 500 m long ski-lift and an 800 m long chair-lift link the upper and lower slopes, and snow beaters and snow-packing machines maintain the smoothness of the slopes. Skiers can enjoy almost 20 km of virgin slopes, which provide excellent opportunities for cross-country, slalom and down-hill skiing events.
Bring woollen clothing, cap, socks, dark glasses, gloves, mufflers, pullovers, wind-proof jacket, gum/snow boots and a torch light. At Auli where the temperatures drop to as low as -8° C in winters, although it is moderately cold in the summers.
Training courses in skiing: training courses are conducted in modules of 7 and 14 days. Training is imparted to the enrolled persons in modern skiing techniques by qualified instructors from Skiing and Tourist Resorts, Auli and Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering, Gulmarg.
Best option for those who want to learn basic skiing and save money enrol with the GMVNL basic course as the cost of the package is inclusive of chair-lift (₹100 return) and accommodation (better than the ₹750 wooden hut) and food (casual eating will cost ₹60/pp each time) and gear.
There is a government-run small café where you can find coffee, tea or some snacks like Maggi Noodles. Other than this, there are hardly any eating places nearby. Even at this café the prices are highly inflated mainly because there are few modes of transport to move the stock from Joshimath.
Alpine cottages and log huts prove to be a more exciting choice. Also available are catering services, adequate heating arrangements, a round-the-clock hot water supply and, of course, warm hospitality, all of which ensure a comfortable and memorable stay. The above modes of accommodation are supplemented by a wide network of luxurious yet affordable hotels and rest-houses all along the route (at Dehradun, Rishikesh, Devprayag, Srinagar, Rudraprayag, Gauchar, Karanprayag, Nand-Prayag, Pipalkoti and Joshimath).