OT Travel Itinerary: Your Perfect Three-Day Guide To Auli In Uttarakhand

Auli is best enjoyed in the winter but spring and summer offer a plethora of activities that you should take advantage of
Auli is a skier's paradise
Auli is a skier's paradisesumankyal/Shutterstock.com

One of India’s best ski destinations, Auli in Uttarakhand boasts stunning Himalayan views, excellent powder, acres of oak, pine and coniferous forests, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site biosphere reserve. While people from all over the country flock to this little town in the Garhwal Himalayas during the winter, the region feels more alive during the spring and summer as the snow melts and the green meadows burst with flowers and wildlife. Treks and camping are the order of the day during these seasons.

Here’s your three-day guide to this resort town located at 2,800m above sea level in the Chamoli district.

Day 1


Camping on the Gorson Bugyal meadows
Camping on the Gorson Bugyal meadowsRachit Nautiyal/Shutterstock.com

Your first full day in Auli should start with a six km hike to Gorson Bugyal. At 3,049m above sea level, getting to this rolling alpine meadow takes visitors through alpine forests of oak and deodar trees. The verdant landscape mingles with the Himalayan ranges of Nanda Devi (India's second-highest mountain), Dunagiri and Trisul, while the morning light makes everything sparkle. Don’t miss a visit to Chattrakund Lake, just three km from Gorson Bugyal. Its crystal-clear waters and lush surroundings make it a treat for the eyes.


Auli Lake is an artificial formation
Auli Lake is an artificial formationSP Srivastava/Shutterstock.com

Take a long, relaxing lunch and chat with the locals as you soak in beauty of the landscape. Afterwards, check out Auli Lake. This artificial lake provides water for snow guns and has a serene atmosphere. You can also ice skate here.


A star trail captured in Auli
A star trail captured in Aulisumankyal/Shutterstock.com

Set up camp for the night to see the stars come out. The location of Auli provides the perfect opportunity to stargaze, but make sure you’re well-equipped to face fluctuating temperatures.

Day 2


Vishnuprayag is the confluence of the Alaknanda and Dhauliganga rivers
Vishnuprayag is the confluence of the Alaknanda and Dhauliganga riversSauravRawat/Shutterstock.com

Travel to Joshimath on your second day. Your first stop should be Vishnuprayag, the confluence of the Alaknanda and Dhauliganga rivers. Check out the Vishnu Temple at the site.

Next, head to the revered Narsingh Temple. It is dedicated to Lord Narsingh, one of the avatars of Vishnu. The idol of the deity is in the shape of a half-lion and half-man.

Wrap up your morning with a final stop at the Adi Shankaracharya Math. Also known as Jyotirmath, it is one of four monasteries established by Adi Shankara and his disciples. There is a Laxmi Narayan Temple within its premises.


Views of Dunagiri during the Kwani Bugyal trek
Views of Dunagiri during the Kwani Bugyal trekNatwar Lal Bhargawa/Shutterstock.com

Time for a trek. The 12km Kwani Bugyal trek takes three hours to complete from Joshimath. You will ascend to 3,380m above sea level and come across forested meadows, tall oak trees and plenty of birds zooming around. The trail is considered to be perfect for beginners due to its easy climb. Make time for a picnic on the green grass.


The Auli Ropeway connects Joshimath and Auli
The Auli Ropeway connects Joshimath and Aulimrinalpal/Shutterstock.com

Your final stop for the day is the Auli Ropeway. It is one of the longest ropeways in Asia and covers a distance of four km. The journey to Auli from Joshimath at 3,010m above sea level offers a dazzling view of the ice-capped mountains of the Himalayas and the sprawling oak forests. Some of the peaks that you can spot include Nanda Devi, Dunagiri, Nilkantha, Hathi Parbat and Kamet.

Day 3


Nanda Devi National Park
Nanda Devi National Parkuditmoral/Shutterstock.com

Your final morning should begin early with a trip to the Nanda Devi National Park. It is well-known for its meadows of alpine flowers and outstanding natural beauty. This richly diverse area is also home to rare and endangered animals, including the Asiatic black bear, snow leopard, brown bear and blue sheep. This UNESCO World Heritage Site transitions between the mountain ranges of the Zanskar and the Great Himalayas. Don’t miss the Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara in its vicinity.

Make sure to go on a birdwatching tour while here. Native Himalayan birds like spotted nutcrackers, doves, Himalayan vultures, jays, eagles, woodpeckers, sunbirds and thrushes are commonly sighted here.



Once you’re back in Auli, take your time to relax after a full day of walking. After lunch, it’s time for shopping. Auli has local markets from where you can purchase handicrafts, scarves, shawls, Himalayan tea, herbs, spices, traditional jewellery and wooden sculptures. If you find the marketplace lacking in the products you want, go to Joshimath where you will find all that you will need to take home.


Nanda Devi (centre) lights up at sunset as seen from Auli
Nanda Devi (centre) lights up at sunset as seen from AuliNilmani Parth/Shutterstock.com

Spend your final evening by visiting the Hanuman Temple viewpoint from where you can see the Himalayas basking in the twilight glow. The sunset view from Auli Lake is not to be missed either. Reflect on the three days you have spent here and come back again in the winter when you can take advantage of some of the best skiing in India.

Where To Stay

The Cliff Top Club and Mountain Rover resort are priced on the higher end for accommodations. Snow City Auli and The Royal Village are budget-friendly stays. The Himalayan Country House and the Auli Life Homestay are ideal for backpackers.

Getting There

Dehradun’s Jolly Grant Airport is 267km away from Auli. The Rishikesh Railway Station is 251km from Auli. Visitors can take buses and cabs from Rishikesh and Dehradun to Joshimath and Auli. The hill station is also well-connected by road and can be reached from all major destinations in Uttarakhand.

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