The artificial lake in Auli is perched at an astounding elevation and is one of the world’s highest man made lakes. It was created to help in providing artificial snow on the ski slopes in event of scanty rainfall. This also helps in extending the skiing season in Auli. The lake is located right next to Clifftop Club and we did cover some of its pictures in our very first blogpost on Auli.
The snow-clad mountains, skiing slopes and azure-blue water make for the most amazing scenery. The fact that it is a man- made lake does not dampen the magic and beauty of the place in any manner. Nature truly holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction.
The rope way connecting Joshimath to Auli is 4 kms long and offers magnificent views of the Himalayan landscape. If you really want to have a rendezvous with nature, the chair lift is the best available option. It starts from near the ITBP base camp and goes up till the lake. The fact that the chair lift is completely open and runs just a few feet above the ground adds to the thrill.
We have done a series of blogposts about Auli – capturing the landscape in both its pre and post snow glory. Head over to the travel category and click on Auli to check all the previous posts. We mentioned about the lodging and boarding options in Auli in the very first blogpost. Uttarakhand government’s GMVNL guest house is a reasonable option and has basic facilities. For luxury seekers, Clifftop Club is the best available option.
About the property : It is located at more than 10000 feet above sea level (second highest resort in the world), making you feel literally at the top of the world. The view from the resort is something that you cannot understand virtually. You need to witness, breathe, experience and feel for yourself. The best part is that Clifftop is located right at the skiing slopes, adding to the thrill.
Dining options : The resort is entirely made of wood, which now has turned rustic owing to the vagaries of the weather. Accommodation choices are either the standard rooms or the suites. There is a single restaurant serving limited but delectable food. It would be unfair to expect multiple dining options at this height and terrain. The main activity is skiing, though I would say it is to soak in the beauty of the place 😃.
Coming to the pricing, it is between ten thousand to fourteen thousand during the peak snow season. The pricing is high compared to the amenities offered but, once you witness the challenges of running the resort in such daunting conditions, it feels justified. Also remember to check the weather prediction before making a booking as snow has become a rare commodity.
Travel Tip – The best way to reach the property is either by your own vehicle or via cable car from Joshimath.
Nature is so totally awesome. It deserves our adoration, our reverence, our applause. Take care of the world around you. Celebrate its resplendence, never take it for granted ❤️❤️
Head over to the first part of this blogpost here. This post has pictures of the same location after the snowfall, where in everything was engulfed in white. The very fact of snow is such an amazement. There’s just something beautiful about walking in snow that nobody else has walked on. It makes you believe you’re special. Silently, like thoughts that come and go, the snowflakes fall, each one a gem.
I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”
These are some photographs from our travels in and around Auli, you can have a look at our previous blogposts on Auli here. These pictures were taken before the snowfall happened, after which the entire area seemed like a white paradise. In Auli, there is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather. Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces up, and snow is exhilarating.
Witnessing your first snowfall is a magical feeling and Auli is a place where Mother Nature rules supreme in all her glory. All good things may not be free, but all the best things of life are definitely free.
We travel for so many reasons : to honour ancient paths, to better understand the world, to broaden our minds, to look within ourselves. We travel because the winds inside our hearts compel us to drift. We travel for work, we travel for adventure, we travel so that we may achieve stillness. If we are truly wise, we travel for travel’s sake.
We travel so that we might find ourselves. It’s a paradox, in that the further we go, the closer we come to penetrating our self’s center. Looking at these mountains make you realise how small we humans are in front of nature’s might. Nature can keep our ego in check 😉
The journey from Rishikesh to Auli is an extreme paradox- an exhilarating feeling of conquering the mountains and the constant nausea due to the tortuous route. The clouds hovering over the mountains was a sight to behold. Here are the pictures-
Auli – A place I had never heard of till 2010, it was the final year of our engineering and continuing the college tradition of a farewell trip, our batch decided to ditch Goa and go for something more adventurous. White river rafting and camping in Rishikesh followed by skiing at Auli, this was the first time I came to know that a place by this name existed in India and is close to Joshimath in Uttarakhand.
How to reach : After a two day camping stay at Rishikesh, we left for Auli in our sturdy mini bus ;). It was then we realised that the distance of 265 kms ,which we had hoped to cover in a time span of five-six hours, is a journey amidst tortuous roads and ever increasing altitude. Auli is located at an altitude of ten thousand feet above sea level and is barely at a distance of 55kms from the Badrinath Shrine. It is a breathtaking journey with river Ganga flowing in the steep valley parallel to the route. Many people from our group suffered from nausea, I recommend taking a very light meal and keeping some medications handy as the serpentine roads can easily trigger motion sickness.
The route passes through a number of small pilgrimages like Devprayag, Rudraprayag, Vishnuprayag, Chamoli-Gopeshwar etc, each of which holds a special value in the Hindu mythology. It took us about 10 hours to reach Joshimath which is the nodal point for Kedarnath/Badrinath. It is one of the most spectacular road journeys that one can encounter, a must visit for photography enthusiasts. The climb from Joshimath to Auli is very steep so night driving is not recommended, so we decided to take a halt in Joshimath where basic lodging options are available.
Staying Options : Early morning we started our journey, it took us about 45mins to traverse the 15km distance from Joshimath to Auli. There is a cable car rope way which connects Joshimath to Auli and is one of the longest rope ways in Asia. An administrative body called Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd (GMVNL), managed by Uttarakhand government, runs skiing courses for mountaineers and travellers and also provides lodging facilities, which is where we stayed. It was a wonderful stay at a very affordable price. For those seeking luxury, Cliff Top Club is the best available option.
Skiing Guide : Enclosed by snow clad mountains of Garhwal Himalayan Range, Auli is a paradise for skiing lovers. Even as beginners we could ski through the gentle slopes meant for novices, GMVN provides instructors and all skiing equipment at very reasonable costs. Walking through the misty slopes provides one with the imposing spectacle of some of the lofty mountain ranges like the beautiful Nanda-Devi, Mana Parvat, Kamet etc. It also has the highest man made lake in the world, which is used for skiing. The scenery is surreal, as if you are a part of a beautiful painting sketched by a dexterous painter.
Auli is a must visit place for all the nature lovers and of course for all those who are passionate for skiing.
Hope the pictures inspired you to plan a trip to Auli soon, Do like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram to get a glimpse of all the action we are upto 🙂