It wouldn’t be wrong to call Auli the Ski capital of India. Located at 2,500 to 3,050 meters, in Chamoli District of Uttarakhand, the Auli Ski Resort is close to the famous religious shrine of Badrinath. The month of December heralds the beginning of the skiing season, which bears witness to the commencement of several ski festivals, along with the National Skiing Championships. The snowy excitement goes on all the way till March. Run and maintained by the Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam, the resort provides skiers with necessary equipment and all state-of-the-art facilities. Facilities of chair lift and a ski lift are available for skiers with the objective of conserving their time and labour.
The ski lift has been imported from France and is the longest one in the country. The ski slopes descend from 3,049 meters to 2,915 meters. Accommodation at the resort is warm, cozy and decent. With a 110-bed capacity, delicious food, adequate heating arrangements, hot water, medical facilities and congenial hospitality, there is no dearth of facilities at this very budget-friendly resort. If it’s an excursion you’re interested in, a 16-kilometre drive to Joshimath will give you the benefit of exploring ancient temples dating back to 8 B.C. Auli is quite remote when it comes to accessibility, with the nearest railway station being Haridwar, 299 kilometers away and the closest airport, Jolly Grant at Dehradun, 273 kilometres away.
Snow-covered slopes aren’t just to be admired, but to be enjoyed. Skiing has gained popularity as an alternative sport in the winter months. At an elevation of 2,915 - 3,049 meters with five kilometers expanse of snow, Auli is offers perfect grounds for beginners and seasoned skiers alike. Coniferous and oak forests line the slopes. The peaks of Nanda Devi, Kamet, Mana Parvat and Dunagiri can be seen from the location. Its importance as a venue of adventure sports lies in its natural advantages enhanced by state-of-the-art facilities. The adventurous skier can go for cross country runs covering 10 - 20 kilometers. For the less adventurous, ski touring the glaciers is another enjoyable option.
Besides Auli, other ski spots include Dayara Bugyal, Munsiyari and Mundali. Mundali is situated in Dehradun, 129 kilometres from the main Dehradun town. Mundali’s enormous skiing rings offer incredible sights of the Himalayan slopes.
Auli, 16 km from Joshimath is an ideal winter resort run by Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN). A 3 km long slope ranging from a height of 2519 to 3049 m is a major attraction. The Auli resort run by GMVN has snow beaters which beat the snow to keep the slopes fit for skiing at all times. A 500 m long ski-lift carries skiiers back to the slope top, thus saving them the trouble and time to bridge up wearing long skis.
Season: End December to March.
Equipment: GMVN provides modern ski equipments. Participants are advised to bring heavy woolen clothings like caps, socks, gloves, mufflers, pullovers, trousers, wind proof jackets, dark glasses, gum / snow boots and a torch for personal use.
Package Tours: GMVN conducts 7 and 14 days skiing courses at Auli and special provisions for day tourists are also available. Ski training is given by qualified ski instructors.
Bugyal in the local language means "high altitude meadow". The road to Dayara Bugyal branches off near Bhatwari a place on Uttarkashi-Gangotri road about 28 km from Uttarkashi. Vehicles can go up to the village of Barsu from where one has to trek a distance of about 8 km to reach Dayara and other route is via village Raithal, 10 km from Bhatwari, from where one has to trek about 6 km to Dayara Bugyal. Situated at an elevation of about 3048 m, this vast meadow is second to none in natural beauty. During winter it provides excellent ski slopes over an area of 28 sq km. The panoramic view of the Himalayas from here is breathtaking. Presently accommodation is available at Bhatwari and some villager's huts may also be used by professional skiers.
Mundali is situated in district Dehradun, 129 km from Dehradun via Chakrata. Mandali offers an unforgettable view of the snow capped Himalayas. The place has vast ski slopes on which professionals can enjoy skiing. As accommodation facility is only available at Forest Rest House, therefore one has to ensure accommodation through the Forest Department.
Besides Auli, numerous places in Garhwal and Kumaon are full of potential for skiing where an individual or a group can enjoy this winter sport on their own. In Garhwal, Kush Kalyan and Kedar Kantha in Distt. Uttarkashi; Panwali and Matya in Distt. Tehri Garhwal and Bedni Bugyal in Chamoli and Munsyari, Chiplakot Valley in Distt. Pithoragarh in Kumaon are well known potential skiing resorts where professionals can do skiing.
Last Updated: March 7, 2014