Where to travel
The highest ski resort in the world, Auli in Uttarakhand,India is a perfect place to enjoy snowfall, make a snowman, gaze at the Himalayan peaks and / or ski.
What to do & see:
Auli, a high altitude meadow in Chamoli District, doubles as a ski ground in winter. On the three side of the meadow, spectacular snow clad peaks of the Greater Himalaya make a fine backdrop for the ski slopes. You can spot Chaukhamba Peak (7,138 meters), and Nilkanth (6,596 meters) in the west, Gauri (6,719 meters) and Hathi (6,727 meters) Parbats in the north, Dunagiri (7,066 meters) in the east and Nanda Devi (7,817 meters), Nanda Khat (6,611 meters), Trishul (7,120 meters) and Bethartholi (6,352 meters) in the south.
The oak and coniferous forest, hemming Auli slopes, reduces the wind velocity substantially, making skiing possible and enjoyable. During winter, the meadow buries under up to 3 meter-thick snow. You can enjoy downhill skiing, slalom and cross country ski on about 20-kilometer long slopes in Auli environs. The altitude of Auli ski slopes varies from 2,519 meters to 3,049 meters.
There is an artificial water storage lake feeding the artificial snow making system. The lake with capacity of 25 lakh cusecs is built to ensure that snow cover never reaches below six inches, which is the minimum requirement for skiing, during winter season.
The resort is equipped with modern ski equipment like a chairlift connecting lower and upper slopes, a ski lift, snow beaters, snow canons and snow-packing machines. You can rent ski equipment from Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN) at Auli. However, you have to shell out INR 400.00 per day (US $7.96 , € 5.84, £5.00 ) to rent alpine / Nordic ski, INR 700.00 per day (US $13.92 , €10.23, £8.74 ) for a snow board. You can even rent snow goggles and ski gloves for INR 100.00 per day (US $1.99, €1.46, £1.25 ) and INR 200.00 per day (US $3.98 , €2.92, £2.50 )respectively. Contact GMVN for ski rentals.
When to go
Skiing: Late December-March
How to reach
Joshimath, Chamoli District, Uttarakhand is about500 kilometers from Delhi, the capital of India.
Motorable road:16 km
You can hire taxis or board public and private buses depending on snow conditions, as driving on ice covered steep road is difficult during winter.
A cable car connects the resort to Joshimath. It is about 20 minutes’ ride.
If you are fit and more adventurous, a five-kilometer trail leads to the resort from Joshimath.
Cliff Top Club at Auli lends itself to 270-degree charming views of the Nanda Devi Range. You can choose from one-bedroom units, two bedroom family suites and studios. Tariff of a studio starts from INR 7,500.00 (US $149.17, €109.58, £93.66) and that of a suite from INR 11,500.00 (US $228.72, €168.02, £143.61). If you want a room facing Nanda Devipeak, you have to pay extra. Book accommodation.
GMVN offers super deluxe, semi deluxe and deluxe rooms, and beds in dormitories.
Super Deluxe: INR 4,000.00 per night (US $79.56, €58.44, £49.95)
Deluxe: INR 3,000.00 per night (US $59.67, €43.83, £37.46)
Semi Deluxe: INR 2,500.00 per night (US $49.72, €36.53, £31.22)
Dormitory: INR 250.00 per bed, per night (US $4.97, €3.65, £3.12)