AULI, also known as a ‘bugyal’, meaning ‘meadow’ in the regional language, is an important ski destination in the Himalayan mountains. It is located at an elevation of 2,500 to 3,050m above sea level. It is a less-known ski destination than Shimla, Gulmarg or Manali. It was only in the recent time, after the creation of the new state of Uttarkhand (formerly Uttaranchal), AULI was marketed as a tourist destination.
The state is called DEV BHOOMI which means ‘LAND OF GODS’, as there are important pilgrimage destinations in this state, mainly the CHAR DHAM (Gangotri – Yamunotri – Kedarnath – Badrinath) . AULI lies on the way on the way to Badrinath. It is surrounded by coniferous and oak forests, with a panoramic view of the lofty peaks of the greatest mountain range in the world, the Himalayas.
The Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam Limited, a Government agency which takes care of the resort and Uttaranchal Tourism Department conduct winter sports competitions here to encourage skiing in India. AULI also boasts Asia’s longest —- 4km —- cable car (Gondola). It also has a chair-lift and a ski-lift. Apart from skiing, there is an international trek route also.
There is a training facility of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police. A small temple, having a connection to the great epic Ramayana, is also present. The best time to visit is the last week of January to the 1st week of March for skiing. Summers are very pleasant with moderate climate —— average around 15 degreesC and ideal for sight-seeing. The world’s highest man-made lake is at AULI, right next to the private hotel, Clifftop.