What to See
Skiing: This is definitely the major tourist attraction that draws thousands of tourists to Auli. The Auli Skiing Resort was set up here by the Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam to promote it as a favourite skiing destination and the slopes are a paradise for those seeking the outdoors. The slope runs for about 5-10 kms and snow beaters keep the slopes fit for skiing at all times. A good number of trees on the slopes seem to help the skiers by reducing the wind velocity. Auli is linked with Joshimath with a 3.9-km-long cable car linking, besides the 16-km-long motorable road. One can also find a 500-m-long chair lift linking the lower and upper slopes and carrying adventurers to and fro. GMVN offers 7-day non-certificate and 14-day certificate courses for beginners from January to March every year. While ski equipments are available on hire, it is best to carry your own gear. Special ski packages including all meals, lodging, equipment, hire and lessons are provided for casual tourists. Efficient communication facilities are also available in this small town.
Joshimath: Located only 12 kilometers from Auli, Joshimath is full of temples and memorials. This is home to one of the four main Shankaracharya Maths, because of Adi Shankaracharya who meditated in a cave here. Just before you enter the Math, you'd come across the Kalpavriksha Tree, where he is said to have attained Samadhi. Dotted with temples, big and small, the Narasimhadeva Temple houses an idol of Lord Narasimhadeva sitting in a lotus position. Next to him are idols of Rama, Sita, Garuda and Hanuman. The temple is believed to be almost 1200 years old. A popular Vaishnava Temple, Vasudeva Temple houses a black stone image of Lord Vasudeva. Next to him are idols of Sri, Bhu, Nila and Kama and the entrance of the temple has an idol of the dancing Ganesha.
Gurso Bugyal: Located 3 kms from Auli, Gurso Bugyal is a huge meadow spread amidst a mixed forest of oaks and conifers. Joshimath is connected from here via the ropeway. This place is especially popular for weekend excursions and is ideal to catch spectacular views of the region.
Chattrakund: Located a kilometer from Gurso Bugyal, Chattrakund is located in the middle of a jungle and houses a tiny sweet water lake.
Shanti Stupa: A new addition to the landscape, the Shanti Stupa is a pristine white structure built by the Japanese Buddhist organization to commemorate 2500 years of Buddhism. It was inaugurated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 1985. You can walk up to it by a flight of stairs or take a 3km drive from the Fort Road. Open from: 5.00 am-9.00 pm; Entry free
Saildhar Tapovan: This tiny village located 15 kms away on the Joshimath road is home to numerous hot springs and hot water fountains.
Kwanri Bugyal: 12 kms from Gurso, Kwanri Bugyal is a must visit on every trekker's itinerary. Situated almost 3350 mts above sea level a number of summer camps are.
Chenab Lake: Accessible via the Dang Village in Joshimath, this pristine lake is almost isolated. The road is tough and quite a trek and definitely not for the faint hearted.
Vanishinarayan Kalpeshwar: 12 kms from Joshimath, the beautiful cave of Kalpeshwar is the attraction. Bhavishya Badri: This is where one of the five badri shrines is located in the region. Located in the midst of dense deodar forests, it is believed that in future, when the shrine of Badrinath becomes inaccessible, Bhavishya Badri would be held in similar reverence.