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Auli History, India

Auli India – History and Location

Auli is located in the Gharwal mountain range in Uttarakhand, formerly known as Uttaranchal. This newly discovered skiing location was recently added to the tourist map of India and was previously unknown even to the local Indians.

One can only expect the very best from the snowy slopes of this retreat.

Early History– Religious Beginnings

Auli traces its history back to many hundred centuries and the inhabitants of the place are called ‘Bhotyas’. They traversed the grazing lands mainly comprising Auli hill station. This is a nomadic tribe that settled in the hills of the region after the famous Indian Hindu saint Guru Adi Shankaracharya built and established a temple as the main place of worship for people in the area, at a place called ‘Joshimath.’ It is one of four temples built by this Hindu saint. These temples are very sacred to the Hindu community who visit them during pilgrimages that start out from all parts of the country. The temples are known as ‘Pithas’.

British Colonization Efforts

The British colonized the place and made it a popular destination when they developed travel routes to Auli. Till then, the nomadic Bhotya tribe traveled on horseback and foot to trade with nearby tribes in Tibet. This is the reason for the cultural integration that is apparent today, not only in features but in language and dress as well. The skiing slopes of Auli were used for training soldiers who served in the ruling king’s armies’ centuries ago. The same slopes were used to train the forces of the Indo-Tibetan boarder police before they were converted to ski slopes for tourists. Among all the hill stations in India, Auli is perhaps the only place that can actually be described as a skier’s paradise. Being located in the very lap of the Himalayan Mountains, visitors to Auli must be prepared to brave the icy winds that can cause frostbite to the unprepared ones.

Recent History: A Shift from Farming to Tourism

A visit to Auli will reveal the rich history of the Gharwal hills. The people of the land speak English as well as Hindi and are quite peace loving and honest. Though the people of Auli have been earning their living from farming the land and keeping cattle, they are now waking up to the fact that their homeland can give them great wealth from the diverse tourist attractions Auli has to offer, namely winter sports, romantic holiday settings and picturesque settings for film shootings. Skiing is not the only major pastime in Auli. Nature lovers are also attracted to this land of immense natural beauty that offers camping, trekking, rafting and other adventure sports – thus, Auli offers pilgrims, honeymooning couples and corporate tourists alike a great bonding experience with nature.

One can have a 180- degree panoramic view of the entire snow capped Himalayan mountain range and track into the thickly wooded forests of the area. The dense oak forests are also home to some of the popular Deodar trees, which grow to great heights and are known for their great fragrance and termite resistance. These trees are used to build log cabins and cottages in the hills and promote the concept of back-to-nature goodness holidays and Eco-tourism themes in Auli.

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