Chakrata and Auli: Two Picturesque Offbeat Winter Destinations of Uttarakhand

The quaint state of Uttarakhand is the abode to several hill retreats. Beauties of these hill stations stretched arms from India to abroad and are visited by thousands of foreign travelers throughout the year. Apart from the holy destinations like Kedarnath and Badrinath, small mountain hamlets like Chakrata and Auli have attained global fame over the years because of their exquisite locations and abundant natural beauty. Such lesser known winter destinations of India are worth experiencing at least once in a lifetime.


Chakrata is a small cantonment town located at a distance of around 92kms from Dehradun. Situated between Yamuna and Tons River, the hill station is a permanent stronghold for the Special Frontier Forces. It also serves as the training ground for Research & Analysis Wing (RAW), India’s intelligence agency. The narrow zigzag way to Chakarata is bordered by step farming lands, dazzling valleys and rocky mountains. It brings with it cool wind, pleasant climate and a relaxed atmosphere devoid of tourist influx and chores of city life. It is a calm hill station full of greenery, dense forests and wildlife. Chakrata is a paradise for trekkers who love to explore the small hamlet surrounded by caves and temples. It has limited accommodation options and does not have any luxury hotels also. Forest rest houses are the best places to stay if anyone wants to explore the wilderness of the region. During winter temperature falls to zero and October to December is the best time to visit.


Another popular hill retreat and a must visit winter destination in Uttarakhand is Auli. It is also a famous skiing destination that has gained popularity in a very short span of time. The slopes of the hill resort is covered by apple orchards along with coniferous, deodar and oak trees and offers magnificent views of the Nanda Devi Parvat of the Himalayan ranges. During winters, the roads, streets, mountain ranges all get absolutely blanketed with snow and give rise to a heaven like scenery to stare at. Snowy peaks, thin air, long range of snow covered valleys, clear sky and skiing option steal the hearts of tourists who visit the place. Auli is simply unspoilt where a ropeway ride takes one to the top of the Himalayas and offer panoramic vistas of the picturesque mountains. It also has Asia’s highest cable car route which connects Auli with Joshimath. It does not have much accommodation option. The Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam Limited (GMVN) guest houses are well equipped accommodations available here at a nominal rate. This small quaint hill station in the Chamoli District of Uttarakhand is the perfect place to unwind all tensions and pamper oneself with utter peace and rejuvenation during the chilly winters.

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