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Which is better Auli or Mcleodganj?

Discussion in 'Travel advice' started by VishalCh, Oct 2, 2016.

  1. VishalCh

    VishalCh New Member

    I have shortlisted two holiday destinations one is Auli, and the other is Mcleodganj. I have not been to either of these places before and would like to get some member feedback on how they find these two destinations and which one is better.

    I would be going with my wife and would prefer to spend a minimum of 7 days whichever destination we choose.

  2. Chahal

    Chahal ਜੱਟ ਕੀ ਤੇ ਘੱਟ ਕੀ Staff Member

    Auli and Mcleodganj are like apples and oranges, should not be compared my opinion. Auli and Mcleodganj are a world apart with Mcleodganj being a centre for meditation, Buddhist culture and a few treks. Mcleodganj became famous because the Dalai lama lives there and a considerable Tibetian population resides on that small hill station along with their government in exile. Auli on the other hand is a full fledged holiday destination with plenty of winter sports options and beautiful scenery and wonderful weather.

    Instead of choosing one or the other it is best to visit both on different trips to get a feel of both the hill stations.

  3. vkar

    vkar Member

    If you like winter/adventure sports then you should got to Auli. Mcleodganj is more like a spiritual/laid back kind of place. Both has different appeals but both are great places. Which one you like depends on your personal choices.
  4. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello there, welcome to the forum!

    Deciding on a hill station to visit is quite difficult. Perhaps because there are a myriad of hill stations in the country and they have a diverse set of activities and attractions to offer for tourists. So in your case, we have Auli in Uttarakhand and Mcleodganj in Himachal Pradesh. Both are popular hill stations and have their own charms.

    Auli is primarily a winter skiing destination which has gained popularity over the years. Although a winter skiing destination, the region of Auli is turned into a meadow of greenery and colours during summer. With the views of the Himalayan ranges coupled with the wonderful climate, Auli is one of the best hill stations to visit in the country.


    Next we have Mcleodganj, yet another beautiful hill station in the country. Famed for its laid-back appeal and Tibetan settlements, the hill station offers plenty of sightseeing activities for tourists. Whether visited during the winter or the summer, Mcleodganj is a great destination for people seeking some tranquility and peace.

    Let us highlight the main differences between these two hill stations:

    1. Climate and Snow in Winter
    • Auli - If you're visiting during the winter season, from October to February, Auli experiences moderately cold climates. Temperatures range between 4°C to 14°C during the first few months of winter. By the last quarter of the year until January, temperatures can reach into the negatives and snow starts to set in as well. By January, the hill station is covered with snow and thus becomes the winter destination is has been arranged for. So during these months, it's a must to bring heavy woollen clothes and essential skiing gear or else you might freeze in the cold.
    • Mcleodganj - During the winter season, from October to February, Mcleodganj also experiences cold climates. Temperatures range between 6°C to 17°C. But the months of December and January are the coldest with temperatures even reaching -1°C at times. Since it is part of the Upper Dharamshala, snow is also apparent in the region especially in the higher altitude areas. It is also essential to bring heavy woollens during this time of the year. However, snow in Mcleodganj is relatively thinner than in Auli as it doesn't have a snow-making machine like the latter.
    If however, you're visiting during the summer season, both hill stations has pleasant climate. Days are relatively warmer and sunny while nights are a bit more chilly. During this season, as well as during the monsoon season, light woollens would suffice.

    2. Attractions
    • Auli - In terms of attractions, Auli doesn't have much to offer to tourists. Most of the attractions here require some trekking to reach so won't be that much suitable for the elderly or little children. However, one attraction that doesn't need trekking would be the Auli Artificial Lake. This is actually the lake that the government uses for making the skiing slopes smoother through their snow making machine.
    • Mcleodganj - The hill station of Mcleodganj has plenty of tourist attractions, from its temples, monasteries, a lake and even a waterfall. Some of the temples that you can visit here are the Kalachakra Temple, Bhagsunath Temple and Guna Devi Temple. The monasteries here are also quite popular like the Tsechokling Monastery and the Nechung Monastery. Some other natural attractions are the Dal Lake and the Bhagsu Waterfall. For enjoying the majestic views of the mountains, you have the Naddi View Point and Sunset Point. So if your main goal for your vacation is to do some sightseeing, then Mcleodganj has plenty of attractions just for that.
    3. Activities
    • Auli - Since Auli is a skiing destination, the main activity here is skiing. You can opt for tandem skiing (best for beginners) and professional skiing (best for experts). You can also indulge in trekking as Auli has many trails for that. Some of the treks that are popular in Auli are the Gorson Bugyal trek, Kuari Pass trek and Khulara Tapovan trek. If trekking is too adventurous for you, can enjoy a laid-back ride in the Auli Ropeway. This ropeway connects Auli to Joshimath and is a good way of seeing the entire hill station from a bird's eye view.
    • Mcleodganj - The main activity in Mcleodganj is sightseeing but for the adventure seekers, you can also indulge in trekking. The most popular trail here is the Triund Hill trek which passes through Indrahar. Yet some others indulge in a more serene and religious trail through the Kora trek. Of course, being the home to many Tibetan settlements and monasteries, indulging in yoga and meditation is also a must here. For something more laid-back, hang out in the numerous cafes in the region and interact with the locals.
    4. Food
    • Auli - Unfortunately, restaurants and eateries around Auli are quite few. One restaurant here is located in the Cliff Top Club Resort. It serves multiple cuisines with a specialty of the local cuisine which is Garhwali. However, you can opt to stay and dine in Joshimath, about 450 kilometres away from Auli. There are more dining options here as compared to Auli.
    • Mcleodganj - Home to Tibetan cuisine, which includes delicious momos and noodles, Mcleodganj has plenty to offer when it comes to food. It has a number of cafes you can try like the Lobsang's Four Seasons Cafe and the Common Ground Cafe. It also has all day breakfast places like the Woeser Bakery and the Moonpeak Espresso. Aside from Tibetan cuisine, restaurants like Jimmy's Italian Kitchen and Carpe Diem offer international cuisines to guests.
    5. Accommodation
    • Auli - There are only a few accommodation options in Auli. Most hotels are on the higher end and you need to shell some money to stay in them. For more budget accommodations, you can stay in Badrinath or Joshimath, which are a bit further away from Auli. The hotels located in Auli itself are the Cliff Top Club Resort, Royal Village, Devi Darshan Lodge and Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam Hotel.
    • Mcleodganj - You won't find a shortage of accommodation options in Mcleodganj, from budget ones to luxury ones. Guest houses and home stays are also abundant in the hill station. For something luxurious, you can opt for the Fortune Park Moksha or the Pink House Hotel & Spa. For cheaper options, there's the Tibetan Ashoka Guest House and the Hotel Akash.
    There you go, I hope this helps you! It really depends upon you which destination you'd choose. Perhaps the best description for Auli would be a skiing destination and for Mcleodganj would be a spiritual retreat. So whether you're adventurous and would like to enjoy and learn skiing, then Auli would be the best choice for you. On the other hand, for a mix of some spirituality and adventure, then Mcleodganj would be the best choice for you.

    Good luck!:)
    Tanmaya likes this.
  5. Jessica_91

    Jessica_91 Member

    Auli is for winter sports and Mcleodganj is more of a spiritual center if you ask me. I have been to both Auli and Mcleodganj and it is not fair to compare these two places as they are not similar in any way. If you want to stay for extended periods without having to pay exorbitant prices then Mcleodganj is your place as Auli accommodation tends to be a bit on the expensive side.