Explore the unexplored beauty of Uttarkashi district by visiting Harsil. Harsil is situated on the banks of Bhagirathi River 27kms before Gangotri at an elevation of 2,620mts above sea level. Harsil is one of the hidden jewels of Uttaranchal which is now getting popular with travel enthusiasts. Harsil is surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Himalayan range which adds charm to this serene place. Harsil offers numerous trekking routes which offers immortable and enticing experience of nature. Harsil is situated in a picturesque valley inhabited by bhotias. There are many deodar and apple trees in this valley. The temperature of the Harsil remains cool throughout the year and the region receives heavy snowfall from December to March. Wake up at Harsil with the chirping of birds and watch the crimson rays of the sun paint this little hamlet of Uttarakhand with its own hues. Refresh your senses and rejuvenate your soul by planning a visit to Harsil.
Location of Harsil
Harsil is situated at an elevation of 2620mts on the Uttarkashi - Gangotri Road. Harsil is located in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand state. Situated on the banks of the sacred Ganga River, Harsil offers scenic splendors of nature. The distance from Uttarkashi is 72kms and Gangotri is 27kms further from Harsil. Harsil is well connected with metalled roads making it easy to reach. Harsil is situated 451kms from Delhi.
Places to see in Harsil
Gangotri Temple: The temple was constructed by the Gorkha General, Amar Singh Thapa in early 18th century. The temple was later reconstructed by Jaipur kings. Gangotri temple opens on the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya which comes in April or early May and gets closed on Diwali festical. The region is prone to heavy snowfall making it tough to live during winters. Gangotri temple is dedicated to Goddess Ganga and it is believed that King Bhagirathi worshipped Lord Shiva at this holy place. Gangotri is visited by lakhs of devotees every year. Every day Mangal aarti and Sandhya aarti is performed early in the morning and in the evening respectively, of which only Sandhya aarti is opened for public. Gangotri Temple is situated 27kms ahead of Harsil at an elevation of 3048mts above sea level.
Dharali: Dharali is a picturesque spot situated only 3kms from Harsil and it can be easily approached through motorable roads. Mukhwas village is the home of Goddess Gangotri during winters, situated one kilometer from Harsil. Devotees worship at Mukhwa village during winters when the doors of the Gangotri temple remains closed. A 3km easy trek from Dharali will take you to a mysterious combination of natural 7 lakes known as Saat Tal.
What to do in Harsil
Explore the nearby places of Harsil. Trek to short excursions of Harsil if you have planned a short holiday. Don’t through polybags anywhere but only where the dustbin is. Capture these precious moments of your life. Take a holy bath in the sacred water of Ganga River and do visit Gangotri Dham.
Excursions from Harsil
Gaumukh Glacier: Gaumukh glacier is situated 18kms from Gangotri. ‘Gau’ means ‘cow’ and ‘mukh’ means ‘face’ hence the meaning of Gaumukh is cow’s face. The glacier resembles with a cow’s mouth if you carefully observe it. Gaumukh is the second largest glacier of India, first one being Siachen. Gaumukh is 30kms long and approximately 3 to 4km wide. It is source of the Bhagirathi River which is one of the most important tributary of the sacred Ganga River.
Kedartal: Kedar Tal is a captivating sight offering crystal clear icy cold water. Kedar Tal can be reached after a difficult trek of 14kms commencing from Gangotri. The maximum elevation en route Kedar Tal is astounding 4912mts above sea level. The lake is set at an elevation of 4,225mts above sea level with the majestic Thalaysagar Peak providing an enchanting backdrop.
Gangnani: Gangnani is situated 26kms before Harsil. Gangnani is popular for its natural hot water springs. This place is picturesque offering majestic views of the gigantic Himalayan range.
Uttarkashi: It is situated 72kms before Harsil. Uttarkashi is a beautiful place which is well connected with motorable roads and you can easily get bus or taxi to Gangotri from here. Uttarkashi is located on the banks of the Bhagirathi River at an elevation of 1352mts above sea level. Uttarkashi is the home of one of the most reputed mountaineering institutes of India i.e. Nehru Institute of Mountaineering. Gangotri is just three hour drive away from Uttarkashi.
Dayara Bugyal: Dayara Bugyal can be reached after a trek of 7km which commences from Raithal near Uttarkashi. Dayara Bugyal is being developed as a winter sports centre to attract the attention of a large number of tourists during winters. Dayara Bugyal is a perfect spot for skiing in winters as the region is entirely covered by the sheets of snow.
Dodi Tal: Dodi Tal is a lake where God Ganesha was born. This mysterious lake is situated at an elevation of 3307mts above sea level and it is surrounded by dense forests of oak, deodar and rhododendrons. The crystal clear lake is the home of the endangered Himalayan Golden Trouts. The trek of 17kms to Dodi Tal commences from Kalyani.
Accomodations Hotels in Harsil
GMVN Tourist Bungalow and The Char Dham Camp are the perfect place to stay at Harsil. These hotels afford splendid views of nature as these hotels are located in a placid environment. The hotels at Harsil provide blankets, hot water and quality food.
Best time to visit Harsil
Harsil is great to visit anytime throughout the year as this iste offers scenic splendors all around the year. Harsil is snow bound in the winter months and the summers are pleasant. You might encounter blocking of roads for a few hours due to land sliding in monsoons, but the greenery is tempting during this time.
How to reach Harsil
By Air: The nearest airport to Harsil is Jolly Grant located in Dehradun district. Jolly Grant airport is situated 236kms from Harsil. Taxis are available from Jolly Grant Airport
By Rail: The nearest railway station to Harsil is Rishikesh which is situated 218kms from Harsil. Taxis and buses are available from Rishikesh to Uttarkashi and Harsil.
By Road: Harsil is well connected by metalled roads with major destinations of Garhwal region of Uttarakhand state. Harsil is situated 451kms from Delhi and 72kms from Uttarkashi. The distance from Delhi to Harsil can be covered in a 12-13hour drive.