Harsil Valley is one of the best-kept secrets of Uttarakhand. Situated on the banks of the Bhagirathi River, this little hamlet is part of the equally gorgeous Uttarkashi district. The beautiful village nestled in the lap of Garhwal Himalayas is seated at a height of 2620 meters above sea level. It is a place for nature lovers and adventure seekers in the state of Uttarakhand.
With activities like hiking, trekking, and cycling, there is no dearth of things to do in Harsil Valley. The valley is surrounded by dense Oak and Deodar forests and is a place where nature greets with a warm embrace. The shimmering and gurgling streams, the apple orchards, and the chirping of birds make this off-beat location a prized possession of Uttarakhand.
The best time to visit Harsil Valley is during the summer season. During this time of the year, the weather is moderate the beauty of the valley is at its peak. The valley should be avoided during monsoon it always remains ins danger of landslide. Winter is also a good season to explore this valley and it is a perfect time for adventure seekers to pump up the adrenaline in their veins.
According to a local legend, Harsil got its name from the Bhagirathi and the Jalandhari rivers as once they argued over their significance. Lord Hari, also known as Vishnu, was asked to intervene. He turned himself into a great stone and absorbed their anger. Even today, the waters of the two rivers have become a little less turbulent.
Located just 6 kilometers outside of Harsil Valley, Dharali is known for its apple orchards. The place surrounded by pine trees and is situated on the bank of the River Ganga. The Shiva Temple in Dharali is the chief attraction there.
Known as the home of the Goddess Ganga, the village is situated just 1 km away from Harsil Valley. This region experiences heavy precipitation during winters. During this time the devotees worship the village as the gates of Gangotri when it remains temporarily closed due to heavy rainfall.
Situated at an elevation of 4750 meters above sea level, Kedar Tal is surrounded by Thalay Sagar, Jogin 1, Jogin 2, Bhrigupanth, and other major Himalayan peaks. It is one of the highest lakes in the state that dress numerous travelers. The place offers some of the best treks around Harsil Valley.
The Dodital Trek is one of the most picturesque treks in Uttarakhand’s Himalayan region. This region near Harsil Valley is blessed with elevated landscapes that are bedded with snow during colder months of the year. The trek starts from the Bhagirathi valley, which is situated at an altitude of 1,350 meters and passes through a mysterious forest, and ascends to a lofty height of 4,150 meters to Darwa Top.
Situated in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, Gangotri is considered one of the most pious glaciers. Being the source of the sacred River Ganges, Gangotri Glacier is a significant site for Hindus. The glacier is around 4 kilometers in width and 30 kilometers in length. The glacier is a tourist hotspot and a paradise for trekkers and adventure enthusiasts.
Harsil Valley is easily accessible from Gangotri and Uttarkashi and is connected well with roads. Reaching here is not that difficult. One can also choose rail and air services to reach at least halfway to the place.
Harsil is well-connected with other cities and towns of the state of Uttarakhand via roads. The nearest bus station from Harsil Valley is Uttarkashi which is easily accessible from major cities. There are government buses to Uttarkashi, and cab service from there for Harsil.
The nearest airport from Harsil is Jolly Grant Airport of Dehradun which is at a distance of 232 kilometers from Harsil Valley. The airport offers daily flights to and fro important cities like; Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata. From the airport, cab services are available by which one can reach Harsil without any hassle.
Rishikesh and Haridwar railheads are the nearest to Harsil Valley. Trains to both the stations are available but, Haridwar seems to have better connectivity which is at a distance of 262 km. Private cabs are available from here to reach Harsil.
Harsil being an offbeat destination does not have many options for accommodation. A handful of homestays and budget guesthouses can be found in the village which can only offer to cater for the basic needs of the travelers. Tourists can find a decent number of places to stay in Gangotri and Uttarkashi, which are 25 km and 74 km away from Harsil Valley respectively. Out of the two places, Uttarkashi has more options to offer.