Harsil “The Valley of Dreams”
Harsil “The Valley of Dreams”: Here the lush green valleys, snow-capped mountains, lakes, and waterfalls increase the beauty of this place a lot. There are many tourist and religious places worth visiting in Uttarakhand, but what else will you find in the valleys of Harsil, where else?
This beautiful village is located in the district Uttarkashi of Uttarakhand and situated at a distance of 72 km from the city of Uttarkashi. Harsil is situated at an altitude of 2,620 meters above sea level. Harsil falls on the Gangotri road, where the Bhagirathi River (Read about other Rivers of Uttarakhand) flows in its calm form and mesmerizes the tourists. Deodar trees and apple trees scattered all around in Harsil add to the beauty of the place.
There is also a temple of Laxminarayan Ji on the banks of the Bhagirathi River where the idol of Shri Hari is in a lying posture. In this small place, many waterfalls, different types of flowers blooming from place to place, gardens, gardens, and pools and make the earth here more beautiful.
Just a few kilometres away from here is the holy temple of Hindus, Gangotri Dham, where lakhs of devotees come every year to visit Mother Ganga. The same 30 km away from here comes the Gangotri National Park which is spread over an area of about 1,550 sq km.
Here you will see different types of animals and birds. In these, many wild animals and birds like the state bird Monal, tiger, pheasant come.
A few years ago, the suiting of the film “Ram Teri Ganga Maili Ho Gayi” made by Indian cinema was also done, after which Harsil’s beauty came in front of the country and the world.
Travelers’ going to Gangotri Dham or other places mostly come here and rest for the night. Due to the declaration of the inner line of this place for national security, there is a ban on the stay of foreign people here, but they can roam here throughout the day, but they have to go to some other place from here before nightfall.
History to Harsil Valley
The credit for the discovery of this place first goes to a person named Frederick Wilson, an English employee who was originally a native of England and had come here due to luck. He is also called the Raja of Harsil. He liked this place so much that he took a vow to stay there and also married a nearby girl.
Frederick Wilson brought apple plants here from England for his income and sown them here, later those apple plants developed a lot since then apple business has started here.
4 Best Things to do in Harsil
1- Trekking in Harsil: Harsil is also a great place for trekking (Read Uttarakhand Treks), where thousands of trekkers come to trek, here mainly the Nagni Kyarakoti track. This track starts from Harsil and is about 8 km long (Harsil to Nagarkoti Distance).
In this track, you can see the valley of flowers, beautiful bugyals, and seven rhythms, etc., which further enhance the beauty of this track. The deodar and bhojpatra trees spread everywhere and the snow-capped peaks of the huge Himalayan Mountain remove all the fatigue of the trekkers.
2- Photography in Harsil: Harsil is a beautiful tourist place, seeing the beauty of which thousands of domestic and foreign tourists come to Harsil every year. Even for photographers, Harsil is no less than a paradise.
The beauty of this place and the scattered greenery, vast valleys, snow-capped peaks of the huge Himalayan mountain visible from here, and the dense forests of deodar and oak further enhance the beauty of this place.
At the same time, tourists get immense pleasure after seeing the ancient temple located in the Himalayan mountain region. Photographers can capture these temples, the beauty of this place, and the often endangered animals present in the forests in their cameras.
3- Shopping in Harsil: Harsil is a small tourist place to visit where you cannot find any big market or shopping mall.
Mainly local products are seen more in the markets here. Here you can buy mainly warm clothes like shawls, warm mufflers, self-made sweaters, hats and items like carpets for laying in the ground.
Rajma, beans, and apples are in great demand here in food items. Rajma and apples here are exported to foreign countries, which are very tasty to eat. Tourists coming here never forget to take these things with them.
4- Wildlife in Harsil: Nature has decorated Harsil with its beauty, coming here man forgets all his fatigue. The wide valleys here, the huge mountains spread far and wide and the colourful flowers scattered all around here further enhance the beauty of this place.
The dense forests of deodar, oak, and rhododendron standing all around here double the beauty of this place. Apart from many types of herbs in these forests, you can also see many endangered animals here. The Gangotri National Park, located at a distance of about 30 km from here, is a major place for wildlife lovers to visit, where you can see many types of endangered animals, birds, and animals.
This park is spread over an area of about 1533 square kilometres (Area of Gangotri National Park) where you can see about 15 types of animals and about 150 types of birds.
For animal lovers and wildlife lovers, this park is no less than a wonder. Wildlife lovers can capture rare types of animals here in their cameras. In this park, mainly Himalayan Monal, Tiger, Pheasant, Musk Deer, Brown Bear, Thar, and Snow Leopard are seen, most of which are now on the verge of extinction.
6 Best Tourist places of Harsil
By the way, the entire Harsil is not less than anyone in beauty. Still, there are some places that attract the attention of tourists. Out of these places mainly Sattal, Gangotri Dham, Mukhba village, Gangnani, etc. are some such places where tourists can visit during Harsil excursion.
Harsil is also famous for its seven lakes, which are visited by thousands of people from all over the world every year. By reaching here, tourists feel as if they have gone on a journey to heaven.
1- Sattal: Harsil is a natural place where there are many places for tourists to visit. One of these tourist places is Sattal.
Sattal is located at a distance of about 3 km from Harsil. This lake is a group of seven lakes known as Rama, Sita, Bharat, Lakshmana, Sukha Tal, Panna Tal, Nal Damayanti Tal, and Oaks.
The water here is found to be clear and blue. This place is best for tourists and nature lovers to visit. Nature lovers can enjoy the beautiful weather here; the same photographers can capture the sights and rare types of birds in their cameras.
Tourists can also enjoy boating in this lake. A temple named Satttal is also situated at this place which is dedicated to Mother Ganga who is worshiped by Semwal Pandits.
2- Gangnani: Gangnani is also one of the major tourist places located in Harsil which is situated at a distance of about 26 km from Harsil. A hot water tank is situated here where a large number of devotees come for a bath and only after taking a bath here they go to the Gangotri temple.
Gangnani Kund is also known as Rishikund Teerth. Here separate pools have been made for the bathing of women and men. Men and women who come here can take a bath.
A beautiful view of the Himalayas can be seen from here. Even for those who like peace and meditation (Meditation in Gangnani Village), this place is not a work from any heaven. Tourists can sit here in peace and enjoy spirituality for some time.
3- Gangotri: Gangotri is the most important tourist place near Harsil, which is about 26 km (Distance of Harsil to Gangotri) from Harsil. Gangotri is also one of the Char Dhams of Uttarakhand, where the Char Dham Yatra of devotees (read this post to know about the Char Dham of Uttarakhand) is considered complete. Gangotri Dham is dedicated to Mother Ganga, where there is a huge temple of Mother Ganga.
This site is situated at an altitude of 3,750 meters above sea level. Lakhs of devotees visit here during the opening of the doors from May to October. This temple is opened on the day of Akshaya Tritiya and it is closed on the day of Diwali. Later, there is heavy snowfall here, due to which it becomes difficult for the devotees to reach here.
This place is surrounded by huge mountains, glaciers, valleys, and dense forests and is located in the Gangotri National Park area, which extends to the Indo-China border. This temple was built by Amar Singh Thapa during the 18th century and was later renovated by the royal family of Jaipur.
4- Mukhba Village: Mukhba Village is a beautiful village situated in the lap of the Himalayas at a distance of 1 km from Harsil, from where the beautiful view of nature can be seen.
This village is considered to be the home of Mother Ganga, where devotees from far and wide come to worship. During the snowfall in the winter season, when the Gangotri Dham’s doors are closed, the idol of Mother Ganga is brought to the village of Mukhba with full religious rituals.
Mukhba village is also known as Mukhwas village. Due to the high altitude, there is a lot of snow here which is visited by a large number of tourists. It is cold throughout the year, due to which tourists visiting here are advised to carry warm clothes with them.
5- Dharali Village: Dharali village is one of the major tourist places of Harsil, which is located at a distance of 3 km from Harsil (Harsil to Dharali Village Distance). This village is situated on the banks of river Ganga from where one can see the beautiful view of nature. From here one can also see the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas.
There are many orchards of Apples, Rajma, and red beans in Dharali, which look very beautiful to see. An ancient Shiva temple is present here, whose artwork looks similar to that of Kedarnath temple, Gangotri, Tapovan.
6- Gangotri National Park: Located at a distance of about 30 km from here, Gangotri National Park is an ideal place for wildlife lovers to visit, where you can see many types of endangered animals and birds.
This park is spread over an area of about 1533 square kilometers (Area of Gangotri National Park) where you can see about 15 types of animals and about 150 types of birds. For animal lovers and wildlife lovers, this park is no less than a wonder. Wildlife lovers can capture rare types of animals here in their cameras.
In this park, mainly Himalayan Monal, Tiger, Pheasant, Musk Deer, Brown Bear, Thar, and Snow Leopard are seen, most of which are now on the verge of extinction.
What and where to eat in Harsil
By the way, during Harsil Yatra, tourists prefer local food there. Potato Gutka, Cannabis Chutney, Jhingora Kheer, Raita, Madwe Ki Roti, Sisoon Ka Saag, Kapa, and the famous sweets found here are more liked by the tourists, which are easily available anywhere here.
Nevertheless, Harsil has all kinds of restaurants, etc. where you can enjoy the food of your choice. The main restaurants here are Prakriti the Retreat, View Point Restaurant, Hotel Sunanda Restaurant, etc. where you can enjoy a meal while on a joyful excursion.
Where to stay in Harsil
There are many hotels, home – stays, lodges, and cottages in Harsil where you can stay during the Harsil excursion. These hotels provide you all kinds of facilities and you can feel like staying in your own home by staying in these hotels. These hotels also provide you the facilities of free Wi-Fi, Laundry, Parking and Cab, etc.
The main hotels of Harsil are Hotel Harsil Retreat, Nelangana Resort, Radha Mohan Palace, Hotel Apoorva, Himalayan Eco Lodge, GMVN Hotel, etc. where you can stay during Harsil’s journey.
5 Best Hotels in Harsil
1- Hotel Harsil Retreat: Hotel Harsil Retreat is one of the few best hotels in Harsil that is situated on the banks of the Alaknanda River. From the hotel, you can get a spectacular view of nature.
This hotel is located at a distance of about 25 km from Harsil, from where the beautiful view of nature and the huge mountains covered with snow are visible. There are many small cottages in this hotel that are simple and deluxe.
Here you also get the facility of food etc. Through the same hotels, you get free Wi-Fi, room service, car parking, etc. The rent of these cottages starts from 6000 per day.
2- Radha Mohan Palace: Hotel Radha Mohan Palace is one of the best hotels in Harsil, located 5 minutes from the banks of River Ganga. From the hotel, you can get a spectacular view of nature.
This hotel is located in the main market of Harsil, from where the beautiful view of nature and the huge mountains covered with snow are visible. In this hotel, you get simple and deluxe rooms, whose fare starts from 4,500 per passenger. You also get the facilities of food etc. in the hotel.
The same hotels also provide facilities to take you to free Wi-Fi, Room Service, Car parking, Bonfire, Hiking, and Trekking.
3- Himalayan Eco Lodge: Himalayan Eco Lodge is one of the few best lodges in Harsil from where you can get a spectacular view of nature. This hotel is situated on the way from Harsil to Gangotri, from where the beautiful view of nature and the huge mountains covered with snow are visible.
In this hotel, you get to stay in luxury tents along with simple and deluxe rooms whose fare starts from Rs.6, 000 per passenger. The hotel also has a restaurant where you also get the facilities of food etc.
The same hotels also provide you with facilities like free Wi-Fi, room service, car parking, etc. to take you on hiking, camping, and trekking.
4- Hotel Sunil: Hotel Sunil is one of the best hotels in Harsil from where you can enjoy a spectacular view of nature. This hotel is located at a distance of 3 km from Harsil Bus Stand, from where one can see the beautiful view of nature and the huge mountains covered with snow.
The hotel also offers you accommodation in simple and deluxe rooms and luxury tents with fares starting from ₹ 2,100 per passenger.
Here you also get the facility of food etc. The same hotels also provide the facility of taking you on hiking, camping with facilities like free Wi-Fi, room service, car parking, etc.
5- The Char Dham Camp: Char Dham Camp is one of the best places to stay in Harsil from where you can enjoy the spectacular view of nature. This hotel is situated on the way from Harsil to Gangotri, from where the beautiful view of nature and the huge mountains covered with snow are visible.
This camp is surrounded by beautiful valleys and huge mountains on all sides where you can stay in luxury tents amidst nature. In this, you get the facility of an attached bathroom. The fare per night here starts from Rs.2, 000.
The same camp also provides you the facility to take you on hiking, camping, and trekking with facilities like free Wi-Fi, room service, car parking, etc.
When to go Harsil
When to go Harsil: You can go to Harsil in any season of the year. The weather here remains pleasant throughout the year. Even in the summer season, it does not get much heat here, although in the winter season it is very cold and the temperature here also goes below zero, due to which tourists are attracted to the tourists in the winter season.
You also have to face a lot of hardships. Here you should go from March to October and November, at that time the weather here is very pleasant and full of greenery all around, due to which this place attracts the mind of the tourists.
Weather of Harsil
1- Harsil in summer: Summer is the best time to visit Harsil. During this, there is not much heat here, due to which the weather here remains pleasant and there is greenery all around here.
Summer in Harsil usually starts from the end of March, which lasts in mid-June. During this, the maximum temperature here remains up to 15 degrees and the minimum temperature remains up to 10 degrees.
It is during these months that the maximum number of tourists comes here, due to which there is a crowd of tourists. Tourists are also advised to carry warm clothes during these months as there is some heat during the daytime but the weather gets cooler during the night.
2- Harsil in winter: Winter in Harsil mainly starts from October which lasts till mid-March. During this, the temperature of Harsil goes below 0 degrees and the maximum temperature remains up to 10 degrees.
During this, there is a severe cold here. December and January are the coldest months here. Snowfall is also very high during these months, due to which a large number of tourists reach here to see the snowfall. Tourists are advised to carry warm clothes during these months as the weather becomes equally cold during the day and night.
3- Harsil in monsoon: The monsoon starts in Harsil mainly from the end of June which lasts till September. During this, the temperature of Harsil goes down considerably due to rain and the maximum temperature remains up to 10 degrees. During this, there is a severe cold here.
This season is the best for nature lovers and photographers to visit. During this nature-lovers can enjoy photography and nature here.
Tourists are advised not to come here during the monsoon. Being a hilly area, there are frequent incidents of landslides, land sliding, and closure of roads, due to which tourists have to face problems. That’s why tourists should avoid coming here during the monsoon.
How to go Harsil
1- How to go Harsil by Bus: Harsil village is well connected by road, for which you will easily get bus service from any major city. If you want, you can also reach Harsil by your vehicle. Harsil is situated on National Highway 108 which is situated on Gangotri Marg.
Buses are operated regularly from Dehradun and Rishikesh to Harsil. Dehradun to Harsil distance is 220 km (Dehradun to Harsil Distance) and Haridwar to Harsil distance is 238 km (Hardwar to Harsil Distance).
2- How to go Harsil by Train: Harsil does not have any railway station of its own, but the nearest railway station here is in Rishikesh, which is located at a distance of about 215 km from Harsil (Rishikesh to Harsil Distance). Rishikesh railway station is well connected to the major cities of the country. You will find a private taxi parked outside the same station from which you can reach Harsil. If you want, you can also reach here by your vehicle. Otherwise, you can easily reach here by Uttarakhand roadways bus.
3- How to go Harsil by Air: The nearest air route to Harsil is Jolly Grant located in Dehradun which is 232 km away (Distance from Jolly Grant to Harsil). You will find many taxis parked outside Jolly Grant airport by which you can reach here.
If you want, you can also reach Harsil by Uttarakhand Roadways bus which is operated smoothly from Rishikesh and Dehradun.