Harsil is a small village located in the state of Uttarakhand at a height of 2620 mt above sea level. It is located on the banks of the river Bhagirathi and is around 72 km away from Uttarkashi. It is known for its tranquil and serene environment which lets tourists coming here to relax and rejuvenate themselves.
The village is situated close to Gangotri, one of the four Hindu pilgrimage centres. It is home to various tourist attractions of which the Gangotri National Park is the most sought after. Here is a guide to the serene town of Harsil.
Gangotri National Park
The Gangotri National Park is a must visit tourist attraction of Harsil and is located 30 km away from the village. This park is home to 15 species of animals and 150 species of birds. Tourists can see snow leopards, brown bears, musk deers, thars, Himalayan barbets, tigers, serows, pheasants, partridges, koklass, bharals, Himalayan monals, doves, pigeons, and parakeets here. It is a perfect haven for wildlife enthusiasts and bird lovers who can view these animals up close.
A view of the Snow Leopard.
Photo Courtesy: Marie Hale
Mukhba Village, also known as the Mukhwas Village, is of great religious significance for Hindus. During the winter season, the statue of the Hindu River Goddess, Ganga, is brought down to this village from its shrine located in Gangotri. It is done so because there is heavy snowfall in Gangotri, which consequently makes the temple inaccessible. Devotees throng this temple to offer worship to the Goddess and seek her blessings.
Dharali is a small village located at a distance of around 3 km from Harsil and lies on the banks of the holy River Ganga. Tourists can see numerous apple orchards and red bean fields here. Mesmerising views of several snow-capped peaks can be enjoyed from this small hamlet. The place is known for its ancient Shiva Temple, having architecture similar to that of the Kedarnath Temple. The Mukimath Temple, Gangotri, Tapovan, Vasuki Tal, Gangnani, and Chirbasa are some of the noted tourist attractions nearby.
The Ganga river flowing by the village.
Photo Courtesy: Bipin Gupta
How to Reach Harsil
By Air: The closest airport to Harsil is the Jolly Grant Airport of Dehradun. It is located at a distance of around 253 km from the destination. This airport is connected to the Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi by regular flights.
By Train: The Rishikesh Railway Station is the closest rail link to Harsil, which is well connected to other cities of the country by regular trains. It is situated at a distance of about 239 km from the destination.
By Road: Travellers planning a trip to Harsil can reach the destination by road. Buses for Harsil are available regularly from places like Uttarkashi, Dehradun, Barkot, New Tehri, and Rishikesh.
So when are you heading to Harsil?
Photo Courtesy: Debrupm