July 2010
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Harsil, a beautiful tourist spots on the banks of the Bhagirathi River

Harsil was a remote beautiful village initially on the banks of the Bhagirathi River before it became a tourist spot for travel enthusiasts and nature lovers. It is a cantonment area too now. Harsil is filled with dense deodar slopes on either side. Harsil is a hidden jewel of Uttarakhand state which offers peace and serenity in the lap of Himalayas. It is at an elevation of 2,620mts above sea level. Harsil is situated on Uttarkasi – Gangotri Road at a distance of 72kms after Uttarkashi, and just 30 km away from Harsil, lays the Gangotri National Park, spread over 1,553 square km.
Harsil is inhabited by Bhotias. The temperature of Harsil remains pleasant during summers and chilling during winters and the region receives snowfall from December to March. The deodar forests are dense and have several apple trees around. The gushing water of Bhagirathi River with salubrious environment and serene environs makes it an enchanting travelling destination. Several adventurous trekking routes are present in the vicinity of Harsil. A holiday at Harsil is a rejuvenating experience and makes a spiritual and peaceful place for travel where you can do meditation and yoga.

Places to See in Harsil

Dharali: It is situated at a distance of 3kms from Harsil. Dharali can be reached by motorable roads.
Mukhwas Village: This village is situated only 1km from Harsil. Mukhwas is the home of Goddess Gangotri. Devotees worship at Mukhwas village during winters as the doors of the Gangotri temple remains closed due to heavy snowfall during winters.
Sattal: It can be reached by a 3km easy trek from Dharali. It is a combination of seven natural lakes just above Dharali. The group of lakes is set in a pristine environment. It is splendid and enchanting.
Gangotri: It is 100 kms from Uttarkashi. The shrine of Gangotri is at an elevation of 3200 meters above sea level. The temple is constructed by the Gorkha General, Amar Singh Thapa in the 18th century. It is situated on the banks of Bhagirathi River.

Best time to visit / climate

The best time to visit Harali is summer that is from around May to July. In winter it received heavy snowfall. The snowfall is from December to March.

Location on Google Maps:

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How to get there

By Air: The nearest airport to Harsil is Jolly Grant Airport situated at a distance of 244kms. There are daily flights from Delhi to Jolly Grant Airport. Harsil is well connected by motorable roads with Jolly Grant Airport. Taxis are available from Jolly Grant Airport to Uttarkashi, Tehri and Harsil.
By Rail: The nearest railway station to Harsil is Rishikesh railway station which is situated 215kms before Harsil on NH58. Rishikesh is well connected by railway networks with major destinations of India. Trains to Rishikesh are frequent. Taxis and buses are available from Rishikesh to Tehri Garhwal, Uttarkashi and Harsil.s
By Road: Harsil is well connected by motorable roads with major destinations of Uttarakhand state. Harsil is situated on NH108 which connects Gangotri in Uttarkashi district.
Buses to Rishikesh, Tehri and Uttarkashi are available from ISBT Kashmiri Gate, Delhi. Buses and Taxis to Harsil are easily available from major destinations of Uttarakhand state like Rishikesh, Dehradun, Tehri, Barkot, Uttarkashi etc.

Path from Rishikesh to Harsil on Google Maps:

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Distances from major cities to Harsil are as follows
Delhi to Harsil – 453kms
Meerut to Harsil – 382kms
Rishikesh to Harsil – 215kms
Gangotri to Harsil – 21kms
Haridwar to Harsil – 240kms
Pauri to Harsil – 232kms
Dehradun to Harsil – 262kms
Mussoorie to Harsil – 212kms
Devprayag to Harsil – 208kms
Tehri Garhwal to Harsil – 146kms
Joshimath to Harsil – 350kms
Srinagar to Harsil – 204kms
Kedarnath to Harsil – 316kms
Rudraprayag to Harsil – 236kms
Badrinath to Harsil – 393kms
Barkot to Harsil – 140kms
Chamba to Harsil – 157kms
Uttarkashi to Harsil – 72kms
Roorkee to Harsil – 274kms
Chakrata to Harsil – 224kms

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

1. http://www.holidayiq.com/GMVN-Tourist-Bungalow-Harsil-Uttaranchal-hotel-1824.html
2. http://www.maplandia.com/india/uttar-pradesh/uttarkashi/harsil/ (give map and lists of hotels in Harsil)
3. http://www.tripadvisor.in/Hotels-g1052525-Harsil_Uttarakhand-Hotels.html
4. http://www.adventure-pilgrimage-india-tours.com/harsil-hotel-reservation.html
5. Travelpod
6. http://www.euttaranchal.com/hotels/hotels-in-harsil.php
7. http://www.yatra.com/ : Whether you book luxury hotels in Harsil , Heritage hotels, 5 five star hotels in Harsil , and 4 five star hotels in Harsil or 3 star hotels in Harsil , 2 five star hotels in Harsil and Budget Hotels in Harsil , there are amazing offers and deals for all classes of hotels and resorts. They also offer discounted hotels packages in Harsil .To find cheap hotels in Harsil and make online hotel reservation booking.

Blogs / Sites about Harsil

• History of Harsil on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harsil :
Frederick E. Wilson, an adventurer, deserted the British Army just after the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 has a legend associated in Harsil. He escaped into Garhwal and met the Raja of Tehri seeking refuge. But the Raja was faithful to the British and refused to accommodate Wilson. Wilson moved into the mountains and landed him in Harsil, a remote beautiful village on the banks of the Bhagirathi River, with dense deodar slopes on either side.
There Wilson married a very beautiful pahari girl by the name of Gulabi. Then Wilson entered into a contract with a London-based company and built a fortune out of the export of skins, fur and musk. This was the time the British were building the Railways in India and there was great demand for quality wooden sleepers for the rails. Wilson cashed in on this and sent huge cut deodar trees floating down the river to the plains.
Wison later acquired a lease from the Raja, giving him a share in the profits. It is said that the revenue of the Raja of Tehri went up tenfold. With time, Raja Wilson, minted his own currency and as late as the 1930s, his coins were found with the local people. According to some historians, the timber trade had made Wilson so wealthy and powerful that the local Raja of Tehri-Garhwal was unable to protect his subjects, whom Wilson brutalised and used as slaves.
Raja Wilson seemed to have been a sort of architect and built, what is known today as Wilson’s Cottage, a huge mansion, now in ruins. He also built the Charlieville Hotel in the hill station of Mussoorie, which now houses the Government of India training institute for the Indian Administrative Service recruits.

• http://santhemant.sulekha.com/blog/post/2007/10/saat-taal-trek-dharali-harsil-gangotri-road.htm
• http://www.maplandia.com/india/uttar-pradesh/uttarkashi/harsil/
• http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-city/India/Harsil/tpod.html

Images and photos of Harsil

• http://www.google.co.in/images?q=Harsil&rls=com.microsoft:en-us&oe=UTF-8&rlz=1I7GPCK_enIN389&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&ei=djZITPKtFMi9cfmVodQM&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=4&ved=0CDYQsAQwAws
• http://www.oktatabyebye.com/picture-gallery/2131-harsil-travel-photo.html
• http://www.holidayiq.com/states/photos/Uttaranchal-Heavens-calling-Photos-1318.html
• http://www.tripadvisor.in/LocationPhotos-g1052525-Harsil_Uttarakhand.html
• http://santhemant.sulekha.com/blog/post/2007/10/saat-taal-trek-dharali-harsil-gangotri-road.htm
• http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-city/India/Harsil/tpod.html

Youtube videos:

Climbing the hills above Harsil from the Chardham Camp

Crazy roads going into Harsil

Harsil Valley, Mini Switzerland of India

Harsil Valley before Gangotri

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