Located 70 kms from Uttarakashi, Harsil is a village and a cantonment area on the banks of the Bhagirathi River, on the way to the Hindu pilgrimage, Gangotri, in Uttarakhand. It looks like Lord Vishnu has decorated this place with his own hands. Its high snowy peaks and dense shed would hypnotize you. It is this compelling beauty that paved way to my 5th visit to Harsil.
APPLES OF WILSON’S EYE
This place was discovered by an officer of the East India Company, Frederick Wilson. When he arrived here, he eventually fell in love with this place and stayed here for the rest of his life. This place is famous for Apples and for this also, Wilson can be accredited. He imported Apple seeds from England and started farming here. As a homage, a variety of Apples is named after him-The Wilson Apples. Even today, the entire economy of the village is dependent on Apples. Wilson built a cottage, Wilson Cottage which you can visit here.
OBSTACLES WORTH THE CLIMB
The preponderance of beauty sites in Uttarakhand are located at the remote mountains, which are not accessible for everyone. This is the reason why nature lovers cannot reach places like these. But thinking about Harsil, it seems that all the natural inequality and misery have ended. Located between Uttarkashi-Gangotri Marg, Harsil stands at an altitude of 7860 feet above sea level. Regardless, it is easy and accessible for everyone to reach. Nothing can stop your visit to Harsil!
WALK ON WATER
On the chest of this valley, Bhagirathi’s quiet and turbulent flow makes everyone jolly. The entire valley is full of rivers and water bodies. Wherever you’ll see, you’ll find water streams breaking the silence of this valley. Along with the beauty of the river waterfalls, this valley is surrounded by the intricate cedar forest. Once you see them, it’s hard to resist getting lured by their charm.
WHEN BOLLYWOOD TWIRLED IN HARSIL!
The magic of the beauty of this place can be seen in an era super-hit film, Ram Teri Ganga Maili. Raj Kapoor once visited Gangotri where he got captivated with the enticing-magical grace of Harsil. The mesmerized Kapoor made the flick and gave it a life in the beautiful sceneries of Harsil. In the film, the life and beauty of the village is shown in an alluring way. This is where the film’s heroine Mandakini can been seen bathing in a waterfall. Since then, this waterfall is known as Mandakini Falls.
FORBIDDEN BY THE INDIAN ARMY
Harsil has been placed in the Inner Line drawn in the name of the security of the country, where foreign tourists are prohibited to stay. Foreign tourists are allowed to go to the Himalayan peaks including Gangotri, Gomukh and Tapovan, but they are forbidden to stay in Harsil.
SATELLITES ON GROUND
At seven kilometers from Harsil, the visual of seven locks is astonishing. They are called satellites. Mountains, skies and the shadows of the clouds are shivering in the lamps of lakes. These lakes spread over an altitude of 9000 feet. Once you reach these lakes, you can see the obscure and beholden phase of nature soaring high. By reaching here, you can roam around the wide golden edges of the lake while listening to the sounds of nature.
BEST TIME TO VISIT THE CHINE
Harsil can be easily accessed from April to October. Due to heavy snowfall from November to March, there are only a few tourists. The beauty of Harsil blooms during those months. When the hills and trees are loaded with snow, the calm nature of Bhagirathi is worth seeing in these months.
But during November-December, when the ice sheet is frozen like a timeless moment, you can see the rising beauty of the city. If you’re a lover of snowfalls, these days are meant for you!
PACK THE BAGS HERE WE GO…
You should know the drill before initiating the journey to hillsides – always carry warm clothes! Here, you can get clean and cheap hotels easily available for dinner/stays, and are tailored according to your budget. There are bungalows, lodges, and local private hotels too for your stay at Harsil. They have adequate food and water facilities available. Passengers traveling to Gangotri can pause here for a while to rest and live a beautiful little world waiting for them to explore!
SO TIE THE LACES, PACK THE BAGS
AS YOU’LL BE SET-ABACK
WITH THIS DRILL TO HARSIL