Harsil Valley Harsil Valley

Harsil Valley – Apple Orchards & Filmmakers

Harsil Valley is a rising star in travel choices. With its unique charm, Harsil promises a peaceful and relaxing retreat. Very close to New Delhi (500 kms) it is very popular for quick weekend getaways. Find out why it has become a favorite destination, offering an extraordinary and serene travel experience for all.

Where is Harsil Valley Located?

Harsil Valley is located in Uttarkashi district and offers serene beauty. Around 450 km from Delhi (12-13 hours by road) and approximately 245 km from Haridwar (7-8 hours). Harsil Valley serves as a peaceful retreat with the Bhagirathi River flowing through.

Location: Uttarkashi district in the state of Uttarakhand. 
Distance from Haridwar: 244 Kilometers
Distance from Gangotri: 26 Kilometers

What is The Altitude of Harsil?

Harsil is situated at an altitude of approximately 2,745 meters (9,006 feet) above sea level. The high altitude brings cool and refreshing climate for the region, making it a popular destination for people seeking a peaceful retreat in the Himalayan landscapes.

What is Harsil Valley Famous For ?

  • Harsil Valley is known for its Apple Orchards, which was introduced by a British settler Fredric E Wilson.
  • This was the place where legendary filmmaker Raj Kapoor had shot parts of his super-hit movie Ram Teri Ganga Maili. 
  • Nelong Valley is another touristy area in the neighborhood of Harsil which shares its boundaries with Tibet region. 

History of Harsil’s Apple Orchards

The history of apple farming in Harsil dates back to the early 19th century when a British settler named Fredric E Wilson introduced apple farming to the area.

  • Wilson was captivated by the beauty of Harsil and a local girl, which motivated him to stay in the village and start apple farming.
  • Today, Harsil produces some of the finest apples in India and is a popular destination for tourists to witness the apple orchards and learn about the fascinating story behind them.

How Apple Festival is Celebrated in Harsil ?

This annual event celebrates the ruby red apples grown in the terrace fields of Harsil. The festival not only provides an opportunity to try the delicious apples of Harsil, but it also offers a chance to explore the natural beauty of the region surrounded by snow-capped mountains, pine forests, and the Bhagirathi river.

  • The Harsil Apple Festival was initiated by DM Ashish Chauhan in 2018 to promote tourism and apple cultivation in Harsil. 
  • The festival aims to support the local farmers who grow apples in the region and showcase their products to the visitors.
  • It has become a platform for the farmers to interact with buyers, network, and sell their produce.
  • The festival also provides a unique opportunity for visitors to learn about the region’s rich cultural heritage.

Is it Worth Going to Harsil?

Absolutely YES, Harsil valley is a beautiful place surrounded by the Bhagirathi River and stunning mountains. Perfect for nature lovers, especially from April to June when the weather is pleasant. You can visit these beautiful places when in Harsil Valley.

  • Mukhwa Village: A village with traditional wooden houses.
  • Wilson Cottage: A historical site with British architecture.
  • Sattal: A cluster of seven lakes surrounded by deodar trees.
  • Dharali: Popularly famous for its scenic apple orchards.
  • Gangotri: One of the Dham in Chota Char Dham Gangotri Temple.
  • Bhagirathi Shila: A sacred rock near Gangotri associated with Lord Rama.

These attractions offer a mix of cultural, historical, and natural wonders for visitors to explore in Harsil Valley.

What is The Best Time to Visit Harsil Valley?

Harsil Valley welcomes visitors all year round. However, the most enjoyable times to visit are from April to June. During these months, the weather is pleasant, not too cold or hot, making it a great time for travel.

  • Winters in Harsil Valley:
    • Nights drop to 0 degrees Celsius, days at 10 degrees Celsius.
    • January and February bring heavy snow, with road closures at times.
    • Snowfall peaks in early February, melting gradually in March.
  • A Summer Retreat in Harsil Valley:
    • May and June bring the busiest time with temperatures around 20 degrees Celsius in the day and 10 degrees Celsius at night.
    • It’s when Harsil is buzzing with tourists enjoying the pleasant weather and vibrant surroundings.

Is There Snowfall in Harsil?

Yes, Harsil witnesses snowfall from November to March, transforming the region into a winter wonderland. The snow-covered landscapes offer a scenic experience for visitors who appreciate the beauty of cold, snowy environments.

When Does it Snow in Harsil ?

Snowfall in Harsil occurs between November and March, transforming the region into a snowy landscape. For those desiring a snowy experience, planning a visit during these winter months is recommended.

How Many Days Are Enough For Harsil?

A stay of 3 to 4 days is recommended to explore local attractions in Harsil Valley. One should definitely visit, Gartang Gali, Nelong Valley, Gangotri Temple, Mukhwa Village and Dharali. The total duration can be modified based on the acclimatization of weather since Harsil is at an altitude of 2745 meters.

How to Reach Harsil Valley?

  1. By Road: Harsil Valley is easily accessible via the national highway which connects to Dehradun, Rishikesh and Haridwar.
  2. By Air: Jolly Grant Airport Dehradun, approximately 245 kilometers from Harsil.
  3. By Railway: Rishikesh railway station, around 244 kilometers away, serves as the nearest railway station.

Why Harsil is a Filmmaker’s Paradise?

Besides drawing tourists, Harsil Valley has been a favorite spot for film shoots in Uttarakhand with a dozen films and web series choosing it as their backdrop. Famous movies like “Ram Teri Ganga Maili” showcased this village. This has not only popularised the region but also opened a new stream of income for the villagers of Harsil Valley.

Vlog by: Satyendra Routwar

Top 5 Places to Visit in Harsil Valley

  • Gangotri Temple
  • Gartang Gali
  • Nelong Valley
  • Dharali Village
  • Mukhba Village

Gangotri Temple:

Visiting Gangotri Temple is also a part of Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand. This town marks the origin of the Ganges River and the temple dedicated to Goddess Ganga is a place of worship. The Gangotri National Park nearby, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is perfect for nature lovers with its many different plants and animals.

Gangotri Temple

Gartang Gali:

Gartang Gali boasts a 150-year-old, 136-meter-long wooden staircase. Once a vital route for merchants trading between India and Tibet, the Gali fell into disuse after the Indo-China war in 1962. After a closure of 59 years, this adventurous trail reopened its doors to visitors in 2021. 

Nelong Valley:

Situated high up in the Himalayas near the Tibet border, Nelong Valley is a hidden gem. With its untouched beauty and wild scenery, it’s a special place for those who love nature and adventure, offering a unique and off-the-beaten-path experience.

Dharali Village:

Dharali, a charming little village close to Harsil, is renowned for its apple orchards. It provides a peek into the daily life of the locals. Explore the village at a relaxed pace, chat with the friendly residents, and savor delicious apples during the picking season.

Mukhba Village:

Mukhba Village, just 1km away from Harsil, becomes the winter abode of Goddess Gangotri. Since the Gangotri region faces heavy snowfall in winters, devotees gather at Mukhba to worship when the Gangotri temple doors are closed during this season.

Which Peaks Are Visible From Harsil?

  1. Shivling: Known for its iconic ice formation resembling Lord Shiva’s trident.
  2. Thalay Sagar: A striking peak in the Gangotri Group of peaks.
  3. Meru: Comprising three peaks – Meru East, Meru Central, and Meru West.
  4. Bhagirathi Massif: Encompassing several peaks, including Bhagirathi I, II, and III.

These snow-clad peaks contribute to the mesmerizing and picturesque landscapes that make Harsil a haven for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.

Harsil Village Tour in Uttrakhand

A Harsil village tour promises natural beauty and cultural richness in Harsil Valley, from Wilson House, echoing tales of a British Army deserter turned ruler. As you stroll through, encounter the Bhotia tribe in Vagori Village, showcasing their vibrant culture and traditional Garhwali wooden houses.

  • Distance of Harsil from New Delhi and Dehradun
    • Delhi to Harsil is 500 kms.
    • Dehradun to Harsil is 270 kms.
  • Must See Place in Harsil Valley
    • Wilson House and Vagori Village.
    • traditional Garhwali houses and the cultural richness of the Bhotia tribe.
  • Best Time to Visit
    • Best explored from April to June and September to October.
    • Pleasant weather for a serene experience.
  • Points to Note:
    • Harsil’s altitude is 2620 meters
    • Weather gets colder in nights

Where to Stay in Harsil?

In Harsil, you’ll find a variety of accommodation options like hotels, homestays, lodges, and cottages. One can also stay in Uttarkashi to find more comfortable hotel stays and resorts. These places offer a home-like experience with facilities such as free Wi-Fi, laundry, parking, and cab services. Here is the list of popular hotels in Harsil.

  • Hotel Harsil Retreat
  • Prakriti Retreat
  • Snow Pod Harsil

Harsil Valley Tour Package From New Delhi

Harsil Valley tour package from Delhi will cost you around 15k – 20k per person for 5 days, this includes transportation, accommodation and tours to key attractions like Gangotri, Mukhwa Village, and Nelong Valley. Day wise itinerary for the tour as below,

Day 1: Departure from Delhi

  • Morning departure from Delhi
  • Travel to Harsil with scenic views en route
  • Arrive in Harsil, check into the hotel
  • Evening at leisure

Day 2: Explore Mukhwa Village and Dharali

  • Visit Mukhwa Village with traditional wooden houses
  • Explore the scenic beauty of Dharali’s apple orchards
  • Return to Harsil for the night

Day 3: Excursion to Gartang Gali and Nelong Valley

  • Full-day excursion to Gartang Gali
  • Explore Nelong Valley’s unique landscapes
  • Return to Harsil in the evening

Day 4: Visit Gangotri Temple

  • Day trip to the sacred Gangotri Temple
  • Explore the spiritual and cultural significance
  • Return to Harsil for the night

Day 5: Departure to Delhi

  • Check out from the hotel
  • Travel back to Delhi with fond memories
  • Arrive in Delhi by evening

Uttarakhand’s Mission: Harsil on World Tourism

As of 2021, Harsil Valley, located near the Indo-China border in Uttarkashi district, was already capturing attention for its potential in wildlife and adventure tourism. Fast forward to the present, Harsil has been on a transformative journey, steadily developing day by day.

  • In 2021, Hindustan Times highlighted Harsil Valley, home to eight charming villages near the Indo-China border in Uttarkashi district.
  • The valley gained attention for its potential in wildlife and adventure tourism.
  • This signifies a promising future for Harsil, emerging as a sought-after destination.
  • Travelers are invited to explore the captivating landscapes and indulge in thrilling adventure experiences.

Yamunotri Temple

Gangotri Temple

Kedarnath Mandir – Know Before You Go

Badrinath Temple

Top 10 – Must See Places in Char Dham Yatra

Uttarakhand Trips
Uttarakhand Trips

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Open chat
Need More Info ?
Just Say Hi !