Not a lot of people are aware of this underrated destination in Uttarakhand, which engulfs you in its mystical charm. Harsil is a secluded village, home to picturesque views of the valleys and mountains. Located at an altitude of 2,745 m, this village in Harsil Valley Uttarakhand remains untouched by human development and other modernization aspects. So, witness the raw beauty of this destination by exploring the best places to visit in Harsil. Being the gateway to Gangotri, this destination should be on your bucket list when exploring the offbeat places.

Top 8 Places to Visit in Harsil: A Pilgrimage Amidst Serene Landscapes

This village in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand is one of the most famous pilgrimage destinations in the state. With the Bhagirathi River flowing through this village, it creates a serene atmosphere for everyone. From temples to riverbanks, and more, there are several places to visit near Harsil that demand your attention.

  1. Dharali: Embrace the Peaceful Atmosphere
  2. Mukhwas Village: Home to Goddess Ganga
  3. Wilson Cottage: Time Travel into the Colonial Era
  4. Gangnani: A Spiritual Retreat in the Mountains
  5. Gangotri Temple: A Magical Experience Awaits
  6. Dayara Bugyal: Clear Skies and Picturesque Views
  7. Dodital: Achieve a Meditative State of Mind
  8. Gaumukh: Witness the Starting Point of Ganga

1. Dharali: Embrace the Peaceful Atmosphere


This small hamlet in Harsil is one of the first places you should visit in this village, which is famous for its apple orchards and red bean cultivation. Surrounded by pine trees with Gangotri flowing through this destination, you’ll feel the peaceful aura seeping into your soul and relaxing your mind. You must also visit the popular Lord Shiva temple here, a replica of Kedarnath temple, with which several ancient tales are associated with it. For instance, it’s believed that Sage Bhagirath meditated here to pray for the Ganges to leave heaven and flow on earth. This temple is a testament to this tale.

Distance from Harsil: Approximately 7.0 km

How to reach: You can reach Dharali via car, buses, or shared cabs as the nearest motorable road here is 3 kms away from this place.

Best time to visit: October to November and March to June

Ideal for: All age groups


  • Seeking blessings at the Lord Shiva Temple
  • Wandering around the apple orchards

Travel tips

  • Explore more than just the famous tourist attractions
  • Wear comfortable footwear for a walking tour of this hamlet

Suggested Read: Top Things to Do in Kasauli: A Leisurely Gateway with Swift Excursions in the Mountains

2. Mukhwas Village: Home to Goddess Ganga

Mukhwas Village

The raw beauty of this village is one of the reasons why it’s a popular tourist attraction for many. Being the abode of Goddess Gangotri during winters due to heavy snowfall in the area, it’s truly a must visit place to feel the presence of the deities. One of the things to do in Uttarakhand, especially when the doors of the Gangotri temple are closed, is to offer your prayers to the Goddess here instead. On Diwali, the idol of Goddess Ganga is brought down to the temple with many devotees and the Army band of Garhwal Rifles. The two temples here, one made of Marble and the other made of brass and Deodar hold great significance here.

Distance from Harsil: Approximately 6.4 km

How to reach: You can either hire cabs/taxis or rent a car to reach this village from Harsil.

Best time to visit: September to October

Ideal for: All age groups


  • Being a part of the Gangotri Doli Yatra during Diwali
  • Feeling the calming presence of the Almighty

Travel tips

  • Check with the priest if you wish to visit the old temples here
  • Avoid visiting during monsoons and winter seasons

Suggested Read: Best Places to Visit in Rishikesh: Where Spirituality and Natural Beauty Meets

3. Wilson Cottage: Time Travel into the Colonial Era

Wilson Cottage
Image is only for reference

Named after Wilson, a deserter of the British Army, this cottage was built by him for his wife, Gulabi who belonged to the Mukhba village near Harsil. This double-storied house holds many stories of the couple and their three children. Several locals still remember their children and tell their tales to tourists. As you explore this cottage, you’ll find photographs of Wilson and Gulabi as well. However, one thing that stands out at this attraction is the surrounding beauty, highlighted by the greenery of Deodar trees, the gushing Bhagirathi River, and the chirping birds. You’ll feel closer to nature and your motive for escaping city life will be fulfilled here.

Distance from Harsil: Approximately 1.2 km

How to reach: One can easily reach this place by taxis and rental cars from Harsil.

Best time to visit: April to October

Ideal for: All age groups


  • The artefacts in this house that belongs to the bygone era
  • Sitting amidst the greenery and river views

Travel tips

  • You can pack trekking gear to go for nearby treks
  • Avoid touching artefacts to maintain their authenticity

Suggested Read: Places to Visit in Kanatal: Find Solace in the Picturesque Hamlet of Uttarakhand

4. Gangnani: A Spiritual Retreat in the Mountains


Achieve a meditative state of mind by visiting this spiritual destination in Gangnani, which is an ideal retreat for nature lovers and peace seekers. One of the things you must do when visiting this place is to relax in the thermal springs here. Several devotees prefer taking a dip in this warm holy water before heading off to Gangotri. It’s also believed that there’s a temple dedicated to Ved Vyas’ father, Sage Parasara. The breathtaking mountain views from here offer the perfect vantage point to view the various places to visit in Uttarakhand from a bird’s eye view. Indulge in meditation here as you find the environment acting as a catalyst during the spiritual process.

Distance from Harsil: Approximately 31.5 km

How to reach: A drive to Gangnani is possible from Harsil, but you can also hail a taxi for convenience.

Best time to visit: April to June

Ideal for: All age groups


  • A dip in the holy thermal springs here
  • The panoramic views of the city and mountains

Travel tips

  • Bring trekking gear if you wish to indulge in this activity
  • Carry warm layers to avoid getting cold

Suggested Read: Places to Visit in Auli: The White Pearl of Uttarakhand

5. Gangotri Temple: A Magical Experience Awaits

Gangotri Temple

The Chota Char Dham Pilgrimage of India is incomplete without visiting the Gangotri Temple, from where the holy Ganga River passes through. The temple is open for six months, so you’ll find many devotees visiting this place to offer their prayers and offerings to Ma Ganga. The origin of Ganga River, Gaumukh is around 19 km away from this temple, so you can trek to that destination as well for a complete experience. This religious place remains closed during winters due to heavy snowfall in the area. However, if you’re planning a trip to Uttarakhand, then this temple should be on your bucket list as one of the places to visit in India in summers.

Distance from Harsil: Approximately 25.7 km

How to reach: Taxi is the most convenient way to reach Gangotri Temple; however, you can rent a car as well.

Gangotri Temple best time to visit: May to June and September to October

Ideal for: All age groups, except infants


  • The serene and pious atmosphere of the temple
  • The rewarding journey to the temple in terms of scenic views

Travel tips

  • Respect the religious sentiments of people
  • Dress in decent clothes when visiting the temple

Suggested Read: Jyotirlingas in India: The Ultimate Source of Divine Grace

6. Dayara Bugyal: Clear Skies and Picturesque Views

Dayara Bugyal

To get the best views of the Himalayan range, visit Dayara Bugyal. Bugyal means “high altitude meadow” in the regional language and nothing can explain this destination better than this. Located at an altitude of around 3,048 m above sea level, this place offers panoramic views of the hill station and its surrounding beauty, making it one of the best tourist places near Harsil Valley. However, one thing that will stand out during your experience here is the Barnala Tal, which is a small natural lake. This place is also a popular trekking and camping destination, perfect for adventure seekers in search of thrill. The magnificent views against the charming backdrop are reason enough to visit this tourist place.

Distance from Harsil: Approximately 55.4 km

How to reach: You can take a car or hire a taxi up to Barsu Village and from there you must do a trek of around 8 km to reach the Bugyal.

Best time to visit Dayara Bugyal: March and April

Ideal for: All age groups, except infants


  • The beauty of Barnala Tal natural lake
  • The thrill of trekking and camping at a high altitude
  • An easy trek to the top amidst gorgeous scenery

Travel tips:

  • Camp near the Shepherd herds 1 km before the Bugyal in winters
  • Consider trekking further to Bakaria Top for a beautiful sunset

Suggested Read: Places to Visit in Spiti Valley: Exploring the Adorned Natural Wonders of Spiti

7. Dodital: Achieve a Meditative State of Mind


This hidden gem in Uttarakhand is a famous destination among the places to visit in India with its serene and mesmerizing environs. What makes this attraction one of the most iconic tourist places near Harsil is that it's a freshwater lake, home to the rare Himalayan Trouts. There are several legends behind the name of this place, for instance, in the local language, trout is referred to as Dodi; thus, its name, Dodital. As per another legend, sage Dodi used to meditate near this lake; therefore, it was named so, and many more such myths. This place is no less than a movie set with glistening lake water surrounded by lush greenery from all sides and mountain views in the distance. So, when visiting Uttarakhand, don’t miss out on this gem.

Distance from Harsil: Approximately 25.6 km

How to reach: Taxis or rentals cars can take you up to a certain point in Uttarakhand from where you must trek uphill to reach this lake.

Best time for Dodital:  May to June and September to November

Ideal for: All age groups, except infants


  • The presence of rare Himalayan trouts in the lake
  • The magnificent views of the Himalayan range

Travel tips

  • Carry the right trekking gear for this easy to moderate trek
  • Dress in layers to avoid the cold as the altitude increases
  • Acclimatize yourself to the high altitude gradually

Suggested Read: Treks in India that Should be on Every Adventurer’s Bucket List

8. Gaumukh: Witness the Starting Point of Ganga


Since we’ve covered Gangotri Temple as one of the places to visit in Harsil, it’s imperative to visit the Gaumukh as well. The origin of Bhagirathi River (also known as Ganga before merging with Alaknanda River at Devprayag) begins from here after Lord Shiva released her from his hair locks. Being one of the holiest lands in Uttarakhand, a pilgrimage trek to this destination is a must. Harsil sightseeing always includes Gaumukh as one of the highlights since this is the second largest glacier in India. What makes visiting this place a rewarding experience is the trek to it. Gangotri Temple is the base camp of the trek from where you must walk uphill to this destination.

Distance from Harsil: Approximately 35.1 km

How to reach Gaumukh: You can travel by car or taxi till Gangotri Temple and then trek the rest of the way to Gaumukh.

Best time to visit Gaumukh Glacier: May to October

Ideal for: Young and middle-aged travelers


  • The enchanting views of the glacier and Himalayas
  • The gushing Bhagirathi River flowing in serenity
  • Seeking blessings at the Gangotri Temple

Travel tips:

  • Prepare for trekking beforehand as it's a moderately difficult route
  • Consider hiring a trekking guide for a safe experience
  • Avoid visiting in monsoon season due to slippery paths
  • Trek in a group of 2 or more for safety reasons
  • Embark on the trek with the right trekking gear and suitable clothes

Suggested Read: Things to Do in Rishikesh: A Town Synonymous for Adventure

Additional Information about Harsil

Location: Village in Uttarakhand

Altitude: Around 2,745 m


  • Summers - Max – 22 degree Celsius, Min - 9 degrees Celsius
  • Winters – Max – 10 degree Celsius, Min – 0 degree Celsius

Nearest domestic airport: Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun

Nearest International airport: Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi

Nearest railway station: Rishikesh Railway Station

How to reach:

  • By Air: You can take a flight to IGI Airport in Delhi if traveling internationally and then travel via road the rest of the way. You could also take a connecting flight to Jolly Grant Airport or a direct flight if flying domestically.
  • By Road: Buses and taxis travel from nearby cities, like Delhi, Dehradun, etc. in India to Harsil. You can also drive there on your own from these cities.
  • By Train: You can board a train to Rishikesh Railway Station, which is the nearest station to this village. You can travel by public transportation the rest of the way.

Harsil best time to visit: April to June and September to October

Highlights: Picturesque mountains, lakes, and temples

Places to visit near Harsil: Uttarkashi, Rishikesh, Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri

Trekking trails in Harsil: Gaumukh Tapovan Trek, Dharali to Dodital Trek

Harsil isn’t a well-known tourist destination, but with the evolution in demands of travelers, the focus is turning more towards these underrated places. So, if you’re in search of off-the-radar tourist sites, then embark on a trip to Uttarakhand and explore these places to visit in Harsil. This unspoiled village houses several famous pilgrimage sites, with the significant one being the Gangotri Temple. So, the next time you’re planning a trip to the mountain side, don’t forget this incredible destination and book our Uttarakhand tour packages to make the most of your time here.

Places to Visit in Harsil FAQs

Q1. What is Harsil famous for?

Harsil is famous for its apple orchards and red bean cultivation. Apart from that, its unspoiled natural beauty takes the cake.

Q2. Is it worth going to Harsil?

It’s worth going to Harsil if you’re looking for a peaceful escape into the hills. The picturesque views and breathtaking attractions here offer the most memorable moments to cherish.

Q3. How many days are enough for Harsil?

4 to 5 days are enough to explore Harsil in the best way possible. From trekking to the highest points in this village to seeking blessings at the ancient temples, you can do it all in this period.

Q4. How far is Harsil from Gangotri Temple?

Harsil is around 25.7 km away from Gangotri Temple. This is the highest temple built for Goddess Ganga.

Q5. Which hot spring is near Harsil?

Gangnani is a famous thermal hot spring near Harsil, which is famous for its holy water. Travelers take a dip in this hot spring before visiting Gangotri.

Q6. Which river flows in Harsil?

Bhagirathi River, which originates from Gaumukh, which is around 35.1 km away from Harsil, flows through this village.

Q7. What should I know about the Gaumukh trek?

Some of the things you must know about this trek are -

  • It’s a 19 km trek from Gangotri Temple to Gaumukh
  • May to October is the perfect time to trek
  • Gangotri Temple is the base camp of this trek
  • Only 100 people can trek here once a day
Q8. Is there snowfall in Harsil Valley?

Yes, Harsil tourist places receive snowfall during winters with some of the places closing due to heavy snowfall, such as Gangotri Temple.

Q9. Which railway station is near to Harsil Valley?

Rishikesh Railway Station is the nearest one to Harsil Valley, located around 240 km away from the destination.

Q10. Which mountains are visible from Harsil?

Three Himalayan peaks, namely Gangotri, Draupadi ka Danda, and Jaonli are visible from Harsil.