At a distance of 24 km from Gangotri, Harsil is a small beautiful village and a cantonment area on the way to Gangotri in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. It is situated on the banks of Bhagirathi River at an elevation of 2,620 m above sea level in Garhwal Himalayas.
This beautiful village is surrounded by snowcapped mountains, dense deodar and coniferous forests. Harsil is inhabited by a small number of Jadhs, an ethnic group of the Bhutiyas whose language bares a close resemblance to Tibetan.
Harsil has become popular in recent years with travel enthusiasts and nature lovers. It is a trekker's paradise, known to offer spectacular views of the Himalayan peaks and for its local apple orchards. Gangotri, Mukhba, Gangotri National Park and the Defense Agricultural Research Laboratory (DARL) are the important tourist attractions near Harsil. The idol of Goddess Ganga is brought down from Gangotri after Diwali and kept at Mukhba village near Harsil. It remains there throughout the winter when Gangotri is snowbound and inaccessible. Tourists also visit the village of Dharali located on the banks of the River Ganga which is widely known for its beautiful apple orchards. The Shiva Temple at Dharali is its prime attraction. A few kilometers from Harsil, Sattal is a cluster of seven lakes which is surrounded by breathtakingly beautiful nature. Sattal can be reached by 7 km trek from Harsil.
Harsil has limited accommodation options and there are a few budget hotels. The Char Dham Camp offers food and stay. Tourists can also stay at Dharali and Gangotri to visit Harsil.