Harsil is a village and is situated at an elevation of 2,620 metres above the sea level. Harsil is also a cantonment area and is located on the banks of river Bhagirathi which is a tributary of river Ganga. The Harsil village falls in-route to Hindu pilgrimage center Gangotri and Uttarkashi in Indian state of Uttarakhand. Gangotri National Park is located at a distance of 30 kilometres from Harsil and is spread in an area of 1,533 square kilometres.
Harsil is famous for the cottage of Fredrick E. Wilson aka “Pahadi Wilson” and his stories. The village is also famous for its apple orchars and cultivation of kidney beans. There are many trekking trials from Harsil and it is famous for serenity and natural beauty.
Harsil is a place which is lesser known to tourists and is a perfect weekend getaway for those who are searching for peace and solitude. The village is nestled in a beautiful setting amidst the Himalayas offering a complete package for holiday makers. The pleasant summers and chilling winters make the trekking trials connected to Harsil more adventurous. Nature lovers would find this place an ideal place for a holiday. A trip of 2-3 days is good enough to visit the major attractions of Harsil and this makes it a good place to be visited in weekends.
Religious activities like the idol of Gangotri Dham being brought from there in winters which is done by a number of people and the army band of Garhwal Rifle and is an activity not to be missed, Nature walk, yoga, meditation and trekking are some other activities which can be done in Harsil.
There are not many restaurants located in Harsil. The major variety of food available is Indian food specially like home cooked food. The speciality of Harsil is kidney beans which is considered to be one of the best variety grow here.
There are not a lot of accommodations located in Harsil. The most famous is the Forest Guest House which is Wilson Cottage which is more than a decade old. Some Hotels of Harsil are Bhagirathi Sadan and Hotel Kalp Kedar.
The village of Harsil is famous because of the stories of Fredrick E. Wilson who was a deserter from the British Army and fell in love with a girl in this village. He Built a house popularly known as Wilson Cottage which is still in the village and is now the Forest Guest House.
After Diwali, the Deity of Gangotri Temple is brought to a temple in Mukhba Village and the day is celebrated with pomp where devotees and Army band follow the deity on the whole way. Festivals like Basant Panchmi, Diwali and Holi are also celebrated with great happiness in Harsil.