Harshil valley itinerary will come in super handy for those looking to experience the pristine valley of Harshil. Perched at an altitude of 2600m, the valley of Harshil is nothing short of a Himalayan wonderland.
From adventure seekers to slow travelers, Harshil has something in the store for every kind of traveler.
Based on my travel and experience in the valley, I am curating this quirky Harshil valley itinerary which will be a mix of hiking & exploration.
Harshil Valley Itinerary – An Epic Journey In The Himalayas !
For this Harshil valley Itinerary, I have chosen Bagori village as the base and then listed out the excursions to several places of interests near Harshil.
Of course, you can stay at other villages like Dharali, But I feel Bagori acts as an excellent base villages to stay at in Harshil. In my personal opinion, Harshil market is too crowded with concrete structures all around.
Again, I feel that one at least needs a week to explore Harshil valley. This is the reason why I curated this quirky 10-day itinerary for Harshil. But feel free to skip or add days as per your convenience.
Board evening bus to Uttarkashi from Delhi.
Reach Uttarkashi and leave for Harshil. Overnight in Harshil or Bagori
Explore the beautiful Bagori village today and hike to Lama Top. Stay in Harshil or Bagori for the night
Head to the winter abode of Goddess Ganga which is around 4km from Harshil. Overnight in Harsil or Bagori
Today explore the truly rustic villages of Jhala, Purali and Jaspur from Harshil. Spend the night at Harshil or Bagori
Head to famous Gartang Gali. Overnight at Harshil or Bagori
Today you’ll be hiking to Satal near Dharali. Overnight stay in Harshil or Bagori
Visit the Gangotri Dham from Harshil. Overnight stay in Harshil or Bagori.
Visit the beautiful village of Cholmi. Overnight stay in Harshil or Bagori.
Start early from Harshil and reach Uttarkashi and further to Dehradun or Haridwar.
Arrive in Delhi early in the morning.
To reach Harshil, first you need to get to Uttarkashi town. Now there is no direct bus that will get you to Harhsil from Delhi. Now there are different ways you can reach Uttarkashi.
- Only during Char dham Yatra season you get buses for Gangotri (Harshil is some 25 km before Gangotri) directly from Haridwar. But you have to get to haridwar from Delhi.
- For the rest of the year, You first need to reach Uttarkashi from Delhi or Dehradun and then take a cab to Harshil. There is a direct bus to Uttarkashi from Delhi at 9.30 from ISBT Kashmiri gate. And it takes 17.5 hours.
- Alternatively you can reach Dehradun before 11 PM and then opt for overnight sharing cab which are press cars transporting newspapers across Garwhal but also ferry passengers.
By the way, if you are wondering why is harshil so famous or is it worth it, then are 7 epic reasons why Harshil is famous and absolutely worth the visit.
If you choose option 1, you’ll have to catch and early morning bus from Haridwar going towards Gangotri. The buses start at 4 am. But do note that this only during the Yatra season. You’ll reach Harshil in the evening.
If choose the option 2, then you’ll probably reach Uttarakashi by 2 pm. From Uttarakashi you will get sharing cabs or buses (only during Yatra season). You’ll probably reach Harshil by evening.
If you choose the 3rd option, you’ll reach Uttarkashi early in the morning. Post that you can hire the first sharing cab heading towards Harshil. You should probably reach by 10 am or 11 am.
Now whenever you reach Harshil, I would personally recommend you to stay at Bagori. There are a few homestays in Bagori. I stayed at The Harshil Homestay during my time in Harshil and absolutely loved it.
Bagori village is just 500 to 700 m from Harshil market where most of the hotels are located. But Harshil market didn’t appeal to me and staying at peaceful heritage village made more sense. So choose accordingly.
By the way, I stayed at The Harshil Homestay (+91 7060624324) in Bagori hosted by a mountaineer and a cyclist Sabita Mahota. I absolutely loved her hospitality and my time at her homestay.
Today you’ll be heading Lama Top one of the most picturesque spots in the whole Harshil valley with least effort. A steep 2.5 km hike amidst the towering pines will transport you to Lama top.
The hike to Lama although a bit steep is rewarding to say the least. The insane views of harshil horns, the surreal valley view with Bhagirathi river meandering along and impressive looking peaks makes it worth it.
So even if you are beginner I would suggest to strongly give Lama top a go, since the distance is under 3 km with mind-blowing views.
Once you are done with the Lama top. You can rest for a few hours. In the evening you can head out and explore the traditional homes in Bagori village and visit several temples located in Bagori.
Here is an interesting fact that you might not know. Gangotri, the actual abode of goddess ganga is only open to devotees in Summer and Autumn months.
As soon as the temperature plummet to sub-zero sometime in November, the Doli or of Goddess ganga is moved to Mukhwa or Mukhba village of Harshil valley.
Therefore, today you’ll be heading to explore the winter abode of goddess ganga. Apart from its religious significance, Mukhwa village is located in dreamy setting with impressive looking mountains all around.
If you have your vehicle, the you can reach Mukhwa via road from Harshil cantonment area. The distance is around 4 km from Harshil.
Alternatively you can make it a circuit hike. That is start from hike on road from Harshil and then descent down to Dharali village and get a shared cab or hike some 4 km back to Harshil.
The popularity of rustic villages like Bagori and Dharali often leaves villages like Jhala, Purali, Jaspur with lesser footfall. But trust me they are equally beautiful villages which are truly rustic.
A wide trail leads first to the village of Jhala from Bagori village near Harshil market. The constant company of river and snow mountains will make this hike truly enjoyable.
At one point on the hike, you have to cross a wooden bridge to navigate a rivulet and then climb up to the village of Jhala. At this point you can end the hike and head to main Gangotri road and head back to harshil.
Else if you have the energy to carry on, You can explore the villages of Purali and Jaspur which are not very far from Jhala.
The rustic traditional styled houses will leave you in awe with grand views of high mountains all around. There are several temples to be explored in these villages which give glimpse into Garwhali culture.
Depending on how much and how many villages you explore, the hike should not exceed more than 15 km.
Ancient trade route to Tibet via Nelong valley used to pass through Gartang Gali which was basically a wooden bridge. The aftermath of conflict with China meant that trade was closed and off limits to everyone until recently.
The bridge was restored and later thrown open to tourists a couple of years in order to promote and develop tourism in the area.
Unlike Nelong valley, visiting Gartang Gali does not require any permits and therefore has easier access. I personally could visit it since it was not opened yet.
Gartang Gali closes during the winters and opens only in Summers around May. So do keep this mind if you are visiting Harshil. You can return to Bagori village or Harshil market to spend the night.
Today you can head to another popular hiking trail in Harshil called Satal Hike. The hike which starts from the village of Dharali.
The hike is basically to several lakes perched above the village of Dharali. I personally could not go on this hike as there was too much snow at that point in time.
But if the conditions are favourable and if you have an inclination towards hiking you must visit Satal on your trip to Harshil valley in my opinion.
Else you can also head to Gangotri Dham for a day trip and return back to Harshil or bagori for the night.
Before bidding your goodbyes to Harshil, leap on to one last adventure to the village of Cholmi. With no road connectivity, the village of Cholmi offers a stunning view of the valley.
The hike commences from the main road exactly from the short cut way to Harshil. You’ll a see a wide path with railings climbing up amidst a pine forest.
The hike to Cholmi is a gradual climb amidst towering pine forests until you reach the base of the village. From there its a bit of a steep climb. The houses in Cholmi are scattered. So just wander around.
If you wish to go further, then there is a temple to the other side of the village for which you need to cross a bridge. Its easy to get confused in Cholmi so ask the locals for directions or go along with a local.
If you love to tread on off the beaten path, here are 47 lesser frequented places in Kullu that are absolutely gorgeous.
Leave Harshil early in the morning at around 7 am from Shared cabs. And you’ll reach Uttarkashi around 10-11 in the morning.
From Uttarkashi, try to board buses to Dehradun or Haridwar and try to reach either by evening. There is UTC bus from Uttarkashi to Dehradun at 12.30 PM. Also, Buses from private operators are available.
Shared cabs to Dehradun or Haridwar are also available from Uttarkashi. And if you happen to reach Dehradun or Haridwar before 11 pm, you’ll be able to get overnight buses to Delhi.
Else you can spend a night at Dehradun or Haridwar.
If you have boarded overnight bus to Delhi from Haridwar or Dehradun you’ll probably reach in the wee hours of the morning.
Else there are several morning buses from Haridwar and Dehradun that will drop you Delhi. As per the bus you have boarded you might reach Delhi in the afternoon or evening.
This brings me to the end of this blog. I hope this harshil valley itinerary helps you in your exploration of Harshil. And try to visit Harshil during March and April for crystal clear views and fewer people.
In case you have queries on Harshil valley itinerary drop them in the comments below. And I’ll be happy to answer them.