Harsil: Hidden jewel of Uttarakhand

This time I was suffering from a sty and my family doctor suggested either you take rest at home or go out of the city life. It was a Fridayevening when my sister-in-law and my wife asked my opinion and without giving it a second thought I said, “I want to see snow clad mountains, chahe aankh thik ho ya nah ho”. In next 10 minutes, we zeroed down for Uttarkashi-Gangotri road trip. We (4 person) started at 10:30 PM from Delhi and followed the Rishikesh route. By 4:00 a.m., we crossed Haridwar and then the main decision was taken on making a base and hotel. My wife had a list of places to explore in Uttarakhand. We wanted a secluded place hence Harsil became our first choice. It’s a small village on the way to Gangotri on the banks of historic Bhagirathi River.

The moment we reached the first check post, we were stopped by the vigilant asking us whether we have permission to visit holy Gangotri. I was unhesitant, loud and clear that we are photographers and heading towards Harsil for a project, period. No further questions were asked and the gates were opened. We took a halt for natures call and what we saw around was unforgettable, sky full of tiny stars and lights below making a dream scene. It was again that moment where I felt not to click but to enjoy the moment. After half an hour of drive, we were lost in the hills as the route we followed was affected by landslide and we were unable to figure out the correct road. Little apprehensive of the road ahead, we stopped. Because of my previous experience in Triund and Ladakh, somewhere I had this in mind that someone will definitely come to help us but this time of the day … I was right, there came life saver cab. The driver told us to follow the other route which directly went to Chamba. We followed the cab till it turned to follow the route to Dehradun (assuming as he was going to Dehradun). We finally managed to reach Chamba in 2 hours, had tea, refilled our petrol tank and carried on the journey.

Now we were in the lap of Himalayas in the perfect setup – weather, sunrise and the surroundings. It was only after few hours of drive we realized that we needed to eat something and what could be better than desi aaloo parathas from a local dhaba at Sunagar. On this picturesque route to Harsil, we witnessed variety of flora and fauna including the waterfall of Tehri. Tip: get your vehicle registered at Gangnani. Finally, we reached Harsil at 12:30PM. Much to our delight, the accommodation we chose was on the banks of river Bhagirathi and had a clear view of snow clad Himalayas. We had desi lunch and then explored the nearest village. Witnessed beautiful sceneries, animals, river, rare brown trout fish, local villagers, their respective culture, traditions, the history and the unlimited stories of bear, snow leopard, treks, milkyway etc…. These three days of complete solitude in the lap of Mother Nature will be cherished for a long time now. Would love to revisit this place to relish its beauty and charm for a longer duration. (Visit http://www.jaithakur.in for more details)

 

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