Tag Archives: Harsil

The 2017 Travel Stories: Flashback

The year 2018 has already begun and our travel tales and road trips too. But we can’t start the new tales without reviewing the tales of the year 2017.  So, this post is all about the 2017 travel stories, just as we have the travel book for the year 2016.

We started our travel and lifestyle blog AllGudThings in September 2016 without thinking how the things will move for us and will we actually survive in this blogging race. And look today we are surviving and have come this far, writing 2017 travel stories, and are much positive for the year 2018.

2017 Travel Stories

The year 2017 was like a roller coaster for us. We bought our house, reached our dream destinations, did several trips both personal and professional, learned so much new in blogging and on the other side fought with medical issues and lost our dear ones in between. So, it was a year where we saw both highs and lows. But as Lord Buddha quotes “Without rain, nothing grows, learn to embrace the storms of your life”; so we accepted every up and down graciously and kept on moving.

In the year 2017, we never targeted where we wanted to see ALLGUDTHINGS but now we are clearer. We have set up our targets for 2018 to write more strategically, be more social and learn to monetize the blog in a better way. And the travel stories of 2017 are epic, so let’s have a look at them.

January 2017

Snow Trip with Parents to Shimla

Just after welcoming 2017 and shifting to our own place, we took a break and did a personal road trip to beautiful Shimla. The colonial town was painted in white by nature and we saw our parents living their childhood. The rich heritage & culture of Shimla introduced us to a Himachali scarf known as Dhatu or Rahide. Check about Dhatu here: Shimla Trip in style with Dhatu as a fashion accessory.


February – March 2017

Visit to the Highest Dam in India – Tehri Dam

In the last week of February, we visited Koteshwar and Tehri Dam for professional work. The holiday started after work and it continued until the first week of March. From Tehri, we took a detour to visit Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand, which proved to be a lot more than the entrance to the Char Dhams of India. Further, the trip continued to Harsil, Gangotri and ending at Mussorie.


The whole trip was an experience in itself as we visited one of the Char Dhams, saw second time snowfall in a row, learned about Mani stones and for the first time stayed in the hostel. You must check the Backpackers must carry essentials for a Hostel stay here.


April 2017

An hour of Patriotism at Hussainiwala Border

In April 2017 we visited our home in Punjab and for the first time we, saw the flag retreat ceremony at Hussainiwala Border, Firozpur. It was an hour of Patriotism, filled with deep emotions where just a white line and gate demarcated our country India from Pakistan.


May 2017

Road Trip to Badrinath Dhams and the Last Indian Mana Village

In May 2017, our parents were with us, so we planned another personal road trip to the sacred temple Badrinath Dham. From here itself we further visited the last village near Indo China border Mana Village and checked out the lush green skiing slopes of Auli in summers.


This was another remarkable and memorable trip of the year.

June 2017

June was the one month when we were actually at home and were fiddling with the ups and downs around.

July – August 2017

Dream Trip to Leh Ladakh

After a lot of stress, we really needed a long break. So, we did a 13 day long Leh Ladakh road trip from Delhi. Ladakh is also known as the land of high Passes. We took the circuit road trip at our own pace without rushing to the destinations. We checked the attractions on Srinagar Leh highway, explored hidden Leh Ladakh palaces, walked and talked with the soldier at Kargil War Memorial, got lost in the Leh Palace and tranquilized in the serenity of Hemis Monastery.


We saw Bactrian Camels and reflection of the Himalayas in the Nubra valley, did off-roading and slept in tents near high altitude lakes like Tso Kar, Pangong Tso, and Tso Moriri.


Do remember, you need Inner Line Permit for entering the sensitive zones in Leh Ladakh.

September 2017

Heritage Walk in the Historical Town, Mahabalipuram

After a year of blogging, we did our first FAM trip to Chariot Beach resort and explored Mahabalipuram, in Tamil Nadu to its best. The UNESCO monuments, monolithic structures, and caves, shore temple left us completely stunned with its beauty.


October 2017

October the month of festivals in India, we decided to take a break from travels and celebrate each one of them at our new place, with our parents.

November 2017

Road trip to the colonial town: Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand

In November 2017, we did another FAM trip with Club Ten Pine Lodge to the colonial Mukteshwar town in Uttarakhand. We got lost in the beauty of Himalayan peaks during sunrise and sunsets; & trekked to explore the hidden gem – Bhalu Gaad waterfall.


December 2017

Road Trip to Kasauli & Rajasthan

The last month of the year is always special as it is Tashi‘s birthday and we celebrated it in the hills of Kasauli. The last month also put us into the thoughts of our activities and achievements for the previous year. But simultaneously we also start deciding the place to celebrate the coming New Year. And, this year we decided to end 2017 and welcome 2018, in Rajasthan exploring the Sariska Tiger Reserve and one of the most haunted places in India – Bhangarh Fort. The stories are yet to come, so tuned.


Conclusion: 2017 Travel Stories

That was our 2017 travel stories. It seems like a year was dedicated to the road trips especially to the hills traversing Himachal, Uttarakhand and Leh Ladakh. Overall, we did 9 trips, including personal, professional and FAM trips extending from 4 days to 15 days covering multiple destinations. We are really grateful as we got good health & the opportunity to make these trips and write 2017 travel stories. We wish to travel more and continue the travel stories in 2018.

Thanks for taking out the time to read our travel stories. Have the wonderful year 2018 ahead…
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Harsil: The Virgin Village of Uttarakhand

When I say, Harsil the virgin village of Uttarakhand, I don’t mean the villagers don’t like themselves or their surroundings being touched as it is in Malana village of Himachal.  But the word virgin here means the village is unpolluted; not destroyed, has retained its natural beauty and traditional culture. The Harsil Village of Uttarakhand is serene and it has not been influenced by the fast developing urbanization and civilization. I actually had a feeling that Thank God! at least this village is saved.


Village Harsil, Uttarakhand
First Glimpse of Village Harsil

The dense lush slopes of deodar trees encapsulated the Harsil village from all sides; the clear bluish green River Gangotri make its own way amidst the village and snow capped peaks kissing the blue sky makes the village look abode in heaven.

The Harsil Village

The Village Harsil lies at an altitude of 7860 feet and is located 70 Km ahead of Uttarakashi and 23 km before Gangotri on the Uttarkashi – Gangotri Highway. Harsil is an army cantonment area with only a few houses, guest houses, small market and local Dhabas.

Harsil Village, Uttarakhand
Source: https://www.yogeshsarkar.com/

How to reach Harsil

Route from Delhi: Delhi – Noida – Muzaffarnagar – Roorkee- Haridwar – Rishikesh- Uttarkashi – Harshil

Time to reach from Delhi: 13 -15 hrs by road.  By air, one can fly to Dehradun Airport (Jolly Grant) and from there the rest journey till Harsil Valley can be covered in 6-7 hrs by car.

Advised Stoppages:  At least one-night stoppage is advised for Harsil if you are driving by car. One can opt to stop either at Haridwar or Rishikesh. That covers almost half of the journey. We stopped at Uttarkashi, which covered  3/4th of the total distance. You can read my Uttarkashi post-Uttarkashi post here.

Best Season to Travel: April – June and September to October (full season); November – March (offseason)

Expected Temperature: In Summers temperature day temperature varies between 10 -15 degree Celsius and night can go till 7-8 degree Celsius whereas in winters the day temperature is between 0-10 degree Celsius and at nights it can dip too low as – 5 degree Celsius or more.


Interesting History Behind Village Harsil

The Village Harsil is famous for Raja or Pahadi “Wilson” whose original name was Frederick. E. Wilson. He deserted the British army and escaped into the Garhwal mountains. While rescuing he landed at a remote beautiful village Harsil; where he married a beautiful Pahadi girl and got settled. For his living, he started selling huge deodar trees/wood to Britishers by floating them in the river. This was sold for railway construction. By selling these rail sleepers he became so powerful that he started his own currency coins which were even available with the locals till the 1930s.

Wilson Forest Guest House at Harsil Village, Uttarakhand
Wilson House

He too built his own mansion a Wilson Cottage at a beautiful location. The cottage is just located after crossing the bridge which later on caught fire and got turned into ruins. Now the cottage has been restored by Forest Department and converted into Forest Guest House.

Wilson Mansion at Harsil Village in Uttarakhand
The Wilson House

Attractions of Village Harsil

On walking ahead of the Wilson cottage there is a wide river which was almost dry during my visit but locals told in summers it is filled with one of the purest and cleanest waters. The water of this river has medicinal properties as it is rich in minerals and digestive enzymes.

River passing inbetween village Harsil and Bagori - Harsil Village, Uttarakhand


Keep following the trail ahead for almost 1- 1.5 km and there is another small village Bagori having traditional wooden Pahadi row houses. I simply loved these houses, they look so homely. During my visit in February the whole village was closed, I mean locked (I have actually never seen anything like that). There was not even a single human except some Pahadi dogs which were our companions till Buddhist Monastery. Honestly, it was scary too.

The way to village Bagori - in Harsil Valley of Uttarakhand
Trail to Village Bagori

From the river itself, there were few more trails going up the mountains which looked adventurous but I was advised by my guest caretaker not to explore them in the late evening.

On the other side of the bridge crossing the cantonment offices, there is a trail going to another religiously famous Village Mukhwa.

Village Mukhwa near Harsil Village, Uttarakhand
The Village Mukhwa

In off season/winters; when the main Gangotri Temple is closed, the deities of Goddess Gangotri are brought down here in the village temple, so the Village Mukhwa is a winter abode of Maa Gangotri.

The Village Mukhwa is abode of Goddess Gangotri in Winters - near village HarsilThis village lies almost 3 km from the village Harsil and the views from here are breathtaking.

The views from Village Mukhwa near Harsil are breath taking
Breathtaking views from village Mukhwa

One can hike ( bit steep) or go by car, as the road is motorable. I went by car but personally recommend to go hiking, if you can to get the mesmerizing views of nature.


Places to stay in Harsil

There are few guesthouses and hotels in Harsil. All of them are fully equipped and operational during the seasons but the problem arises during offseason. During my off season visit, only two of them were operational – GMVNL and Sunder Guesthouse. So, first, we checked the stay option with GMVNL (Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd) and I didn’t like the rooms. They were smelly as well as not at all cozy; which was must require for the dipping temperatures in Harsil. So, we headed to the Sunder Guest House. The attendant here was welcoming and he helped us out in every way. He even took the pain of preparing fresh food with the selected vegetables available in the market. Don’t expect that you can get all type of food and vegetable. So, relish your tongue with the limited options only. Even the place and rooms were warm, cozy and comfortable.

Sunder Guest House in Village Harsil
Sunder Guest House, Harsil

Overall this small village is an incredible gem in the lap of nature. It bestowed me in every sense and I wish to go back to explore the left out trails.


  1. Always carry some of the woolens as temperatures are low in this belt of Uttarakhand and they can further dip anytime.
  2. In offseason, the whole of villages is locked. So refer locals about the available accommodation and food options.
  3. Always keep some snacks handy for the way, as there are not much-running Dhabas during offseason.
  4. The food options and Vegetables available are very limited at these altitudes, so eat whatever you get. Sometimes you need to kill your taste buds too.
  5. Do carry a small heater or hot water bottle if you feel excess cold.
  6. Avoid driving if there is old snow on the road. Your car/ Bike can slip and put you into trouble for life.
  7. Check the weather conditions with locals before heading ahead on this route.
  8. Be slow while driving as at point the road is for a single vehicle. There is no race going and you won’t be rewarded for anything.


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Harsil: The Virgin Village of Uttarakhand