Harshil is situated in an attractive valley on the bank of the River Bhagirathi, at its confluence with Jalandhari Gadh with a major mountain as backdrop between the river and Baspa Valley in Himachal Pradesh. Several high altitude passes connect Harsil to this valley (i.e. the Lamkhaga Pass) and are used by pilgrims from H. P.Harshil is a small quaint one-lane town with very few residents. A narrow lane runs through it along the river bed south of the town centre and is bordered on both sides by wooden houses in typical and attractive local architectural style. Harsil is located on the old caravan trail between Tibet and India and trade and marriages have flourished between the two countries since times long gone. There is also a rather large mountain tribe population predominantly using Harsil as winter base.The town is dominated by a strong army presence and a permanent army camp is based here, due to the town’s proximity to the China border.
Harsil is well connected by road and there are several camping facilities along the river and in the forest in and around the place. It is an attractive small village with a reasonably good quality rest house attractively located on the river bank and reachable by a narrow pedestrian path from the town centre’s main “square”.
Harshil history is closely linked with an Englishman, Frederick Wilson, who came here in the early 19th century and introduced the then village community to potato and apple growing and even today one of Harsil’s main claims to fame is the high quality of the apples grown here. A major hindrance at least for international tourism is that no foreigner is allowed to stay overnight in the rest houses or one of the many small hotels and guesthouses. There very attractive here with good for ecotourism and both soft and hard adventure tourism.There are excellent treks into from here with quaint villages and hamlets along the way.
Harshil is located 43 km north of Bhatwari and 20 km south of Gangotri.