Ensconced amidst the most serene places in the northern part of India, the state of Uttarakhand is witness to the most heavenly paradise on earth in this part of the world. With the hills forming the major background here the hills and the flow of the River Ganges renders this a very beautiful region and it is thus rightly called the “Yoga Capital of the World”. Sometime back in the 1960s, R...
Nestled amidst the pristine natural surroundings of the majestic Himalayas and on the banks of the holy river of Ganga, the quiet hamlet of Dharali is so beautiful that it seems like a scene right out of a fairy tale book. The town is extremely popular for its glistening apple orchards and for being one of the most remote and untouched destinations in Uttarakhand. It shares almost the same beauty features as the stunning village of Harsil which is situated at a distance of 6 kms. Visiting this place will give you the perfect opportunity for self-discovery and taking some time off from the rat race of the city life. The environment here is filled with a deep sense of spiritualism which blends peacefully and perfectly with the picturesque landscape that offers the visitors a unique time.
This beautiful village is placed right amidst the lap of bountiful nature on an altitude of 2,680 metres above sea level and is wedged in between two of the most scenic hamlets of Uttarkashi and Gangotri. It also falls 20 kms before Gangotri Dham and 3 kms right after Harsil. The national highway makes its way through this magnificent village. The entire town is lined by the fast flowing Bhagirathi River that offer some of the most scenic views for visitors. Flanked by two lush green mountains this sleepy hamlet is located on the perfect place for a thriving environment.
Route map from rishikesh: Rishikesh – Chamba – Dharasu – Uttarkashi – Bhatwari – Gangnani – Harsil – Dharali
By Road – If you are planning on visiting Dharali by road then from Rishikesh you will be covering a journey of almost 8 hours. You can opt to go via a state bus or hire a cab or taxi as per your budget, need and convenience. You will be following the above given route map from Rishikesh to Dharali.
By Rail – The nearest railway station to Dharali is situated in Rishikesh at a distance of 7.5 hours and it also caters to a number of trains from various different parts of India. Once you get off the train you will be able to hire cabs, taxis or buses heading for Dharali which will drop you at the dharali bus stand.
By Flight – The nearest airport for Dharali is situated in Dehradun which is Jolly Grant at a distance of 7.5 hours. After de boarding from the flight journey you will be able to hire a cab or a taxi service and head on for Dharali.
Places to Stay
Being of importance during the pilgrimage season Dharali has a number of options for you to stay that are clean, spacious and budget friendly. There are government guesthouses from GMVN along with other lodges, homestays and good quality hotels as well. If you are looking for an even cheaper option then there are ashrams and Dharamshalas available as well. They offer dorm room like stay options at the cheapest rates and they also delectable food options at reasonable rates. The budget hotel price ranges from Rs.700/- to Rs.1,000/- whereas there are also some high priced accommodations options for which the prices range between Rs.2,000/- and could go as high as Rs.4,000/-. You will be able to find a cheap hotel that will fall under your budget.
Nearby Places of Attraction
Being situated amongst some of the most scenic environment in Uttarakhand Dharali offers a plethora of places for a tourist to explore and rejuvenate themselves. Here are some places around Dharali that you can visit:
Nelang (Nelong) Valley (32.7 km)
This is one of the several hidden valleys and well-kept secrets of Uttarakhand. The number of people visiting to this almost barren mountain used to be a very old trading root between India and Tibet and a wooden bridge marks its presence and can still be seen today. Due to limited and regulated tourism this valley remains remote and untouched and offers an eerie feeling. Even staying here at night is not permitted and you are only allowed to explore the place after getting a permit from the forest department.
Harsil (6.4 km)
The scenic hamlet of Harsil is one of the most underrated hill stations in Uttarakhand. With large mountains towering the tiny hamlet and covered in lush greenery this place is the best place to have a spiritual experience. People generally choose to stay at Harsil during their Chardham Yatra to Gangotri. The glistening Bhagirathi River that makes her way through the town only adds on to her beauty.
Swami Sundaranand Viewpoint
This is a simple viewpoint which is marked with a stone on the NH 108 highway close to Harsil. The spot is dedicated to the Swami Sundaranand who is a yogi, philosopher and an advocate for fighting against the adverse effects of global warming on the Himalayas and other glaciers. This place offers stunning panoramic views of the snow-capped mountain peaks in front along with Bhagirathi River flowing gracefully through it.
Trek to Kedar Tal (21.2 km)
Trekking to Kedar Tal is one of the most exhilarating expedition amongst the towering snow-clad mountain peaks. Dharali is made the base camp for further trekking journey to the magnificent high altitude lake of Kedar Tal. The journey is treacherous and a difficult one which will require your maximum effort and dedication. The journey will take you through Bhaironghati, Bhoj Kharak, Kedar Kharak and then finally to Kedar Tal.
Dharali just like Harsil experiences the high altitude Himalayan weather conditions which are as follows:
Summer Season (April – June) – The mornings are sunny, bright but pleasant and comfortable giving you the perfect opportunity for you and your family to explore some nearby amazing places. The average temperature experienced throughout the day ranges between 15 to 25 degree Celsius.
Monsoon Season (July – September) – This season should definitely be witnessed at least once in a lifetime. The weather changes and the temperature also experiences a drop. During torrential rains you should not make any plans to travel since it may be a hazard due to unexpected rainfalls and landslides.
Winter Season (October – March) – You can choose to have some Himalayan winter chill experience. You should remember to load up on all your woollens and winter wear properly. The place experiences some snowfall and the temperatures may also go to as low as 0 or even below zero.
Best Time to Visit
The summer seasons between March and June are the best time to visit. If you want to go on an exploring expedition then these are the months for you to visit where due to the season you won’t have to carry a large and heavy luggage which will allow you to have a fun time and explore more places as compared to during the winter season.