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Harshil (also known as Mini Switzerland of India) is a village in a valley situated in on the bank of Bhagirathi River, at the confluence of the Jalandhari Gadh and the Bhagirathi, at the foot of the mountain that lies at the head of the Baspa Valley (Uttarakhand). Harshil is connected to the Baspa valley by several passes including the Lamkhaga Pass. Apart from Matri and Kailash mountains, on the right side there is the Shrikanth peak, behind which lies Kedarnath, and in the rear there is Banderpunch. The hamlet is known for its natural environment and apple production.
Harshil is on the route to Gangotri, a Hindu temple, and is well connected by road, with several camping facilities in the area. Harshil is 95 kilometres from the district headquarters, Uttarkashi.
Harshil lies on the old caravan trail between Tibet Autonomous Region and India, when trade and marriages flourished between the two areas. Harshil has a sizable Bhotia population, many of whom use Harshil as their winter base.
A local legend says that Harshil got its name because the rivers Bhagirathi and the Jalandhari once had an argument about which was more important. Lord Vishnu, also known as Hari, was asked to intervene. He turned himself into a great stone, a shila, and absorbed their anger. Even today, after Hari-shila (or Harshil), the waters of the two rivers become a little less turbulent.
Britisher settler Fredrick Wilson arrived in Harshil in the early 19th century and introduced the residents to potato and apple-growing. Today Harshil's apples are well known throughout the region.