Kharsali is a village located in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is situated in the Uttarkashi district, which is known for its natural beauty and religious significance. The village is situated on the banks of the Yamuna river, and it is known for the Yamuna Mandir, a temple dedicated to the Hindu goddess Yamuna. It is believed that the temple was built by the Pandavas during their exile, according to Hindu mythology. It is considered to be one of the most holy and sacred places in Uttarakhand, and it is visited by thousands of devotees from all over India every year.
In addition to the temple, Kharsali is also known for its scenic beauty and natural surroundings. The village is situated in the foothills of the Himalayas, and it is surrounded by dense forests, snow-capped peaks, and sparkling rivers and streams. The place is also the base for trekking to various nearby peaks, which will give an mesmerizing experience of the Himalayas.
It’s surrounded by dense forests, snow-capped peaks, and sparkling rivers and streams, which makes it popular destination among trekkers.
The Kharsali village Yamuna temple serves as a temporary home for the idol of the goddess Yamuna during the winter months, when it is brought down in a ceremonial manner from the main temple, which is located about 1500 feet higher and becomes inaccessible due to snow.
The priests from the Yamunotri temple, who hail from the village of Kharsali, are responsible for conducting worship during this time. The idol is carried to the temple with great celebration during the Diwali festival, typically in October, and then returned to the main temple in the spring, usually in April, with much fanfare.
Places to visit in Kharsali Village
Kharsali village, located in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, is known for its scenic beauty, natural surroundings and its religious significance, here are some places that can be visited in the village:
- Yamuna Mandir: A temple dedicated to the Hindu goddess Yamuna, it is believed that the temple was built by the Pandavas during their exile. It is considered to be one of the most holy and sacred places in Uttarakhand, and it is visited by thousands of devotees from all over India every year.
- Trek to nearby peaks: Kharsali village is the base for trekking to various nearby peaks, which will give an mesmerizing experience of the Himalayas.
- Take a dip in the Yamuna river: Taking a dip in the river at this location is considered auspicious and can wash away one’s sins.
- Temple of Lord Shani: This temple is located a few kilometers away from Kharsali village, it’s dedicated to Lord Shani, one of the Navagraha(9 planets) in Hindu astrology.
- Explore the Surrounding Forests: the village is surrounded by dense forests, explore the natural beauty of the area, you might come across some exotic birds, animals and plants.
- Rural exploration: One can explore the local life of Kharsali, take a walk around the village, interact with the locals, learn about their customs and traditions.
Temple of Lord Shani kharsali
In Kharsali village, Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, there is a temple dedicated to Lord Shani, one of the Navagraha (9 planets) in Hindu astrology. It is believed that Lord Shani is the controller of fortunes and worshiped for removing obstacles and bestowing prosperity in life. It’s a small but beautiful temple, which attracts visitors all year round. The temple is located a few kilometers away from Kharsali village, as per tradition, it’s important to visit the Lord Shani temple before visiting other religious places, as it is believed that Lord Shani gives blessings and removes any obstacles that may hinder one’s journey.
It is customary to offer Lord Shani black sesame, oil and horse gram on Saturdays and it’s also considered auspicious to do so when people face difficult times and seek his blessings, the temple usually has a large number of devotees visiting on Saturdays and during the days of eclipses as it’s considered highly auspicious to worship Lord Shani during these days. The temple has its own significance in the local tradition and culture, it offers a great opportunity to get an insight into the village’s religious and cultural heritage.
Janki Chatti is a small village located in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is situated in the Yamunotri district, which is known for its natural beauty and religious significance. Janki Chatti is a starting point for the trek to the Yamunotri Temple, one of the four shrines in India’s Chhota Char Dham pilgrimage and the westernmost shrine in the Garhwal Himalayas. The trek can take around 4-6 hours and it is considered a moderate level of difficulty.
In Janki Chatti, there are many small dhabas and shops that sell basic necessities such as food, clothing, and camping equipment, it’s an ideal place to stock up on supplies before embarking on the trek. The village also has a few guesthouses and lodges where trekkers can spend the night before embarking on their journey.
Janki Chatti is surrounded by beautiful natural scenery, with the Yamuna river flowing nearby and the Himalayas rising in the background, making it a perfect place for nature and adventure enthusiasts. Visitors can also take a dip in the hot springs that are located near the Yamunotri Temple, which is considered to be the source of the Yamuna River, and is believed to have healing properties.
Dodital is a freshwater lake located in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is situated in the Garhwal region, at an altitude of 3,307 meters (10,862 feet) above sea level. The lake is surrounded by dense forests, with the beautiful Himalayan mountains in the background, making it a popular destination for trekkers and nature enthusiasts. The lake is also known for its rich biodiversity and is home to various species of fish and birds. The lake is considered as a sacred body of water and is associated with many Hindu legends and myths.
The lake is the source of the Assi Ganga River and it is believed to have been created by Lord Ganesha, and that the lake is home to many Ganas (minions) of Lord Ganesha. The lake is also said to be the abode of Lord Ganesha, and people visit the lake to seek blessings and make offerings to the Lord.
The lake can be reached by a moderate level trek of around 8 km from the nearest roadhead of Uttarkashi. The trek is a combination of beautiful alpine meadows, dense forests, and the snow-clad Himalayas, the trek is considered to be one of the most beautiful treks in the region and it’s usually done in two days. Dodital offers the perfect blend of natural beauty and spiritual significance, making it a must-visit place for nature lovers, trekkers and people seeking spiritual tranquility.
Kharsali to Dodital Distance is 12 kms.
Dwara Top is a location in Uttarakhand, India. It is a mountain pass that connects the Gangotri and Yamunotri valleys. It is located at an altitude of around 14,000 ft above sea level and it is considered to be a challenging trek due to its high altitude and steep inclines. The trek is surrounded by beautiful natural scenery, with the Himalayan mountains in the background, making it a popular destination for adventure enthusiasts.
The trek to Dwara Top can be accessed from the base camp of Gangotri, and it generally takes around 4-5 days to complete, depending on the itinerary and fitness level of the trekkers. The trek is considered as one of the most challenging and strenuous treks in the region due to its high altitude and difficult terrains. It’s not for the faint hearted and requires a good level of fitness, preparation and proper acclimatization.
The trek passes through beautiful alpine meadows, dense forests and snow-clad peaks and offers a great opportunity to explore the wilderness of the region and to get a glimpse of the local culture, customs and tradition. It’s a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and to reconnect with nature.
How to reach Kharsali
To reach Kharsali village, one can take the following modes of transportation:
- By air, the closest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is approximately 192 kilometers away. This airport has flights connecting to major and minor cities.
- By train, the nearest railway stations are located in Haridwar and Rishikesh, which are about 169 kilometers away. From there, one can hire a taxi or take a local bus to reach Kharsali.
- By road, Kharsali village is not well-connected by a network of roads, but the village can be reached by taxi or bus service from Rishikesh, Dehradun, Tehri, etc. The last stop would be at Janki Chatti, from where the village is only 1km away.
Stay at Kharsali Village
The village has some guesthouses and lodges that offer basic facilities for travelers. They may provide options like simple rooms with shared or private bathrooms, and some may also offer meals.
In addition to guesthouses and lodges, many trekkers choose to camp in the surrounding areas of Kharsali village. Camping can be a good way to experience the beautiful natural surroundings and to get close to nature. There are also some tour providers that organize camping trips to Kharsali village and its surrounding areas, which include camping gear and meals.
However, as the place is primarily visited by pilgirms, it’s best to book in advance as the village can become very crowded during peak seasons. There are also some home-stays that are available for rent for a more authentic experience. Some are run by the local villagers and give a good insight into the local culture and traditions. It’s always a good idea to check the reviews before booking and also to check the services they offer.
Food at Kharsali
As it’s a small village and not many restaurants available, the options for food may be limited. There are small dhabas and shops that sell basic necessities such as food, clothing, and camping equipment. These dhabas typically serve simple local dishes that are made with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Some of the popular dishes that are commonly served in the dhabas of Kharsali village include:
- Dhaam: A traditional vegetarian meal that is usually served during religious ceremonies and festivals, and it’s typically composed of rice, dal (lentils), seasonal vegetables and yogurt.
- Roti and Sabzi: Roti is an Indian bread that is made with wheat flour, while sabzi is a vegetable dish. These are staple food in the village.
- Maggi: Its an instant noodle and it’s a popular option among the trekkers and locals, as it’s an easy and convenient food option.
- Pahadi food : this is a local food option that has grown to be very popular, which includes dishes like Kafuli (a green leafy vegetable), Bhatt ki churkani (a dry preparation of lentil) and Jholi (a curry made with lentils, vegetables, and spices)
It is also possible to find some places with Indian and continental food, depending on the season, prices may be more expensive than the local dhaba food. As Kharsali is a remote location, it’s best to bring some snacks and food from Rishikesh or any other nearest city, to ensure that you have enough to eat during your stay.
Hotels at Kharsali
As it is primarily visited by pilgrims, accommodations may be limited and basic. The village has some guesthouses and lodges that offer basic facilities for travelers. They may provide options like simple rooms with shared or private bathrooms, and some may also offer meals.
However, as the village is a remote location, the options for hotels may be limited. It’s best to book in advance as the village can become very crowded during peak seasons and accommodations may fill up quickly.
There are also some home-stays that are available for rent for a more authentic experience. Some are run by the local villagers and give a good insight into the local culture and traditions. It’s always a good idea to check the reviews before booking and also to check the services they offer.
Also note that, as the village doesn’t have a lots of activities to do, most of the visitors usually stays overnight, and move to the next destination on their itinerary. So the accommodation are not as developed as other places in the region.
Best time to visit Kharsali Village
The best time to visit Kharsali village would likely be during the spring or summer months when the main temple is accessible and the idol of Goddess Yamuna is present. Additionally, the festival of Diwali in October, when the idol is carried to the village temple with great celebration, could also be a good time to visit. Keep in mind that the village is located in the Himalayas and the weather can be unpredictable, so it’s best to check the forecast and plan accordingly.