Hemkund Sahib
Rajesh Panwar

The holy lake of Hemkund Sahib is situated at a magnificent height of 4329 meters above sea level surrounded by heavenly glaciers. One of the most important pilgrimages for Hindus and Sikhs, Hemkund Sahib houses the most revered Sikh Gurudwara and the Lakshman temple built on the banks of the lake. A unique feature of the Gurudwara is that, it is not built following the Sikh architecture. Keeping in mind the heavy snowfall the roof of the Gurudwara is designed in slopes.

Hemkund Sahib Mythology-

According to the holy Guru Granth Shahib, Guru Govind Singh, the tenth guru of the Sikh faith had meditated on the banks of this lake in one of his earlier birth. The place is also related with the Ramayana’s legend Lakshman meditated by the lake and regained his health after being severly wounded by Meghnad the demon prince of Lanka. A beautiful temple is built after the name of Lakshman.

The Long forgotten Hemkund was later discovered by a Sikh Granthi Sohan Singh and become a major pilgrimage center only after 1930. A steep trek from Ghangariya leads one to this holiest of the holy spot in about five to six hour.

Surrounded by seven snow clad peaks and their associated glaciers, this revered shrine reflects its surrounding in the crystal clear water. The glaciers from Hathi Parvat and Shaptrishi peaks fill the lake with prestine water and a small stream called Himganga flows out of this celestial lake.

Best Time to Visit:

The best time to visit this spiritual shrine is from the beginning of June till the beginning of October.

Nearby Places to Visit:

1. Badrinath

It is the most sacred Dham of India. It is located at an elevation of 3,133 mts above sea level in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand state. This Dham was established by Adi Shankaracharya in the 9th century. The deity of Badrinath temple is Lord Vishnu. The temple is situated on the right bank of the holy Alaknanda River.

Every year millions of tourists and devotees visit this sacred place from May to October month. The temple remains closed during winter months as the region is prone to heavy snowfall. It is situated 21 kms ahead of Govindghat.

2. Mana:

Mana is very close to Tibet border and it is one of the last villages of India. Most of the tourists who visit Badrinath also come to see the end of the road at Mana. Inhabited by Indo-Mongolian tribes often called as bhotias, Mana is situated 24 kms from Govindghat and 3 kms from Badrinath. Bheem Pul, Vyas Gufa and Ganesh Gufa are interesting places to look for at Mana.

3. Joshimath:

Joshimath is one of the four math created by Adi Shankaracharya . Home of Shri Badrinath during winters, Joshimath is connected with Auli by longest cable car of Asia. Joshimath is situated at an elevation of 1,890 mts above sea level. Do visit Kalpavriksha and Narsingh temple while a visit to Joshimath. It is situated 26 kms before Govindghat.

4. Auli:

It is the most popular skiing and paragliding spot of Uttarakhand situated at an elevation of 3050 mts above sea level. Auli affords astounding and celestial views of the enchanting snow laden Himalayan range. Asia’s highest and longest cable car is situated in Auli connecting it with Joshimath. Auli also held the 2010 SAF winter sports. Auli is well connected by motorable roads and it is situated 40 kms from Govind Ghat

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