The high altitude Sikh pilgrimage site of Hemkund Sahib will open for devotees for 2018 from May 25. The shrine that is located in the Chamoli District of Uttarakhand will open after a winter break of 6 months and the first batch of the pilgrims will be flagged off on May 24. Hemkund Sahib, this year also shares the opening date with another popular pilgrimage in Uttarakhand, Kedarnath. Both the destinations at present are covered under thick snow, the removal/clearing procedure for which will begin from April 20 by the Indian Army personnel. The door of Hemkund Sahib will open for public at 12 noon, declared the Charakjit Singh Bindra, the local president of Hemkund Gurudwara Rishikesh and former chairman of the Uttarakhand Minority Commission.
Hemkund Sahib is reckoned to be the highest Sikh Gurudwara in the world that sits at a height of 4632 m. Each year the pilgrimage is open for Darshan from May to October before it again gets covered under the thick blanket of snow from November to April. Devotees have to trek 6 km (one way) from a place named Ghangaria in order to reach the shrine. In April each year, a team of army men and the Sikh devotees together start clearing the snow, the Sikh also call it Kar Seva.
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