Gurudwara Shri Hemkund Sahib is a heavenly abode of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the 10th guru of Sikhs. It is one of the most revered pilgrimage sites of Sikh community. located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, is one of the most important pilgrimage destinations for Sikhs in India. Located at an altitude of 15,000 feet, this holy shrine stands on the banks of Lake Lokpal, and is overlooked by seven Himalayan Mountain peaks. Each mountain peak has a Nishan Sahib (Sikh triangular flag) on its cliff.
Tourists and devotees are always bewitched by the stunning location of Garhwal Himalayas and ethereal vibes of this place. Surrounded between the lofty peaks of Hemkund Parvat, this Gurudwara looks divine in its surroundings. It is named after Hemkund Parvat which means ‘lake of snow’. Shri Hemkund Sahib is also revered by Hindus, as it finds mention in the Ramayana. Every year numerous devotees come here to get divine blessings from Gobind Singh Ji. The scenic lake in the gurdwara has a great spiritual significance for the devotees. The Gurdwara closes in the winter season in the months of October and April.
Hemkund Sahib Yatra Opening Date – 22 May 2022
Hemkund Sahib Yatra commences from May and continues till October every year. The Hemkund Yatra opening date for 2023 is 22 May.
Also Check Out: Hemkund Sahib Yatra Tour Package Itinerary
Significance of Hemkund Sahib for Sikhs & Hindus
Hemkund Sahib Yatra in Himalayas is accorded the highest respect by Sikhs, and is an important pilgrimage destination for them. It is believed by followers of Sikhism that Shri Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth and last Guru of the Sikhs, meditated here in his previous life for 10 years. Shri Hemkund Sahib was first mentioned in the Dasam Granth, written by Shri Guru Gobind Singh. It contained his thoughts, and the future of Sikhism in general. However, the search for this holy shrine began only in the 19th century. It was finally traced in 1884 by Pandit Tara Singh Narotam. Much of the credit for the building of this shrine and its popularity goes to Bhai Vir Singh, a renowned Sikh scholar.
Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara is also held in the highest respect by the Hindus because it finds mention several times in both the Ramayana and Mahabharata. In fact, it is believed that Lord Laxmana, brother of Lord Ram, meditated at this site along with Rishi Medhasa (he is mentioned in the Markandeya Purana as Rishi of Durga Saptashathi). A temple of Lord Laxmana nearby Hemkund Sahib is also visited by the devotees during Hemkund Sahib Tour.
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Interesting Facts about Hemkund Sahib
Here are some of the interesting facts about Hemkund Sahib which you will be interested in knowing before undertaking the Hemkund Sahib Yatra 2023.
- The lake located at Hemkund Sahib, and the areas surrounding it, is known as “Lokpal” to the locals.
- Despite Shri Hemkund Sahib being mentioned in the life story of Guru Gobind Singh, it remained undiscovered for more than two centuries.
- The heavy plates that were used to build the holy shrine were carried manually over a distance of almost 10 kilometers, without the use of any machinery of transport.
- It is the only Gurudwara in the world consisting of a pentagonal design.
- The Valley of Flowers, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located in close proximity to Hemkund Sahib. It is famous for its meadows that are covered with alpine flowers along with a rich variety of flora.
- It is the only Gurudwara in the world which is located at such a high altitude.
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Trek to Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara
Trek to Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara will open in front of you alluring sights of Garhwal Himalayas. It begins at Govindghat after crossing the sacred Alaknanda River on a hanging bridge. The trail will take you to the terraced fields and vegetation. You will also see the sacred joining of Laxman Ganga into Alaknanda.
The snow-clad peaks of mighty Himalayas will also seduce your senses. Cascading waterfalls, cold water springs on the way to Pulna and Bhyundar village are worth capturing sights and sceneries. The rhododendron flowers will rejuvenate your spirit. You will pass through Ghangaria which is a base camp for trekking to the valley of flowers and Hemkund Sahib.
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How to Reach Hemkund?
Although one can reach Govindghat by air, rail and road, ultimately, one will have to trek for about 19 kilometers to reach Shri Hemkund Sahib. Those who find the trek too arduous can always avail the helicopter service.
- By Rail: Haridwar is the nearest railway station to Hemkund Sahib. It is situated almost 283 kilometers from Govindghat on NH 58. Private taxis & buses from Haridwar/Rishikesh to Govindghat are available. From Govindghat, one has to take a 19 kilometers trek to reach Hemkund Sahib.
- By Air: Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest airport to Hemkund Sahib. After landing, one can hire a taxi till Govindghat, after which a 19 kilometers trek will have to be taken to reach Hemkund Sahib.
- By Road: One cannot reach Hemkund Sahib by road, as the last stretch of motorable road ends at Govindghat. After that, one has to take a 19 kilometers trek to reach Hemkund Sahib. Buses and taxis to Govindghat are available from Haridwar, Rishikesh, Rudraprayag, Srinagar, Chamoli and other places in Uttarakhand.
- By Helicopter: Those who find the 19 kilometers trek to Hemkund Sahib too arduous, or have less time on their hands, can take the Helicopter Service to Hemkund Sahib. The helicopter service is available from Govindghat to Govind Dham, also known as Ghangaria (the last 6 kilometers stretch to Shri Hemkund Sahib). From Govindghat to Govind Dham, the helicopter ride will not take you more than 8 minutes. However, the service is subject to prevailing weather conditions, which are at their most unpredictable from July to August.
Best Time to Visit Hemkund Sahib
The best time to visit Hemkund Sahib is from May to June as the weather is very pleasant for the trek and September to Mid-October. You will behold wonderful snowfall during that time.
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Popular Tourist Attractions to Visit in and around Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara
- Hemkund Lake is one of the most prominent tourist attractions in Hemkund Sahib dedicated to the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji. This lake also finds mention in Dasam Granth which was written by the guru himself. Take a holy dip to take the holy blessings of the revered Guru.
- Valley of Flowers is a heaven for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. It is one of the most beautiful tourist destinations near Hemkund Gurudwara. You will see rare and exotic flora and fauna of Himalayan region. Apart from the dense forests, glaciers, bridges and the Pushpawati river and waterfalls will come on the way to lure you with its beauty.
- Ghangaria is another Charming and popular tourist spot near Hemkund Sahib which is decked on the confluence of river Pushpawati and Hemganga River which comes from Hemkund Sahib and is also known as Laxman Ganga. It is a beautiful base camp for the valley of flowers and Hemkund Sahib. Offering alluring views of Lofty Himalayan Peaks and enchanting snow, it is a beauty decked in serenity.
One must not miss the sacred abode of temples and the yoga capital of Uttarakhand Rishikesh. It is not very close to Hemkund Sahib but also not very far from it. The evening Aarti of Ganga and temple tour of ethereal abodes of the almighty along with relaxing and rejuvenating your soul in math and ashrams are one-of-a-kind experiences which is unforgettable. It is also one of the best places to try water adventure sports such as river rafting.
One must behold and drink the serene nectar of spiritual wisdom in Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara once in a lifetime. The ambiance and the vibes have the potential to change the mind and soul completely.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the opening date for the Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara Tour 2023?
The opening date of Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara Tour for 2023 is 22 May. It usually starts from May and continues till October.
What is the trekking distance of Hemkund Sahib which starts from Govind Ghat?
The trekking distance for Hemkund Sahib is 19 km from Govind Ghat.
What is the nearest airport to Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara?
Nearest airport to Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara is Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun which is 292 km away and the nearest Railway station is in Rishikesh which is 273 kms.
How many days are required to do Hemkund Sahib Darshan?
You need approx. three days for it. You have to trek 19 km to reach Hemkund Sahib. It's possible to do the darshan in one day but you will be very tired so it is recommended for you to have at least three days for darshan as well as sightseeing.
Published: 05 Feb, 2022 | Last Updated: 27 Jan, 2023
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She is a candle who burns and melts in the chaos of infinity, from where her visceral whistles and leaves an imprint of desire in her heart to know the map of an Island where there are different sunrises and sunsets. Her curiosity brightens to conquer the hearts unrelieved and sometimes mysterious. Her name is - Pallavi Roy - A traveller by soul and a writer by Profession.