Highest Sikh Shrine, Hemkund Sahib Opens for Pilgrims
The portals of Hemkund Shrine, the highest Sikh shrine in India opens for pilgrims in Uttarakhand. At around 9.30AM, the first Ardaas (Sikh Prayer) began in the shrine which was attended by about 5000 devotees. Along with Hemkund Sahib, the portals of the Laxman Temple at Lokpal has also been thrown open for the pilgrims.
The State authorities informed that all the necessary arrangements have been made to facilitate a secure pilgrimage. A large number of pilgrims are arriving for the Hemkund Yatra this year and according to Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara Management Committee this is the first time since the June 2013 disaster that such a large mass of devotees arrived at the shrine.
One of the officials of Hemkund Gurudwara Committee intimated that the Khalsa Ardaas will take place at 12.15PM each day while the third Ardaas will begin at 2.00PM. According to Darshan Singh, Manager, Hemkund Sahib Trust Committee, the walking stretch from Govindghat to Hemkund has been shortened from 20 to 16 km as 4kms unpaved road ahead of Govindghat has been made motorable. Pilgrims will now be able to commute through ‘Public Transport’ on this new route. All routes have been decorated by volunteers from different parts of the country to welcome the pilgrims. Uttrakhand Power Department has also completed electricity supply work at Hemkunt Sahib.
It is to be noted that pilgrimage to Gurdwara Sri Hemkunt Sahib is a major source of revenue for the state of Uttrakhand. Therefore the State Government and Tourism Sector takes special interest in making Hemkund Yatra 2016 hassle free affair. Last year 4.5lac people performed pilgrimage in Hemkund Sahib and there are hopes that number will double this year.
Tour My India News Desk.