Hemkund Sahib Yatra 2014 begins for Pilgrims
With all the mandatory rituals and rites, the portals of the holy Hemkund Sahib opened for the pilgrims on May 25, 2014. Despite the snowy blanket and stretches of roads still under repair, the first batch of 3,000 pilgrims reached to the Sikh shrine of the tenth Guru; Guru Gobind Singh on Sunday and attended the first ‘Ardaas’ (Prayer). The Hemkund Yatra was flagged from the famed Gobindghat Gurudwara, situated 20kms from the highly revered shrine. Since the roads are still struggling the aftermath of the lethal flash flood that occurred last year in Uttarakhand, pilgrims are required to trek the stretch of 20kms from Gobinghat Gurudwara to Hemkund Sahib. However, the Board Chairman NS Bindra assures to soon initiate Hemkund Yatra by Helicopter and ropeway.
Doors of Lakshman Lokpal Temple Also Opens
Along with the start of Hemkund SahibYatra 2014 and Chardham Yatra, the portal of the Lakshman Lokpal temple in the Bhyundar village (en route Hemkund Sahib) has also been opened. The legend has it that Lakshman, the younger sibling of Lord Rama meditated in Bhyundar in the incarnation of Sheshnag (Seven Headed Snake).
Inspired by the courage and devotion of the pilgrims trudging of Hemkund Sahib, the villagers of Bhyundar have started to re-open their shops and stalls, which have been shut after the last year’s collateral damage.
History of Hemkund Sahib:
Situated at an altitude about 4632m in the Chamoli District of Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, Sri Hemkund Sahib was once the place where King Pandu practiced Yoga. It is also believed that the early name of this holy place was Lokpal (now Bhyundar Village), where Lakshaman, the younger brother of Lord Rama meditated. The legend has it that the tenth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh also chose this place to meditate and unite with God as one, he happened to have received orders to be born in human form.
This present day Sikh pilgrimage site was the initiative of Major Harkirat Singh who approached Architect Siali Luddu to design the shrine. The construction work of the same begun in mid 1960s with architect Siali paying annual visits to Hemkund Sahib for the proper implementation of his complex design.
History of Hemkund Yatra:
However uncertain that when the actual Hemkund or Hemkunt Yatra started, history tells that couple of GurSikhs (true Sikhs) namely Sant Sohan Singh Tihri wale, Hawaldar Modan Singh, Bhai Vir Singh inspired by the holy composition of Guru Gobind Singh decided to search for the destination mentioned in the Granth (Holy Book). In 1933-34, these mighty men were able to reach Hemkund and by 1936, the Sikhs got the Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara constructed. Hence, one can say that the official Yatras to Hemkund began from 1937.
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