Gurudwara Sri Hemkund Sahib
The description of Hemkund Sahib is also there in Badrikashram Mahatmya mentioned in Skandpuran. Many scholars tell the discovery of Hemkund much later. So some scholars tell the discovery in 1920 by a member of the Patiala Raj Gharana. In 1935 this place was established as Hemkund Sahib. When Bhai Veer Singh ji asked Sohan Singh ji to get a room built in Hemkund Sahib by giving two thousand rupees, Baba Sohan Singh ji Baba Sohan singh ji) and Havaldar Baba Mohan Singh ji (military havaldar baba mohan singh ji) together got this room ready in the year 1936. Sri Guru Granth Sahib was first published in Hemkund Sahib in 1937.
Baba Mohan Singh ji took charge of Hemkund Sahib after Sohan Singh passed away in 1938. In 1944-45, Baba ji got the place for the preaching of Guru Vani and two rooms made by the contractor Hayat Singh Bhandari. Earlier, there was no arrangement for coming and going in Hemkund and on the way.
On getting information from the study of Vichitra Natak Granth, which gives information about the character of the life of Guru Gobind Singh ji, that when the tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh Ji was doing penance It was told in the sky that Hemkund is a corner of the Sumer mountain.
Where there is a place called Hemkund, there is a mountain called Saptashringa. Aja Pandu, the father of the Pandavas, had done penance at the same place. Wherein Guru Govind Singh ji did the penance of Mahakal.
Gurmukh beloved saint Sohan Singh ji, who was preaching the words of saints in Tihri Garhwal, had a desire to find this holy place, he had immense devotion and devotion towards the Guru, so Sohan singh ji kept it in his mind. It was decided that if Jitji finds Guruji’s place of penance then life will be successful.Hemkund Sahib, formally known as Gurudwara Sri Hemkund Sahib is a highly-revered pilgrimage site for the Sikh community. It is believed that Guru Gobind Singh ji, the tenth guru of the Sikhs, spent 10 years in meditation here. What adds to the popularity of the religious site is its stunning location surrounded by the Garhwal Himalayas. Hemkund Sahib is nestled between the peaks of the Hemkund Parvat. The name ‘Hemkund’ means lake of snow and the waters are actually ice cold. The gurudwara is visited by a large number of devotees from all corners of the country before it closes down for the winter season between October and April. Sikh pilgrims arrive at the gurudwara to help repair the trail which is often left damaged after the winter season. The gurudwara also houses a scenic lake where devotees take a holy dip. It is believed that the place once used to be a meditation ground for Lord Rama’s brother, Lakshmana. A nearby temple dedicated to Lord Lakshmana can also be visited during a trip to Hemkund Sahib.
You can reach Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib by different modes of transportation. Here’s how:
By Road: Start your journey by reaching Rishikesh, a city in Uttarakhand, India. From Rishikesh, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to Govindghat, which is the base camp for the Hemkund Sahib trek. Govindghat is approximately 275 kilometers from Rishikesh and takes about 9-10 hours by road. The route from Rishikesh to Govindghat passes through Joshimath and Chamoli. Ensure you have an experienced driver as the roads can be narrow and winding, especially in the hilly regions.
By Helicopter: During the pilgrimage season (typically May to October), helicopter services are available from Rishikesh to Govindghat. You can check with local authorities or travel agents for helicopter availability and booking. Helicopter services offer a quicker and more convenient option for reaching Govindghat compared to road travel.
Trekking: Once you reach Govindghat, you can start the trek to Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib. It is a 6-7 kilometers uphill trek from Govindghat to Ghangaria, which is the base camp for the Hemkund Sahib trek.
The trail from Govindghat to Ghangaria is well-marked and moderately difficult. From Ghangaria, it is a steep 6 kilometers uphill trek to Hemkund Sahib. The trekking route offers beautiful views of alpine meadows, waterfalls, and snow-covered peaks.
Pony/Mule Ride: If trekking is challenging for you, you can hire a pony or mule from Govindghat to Ghangaria and further to Hemkund Sahib. The availability of ponies/mules can vary, so it’s advisable to check in advance and make arrangements accordingly. Hiring a pony/mule can make the journey easier, especially for individuals who are not accustomed to trekking or have physical limitations.