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     Hemkunt Sahib Pilgrimage Site in India

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Hemkunt Sahib Pilgrimage Site in India

Hemkunt Sahib or Hemkund Sahib is a pilgrimage site for Sikhs in Chamoli district, Uttarakhand, India. With a setting of a glacial lake surrounded by seven mountain peaks and each peak is adorned by a Nishan Sahib on its cliff, it is located in the Himalayas at an elevation of 15,200 ft as per the Survey of India. It is accessible only by foot from Gobindghat on the Rishikesh-Badrinath highway.
Hemkunt Sahib is famous for the Sikh worship-place Gurudwara, known as Gurudwara Sri Hemkunt Sahib Ji, devoted to Guru Gobind Singh Ji (1666–1708), the tenth Sikh Guru, which finds mention in Dasam Granth, a piece of work narrated by Guru Gobind Singh Ji,Himself. The lake also has a Lakhmana hut on its shore which was later built into proper small shrine by the Sikhs.

Hemkund (Snow Lake) Sahib, as the name itself suggests, is a high-altitude lake (4329 m) surrounded by seven huge now-covered mountains, which are collectively called Hemkund Parvat. Close to the lake is a sacred Gurudwara that is a pilgrimage centre for Sikhs and Hindus from all over the world. 


It is said that Shri Guru Govind Singh Ji (the Tenth Guru of the Sikhs) meditated on the very banks of this lake where a number of sages and religious teachers from the Hindu mythology, including Rishi Medhasa of the Markandeya Purana and Lakshman, the brother of Lord Ram performed penance. Besides the Gurudwara, you can also see a temple here. The lake is the source of the Laxman Ganga (alternatively called Hem Ganga) stream that merges with the Pushpawati stream flowing from the Valley of Flowers , at Ghangaria. From this point on, the river is called Laxman Ganga. 


A very popular trekking destination, Hemkund is a 15 km trek from Govindghat. The trek takes one through pine forests where rhododendron (burans), wild roses, ferns and alpine flowers abound. With breathtaking views of the surging waters of the Lakshman Ganga, the last five kilometres of the trek entails a steep climb from Ghangharia, which is a base for visiting Hemkund.

 

The lake is about two kilometres in circumference. It has clear, still water mirror images of the Saptashringa peaks (5500 m) that surrounds it.

So what’s the best season to visit Hemkund ? No doubts: it’s between July and October. During these days, you’ll find the water still, has shards of ice floating in it, glinting in the sun with the rock-strewn banks of the lake covered in moss and the flowers in bright bloom.

hemkund

 


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