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Hemkund Sahib: Uttarakhand’s holiest Sikh shrine

Hemkund Sahib: Uttarakhand’s holiest Sikh shrine

Hemkund is a Sanskrit name derived from Hem (snow) and Kund (bowl).

One of the holiest Sikh shrines

Beautiful gurudwara surrounded by snow-capped peaks

Among the highest gurudwaras in the world

Located next to a glacial lake

Hemkund Sahib which is additionally spelled as Hemkunt, formally mentioned as Gurudwara Shri Hemkund Sahib Ji, could also be a Sikh place of worship and pilgrimage site in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, India. it’s dedicated to Guru Gobind Singh (1666–1708), the tenth Sikh Guru, and finds mention in Dasam Granth, a piece presumed dictated by Guruji himself, but insufficiently verified, where mythological components exist within the work. With its setting of a glacial lake surrounded by seven mountain peaks, each adorned by a Nishan Sahib on its cliff, it’s consistent with the Survey of India located within the Himalayas at an elevation of 4,160 meters (13,650 feet). It’s approached from Govindghat on the Rishikesh-Badrinath highway. the most town near Gobindghat is Joshimath. The altitude of the lake at Hemkund is approximately 13,650 feet (4,160 m).

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From Delhi, tourists take the train to Haridwar and then travel by bus to Govindghat via Rishikesh. It is also possible to drive from Delhi to Govindghat, a distance of about 500 kilometres (310 mi) which takes around 18 hours to cover. Recently, an Indian airline company has started a helicopter service between Govindghat and Ghangria. The flight takes about 5 minutes.

NOTE: A recent study examining altitude sickness at Hemkund Sahib found that almost one-third of pilgrims who traveled to Hemkund suffered from Acute Mountain Sickness (a form of altitude sickness). As approximately 150,000 pilgrims are believed to travel to Hemkund Sahib each trekking season, almost 50,000 people are at risk of developing Acute Mountain Sickness each year. The authors stated the difficult nature of the trek, limited water consumption, and lack of awareness regarding altitude sickness as the main contributory factors.

It is said Lakshmana, younger brother of Lord Rama from the epic Ramayana, regained his health by meditating on the banks of Hemkund after the severe injuries he received in the war. The Lakshmana temple is said to have been built at the place where Lakshmana meditated.

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The gurudwara remains enveloped by snow during winter and every year, in summer, it re-opens in May for the annual pilgrimage.

Hemkund Sahib Yatra, 2021: Gate opening ceremony: May 10, 2021


By Flight

The nearest airport is Jolly Grant, Dehradun, 334 Km.

By Train

The nearest railhead is Rishikesh, 300 km.

By Road

Govindghat to Ghangharia is 14 Km trek, from there the trek to Hemkund Sahib is 5 Km. Govindghat is connected by road with Rishikesh, Kotdwar, Dehradun, Haridwar and other important hill stations of Garhwal and Kumaon.

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