Sunday, March 7, 2010

Hemkund Sahib Lake in Uttarakhand

When I first went to Hemkund Sahib Lake in Uttarakhand, i wasn’t anticipated that it happened to be a cauldron of religious activities. Hemkund Sahib lake is nestled in the lap of the Himalayas at 4,572m and it is one of the highest shrines in India. It is a holy trip for sikh community and it is as relevant as Haj is for Muslims.

It is said Guru Govind Singh meditated here, a mighty gurdwara stands on the banks of a lake surrounded by the range of seven peaks. For eight months of the year, Hemkund Lake is inaccessible. Pilgrimages are mainly from sikh community but numerous travelers like are seen dipping in the ice cold water, which is believed to have healing power.

Rishikesh is the base camp, the trek to Hemkund Sahib take six days to complete. The trek is scenic, the river Ganga accompanying me all the way. I passed through some small and holy towns of Devprayag and Rudraprayag, Srinagar, Pipalkoti and Joshimath and reached govind Ghat. From Govind Ghat road is divided into two; one goes to Badrinath, the other To Govind Dham, Hemkund Sahib.

The pentagon-shaped gurdwara in Hemkund Sahib is designed like an inverted lotus. The roof can withstand the weight of heavy snowfall. Gurdwara has five doors on five sides welcomes visitors from every directions and faith.

How To Reach Hemkund Sahib Lake?

• Rishikesh to Govind Ghat – 250 km
• Govind Ghat to Govind Dham or Ghangharia – 12 km trek lakes 4 to 8 hours
• Govind Dham to Hemkund sahib- 6 km of walk require 3-5 hours
• Govind Dham to Valley of Flowers: 3 km, on foot require 2 hours.


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