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Sri Hemukund Sahib
Sri Hemkund Sahib Complete Trek Guide – Sri Hemkund Sahib Gurdwara, dedicated to the 10th Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh (1666–1708), located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, is an important and holy religious pilgrimage site for the followers of Sikhism, surrounded by seven mountain peaks. Being a religious pilgrimage site, lakhs of devotees visit Hemkund Sahib every year to pay obeisance at the Gurudwara and take a bath in the holy lake.
Situated at an altitude of 15197 ft (4632 m) above sea level, the lake situated near the Sri Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara is called Hemkund and it is because of this lake that the Gurdwara is named Gurudwara Sri Hemkund Sahib. Hemkund is a Sanskrit name in which Hem means snow and Kund means bowl. It is believed that the 10th Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh did penance at this place before leaving his body.
We also get to see the description of Sri Guru Gobind Singh’s Hemkund Yatra in Dasam Granth of Sikhism. According to Dasam Granth, this is the place where Pandu Raja practises yoga. Residents and followers of Sikhism also refer to Hemkund as “Hemkunt” and “Gobind Dham”. Due to being located at a very high altitude, Gurudwara Sri Hemkund Sahib remains open for darshan only from May to October.
The Gurudwara remains closed for darshan during the remaining months of the year due to heavy snowfall during the rest of the winter season. Although it is the highest Gurudwara in the world, lakhs of devotees visit Gurudwara Sri Hemkund Sahib. Now it is not only the followers of Sikhism who come to visit this Gurudwara, but Sri Hemkund Sahib is also an important pilgrimage site for those who follow the Hindu religion.
According to many Hindu religious texts, this place is directly associated with Lord Rama, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. Gurudwara Sri Hemkund Sahib, located at a distance of about 14 km from Govindghat, is not an easy journey by any means. By the way, you will find devotees of every age during the journey of Hemkund Sahib.
Still, then it is essential to be physically fit while travelling on foot, apart from being a religious pilgrimage site, whenever you visit this holy place. If you travel, take full care of all kinds of religious beliefs related to this place. To know the answers to your questions related to Hemkund Sahib Gurdwara, do read today’s blog:-
01 What is the history of Sri Hemkund Sahib?
02 From where to register for Sri Hemkund Sahib Darshan?
03 Where does the Sri Hemkund Sahib Yatra start?
04 When does Sri Hemkund Sahib Yatra start?
05 What to carry with you while hiking?
06 What are the facilities available during Sri Hemkund Sahib?
07 Which is the best time to visit Sri Hemkund Sahib?
08 How to reach Sri Hemkund Sahib?
History of Sri Hemkund Sahib
Sri Hemkund Sahib Gurdwara is a primary religious pilgrimage site for the Sikh community, being the penance place of the 10th Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh. Sri Guru Gobind Singh in his autobiography Bachitra Nataka (which is a part of Guru’s Dasam Granth) while referring to Hemkund Sahib, wrote that “where Hemkund mountain is, and seven peaks are adorned, the name is SaptaSringa and where Pandavraj had done yoga practice, there I did severe penance, worshipped Mahakal and Kali, doing penance by this method two forms became one.”
The Dasam Granth also mentions the previous birth of Sri Guru Gobind Singh, in which he did deep penance in Hemkund for many years to merge with God. Along with being the abode of Sri Guru Gobind Singh, many mythological stories are also associated with this place. According to one such legend, the Hemkund Lake and its surrounding peak were worshipped as a place of pilgrimage known by the residents as Lokpal.
According to the residents, in the Ramayana, when Lakshmana is injured, Hanumanji comes to find Sanjivani near this place. When Laxman is cured by Sanjivani, flowers are showered from heaven on this place, due to which the valley of flowers is formed near Hemkund Sahib. Another story related to Ramayana is very popular here, according to which Lakshmana comes to this place to do penance after the war of Ramayana.
Lokpal Laxman temple is built today where Laxman did penance in Hemkund. According to another local belief, Sheshnag also did penance for a long time at Lokpal Lake, and Lord Vishnu rested on Sheshnag’s bed at this place while Sheshnag was doing penance here.
It is also believed that Lokpal is related to Lord Vishnu, the earth’s preserver. Apart from this, many people believe that Lokpal is also the original place of Lord Shiva and Mother Parvati. According to the legend related to the Mahabharata, King Pandu, the father of the Pandavas, had performed yoga practice at this place.
Due to all these mythological stories and being the penance place of the 10th Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh, Sri Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara is worshipped as a primary religious pilgrimage site for Sikhism followers and Hinduism followers.
Construction of Sri Hemkund Sahib Gurdwara
By the end of the 19th century, the people of the Sikh community had started searching for the penance place of the 10th Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh, mentioned in the Dasam Granth. In the year 1884, Pandit Tara Singh Narottam was the first Sikh to find out the geographical location of Hemkund Sahib.
Later, famous Sikh historian and scholar Bhai Vir Singh wrote about his discovery in his book “Sri Kalgidhar Chamatkar” (1929). Based on this book, Sant Sohan Singh, a retired Indian Army soldier and a Granthi, started searching for the physical location of Hemkund Sahib in 1933. Although initially, he did not get any success, after making inquiries for some time, he came to know about a place which was called Lokpal the residents.
After that when he reached the place he came to know that this place looks exactly as “Sapat Sringa” is mentioned in Guru’s Dasam Granth. After this Saint Sohan Singh was convinced that this was the same place Hemkund where Sri Guru Gobind Singh had done penance, initially, this discovery of Sant Sohan Singh was highly doubted, after which Sant Sohan Singh visited this place again with Bhai Veer Singh.
After coming here, even Bhai Veer Singh is convinced that this is the place where the Guru had done penance. After that, in 1935, Bhai Veer Singh and Sant Sohan Singh started the construction work of the Gurdwara at this place, in which later Havaldar Modan Singh also joined them. After that, with the permission of the local people, the construction of a 10 ft x 10 ft gurdwara at this place was completed in 1936.
Along with the Gurudwara, the expansion work of an ancient Hindu temple located near the lake is also being completed. Havaldar Modan Singh dedicated his whole life to Sri Hemkund Sahib Gurdwara after the completion of the construction work of Gurudwara and after the death of Sant Sohan Singh. In 1960, after the death of Havildar Modan Singh, a housewife named Mata Ram Kaur was instructed by Sri Guru Gobind Singh in a dream to build a prominent Gurudwara at Hemkund.
After this, in 1964, a plan was made to build a new gurudwara, whose construction work continued till 1968. Finally, in the year 1993, the construction work of the upper floor of the Gurdwara was completed, after that in the year 1994 the Guru Granth Sahib was installed in the Gurdwara.
Architecture of Sri Hemkund Sahib Gurdwara
Sri Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara, situated at an altitude of 4632 meters above sea level, is a very beautiful and grand Gurudwara made of white marble. Being located at the highest altitude in the whole world, the design of this Gurdwara is entirely different from any other Gurdwara in the world.
The reason for this is the excessive snowfall here. Therefore, before constructing this gurudwara at such a height, a steel prototype was prepared in Delhi to find out whether the roof of the gurudwara was capable of handling the snow falling at such a height or not. That’s why today the structure of the main building of the Gurudwara looks like a shining star in the sky.
In the holy lake located near the Gurudwara, where men can take a bath in the open lake, the ground floor has been constructed for women to take a bath. After entering the main building of the Gurudwara, pictures of all the Gurus of Sikhism are made on the inner walls of the building.
Apart from this, four doors have also been made to enter the Gurudwara. A langar hall has also been arranged near the gurudwara so that the best arrangement of prasad and food can be made for the devotees who come to visit.
Sri Hemkund Sahib Trek
Sri Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara is a primary religious pilgrimage site as well as a world-famous trek. That’s why many trekkers can also be seen along with the devotees who come to visit this religious place. Now one thing is worth noting here some of the trekkers who come to trek the Valley of Flowers also prefer to do the Sri Hemkund Sahib trek. The reason for this is that both places are located very close to each other.
Both the Valley of Flowers and Sri Hemkund Sahib treks start from Govindghat, and the route for both these treks to Ghagaria is the same. After reaching Ghagharia, one road leads to the Valley of Flowers and the other leads to Sri Hemkund Sahib. At the time of the year when the Sri Hemkund Sahib trek is open for devotees and trekkers (from May to October), the monsoon also comes here, due to which the entire trek becomes very slippery.
There is also an increased risk of landslides. That’s why you must be extra careful when you go on this trek. The total distance of Sri Hemkund Sahib trek is 30 to 35 kms which takes you 02 days to complete. It may take you around 05 to 07 days to complete the journey of Sri Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara depending on the place from where you are starting your journey.
However, Sri Hemkund Sahib is a religious pilgrimage site and for this reason, lakhs of devotees come here every year to take a bath in the holy lake and visit the Gurudwara. That’s why whenever you make a program to do this track which is considered to be of moderate to difficult category, start walking 05 to 06 kilometres per day a few months before that.
So that you do not face any kind of inconvenience in completing this trek. By the way, if you ask, me, you should do the Sri Hemkund Sahib trek on your own, because, on the one hand, it is such a religious pilgrimage site that apart from Sikhism followers, it is also very important for Hindu religion followers. This is the reason why the number of devotees who come to visit this pilgrimage place only for 06 months in the whole year reaches lakhs.
Apart from this, all kinds of facilities are available for you to rest eat and drink during the entire trek. The biggest thing is that there is an organized way to reach the holy Gurudwara, due to you do not get confused about the way during the whole journey. It is a matter of course that due to being located at a very high altitude, you may have to face some physical problems in completing this trek.
Otherwise, if you want, you can complete this trek with a good tracking agency, it completely depends on you.
Sri Hemkund Sahib Trek Guide
Day 1 of Sri Hemkund Sahib Trek
To start the Sri Hemkund Sahib trek, you have to reach Govindghat on the first day. Govindghat is located at a distance of about 270 kilometres from Rishikesh if you are going to Govindghat by your private vehicle then you can reach Govindghat from Rishikesh via Devprayag-Srinagar-Rudraprayag-Karnprayag-Gopeshwar and Joshimath.
Apart from this, if you are doing this trek with any trekking agency, then they make arrangements for your reaching Govindghat in advance, you just have to reach the place fixed by them on time. Apart from this, if you want to reach Govindghat by bus, then you will find bus service available to Govindghat from Haridwar, Rishikesh, Dehradun and Delhi’s ISBT bus station.
You will also get a shared taxi facility from Rishikesh to Govindghat. Taxis from Rishikesh to Govindghat charge anywhere between Rs 8,000 to Rs 12,000, which is shared equally among all co-passengers.
Day Two of Sri Hemkund Sahib Trek
On the first day after reaching Govindghat from Rishikesh, you can take a night’s rest here. If you have come to do this trek with any trekking agency, then they make arrangements for you to stay in Govindghat in advance and if you have come alone or with your friends to do this trek, then you have to make arrangements for you here in advance. Room booking should be done in the Hotel or Dharamshala.
After a night’s rest at Govindghat, you will reach Ghagaria on the second day of the Sri Hemkund Sahib trek. For this, you will have to leave Govindghat early in the morning for Pulna, which is located at a distance of 04 kilometres from Govindghat. You can take local taxis to reach Pulna from Govindghat.
It is not allowed to go to Pulna in your private vehicle, apart from this you can also reach Pulna from Govindghat on foot. After reaching Pulna, you have to start the trek on foot to Ghagharia. The total track distance from Pulna to Ghagharia is 09 km. It may take you around 5-6 hours to complete this trek.
Day Three of Sri Hemkund Sahib Trek
On the second day of the Sri Hemkund Sahib trek, you reach Ghagaria via Pulna via Govindghat. After completing the trek on the second day, you have to spend the night at Ghagaria. During the Sri Hemkund Sahib trek, Ghagharia is a place from where the routes for both Sri Hemkund Sahib and the Valley of Flowers diverge.
On the third day of the Sri Hemkund Sahib Trek, you can wake up early in the morning and start the Sri Hemkund Sahib Trek from Ghagaria. The distance from Ghagharia to Sri Hemkund Sahib is around 06 km. After reaching Sri Hemkund Sahib Gurdwara, take a bath in the holy lake there and go to the Gurdwara for darshan. After this, after resting for some time, you can come back to Ghagaria in the evening.
Thus on the third day of Sri Hemkund Sahib Trek, you will have to trek a total of 12 km. First 06 km from Ghagharia to reach Sri Hemkund Sahib and second 06 km from Sri Hemkund Sahib to return to Ghagharia. After this, you can have a night’s rest at Ghagharia.
Day Four of Sri Hemkund Sahib Trek
On the fourth day of the Sri Hemkund Sahib trek, if you have extra time, you can go for the Valley of Flowers trek from Ghagaria. The distance from Ghagaria to Valley of Flowers is just 04 km. If you do the Valley of Flowers trek on the fourth day of the trek, then the duration of your trek program will increase by one day.
And if you want, on the fourth day of the Sri Hemkund Sahib trek, you can also return to Govindghat by trekking 09 kilometres from Ghagaria to Pulna.
Day Five of Sri Hemkund Sahib Trek
On the fourth day of the trek, after an overnight stay at Govindghat, you can leave for Rishikesh from Govindghat the next morning. If you are doing this trek with any tracking agency, then they make arrangements for your return to Rishikesh in advance. Apart from this, you can also return to Rishikesh by bus or in your private vehicle.
Note:- 01- During the Sri Hemkund Sahib trek, add separately the time taken to reach Rishikesh from your home and return. Thus it will take you a total of 7-8 days to complete the Sri Hemkund Sahib trek.
02- If you are not physically fit then you may face problems in completing the Sri Hemkund Sahib trek. Being located at a very high altitude, there is a very steep climb at many places throughout the trek. So, a few months before doing this trek, start by walking 5-6 km.
03 If you want, you can do this trek with any good trekking agency. Rest you can also do this trek on your own.
Sri Hemkund Sahib Trek Route
The Sri Hemkund Sahib trek starts from Govindghat itself. When you start the trek from Govindghat, the first thing you have to do is reach Pulna by taxi. The distance from Govindghat to Pulna is only 04 km. From Pulna, your trek to Sri Hemkund Sahib starts on foot.
From Pulna, you reach Ghagaria by trekking about 09 kilometres on foot. After that to reach Sri Hemkund Sahib from Ghagharia you will have to trek 06 km more on foot after which you will reach the holy Sri Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara. Overall, the trek to Sri Hemkund Sahib is about 35-40 km long, which may take you 4-5 days to complete.
Sri Hemkund Sahib Gurdwara Opening and Closing Timings
Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara remains open for devotees to visit only from May to October in a year due to high altitude and heavy snowfall. The holy Gurudwara remains closed for darshan due to heavy snowfall from the rest of November to April. In the year 2023, the holy Gurudwara will be open for devotees to visit from May 20, 2023 to October 10, 2023.
Darshan Timings at Shri Hemkund Sahib Gurdwara
Shri Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara remains open from 08:00 AM to 01:00 PM throughout the week for the devotees to visit.
Entry fee to Sri Hemkund Sahib Gurdwara
No entry fee is charged for the darshan of devotees in Sri Hemkund Sahib Gurdwara.
Local food was available during Sri Hemkund Sahib Yatra
Although you will get all kinds of food during Sri Hemkund Sahib Yatra if you like to eat local food while travelling then you must try the local food of Uttarakhand. Garhwal ka Fannah, Arsa, Kandli ka Saag, Bhang ki Chutney, Jhangora ki Kheer, Singori, Gulgula, Phanu, Aloo ka Jhol, Kumaoni Raita and Chainsu are the local food of Uttarakhand found near Sri Hemkund Sahib. is preferred.
Hotels in Sri Hemkund Sahib
Being a famous pilgrimage site, many hotels dharamshalas and homestays are built near Sri Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara. During Shri Hemkund Sahib Yatra, you can book a room for yourself in a Hotel, Dharamshala and a Homestay in Govindghat. Apart from this, when you reach Ghagaria after trekking, you will get all kinds of facilities to stay there.
Anyway, Ghagharia is seen as the base camp of Shri Hemkund Sahib and Valley of Flowers, so most travellers and devotees prefer to stay in Ghagharia. For room booking at both these places, you can book a room for yourself through a good travel website. Apart from this, if there is no peak season, then you can book a room for yourself at a good place even after reaching Govindghat and Ghagaria.
But it would be better if you book a room for yourself before visiting Sri Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara so that you do not face any kind of trouble.
The best time to visit Sri Hemkund Sahib
Shri Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara remains open only for 06 months in a year for pilgrims to visit. And you can come anytime during these 06 months to visit the Gurudwara. In May, when this Gurudwara opens for darshan, then at that time you will get to see a lot of snow here, so if you like to see snow, then you can come here after the Gurudwara opens.
But at this time of the year, it is very cold here, so you must bring clothes and other things related to cold with you. After this, travelling to Hemkund Sahib in the monsoon season is no less than a journey to heaven, but you have to be very careful in the rains that occur at this time.
And in recent years the problem of landslides has increased a lot in Uttarakhand so if you are travelling to Sri Hemkund during monsoon season then you need to be extra careful at this time.
After the monsoon, the time from September to October is considered to be the best time to visit Sri Hemkund Sahib because, after the departure of the monsoon, very beautiful views are seen all around, apart from this, if you are travelling in October, then There are high chances that you will get to see snow and greenery together.
Sri Hemkund Sahib Trek Cost
There are many trekking agencies in cities like Uttarakhand, Delhi and Chandigarh that conduct the Shri Hemkund Sahib trek. Almost all trekking agencies have experienced trek guides. Sri Hemkund Sahib trek takes 4-5 days to complete, Some agencies also offer the Valley of Flowers trek along with Sri Hemkund Sahib so the duration of your trek may increase by 01-02 days.
Almost all trekking agencies charge the cost from the pickup point to the Sri Hemkund Sahib trek. Almost all tracking agencies let you know in advance the pick-up and drop points of the itinerary. The approximate cost of Sri Hemkund Sahib Trek ranges from Rs.6000 to Rs.8000.
Now this cost depends on the facilities provided by the agencies during the trek. Therefore, whenever you do this trek with any trekking agencies, then you must take complete information about the itinerary from them. You can do the rest of this trek by yourself.
Tips for Sri Hemkund Sahib Trek
01 identity card
03 water bottle (3-5 liters)
04 Dry fruits and packet food
05 Warm clothes (Sweater / Jacket / Pullover)
06 Poncho / Rain Coat (for rainy season)
08 Extra battery for torch/power bank/camera
09 camping gear if possible. (mat/sleeping bag )
10 waterproof bags to protect electronics from rain.
11 Lemon and salt or electrolyte powder/drink (Electral/Gatorade/Glucon D)
12 Trekking Shoes / Trekking Paint / Quick Dry T-shirt /Cape
13 whistles (for emergency)
14 First aid kit:- Scissors, Sunscreen (SPF 50+), Band-aids (waterproof), Analgesic spray (Relispray, Volini), Antiseptic liquid (Savlon, Dettol), Antiseptic powder (Povidone-iodine based powder like Cipladine, Savlon) ), bandage, cotton, crepe bandage etc.
15 Medicines:- Fever, Headache, Motion Sickness, Loose Motion, Vomiting and Acidity etc.
16 Before starting the Sri Hemkund Sahib trek, check about the weather.
17 If you do not have trekking experience in the mountains, then you can take a local guide with you.
18 Before starting the trek, do not forget to check the itinerary of the tracking agency with which you are doing this trek.
19 Before starting the trek, do take information about the rules related to the Sri Hemkund Sahib trek.
20 The trek becomes slippery during the monsoon season so be extra careful during this time.
(Note:- Before taking any kind of medicine, please consult your doctor.)
How to reach Sri Hemkund Sahib
How to reach Sri Hemkund Sahib by Air
There is no direct air service available to Sri Hemkund Sahib due to its high altitude. Jolly Grant Airport of Dehradun is the nearest airport to Sri Hemkund Sahib. The distance from Jolly Grant Airport to Govindghat, the nearest town to Sri Hemkund Sahib, is just 303 km.
From Dehradun, you can easily reach Govindghat with the help of buses, cabs, taxis and shared taxis. Apart from this, Govindghat can also be reached from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Airport with the help of taxis and cabs. The distance from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Airport to Govindghat is only 528 km.
Apart from this, a helicopter facility is also available from Govindghat to Ghagaria. Dehradun’s Jolly Grant Airport and Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Airport are well connected to all major cities of the country.
How to reach Shri Hemkund Sahib by Rail
Rishikesh and Haridwar railway stations are the nearest railway stations to Govindghat. From Rishikesh and Haridwar, you can easily reach Govindghat by buses, taxis, cabs and shared taxis.
The distance from Rishikesh to Govindghat is just 266 km. And the distance from Haridwar to Govindghat is just 288 kms. Rishikesh and Haridwar railway stations are very well connected to almost all the major railway stations of the country.
How to reach Sri Hemkund Sahib by road
Govindghat, the nearest town to Sri Hemkund Sahib, is very well connected by road to many major cities of Uttarakhand including Haridwar, Rishikesh, Dehradun and Srinagar. You can easily reach Govindghat by Uttarakhand’s government bus service and private bus service.
Apart from this, you can easily reach Govindghat by taxi and cab from National Highway 58. Apart from this, you can also reach Govindghat by your private vehicle.
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