Hemkund

Why To Go

Hemkund Sahib also popularly known as Gurudwara Sri Hemkund Sahebji, is a famous Sikh place of worship and pilgrimage situated in the Chamoli district in Uttarakhand, India. It is devoted to the memory of Guru Gobind Singhji, the tenth Sikh Guru. The gurudwara finds mention in Dasam Granth, a work which is supposed to have been dedicated to him.

Highly revered as a Sikh place of worship, Hemkund Sahib meaning ‘Lake of Snow’ is the highest Gurudwara in the world, situated at an elevation of around 4600 metres and over 15,000 feet. Nestled at the back drop of snow laden Garhwal Himalayas, the natural settings make this pilgrimage site an amazing hill station that can be trekked from Ghangharia and through numerous waterfalls, thick green forests and splendid views of the Himalayas.

With lovely nature amid crystal clear water of Hemkund Lake, which is fed by the glaciers from Hathi Parvat and Saptarishi peak , the entire region is not only alluring for devotees but also for tourists who love to rejuvenate amongst the pure nature.

The beautiful setting of the glacial lake surrounded by seven mountain peaks is a sight which should not be missed. The name ‘Hemkund’ refers to a lake in the Himalayas. Hemkund Sahib is also known as Lokpal by many Hindus across the cities in the nation.

The ascent to Hemkund is tough; the path is stony and steep. Surrounded by the hill sides holds the rare Brahma Kamal flowers.

Travel Tips

The best and right time to visit Hemkund Sahib is between May and October. This is the time when the temperature hovers around 20-22 degree Celcius, making it pleasant. Also, during these months the Hemkund Sahib Yatra remains open for the devotees. Avoid travelling here during the monsoon as the area is prone to landslides with the roads remaining blocked. Make sure you return before dark. The route can become hazardous. The phones are almost down, so it’s not possible to book ahead. Camps are set up in season just before Ghangharia.

Things To Do

There are a number of Hindu pilgrimage sites which are located in and around the district. It should be noted that two of the Chota Char Dham temples, namely Badrinath and Kedarnath, are the most important ones in the area. Also, three of the five prayags – Karnaoravas, Nandoravae and Vishnuprayag – are located here and are famous pilgrimage destinations. One should also take the time to visit The Valley of Flowers, a biodiversity hotspot and the most popular national park located in the district. Kauri Pass and Roopkund (referred to as Mystery Lake) are also known for their scenic splendour. The area also provides options for trekking with places like Devaria-Taal, Vedni-Bugyal, Auli-Bugyal, Gurson-Bugyal and Roopkund. Trekking is another attraction in this place for adventure lovers.

Getting Around

The best way to get around the area is either by trekking or by a hired car. There are also buses and taxis available to the spot. Another mode of commuting within the area is by walking on foot.

How To Reach

FLIGHT

The nearest airport is located at Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, around 310 kms away from the Hemkund Shaib. From there, you would reach to Govind Ghat (290 km) by road by taxi. Once you reach to Govind Ghat, you have to do 19 km trekking to reach Hemkund Sahib. You may also avail a helicopter from Govind Ghat.

TRAIN

The nearest railway station is located at Rishikesh. From the station, reach to Govind Ghat by road via NH 58. Roads are well maintained and motorable.Post Govind Ghat, you can reach Hemkund Sahib by trekking. The other rail stations are at Haridwar and Dehradun. The stations are well connected to most Indian cities. From both the stations you may avail bus or taxi to reach Hemkund.

ROAD

Hemkund Sahib is well connected till Govind Ghat by buses, taxis and private cars. Alternatively, private buses are available from Haridwar and Dehradun for Joshimath. From Joshimath, hire private car or taxi to reach Govind Ghat via NH 58. From there, reach the Holy Shrine (Hemkund Sahib) by trekking.

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Surrounding Attractions

Tourists must visit the 5 km-long Valley of Flowers. It has been declared as a National Park by the Indian Government. A rich variety of flora bloom here during monsoons. The best time to visit the park is between July and August, during the monsoons. A famous flower called the Brahma-Kamal blossoms here once in 12 years. The trek to the location is quite easy and is a popular destination for pilgrims visiting Hemkund Sahib. Ghangaria is a hamlet nestled at an altitude of 3,050 metres at a distance of 13km from Govind Ghat and 4kms before Valley of Flowers. It is a place of scenic beauty. Joshimath, Badrinath, Kedarnath are other popular pilgrimage hill stations that are situated around this Holy Shrine.
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