Sri Hemkunt Sahib Ji – Situated at a height of over 15,000 feet above the sea level
Sri Hemkunt Sahib Ji
Situated at a height of over 15,000 feet above the sea level in the Himalayan ranges of northern India, Sri Hemkunt Sahib has emerged as a popular center of Sikh Pilgrimage which is visited by thousands of devotees from all over the world every summer. According to Bachitra Natak, the autobiographical account of the tenth Guru, Gobind Singh, it was at Hemkunt ‘adorned with seven snow peaks’ that he meditated in his previous birth. It was during the thirties of the twentieth century that the place was discovered by Sant Sohan Singh and Bhai Modam Singh. 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 kilometers 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.