Shri Hemkunt Sahib is an important pilgrimage destination for Hindus and Sikhs. Hemkund is the breathtaking Lokpal lake located at an altitude of 4329 m from the sea level. The picturesque natural settings make this hill region an amazing place for rejuvenating vacations. One can reach this majestic lake through a challenging but interesting and enjoyable trek from Ghangharia.
Sikhs consider this as a scared region with one of the famous Sikh Gurudwara placed in the heart of the region. A Hindu shrine dedicated to mythological hero Lakshmana is attractive for Hindu Pilgrims. This temple is built on the banks of Hemkund.
Hemkunt Sahib is nestled amidst seven snow capped peaks and marvelous snowy glaciers. The nature is reflected here with all its mighty appearance in the crystal clear alluring water. Hemkund lake is fed by the glaciers from majestic peaks known as Hathi Parvat and Saptrishi peaks. A small stream known as Himganga originates from this imposing lake.
It is recorded in the holy Granth Sahib that the tenth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Govind Singh mediated on the serene banks of Hemkund in one of his earlier births. Guru Govind Singh is believed to be the Guru who founded all present characteristics of present Sikhism. The Gurudwara of the Sikhs on the banks of Hemkund is located at the place where Guru had meditated. Huge flocks of Sikh pilgrims pay their visit to this Gurudwara every year.
Hemkunt has got mentions in the Ramayana. It is believed that the younger brother of Lord Rama, Lakshmana regained his health by meditating on the banks of Hemkunt after the severe injuries he received from Meghnath during Rama-Ravana war. The Lakshmana temple is built at the place where Lakshmana meditated to regain the health.
More Pilgrimage Places for Sikhs
Nanak Matta Sahib
Gurdwara Nanak Mata is a historical Sikh shrine in a town also named Nanak Mata (often pronounced Matta) in district Udham Singh Nagar, Uttarakhand northern India. Uttarakhand borders Tibet to the north, Nepal to the east, and the states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh in the west and south respectively.
The provisional capital of Uttarakhand is Dehradun which is also a rail-head and the largest city in the region.
The town is associated with Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Hargobind. It is situated on the bank of Deoha stream, which has since been dammed into a reservoir named Nanak Sagar. The Gurdwara is located 15 kilometres west of Khatima Railway Station on the Pilibhit-Tanakpur metre-gauge section of North-Eastern Railway. The holy shrine is near the town of Sitarganj.
Gurdwara Sri Nanak Mata Sahib is associated with the first Guru, Guru Nanak Dev ji who went there during his third Udasi in 1514 A.D. At that time, Gurdwara Sri Nanak Mata Sahib was the abode of the devotees of Guru Gorakhnath and it was called “Gorakhmata”.
The yogis who lived there did not want the local people to become learned enough to challenge his superiority. Therefore, by using their occult power, they successfully exploited the poor people and obtain advantage due to their ignorance.
Reetha Meetha sahib
Meetha Reetha Sahib is located at Dyuri village of Champawat district which is 72 kms from Champawat. Basically this place is well connected with almost all the major towns of Kumaon region. Once Guru Nanak ji went to visit this place and it’s said that Nanak ji have had spiritual discussion with Gorakhpanthi Jogis over there. The Gurudwara of Reetha Sahib was constructed in 1960 at the confluence of Lodhiya and Ratiya river, which is near village Deyuri. This Gurudwara also knows as Meetha Reetha because there are famous trees of sweet Reetha (Sapindus emarginatus) in the Gurudwara premises, adjoining it to the temple of Dhernath. Before the motor Road build to Bhingrara, people used to come to see this place on foot. A fair is held at the Gurudwara on Baisakhi Poornima.
Ghangaria is a scenic hamlet perched at an altitude of 3,050mts above sea level in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand state. It is the last human habitation centre on the way to Hemkund Sahib and the Valley of Flowers. Ghangaria is the confluence of Pushpawati and Hemganga River, which is then called Lakshman Ganga. Govind Ghat is situated on NH58 on the banks of Alaknanda River and acts as the commencement point of the trek to Ghangharia.
Ghangharia can be reached after an easy trek of 13kms from Govind Ghat. It is likely that you will fall in love with the beautiful mountains and cascading waterfalls enroute. The 10kms trek from Govind Ghat will end up in a bridge, and the further 3kms from the bridge to Ghangharia is steep. The region is prone to heavy snowfall during winters, therefore the region remains closed from December – April. A Gurudwara, GMVN rest houses and a few more private hotels provide accommodation facility at Ghangaria.
Famous for/as: Pilgrim
Languages: Garhwali, Hindi
Best Season: Jun – Oct
Weather: Summer 2 to 25°C,
Winter: -17 to 18°C.
Altitude: 4200 m
STD code: 01372
Solan to Hemkund Sahib 533 km
Rudra Prayag to Hemkund Sahib 89 km
Pilibhit to Hemkund Sahib 362 km
Paonta Sahib to Hemkund Sahib 416 km
Saharanpur to Hemkund Sahib 418 km
Best Season / Best time to visit
Hemkund Sahib has a cool climate in most part of the year and the best time to visit is from June to October.
Summers (June to October) have a pleasant cool weather with maximum temperature reaches to nearly 25°C. It is a good season for viewing the panoramic beauty.
Winters (November to May) are snow covered and difficult to visit the outdoor attractions. Minimum temperature can go well down with average minimum about -4 °C.
June to October is pleasant and ideal for the pilgrimage and also for the visit of the national park. August and September are eye catching months with blooming flowers. December to May is snow bound and road blocks prevent the tourist from visiting the outdoors.
Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Shri Hemkunt Sahib
Valley Of Flowers
Valley of Flowers is beautiful 4 kms, easy trek from Ghangaria. The region of Valley of Flowers is rich in varied flora and fauna. The valley of flowers was declared as the National Park of India in the year 1982 and it is now a world heritage site. The virgin beauty of this mystical valley has always lured botanists, nature lovers and adventure lovers.
It is the last human habitation centre on the way to Hemkund Sahib and the Valley of Flowers. Ghangaria is a scenic hamlet perched at an altitude of 3,050mts above sea level at a distance of 13km from Govind Ghat and 4kms before Valley of flowers. The trek becomes easy to moderate from this point if you are travel towards Hemkund Sahib. The region is prone to heavy snowfall in winters, therefore the region remains opened from May to October. A Gurudwara, GMVN rest houses and a few more hotels provide accommodation facility at Ghangharia.
How to Reach Here
By air: Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest Airport to Hemkund Sahib but the roads are only connected upto Govind Ghat from where you have to commence trek of 19kms to reach Hemkund Sahib. Govindghat is situated at a distance of 292kms from Jolly Grant Airport. Jolly Grant Airport is well connected to Delhi with daily flights. Govindghat is well connected by motorable roads with Jolly Grant Airport. Taxis are available from Jolly Grant Airport to Govindghat.
By road: Hemkund Sahib is connected upto Govind Ghat with motoralble roads and from here you have to commence trek of 19kms to reach Hemkund Sahib. Govindghat is well connected by motorable roads with major destinations of Uttarakhand state. Buses to Haridwar, Rishikesh and Srinagar are available from ISBT Kashmiri Gate. Buses and Taxis to Govindghat are easily available from major destinations of Uttarakhand state like Rishikesh, Pauri, Rudraprayag, Karnaprayag, Ukhimath, Srinagar, Chamoli etc. Govindghat is situated on National Highway 58 making it easy to reach.
By rail: The nearest railway station to Hemkund Sahib is Rishikesh but the roads are only connected upto Govind Ghat from where you have to commence trek of 16 kms to reach Hemkund Sahib. Rishikesh railway station is situated 273 kms before Govindghat on NH58. Rishikesh is well connected by railway networks with major destinations of India. Trains to Rishikesh are frequent. Govindghat is well connected by motorable roads with Rishikesh. Taxis and buses are available from Rishikesh, Srinagar, Rudraprayag, Chamoli, Joshimath and many other destinations to Govindghat.
Image & Information copyright by uttarakhandtourism.gov.in