Shri Hemkund Sahib Yatra– A high-altitude Lokpal Lake nestled in Garhwal Himalaya, Hemkund is an significant pilgrimage for both Hindus and Sikhs. There is a gurudwara as well as a Lakshman Temple built on the banks of the lake.
Shri Hemkund sahib yatra begin from Ghanghariya leads you to Gurudwara in about four to six hours. As referred in the holy Granth Sahib, Guru Govind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, meditated on the bank of this lake in one of his earlier avatars.
It is believed that the younger brother of lord Rama, Lakshman meditated here and regained his helath after seriously wounded during the battle of Lanka by Meghnad, son of Ravana.
Shri Hemkund Sahib Yatra
A very popular trekking destination, the Hemkund yatra trail passes through forests where rhododendron, wild roses, ferns and alpine flowers abound. Shri hemkund sahib Gurudwara open for only few months of the year. Ponies (₹350) are available if you prefer to ride up the 6km zigzag track.
Shri Hemkund sahib yatra from Ghangaria involves joining the hundreds of Sikh pilgrims toiling up to the 4300m Hem Kund, the holy lake surrounded by seven peaks where Sikh guru Gobind Singh is believed to have meditated in his previous life.
Also called Govinddham, Ghangaria is a one-street village in a wonderful deodar forest with a busy market, a handful of budget hotels and mediocre restaurants, hundreds of ponies, a pharmacy and a doctor.Water and electricity supplies are erratic. It can get cold, so bring warm layers.
Top tip: if you have the time, sleep at Badrinath the night before you trek to Ghangaria to acclimatise your body to the altitude; it’ll make the hike easier.
Ghangaria is a scenic but strenuous 14km uphill trek from Govindghat, which takes five to seven hours. You can quicken the trip and help the local economy by hiring a pony (₹437) through the Eco Development Committee office at the bridge over the Alaknanda River.
The return trip takes four to five hours. You don’t need to carry food because there are dhabas and drink stalls along the way serving the army of pilgrims heading to Hem Kund.