Hemkund Sahib

Hemkund Sahib

Hemkund Sahib

Hemkund Sahib (also spelled Hemkunt), formally known as Gurudwara Shri Hemkund Sahib Ji, is a Sikh place of worship and pilgrimage site in Chamoli districtUttarakhandIndia. It is devoted to Guru Gobind Singh (1666–1708), the tenth Sikh Guru, and finds mention in Dasam Granth, a work dictated by Guruji himself. With its setting of a glacial lake surrounded by seven mountain peaks, each adorned by a Nishan Sahib on its cliff, it is according to the Survey of India located in the Himalayas at an elevation of 4,632 meters (15,197 feet).[1] It is approached from Gobindghat on the RishikeshBadrinath highway. The main town near Gobindghat is Joshimath.

Etymology

Hemkund is a Sanskrit name derived from Hem (“Snow”) and Kund (“bowl”). Dasam Granth says this is the place where Pandu Raja practiced Yoga. In addition, the Dasam Granth says God ordered Sikh Guru Gobind Singh to take bath while he was in deep meditation at the mount of Hemkunt. 

 

  • Hemkund Sahib overview

  • 23 /15 °C

  • May, Jun, Sep, Oct, Nov,
  •  Chamoli, Garhwal
  • Starts from Govindghat
    Trek Distance 19 kms
    Trek grade Moderate
    Trek duration 3 days
    Altitude range 4300
  • 1 – 2 days
  •  Sikh Pilgrimage, Treks
  •  Rishikesh, 273kms
  •  Jolly Grant Airport, 292kms

Hemkund is inaccessible from October through April because of snowbound paths and glaciers. Sikh pilgrims arrive in May and set to work to repair the damage to the path over the winter, which tradition is called kar seva (“selfless service”), a concept which forms an important tenet of the Sikh faith.

The take-off point for Hemkund Sahib is the town of Govindghat about 275 kilometres (171 mi) from Rishikesh. The 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) trek is along a reasonably well-maintained path to the village of Ghangaria (also called Govinddham). This path can be covered either by walk or by pony and a Gurudwara here gives shelter to pilgrims. In addition, there are a few hotels and a campground with tents and mattresses. A 1,100-metre (3,600 ft)climb on a 6-kilometre (3.7 mi) of stone paved path leads Hemkund. Overnight stay is not allowed at Hemkund Sahib and so it is necessary to leave by 2 PM to make it back to Govindghat by nightfall.

From Delhi, tourists take the train to Haridwar and then travel by bus to Govindghat via Rishikesh. It is also possible to drive from Delhi to Govindghat, a distance of about 500 kilometres (310 mi) which takes around 18 hours to cover. Recently, an Indian airline company has started a helicopter service between Govindghat and Ghangria. The flight takes about 5 minutes.

The recent helicopter service started between Govindghat and Gangaria

A recent study examining altitude sickness at Hemkund Sahib found that almost one-third of pilgrims who traveled to Hemkund suffered from Acute Mountain Sickness (a form of altitude sickness). As approximately 150,000 pilgrims are believed to travel to Hemkund Sahib each trekking season, almost 50,000 people are at risk of developing Acute Mountain Sickness each year. The authors stated the difficult nature of the trek, limited water consumption, and lack of awareness regarding altitude sickness as the main contributory factors.

Present Gurudwara

Design and construction of the present gurudwara was started in the mid-1960s, after Major General Harkirat Singh, Engineer-in-Chief, Indian Army visited the gurudwara. Major General Harkirat Singh selected Architect Siali to head the design and construction effort. Thereafter, Architect Siali luddu made annual trips to Hemkund Sahib and organized and supervised complex construction.

2013 North India floods, took a heavy toll on the route to Hemkund Sahib. Part of the gurdwara, at Govindghat collapsed, including the langar hall, which collapsed into the river, the parking lot was swept away, only bridge above the Alaknanda River was broken and the building next to it, and the entire footpath at 14,200ft, leading to Hemkund Sahib, from Govindghat was swept away.

Valley of Flowers

About 3 km from Gobinddham is the 5 km long Valley of Flowers. The Indian Government has declared this valley a national park. It is situated in Nanda Devi Bio Reserve, and all activities are carefully regulated to preserve the valley in pristine condition. The best months to visit are July and August, during the monsoons. Legend has it that a flower called Brahma-Kamal blossoms here every 12 years. The trek to the valley is for advanced trekkers, especially during an extended period of rainfall. Almost every single rock on the path to the valley of flowers is wobbly and requires significant level of concentration to avoid an unnecessary injury. It is a popular second destination for pilgrims visiting Hemkunt Sahib and definitely worth spending a day.

Delhi – Dehradun – Haridwar – Rishikesh – Devprayag – Srinagar – Rudraprayag – Gopeshwar – Joshimath-Govindghat-Ghangaria-Hemkund SahibTravel Hemkund Sahib by Air
BY AIR :
The nearest airport from Hemkund Sahib is Jolly Grant Airport, which is situated in Dehradun, some 310 kms away.

Travel Hemkund Sahib by Train
BY TRAIN :
The closest railheads from Hemkund Sahib are at Dehradun and Haridwar. From both the destinations, one can avail buses or cab to reach Hemkund.

Travel Hemkund Sahib by Roadways
BY BUS :
Private buses are available from both Haridwar and Dehradun for Joshimath. These buses leave early in the morning and take about 9-11 hours to reach Joshimath. From Joshimath, private taxis can take one to Govindghat, where the motorable road ends. One has to then trek up to Hemkund Sahib from here.

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Terms and Conditions
Parking will be including only for station, Airport.
GST will be extra as per government rule.
A/C will be switched off on hilly routes.
Our Vehicle don’t go to bad and narrow road.
For out station duty driver will not drive after 20:00 Hrs. & Hills after sunset as per gov Rule.
Sightseeing as per the itinerary (wherever the Vehicle would be allowed to Go.)
For airport/railway transfers it is the customer’s responsibility to call the cab at enough notice to make it for the connecting journey. Any delay caused by traffic etc will not be the responsibility of Haridwar Rishikesh Travels Tourism.

 

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Terms & Condition

  1. Parking will be including only for station, Airport.
    GST will be extra as per government rule.
    A/C will be switched off on hilly routes.
    Our Vehicle don’t go to bad and narrow road.
    If you want to take a car for local use on km basis then Start/End km & hours are calculated from Garage to Garage.
    For out station duty driver will not drive after 20:00 Hrs. & Hills after sunset as per gov Rule.
    On no account driver can be force asked to go on speed beyond the normal speed allowed by the Indian Motor Vehicles ACT.
    Parking, Toll and Entry fee are directly payed by customer
    Kindly check the vehicle before realizing. We are not responsible for any loss of bags/articles.
    Sightseeing as per the itinerary (wherever the Vehicle would be allowed to Go.
    Rishikesh Taxi reserves the right to give you a similar car if the car you booked is unavailable.

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Distance from Delhi: 250 kilometers

Holy cities abound in India and coming in a close second to Benares are the cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. Haridwar literally means ‘the abode of Lord Vishnu’ and millions of people flock here every year to take part in an annual pilgrimage. Rishikesh is another perfect weekend getaway endowed with natural beauty. Haridwar and Rishikesh are meat and alcohol free cities because of their holy nature.  Haridwar and Rishikesh are considered the “twin national heritage cities”. Since both the cities are popular tourist destinations, they provide a wide range of gastronomic options that are delicious and caters to people on various budgets and with different tastes. The mystical and spiritual environment of Haridwar and Rishikesh are the reason why they are considered perennial holiday destinations for people all around the world.

Haridwar-Rishikesh-Tourist-places
A Trip to Haridwar and Rishikesh promises to be an enlightening experience

What to Do in Haridwar​

Haridwar is one of the most populous cities of Uttarakhand. Masses of people frequent Haridwar every year to pay their respects to the holy river Ganga.  The bustling lanes of Haridwar will have you roaming for a long time because there’s a unique sight to see at every corner of the town. However, beware of rhesus monkeys who are notoriously famous for harassing people along the ghats. Haridwar is the busiest during the Kumbh Mela that’s a religious pilgrimage and a photographer’s delight because of uncommon sights seen during this event.

1) Har ki Pauri Ghat – Literally meaning the ‘footstep of God’, it is a holy bank on the river Ganga. The place is teeming with people wanting to take a dip in the holy waters. Every evening at sundown, the ghat is a sensory spectacle when the Ganga aarti is performed, with bells ringing and flaming torches everywhere.

2) Temple Hopping – Haridwar has several temples dedicated to various Hindu gods and goddesses. The hilltop temple of Mansa Devi is very popular as she is considered to be the wish-fulfilling goddess. You can either walk up the hill or take the cable car. The Maya Devi temple on the riverbank and the Chandi Devi temple on Neel Parvat are some of the other important temples.

Haridwar-Rishikesh-Tourist-places

3) Ashrams – If you’re looking for a peaceful abode for meditation, head to one of the many ashrams in the city. Shanti Kunj Ashram is set in a beautiful garden and provides lodging, meals and spiritual activities. Patanjali Yogpeeth is another popular ashram, especially for practising yoga.

4) Adventure Tours – Apart from spirituality, Haridwar is also famous for other activities such as trekking, bird-watching and rafting. Visit Rajaji National Park, which has a large population of wild elephants and if you’re lucky, you might even spot a tiger!

5) Food Trail – Street food of Haridwar is renowned, especially the aloo puri at Mohanji Puriwale and the kachoris at Kashyap Kachoriwala. Try the sweets at Mathura Walon Ki Prachin Dukaan. Don’t forget to pack an iron stomach! Haridwar Rishikesh Tourist places *

Travel Tips

Where to Stay? Hotel La Casa (3 star), Godwin Hotel (4 star), Aalia on Ganges (5 star)

Budget: Rs. 1,000 per person for 2 nights (inclusive of 3 star hotel and breakfast)

Distance From Delhi: Haridwar – 250 km

Traveller Type: Family, Friends

Haridwar-Rishikesh-Tourist-places-Travel-Tips
Street Food in Haridwar

To explore other exciting quick getaways across India, click here!

Haridwar Rishikesh Tourist places

What to Do in Rishikesh

Infamous for the Ram Jhula and Lakshman Jhula, Rishikesh has a lot to offer in terms of Spirituality and adventure.Rishikesh is considered the ‘yoga capital of the world’ and there are plenty of ashrams that allow you a chance to meditate and attain ‘moksha’ which is supplemented by a dip in the Holy river. Rishikesh is the birthplace of Ayurveda. Despite being a magnet for soul searchers and thrill seekers, Rishikesh has survived the ravages of time and has retained an old-world charm that influences you, the moment you set foot in the town. Even The Beatles had visited Rishikesh back in the 60’s in search of what everyone comes to Rishikesh for, enlightenment and Activism. There’s lots to see and a lot more to do once you’re in Rishikesh.

1) Adventure Trails – Rishikesh is very popular with adrenaline junkies who are lured by the white rapids of the Ganga. White water rafting is very popular and you can choose the grade (ranging from 1 to 4) based on your age and appetite for adventure. Bungee jumping is another activity you can indulge in here.

Haridwar-Rishikesh-Tourist-places

2) Yoga Retreats – Ever since the Beatles popularised transcendental meditation years ago, Rishikesh has been a haven for those seeking spiritual enlightenment through yoga and meditation. Parmarth Niketan on the banks of the Ganga is the foremost yoga centre in the city. Alternatively, try Sanskriti Yogpeeth for a more luxurious stay.

3) Temples – Rishikesh is the starting point for the Char Dhaam Yatra and there are several ancient temples around Lakshman Jhoola, the bridge that spans the Ganga. The Neelkanth Mahadev Temple and the Trimbakeshwar Temple are most popular.

4) Triveni Ghat – The confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati is the main ghat for taking a holy dip. The ancient Rishi Kund and Raghunath Temple nearby are also worth a visit.

5) Shopping – The bazaars of Rishikesh are a shopper’s paradise. Here you can buy beautiful wall paintings and wooden furniture to give your home a rustic haveli look.

​6) Aarti at Parmarth Ghat –  Rishikesh is popularly known for it’s ghat- side aartis that take place at dusk. The aarti at the Parmarth ghat is a spectacular sight and is also a photographer’s delight.

Top-10-Things-To-Do-In-Rishikesh-Shopping
Shopping in Rishikesh

7) Where to eat in Rishikesh – The Chotiwala restaurant is an age old family run business that deserves a visit for it’s fabulous food and the dressed up Chotiwala pandit who sits outside the restaurant at all times.  ​

8) Outside Haridwar – Take a day trip to the Rajaji National park located close to Haridwar, and travel among the thickets of the jungle to discover herds of elephants who roam in the park.

Here are a few tips if you’re planning a weekend getaway to Rishikesh: Haridwar Rishikesh Tourist places

Where to Stay? Hotel Akash Continental (3 star), The Amaris (4 star), Ananda in the Himalayas (5 star)

Budget: Rs. 5,000 per person for 2 nights (inclusive of 3 star hotel, transfers and sightseeing)

Distance From Delhi: 220 km

Traveller Type: Family, Friends

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