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Hemkund Sahib - Where Guru Gobind Singh stayed for 10 years

Hemkund is a Sikh pilgrimage site and the Giridwara is located at the highest elevation of 4320 meters. This holy site is located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara got its name from the lake located near this gurudwara.

It is dedicated to the tenth Sikh guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. There is also a small temple that is located on the shore of Hemkund Lake, which is dedicated to the younger brother of Lord Rama, Bharat. The gurudwara is in a star shape and is made up of white marble and concrete.

No one is allowed to have a night stay in Gurudwara, for a night stay you need to trek toward Govindghat or Ghangaria. The word Hemkund means a lake of Snow or a bowl of snow which is a Sanskrit word that is dedicated to this Sikh pilgrimage site.

Hemkund Sahib is also the second most visited Gurudwara in India after the Golden Temple which is located in Amritsar. The Valley of Flowers is located in proximity to Hemkund Sahib and as per the mythology, it was believed that this Valley was showered with flowers from heaven when Guru Gobind Singh came to this earth.

Before entering Gurudwara the devotees are asked to take a dip in an ice-cold Glacier lake whose temperature remains at -10 degrees Celsius.

The flood that came in the year 2013 at Kedarnath also impacted Hemkund Sahib and the entire Uttrakhand very deeply. All the parts going towards this Gurudwara were washed away and are now rebuilt to make the way for devotees easier.

Facts about Hemkund Sahib

Trek Duration

6 nights / 7 days

Maximum altitude

15201 feets

Difficulty Level

Easy to Moderate

Trek distance

14 km


Day: 18°C to 12°C,  Night: 5°C to -1°C

Best time to explore

May to October month

Last ATM


Starting & Ending point

Ex Haridwar

History of Hemkund Sahib

In earlier times, Hemkund Sahib was known as Lokpal which means “The sustainer of people”. This Gurudwara is having its mention in the autobiography of Sri Guru Gobind Singh.

This site has remained hidden for almost two centuries. “Vanquisher of Evil” was the name that was chosen by Guru Gobind Singh which means Dusht Daman whose story was narrated by a famous Sikh historian and poet Santosh Singh.

In the 19th Century, various synopsis of the Sikh pilgrimage site was completed by Bhai Pandit Tara Singh Narotam who was a scholar. As per the Hindu Puranas in Mahabharat, the term Narotam refers to a place where Pandu King had meditated and he was the one who verified this site as Hemkund Sahib from 1872 to 1954 A.D.

The discovery of Hemkund Sahib became authentic after Bhai Veer Singh a renowned poet and historian agreed to the authenticity of Narottam's evidence. The present location of Hemkund Sahib was discovered by Sant Sohan Singh who was a retired army man of Tehri Garhwal.

He visited the place in 1934 along with Baba Kartar Singh as he was very inspired by the description given by Bhai Veer Singh. Later on, Sant Sohan Singh decided to set up a Gurudwara at this place and also made by Veer Singh in regards to setting up a Gurudwara.

Mythology of Hemkund Sahib

As for the Legend, that course around for Shri Hemkund Sahib is that it was known as Lokpal. It was a meditational ground for the younger brother of Lord Rama, Lakshman which was beside the lake. Also, there is a temple on the Shore of Hemkund Lake which is dedicated to Lord Lakshman.

Trek to Hemkund Sahib

The track for Hemkund Sahib starts from Govindghat which is around the distance of 22 km from Joshimath. Hemkund Sahib is located at an elevation of 15201 feet above sea level and is one of the treks that ranges from moderate to easy trekking difficulty level.

This Sikh pilgrimage site is located in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand and is bounded by the Kumaon region on its Eastern side width on its Northern side and Uttar Pradesh on its Southern side.

From Govindghat, you need to trek for at least 14 km to reach this holy pilgrimage site and on your way to this Gurudwara, you will be witnessing some impressive Himalayan peaks such as Shivling, Nanda Devi, Chaukhamba, Kedarnath Dome, etc. Other than this there are beautiful Meadows and large glaciers on the route.

On the track, you will find Lakshman Ganga which later joins the Alaknanda river and after trekking for 3 km you will reach a small Hamlet Pulna, and beyond Pulna the trek becomes more exciting.

By trekking further from Pulna you will reach Bhyundar village which is at a distance of 7 km and has a splendrous waterfall and cold water spring.

On moving further you will come across a tea stall where you can take a halt also you will be getting a tourist guide at this place.

After that, you will reach the Right Bank of Lakshman Ganga and from there you will cross the river through a long Bridge to reach on the Left Bank of the river.

The two kilometers of this trek are the hardest and steeper one and by encountering this trek you will reach Ghangaria which is the base camp for Hemkund Sahib and Valley of Flowers. From Ghangaria you just need to walk for 6 km more to reach Hemkund Sahib.

Nearby Places to Explore

Some of the top tourist attractions that are located near Hemkund Sahib are mentioned below:

1. Hemkund Lake

Hemkund Lake is located near Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara. This is a Pristine little water body that enhances the beauty of this sacred site. The devotees visiting Hemkund Sahib also take a dip in the holy water of this Hemkund Sahib.

2. Valley of Flowers

Valley of Flowers is located nearby of Hemkund Sahib which is a beautiful place that can be reached by tracking from Ghangaria.

Ghangaria is the point from where the tracking path of Hemkund Sahib and Valley of Flower diverges. Valley of Flowers is rich in a variety of flora and is a higher altitude National Park that gives the full bloom during the monsoon months.

Where to stay

There is no accommodation in Hemkund Sahib so for accommodation one needs to trek toward Ghangaria or Govindghat for the overnight stay. You can stay in hotels or lodges in Ghangaria which is also known as the base camp of Hemkund Sahib trek. Some of the good places for accommodation in Ghangaria are:

Kuber Hotel, Prithvi Yatra Hotel K. Trekking, Hotel Himalayan Holidays, Hotel Nature's Nest Inn, Hotel Bhagat, Bhagat by Bigfoot Stay.

How to reach Hemkund Sahib

By air: Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is the nearest airport to Hemkund Sahib. From Dehradun, you can get any local cab or taxi to reach Govindghat. The trek toward Hemkund Sahib starts from Govindghat which is a 14 km long trek. Ghangaria is well connected with Dehradun through a well-motorable road.

Helicopter service: If you want to cover both Hemkund Sahib and the Valley of Flowers together, then you can also opt for helicopter service or you can reach there by trekking too.

Helicopter service will be provided from Govind Ghat to Ghangaria, but from there onward there is no other option but you need to trek to reach your destination.  Helicopter services are not provided during bad weather.

By Rail: The nearest railway station is Rishikesh Railway Station and from there you can reach Govindghat on a well-motorable road.  From Govindghat you need to cover a further distance of 17 km by trekking only.

The distance of Govindghat from Rishikesh is 273 km. You can get a local taxi or bus service from Rishikesh, Rudraprayag, Srinagar, Chamoli, Joshimath, and many more destinations.

By Road: To reach Hemkund Sahib you can get the well motorable road up to Pulna village which is 4 km away from Govindghat. A further trek of 14 km is needed to be done to reach Hemkund Sahib, you can get a local taxi or bus service from Rishikesh, Rudraprayag, Srinagar, Chamoli, Joshimath, and many more destinations.

Best time to visit Hemkund Sahib

The best time to explore Hemkund Sahib, a Sikh pilgrimage side is between May till the October month. During this period, the road remains clear from the snow. Although these are mostly the monsoon months so there is a risk of roadblocks and heavy downpours and thus you need to take some precautions while visiting this site.

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