History of Hem Kund Sahib
Hemkund ( Lake of gold), is situated nearly 29 kms from Joshimath via Govindghat, is set in one of the famous beauty spots of the central Himalayas and has a lake of crystal clear water located in beautifulsurrounding. The glaciers from Hathi Parvat and Sapt shring peaks feedthe lake and a small stream called Himganga flows out of the lakes.
It is believed that Guru Govind Singh , the 10th Guru of the Sikh faith had meditated on the bank of thislake in one of his earlier births, as alluded to in the holly Granthsahib. There is a Sikh Gurudwara and a Lakshman Temple build on thebank of the lake. It is believed Lakshmana was brought here after hefell unconscious in the war with Ravana.
About the places to visit in Hem Kund Sahib Yatra:-
This is well equipped to accommodate a thousand pilgrims in its four large buildings. All the rooms, although not furnished, are carpeted and quite cosy, especially the ones facing the river. Mattresses and blankets are provided by the gurdwara too.
From the bridge cross the Alakananda (at Gobindghat), it is 14 km to the next settlement, Ghangharia, or Gobind Dham as the Sikhs call it. Ghangharia is actually a large meadow; a tourist rest house and the gurdwara are the only building of any significance. The rest are just temporary shacks, occupied only occasionally by nomadic shepherds or some shopkeepers who come during the pilgrimage season. An experienced trekker may find the walk to Ghangharia very easy; the track runs all along the Bhyundyar Ganga, ascending and descending at regular intervals, thus giving the trekker ample respite from both types of strains. One passes through a varied forest of many types of trees and several meadows covered with dandelions. The forest floor is thick with ferns and huge rocks covered with many types of moss. There are two quaint villages en route: Pulns, 3 km out of Gobindghat, and Bhyundyar, just 5 km short of Ghangharia. The walk, though difficult, is nevertheless refreshing; one is awestruck with rapturous exclamations over the pristine beauty of the mountains and springtime flowers.
The Hemkund Lake
This is about 2 km in circumference. One would be gasped in awestruck wonder at the first sight of Hemkund. The frozen lake and all the virgin snow around is a surely heavenly sight. The clear, still water of the lake reflects the Saptashringa Peaks (5,500 m) that surround it. Bits of ice float on the waters between July and September, the best season to visit Hemkund. The rock-strewn shores of the lake are covered with moss and flowers in bloom. As far as the eye can see, down the length of the valley, up the lower mountain slopes, there are flowers and flowers, and still more flowers. More than a thousand Himalayan varieties of flowers, ferns, and herbs are massed in the valley in all their frail beauty and scented sweetness. The waterfalls flashing white against the mountainsides, nothing is more striking than the valley's absolute bloom of stunning perfection. There would not be another living thing in sight. The only sound one can hear would probably be one's own sound. Visiting this place could be regarded as the encounter with the personification of absolute peace and raw natural beauty. It does not take much imagination to understand how the place came to be regarded as a spiritual power place.
Tour to Hemkund A little over 9,000 feet above sea level, Auli in the Garhwal Himalayas is an introduction to a wild, exhilarating new world of speed that most sensible men would shun. On the challenging slopes of Nanda Devi, skiers can race downhill at more than 130 km per hour. Once an expensive sport limited to the privileged few, the heady, adrenalin-producing pastime of skiing has been brought within the reach of the common person at Auli-India's newest ski resort.
There is a temple built by the great guru and spiritual teacher Adi Shankaracharya more than 1,200 years ago. The temple still exists, as does the ancient temple of Ugra Narasimha with the striking man-lion form of Vishnu, the Preserver in the Hindu Trinity.
About 12 km from Gobindghat is located the beautiful Valley of Flowers, a glacial corridor 8 km in length and 2 km in width. Its floor slopes from almost 3,500 m above sea level up to almost 4,000 m. True to its name, the valley is carpeted with wildflowers during the monsoon season. Of the many species which coexist in this unique ecosystem, the most popular among visitors are the Himalayan blue poppy native to the region, the uncommon varieties of primulas and orchid which bloom during June, and the impatiens, potentillas, and campanulas which paint the valley pink, red, and purple during July and August.
Travel Information :
By Air :
Nearest airport is Jolly Grant, 307 kms. Dehradun 334 kms.)
By Rail :
Nearest railhead is Rishikesh, 293 kms.
By Road :
Hemkund Saheb is 5 Kms. from Ghangharia, which is approachable on foot from Govindghat which is connected by road with Rishikesh, Kotdwara, Dehradun, Haridwar, Nainital, Ranikhet and other important hill stations of Garhwal and Kumaon Hills.