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Hemkund Sahib
📍 Sri Hemkunt Sahib Marg, UttarakhandView map ›

🗓 Best Time To Visit:May to October

⏰ Open Hours:24 Hours

🎟 Entry Fees:Free

🧳 Traveller Types:Pilgrims, Adventure Seekers, Nature Lovers

📍 Distances:Nearest railway station - Rishikesh (275 km), Nearest airport - Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun (310 km)

🔍 Known For:Sacred Sikh shrine, Trekking, Flora and Fauna

💡 Things To Do:Visit Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara, Trekking, Visit Lokpal Lake

👝 Budget:Variable, depends on accommodation and travel expenses

👟 Trek Difficulty:Moderate to Difficult

🚫 Prohibited:Non-vegetarian food and alcohol

🎒 Essential to Carry:Warm clothes, Raincoat, Trekking shoes, Medicines

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Hemkund Sahib: A Sacred Sikh Shrine in the Himalayas That Will Take Your Breath Away

Are you looking for a spiritual and adventurous destination that will challenge your body and soul? Do you want to witness the beauty and glory of nature in its purest form? Do you want to learn about the history and culture of a unique and ancient faith? If yes, then Hemkund Sahib is the place for you.

Hemkund Sahib is a sacred Sikh shrine and pilgrimage destination in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, India. It is situated at an altitude of 4,632 meters above sea level, on the banks of a crystal-clear lake called Lokpal. Hemkund Sahib is dedicated to the tenth Sikh Guru, Shri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, who meditated here in his previous incarnation. Hemkund Sahib is also associated with Hindu mythology and legends, as it is believed to be the place where Lakshman, the brother of Lord Rama, performed penance.

Hemkund Sahib is not only a place of worship, but also a place of wonder. It is surrounded by seven snow-capped peaks that form a stunning backdrop for the star-shaped Gurudwara. The lake reflects the blue sky and the white clouds, creating a mesmerizing sight. The air is filled with the fragrance of flowers and herbs that grow in abundance in the nearby Valley of Flowers. The sound of hymns and prayers fills the atmosphere with peace and harmony.

How To Reach

Hemkund Sahib is not easy to reach, but it is worth every effort. It requires a challenging yet rewarding trek from Govind Ghat, a small town on the way to Badrinath. The trek distance is 14 km, which can be covered by foot, pony, palki, or helicopter. The trek duration is 6-8 hours from Govind Ghat to Ghangaria (base camp), and 3-4 hours from Ghangaria to Hemkund Sahib.

The trek difficulty level is moderate to steep, and requires physical fitness and stamina. The last 4 km to Ghangaria and 6 km from Ghangaria to Hemkund Sahib are more demanding, as the altitude increases and the oxygen level decreases.

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Best Time To Visit Hemkund Sahib

Hemkund Sahib is open for visitors from May to October every year, depending on the weather and snow conditions. The opening and closing dates are announced by the Hemkund Sahib Management Trust, which also provides facilities and amenities for the pilgrims en route. These include accommodation, food, medical, etc.

There is also a helicopter service available from Govind Ghat to Ghangaria, which costs Rs. 6400 per person. A ropeway project has also been approved by the state government, which is expected to reduce the trekking time and distance.

Also check out Ishan Patel's solo trip to Uttarakhand: A blissful journey to Hemkund Sahib and Tungnath-Deoria Tal

Other attractions and activities in the Region

Hemkund Sahib is not only a destination in itself, but also a gateway to many other attractions and activities in the region. Some of these are:

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Valley of Flowers:

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, a national park famous for its alpine flowers and wildlife. It is located 4 km from Ghangaria, and can be visited along with Hemkund Sahib. The valley has more than 500 species of flowers, such as orchids, poppies, primulas, marigolds, etc., that bloom from July to September. The valley also has many animals, such as musk deer, snow leopard, red fox, blue sheep, etc., that can be spotted occasionally.

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One of the Char Dhams, a holy Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is located 25 km from Govind Ghat, and can be visited before or after Hemkund Sahib. The temple has a black stone idol of Vishnu in a meditative pose, which is believed to be one of the eight self-manifested forms of the deity. The temple also has many other shrines and sculptures that depict various aspects of Hindu mythology.

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A winter seat of Badrinath, a hub for adventure activities like skiing and trekking. It is located 20 km from Govind Ghat, and can be visited before or after Hemkund Sahib. Joshimath is also a center of religious and cultural significance, as it is home to many temples and ashrams. Some of the attractions in Joshimath are Nanda Devi National Park, Narasimha Temple, Kalpavriksha, etc.

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A popular ski resort, which offers panoramic views of the Himalayan peaks. It is located 16 km from Joshimath, and can be reached by a cable car or a chair lift. Auli has some of the best ski slopes in India, which are suitable for beginners and experts alike. Auli also has a artificial lake, which is the world’s highest man-made lake.

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Mana Village:

The last Indian village before the Indo-China border, which is known for its natural beauty and cultural heritage. It is located 3 km from Badrinath, and can be visited by a short trek or a drive. Mana Village has many attractions that showcase the ancient and mythical history of the region, such as Vyas Gufa, where Ved Vyas composed the Mahabharata; Ganesh Gufa, where Ganesh wrote the Mahabharata; Saraswati River, which originates from a glacier near Mana Village; Bheem Pul, a natural bridge made by Bheem for Draupadi to cross the river; etc.

Want To Know How You Can Visit Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Rishikesh in Rs 3150? Check Out This Budget Travel Guide by Kshitij Before You Take Off!

Hemkund Sahib is a place that will inspire you with its spirituality, thrill you with its adventure, and enchant you with its beauty. It is a place that will make you feel closer to nature and to yourself. It is a place that will leave you with unforgettable memories and experiences.

Thank you for reading this article about Hemkund Sahib. We hope you found it informative and useful. Please share it with your friends and family who may be interested in visiting this sacred Sikh shrine in the Himalayas.

Hemkund Sahib Reviews

Another great morning, it was 5 o clock and I was crawling on my bed and was hoping that my knee must have got fine. I got up from my bed. Nd surprisingly my knee was not hurting Me much. We had to left early as we super six planned to go by trek. We had our power packed breakfast and went to go on with some quick photos with Bharat bhai, Abhinav, Anshul and Amit. Our group members wished us and we stepped ahead for our journey. I was damn excited for Sri Hemkund Saheb. Upto chk post v six were together. But due to so many mules (Khachchar) going in all directions, we all were dispersed. Abhinav and Shrijal went ahead. Me and caring uncle were together. Priya and Chaitanya were far behind. We were enjoying nature’s walk with our past trek stories and it was so exciting that my knee pain was lost somewhere in those mountains. Route towards Hemkund sahib was little rocky, but steep and I must say it was Little exhausting for beginners, but level of difficulty was easy. After walking for about an hour, we found that our other group members were coming and within fraction of minutes they all went ahead of us….. How..??? They were conducting their trek on mules (They felt it quite difficult to trek). After that all of a sudden, I loosed my consciousness, Sunil uncle held me and taught me what to do when such situation arise, wen u r alone in mountain, when u feel unconscious, when u feel no energy, etc that I should put both my hands on back side of my head. nd put the head down while making position of lower squat. I had chocolate, I regained my energy (Phewwwww) and that’s the beauty of trek that you learn to survive in different kinds of environment. We once agan continued our journey onwards where we found a Hotel (Dhaba) where Ajay uncle was having snacks. He gave us chocolates , took a break and after five minutes we began our journey. As we were gaining altitude we started consuming more energy. We were walking through rain clouds, thin air all the way up, drizzling rains, freezing temperatures which could have made our journey difficult but as a matter of fact we all just enjoyed it. Suddenly the lost pain in mountains found me and started giving me a bearable pain. I thought of taking break. But Sunil uncle encouraged me to not cool my body temperature by taking a break which is many a times reason for body freezing. Hence we decided to lower our speed but no stopping. Then on the way we met Kaalden a hardcore Tibetan mountaineer, He gave his knee pad to me and helped me to sooth my pain. Then we slowly walk ahead and twice we took shortcuts. But I was not able to make higher climbs, so we just went ahead with normal route. Meanwhile we found it for which I was dying to come to Hemkund - Snow Filled Glaciers. (Yippppieeeee ) I was so amazed that I don’t have words to express my happiness . We both went ahead, saw the glacier for the first time in my life and that’s when I realized that trekking was part of my life and no matter what happens, where I am or where I will be, I will never stop to do treks in my life. We spent some quality time and then we went ahead to continue our journey. Our breaths got little heavier as we were gaining height. We decided not to talk. After crossing river we found 2 ways one by stairs and one by normal hiking route. As instructed by our director we were supposed to go by normal route even though it is longer one. We started ascending, Found very beautiful flowers on the way (Complete Refreshments) We found BrahmKamals (Flower) on the way which is only found at high altitude regions. I was feeling that chilling wind. And sound of gurbani from gurudwara. we asked from one sardarji how far it is he told us 2kms to go. After walking half hour we came to know from another sardarji that still 2kms is left. We kept our patience and went ahead. Finally we saw group of pilgrims who told us to finish as we had already reached near end point. Then we saw marking board showing Hemkund 0 km. We were on the 7th cloud of the 7th Sky when we saw that board (Sigh of Relief) We were at about 15,200 ft above sea levels. It took us 4 hours to reach Hemkund. Drizzling rain was there and We went towards langar and reunited with our group members. They welcomed us. We had a refreshing hot cup of tea which was very much needed at that point. It must be approx. two degrees freezing temperature. After having tea we went to take blessings in Sri Hemkund sahib gurudwara which is highest Gurudwara (known) all around the globe*. It is star shaped gurudwara and is made up of marbles situated at bank of crystal clear lake which is a source of Lakshman ganga. It is as cold as snow. Many of us jumped in there and as soon as I jumped, I understood that somethings are not to be done in such weather (Hahahhahhaha). I was freezing from top to bottom. (Not my cup of Tea) This gurudwara is open only for 5 months after that it is filled with snow. There is one Laxman mandir too. We cought with cold and then we went up at darbaar where we got blankets (kambal) and we stayed there for 15mins. At around 2 o clock we started getting down. Due to such cold temperatures my knee started paining badly. I again geared up my knee pad. As I was coming down, I could not stop thinking about the langar the khichdi, its delicious taste and started descending. The view was quite clear because Fog had gone and we could see the surrounding There were many waterfalls And there was a separate way towards brahmKamals. I did not followed that root due to my knee injury. I went down and waited for my co group members. It was fun moment when I saw Ajay uncle with umbrella cap. And together we started our journey. My knee pain worsened after half an hour of walking (I felt that every time I took a step, somebody was pinching my knee with knife but that pain was nothing as compared to the joy that the place was giving me). We all stopped at nearest dhaba. Thankfully Jaynish is a physio therapist who gave me quick treatment. And then psychologically handled me which led to increase in my speed. Finally we reached at base village.at about 6.30 p.m and another great journey ended (). I had my diiner and went straight to the bed at 10 o clock.
Our mind plays several tricks on us, but making us think that free will exists, triumphs over all the others, subconsciousness has a neat trick of planning everything ahead. And the 'intuitive-plan' for the day was 'Hemkund Sahib trek'. Although the 'valley of flowers' trek is much longer, some may find Hemkund Sahib trek more challenging, for it asks quick ascend and takes you up to an altitude of 4632 metres. I started my day early and was overjoyed to find the himalayan hamlet in all it's misty glory. The trek, which requires climbing stairs for the large part of it (in contrast with how I like the trek), was definitely not easy, but rewards you with mind blowing views. Now, on a trek like this with pilgrims outnumbering travelers, I wanted someone to answer a few of my little queries and with no Internet availability (for good), almost all of them were very much answered by eavesdropping(and talking to) on the tour guides of other groups. I managed to interest myself with learning to identify the flowers that one can find at that staggering altitude of about 4000 meters. By the time, I reached the top, fog began dominating the scenery (if there wasn't so much of noise, it could have looked very similar to 'Kun Lun') and Hemkund sarovar looked every bit of the surreality I hoped it to be, surrounded by small peaks on three sides. A note to Sikh community - "Having now encountered some of the most charitable things that you have on offer, I have begun respecting the things that your stand for, a little more. But I wonder, if the 'hot chai' served at 'Hemkund Sahib' gets to be the coolest thing above all? People i talked to said that they had a very amazing experience of 'ardaas' there, but not being much of a spiritual person, I skipped the tour inside. But what I did have was a great lunch with one of the local guides I had been talking to in the last stretch of the trek, got to know that the dude(in his 50's) had climbed a few peaks of over 7000 metres. My chronic headache up to that point, had now become acute, and only after a little inhaling session in the dispensary there (yes, even there), I felt myself again. Not wanting to return before climbing one of those smaller peaks surrounding the lake, I took my chances and sneaked away, thanks to the fog, I wasn't stopped. There too, I had a welcome company of one local guide, chilling out with his beedi, and holding within himself some stories I was made part of. Coming down, leisurely in every sense, was not perturbed by much, except for the great bunch of interesting people I met and talked to. One guy, whom I am still in contact with, was from Bengaluru, and even with his high fever was just not ready to be confined to his room, talk about travel bug!? At one of those times , sitting on the bench, listening to cultural exchanges in the background, I was quite lost, when a series of knownearly known faces started to pass by and with every greeting I was saying to myself, 'isn't the sheer number of these exchanges enough to call this a memorable trip?' One pleasant thing, however, that was most similar to yesterday, molecule by molecule was the mouth-watering delicacy duo of bread pakoda and gulab-jamun. Except, today my decision to munch on them was backed by another guy, with whom while talking, I shared this instant tuned in frequency. So after keeping my bag in the cloak room, I joined him back for a stroll to the waterfall nearby, only to come back to pick my rucksack to shift with him for the night. A random trivia - dude is a professional rock climber and last when I talked to him, had his personal climbing record set at 1000 feet straight up! The couple of hours before dozing off were spent baking a bit with some smoothest music, and talking.
Got up early as usual to start the trek towards Hemkund Sahib. The weather changed completely overnight as the sun took shelter behind the dark clouds. The 7 km strech from Ghagaria to Hemkund is a treacherous steep climb mostly comprising of steps. The elevation increases from 3049 mt to 4632 mt with dropping oxygen level. According to statistics almost one thirds of the pilgrims travelling suffer from altitude sickness. The key to make this distance is to keep hydrated and take intermittent breaks to catch a breath. The trail is again well laid out and utterly scenic. The path witnesses continuous small streams of water and some wide ones only to be crossed by bridges. Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara is surrounded by seven peaks with a glacial lake- Hemkund at the center (Hence the name). On the way one can witness some of the most rare plant species like the blue poppy and Brahma kamal. The fact that this region gets locked up from the months of October to April due to heavy snowfall established the existence of such rich flora and fauna. The climb makes you give up multiple times on the way just to get you back on your feet by voices of smiling pilgrims chanting "Waheguruji da Khalsa, Waheguruji di Fateh". For the last kilometre of the distance you can witness large concentration of Brahma kamal in all its might, a true marvel of nature. It is believed to have very rare medicinal properties which makes it a punishable offense to pluck it. For a brief moment of time when your body looses all its might to go further, all one can hear is the distance sound of enchanting Gurbani coming from the end of the climb getting louder and louder. The final few steps are the most difficult ones, but all the efforts become insignificant in front of the sheer bliss you witness once you reach the too. The picturesque setting takes away all your complains and the melodious Gurbani now as loud as possible puts you into a trance state. The glacial lake is a natural miracle situated in the front of the Gurudwara. Its ice cold water renders a soothing effect to your tired legs and is believed to absolve all your sins with a single dip (Dare you to take it) . All you need to do here is sit back and relax with an empty mind detached with the artificial world. Don't forget to eat the scrumptious khichdi served in the langar with hot tea. The humbleness of the people there will make you fall in love with the place even more. An hour sitting in the Darbar felt like few minutes and in no time we were back on our way down. It started raining heavily which slowed our descend by an hour. We sat back beside a gushing stream gathering our thoughts and treasuring what we have witnessed. It was indeed an experience like never before and probably never after.
Details & Itinerary of Valley of Flowers trek: Day 1- Took bus from Rishikesh to Joshimath. Overnight stay at Joshimath. Day2- Departed from Joshimath to Govindghat (1 hr. journey). After having lunch at Govindghat, started trekking to Ghanghariya.(14 km trek) overnight stay at Ghanghariya. You will easily find hotel there. We (4 person) booked a room for 3 days at 400 RS per day.(Gurudwara is also there , you can even stay there). Day 3- From Ghanghariya there are two treks one for Valley of flowers and one for Hemkund sahib. First day we did Valley of flowers. From check post, main valley start after 3 km and you can go as far as you wish but have to come back by 5 pm. We went till river belt (around 10 km). There are no shops or anything to eats on the way. So take chocolates dry fruits or lunch with yourself. Ticket -150 RS for 3 days. Day 4- Hemkund sahib is 6 kms from Ghanghariya. But due to steep trek will take more time. There are shops along the trek. Day 5- early morning started from Ghanghariya towards Govindghat. Reached there by lunch time..After lunch, took a shared taxi for Badrinath. That same day, after Darshan, went to Mana ( last indian village) on foot which is just 3 km away from Badrinath. Day 6- Go to Vyas gufa, sit on any nearby rock and watch mesmerizing sunrise. After that, see Ganesh gufa Vyas gufa Bhim pul, which hardly take 1-2 hrs. Then after having breakfast, started trekking towards Vasudhara falls. (6 km from Mana) There are nothing along the trek so take lunch with yourself. PS- There are water streams along the way everywhere on this route, so no need to buy water bottle. You can refill it. Travel Route: Haridwar- Rishikesh- Srinagar- Rudraprayag- Chamoli- Joshimath- Govindghat- Ghanghariya This is the route for valley of flowers and Hemkund sahib. In case you miss direct bus for Joshimath, take shared taxi / private bus. You will easily find that for your next stop and try to reach Joshimath same day. Post and Photo Credit: Yogesh Soni
We woke up very early that day and got ready to start for Hemkund by 6.15 am. The weather was quite clear as well since morning. As we started our climb to Hemkund Sahib, we got a very clear view of the Neelkanth glacier. The climb was mostly uneventful as the whole concentration was to keep the breathing rhythm constant and keep climbing steadily. Halfway through we started hearing the gurbani from Hemkund Sahib and it encouraged us to keep going. We had a pretty good speed and reached Hemkund sahib around 10.30. Just a few meters before that we spotted the beautiful brahma kamals blooming on the way, as well as many other flowers . But the best view was yet to come. Since it was a clear weather when we reached, we were welcomed with a grand view of the Hemkund lake with all the 7 peaks. Now it was time to take a dip, Abhisek (my husband) went ahead and had a fun dip. After that we girls decided to try our luck, but found out that for girls the dip is in a closed area and when we went inside it was very dark and kind of felt like a dungeon, so decide not a take a full dip, but came outside and dipped our feet and washed out face and hands. Then went inside the Gurudwara for darshan. It was a very cosy place, and the Gurbani was food for the soul. After spending some time inside, we came out and went for the langar. The piping hot tea and khichdi was delicious. Once done with the food, we went to the Lokpal Lakshman temple. Beside the temple, the lake side was desolated. We sat there and enjoyed the view of the lake for about hour and half. The clouds had started playing hide and seek with the peaks. The atmosphere was very calm, soothing and serene, and it reflected within us as well. It was a beautiful experience.
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