The accommodation of hall was valid for a day, but no worry. There is an again free cloak room facility at Gurudwara. So I kept my heavy backpack there and went for the Hemkund Sahib trek of 14 km. The entire trek was marked with great zeal of people, young and old, chanting “Satnam Wahe Guru” as they climbed steep gradient. Though the path becomes dirty as horses also ply on the same route, but there is regular cleaning done by the authority. Perched at 15000ft, the snow was yet to melt at the surrounding of Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara. There is a kund where pilgrims take holy dip in freezing cold water and then go inside the temple. The sanctity of inside transports one to an another level of spirituality. After listening to Gurubani for 40 min and having a delicious prasad of Halwa, I went to langar, serving piping hot Khichdi and chai. By 3 pm I was back to Ghagharia to book another day of free stay at Gurudwara, after collecting my bagpack.
5. Hemkund SahibHemkunt, formally known as Gurudwara Shri Hemkund Sahib Ji, is a Sikh place of worship and pilgrimage site in Chamoli district. 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.
Day 4Another night survived! Last night was a bit scary. All those negative thoughts and my long term friendship with rain, everything was awful.But रात गयी बात गयी , there was a beautiful day with another steep trek of 7km to Hemkund Sahib in front of us. Gurudwara Shri Hemkund Sahib is located at an altitude of around 4600m and is covered with snow during most of the year. 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 Hemkund.The trail from Ghangria to Hemkund Sahib is much better, broader and steeper than the Valley of flowers. Being a pilgrimage, there are a number of pony services available as well. The Gurudwara closes everyday at 12noon after the last ardaas so we had to ensure we reach there in time. Everyone was made to leave the campsite by 7P.M but being a difficult trail, the group got scattered. I was again wandering alone throughout the whole route. I encountered people of all ages, regions, languages as if I was traveling through my India. It took me about 2.5 hours to reach the top. The whole hike was truly amazing and challenging.Tip: Don't take the shortcuts and stairs during the ascend.After reaching the top, I took the shelter in gurudwara, sat in silence for a while, had the langer and started the descend after 2 hours.
Woke up at 5 AM and Quickly freshened up, had my breakfast and headed out. After a 1 KM trek from Ghagharia , comes a diversion which divides trekking route of VOF and Shri Hemkund Sahib. Finally I was about to reach the place which I have yearned for so long. But as soon as I reached the entry point, I saw too many people were already waiting. I got to know that VOF is temporarily suspended as the bridge connecting the valley might have washed away in last night's downpour. And it might take 3 or 4 hours to confirm and repair it. Some people started trekking for Shri Hemkund Sahib instead of waiting for repair to happen which was also not sure how long it will take. I went for that decision too and started trekking for Shri HEMKUND SAHIB ji. It's around 6 KM from GHANGHARIA and quite steep. Got some amazing views of snow capped mountains and glaciers from above. The flowers were blooming in monsoon and added enchanting view all around. It's really a heaven for a botanist. There are n numbers of species all around. Came across some glaciers too for the first time in my life.
Sri Hemkund Saheb TrekkingWe started our trekking for Sri Hemkund Saheb at 7 AM. The trek is 7-8 km long and you are not allowed to trek to Hemkund after 12 PM as there is place at the top for staying at night and after 2 PM they start sending people down to Ghangaria.