Hemkund Sahib | A Popular Sikh Gurudwara in Himalayas 


Devbhoomi Uttarakhand is well known for both natural beauty and for pilgrimages. Chardham Yatra and Hemkund Yatra are two sacred yatras which start every year in the month of May and June. Thousands of devotees take part in these yatras every day to get salvation.

Photo of Gurudwara Shri Hemkund Sahib Ji, Uttarakhand, India by Shishir24

-Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib Ji Yatra-

Hemkud Sahib is a sacred place for Sikh devotees and Hindus as well. As like every Hindu wants to do Chardham yatra at least once in his whole life similarly every Sikh follower wants to do Hemkund yatra at least once. This pilgrimage site is devoted to Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru.

Hemkund is a Sanskrit name derived from Hem (Snow) and Kund (bowl) which means “The Lake of Snow”. Dasam Granth says this is the place where Pandu Raja practised 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. The Hemkund is settled at 15000ft (4329 m) above the sea level which is surrounded by the seven great mountains and there is a holy lake as well which get frozen in winters. This beautiful holy lake is near the gurudwara sahib and devotees dip into this before entering the Gurudwara Sahib. Devotees believed that by dipping into lake, all the sins are washed away. After September this place is inaccessible because of heavy snowfall. Usually, Hemkund Sahib Yatra is open for only 4–5 months. The Hemkund Sahib Yatra starts from June and ends in Sept/October due to heavy snowfall zone. And the best part is those who came for Hemkund Sahib also visits Valley of Flower which is 3–4 km from Ghangariya base camp.

How to reach Hemkund Sahib

To reach Hemkund you have the first visit to Govindghat. You can reach Govindghat by following ways-

By Air – If you travel from Delhi, then you can fly to Dehradun Airport. After that, you can take a cab/taxi to Rishikesh. Govindghat is well connected by motorable so you can take bus/cab/taxi from Rishikesh to Govindghat.

By Rail- The Nearest railway to Govindghat is Rishikesh Railway station which is 270 km before Govindghat. Govindghat is accessible by motorable road so you’ll get cab and busses for Srinagar, Joshimath and many other destinations to Govindghat.

By Road- If you travel from Delhi then you’ll easily get busses for Haridwar, Rishikesh, and Srinagar. After reaching these place then it is easy to get transport for Govindghat which is connected by NH-58.

-Trek information-

Govindghat is the base camp for travellers and devotees. You’ll find hotels, gurdwara and a small market there. To reach Hemkund Sahib you have to trek 20km from Govindghat. You can also avoid 4 km trek by reaching Pullna village through your car/taxi. If you don’t want to trek then you can take pony or Helicopter directly to Ghangharia. Usually, devotees do this trek into two parts first-day Govindghat to Ghanghariya (14 km trek) and 2nd-day Gahangariya to Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib Ji (6-7km trek). The trek is at easy to moderate level. First 8–9 km are at easy, 9–14 km is also easy, but not too easy, and next 14–20 km is at a moderate level which has steep trek and the atmospheric pressure and less oxygen at 15000 ft make it a little bit harder.

Ghangharia is the base camp for all the devotees and travellers who want to visit Hemkund and Valley of Flower. Here you’ll find a few hotels and guest house with basic and budget facilities, a gurdwara, a helipad and a couple of dhaabas and small restaurant where you can enjoy the food. After Ghangaria the trek is divided into two trails one for Hemkund Sahib and other for Valley of Flower.

Opening and Closing dates of Hemkund Sahib

Opening date- In 2019 Hemkund Yatra was started on 1 June.

Closing date-In 2019 Hemkund Gurudwara was closed on 10-Oct.

-Accommodation Option-

Govindghat and Ghangaria are the two base camps for devotees where you can find some basic hotels, restaurant, and dhabbas. Ghangariya is at 14000ft of altitude. So it is quite hard to get star category hotels there, even it is difficult to get hotels there in peak season. So try to book your accommodation if you are travelling in peak season.

Accommodation - Hotels in Ghanghariya | Hotels in Govindghat

-Short Itinerary-

Day 01 Rishikesh - Joshimath (Drive – 260 Km/ 8Hr approx.)

Day 02 Joshimath - Govindghat (Drive 25 Kms) Govindghat- Ghangaria (Trek 14 km)

Day 03 Ghangaria - Hemkund Sahib (Trek 06 Kms)- Ghangaria

Day 04 Ghangaria - Govindghat (14 km trek), Govindghat - Joshimath (Drive 25 Kms)

Day 05 Joshimath to Rishikesh (Drive – 260 Km/ 8Hr approx.)

Day 06 Rishikesh

For detailed itinerary you check the link - Itinerary Link

-Things to Carry-

Before you start your trek you must know the things which should be in your bag.

-> Do you like to carry that backpack which can be torn during your trip? Exactly no. Nobody wants to create a mess by carrying a torn backpack. So if you already had a bag checks it properly from all sides and if you have any doubt, replace it. Your backpack must have enough space which can hold all the necessary stuff.

-> It’s good to carry floaters or sandals to help you move freely at the camp or hotel. Apart from this, you should have high-quality trekking shoes. They should be lightweight, sturdy and have a good grip. When your trek is more than 10km one side then always try to buy a new pair of shoes.

-> Medical kit, woollen clothes, pair of T-shirts & pants, water bottle, small torch, waterproof/windproof jacket, raincoat, hand sanitiser, lip balm, and cold cream are the things which must be in your backpack.