This Divine Trek in Uttarakhand will Deepen Your Connection with Yourself #offbeatuttarakhand

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Photo of This Divine Trek in Uttarakhand will Deepen Your Connection with Yourself #offbeatuttarakhand by Shivani Vohra

Have you ever felt an almost mystical pull towards a certain place? There is a string that connects my heart with Hemkund Sahib, and the urge to go back keeps tugging at it. My mind has captured each tiny detail of the trek to that ethereal place like a photo-book; one flip and I transport back to the tranquility of the magnificent mountains and the beauty of the freshly bloomed flowers.

Day 1

It was 5 AM in the morning, but not a sign of drowsiness shadowed our ever-smiling faces. Our trekking shoes were ready and our bags were packed with food. My family and I were elated to start our journey to the sacred abode from a small town called Kashipur, located near Nainital.

Photo of Kashipur, Uttarakhand, India by Shivani Vohra

Soon, the landscape changed from the vast fields to the majestic Garhwal that was adorned by the turquoise head-streams of Ganga. There were stomach-churning twists and turns with constant sign boards – “No race, No rally. Enjoy the beauty of valley” – to encourage slow driving. It filled me up with immense gratitude to behold the Sikh tradition of Langar (communal meals) set up for passengers on the route.

Photo of This Divine Trek in Uttarakhand will Deepen Your Connection with Yourself #offbeatuttarakhand by Shivani Vohra

The sun had set by the time we reached our first stop: Govindghat. The soothing sound of Pathh (reading of holy Sikh texts) was reverberating across the mountains. We booked one of the rooms offered by Gurudwara at affordable prices. As soon as I entered the warm room, I headed straight to the balcony, and the view of the gurgling Alaknanda River blew me away!

Photo of Govindghat, Uttarakhand, India by Shivani Vohra
Day 2

After a serene sleep, we started our trek to the base camp. Groups after groups of pilgrims were beginning their long journey with passion and zeal. Consumed by contagious energy, we made our way towards Ghangaria, a small village, located at a distance of 13 KM.

Photo of Ghangaria, Uttarakhand, India by Shivani Vohra

The chants of pilgrims filled the atmosphere with an almost tangible piousness. Some people passed me a smile on the way, others asked me to have the Prasad“It will keep you strong,” they said. And no matter how far the destination was, on inquiring about the remaining trek, they would only say, “You are almost there, child.”

In fact, some trekkers and I formed a silent affinity. Each time we passed by each other, we smiled naturally. I still remember their twinkling eyes and their kind smile.

Photo of This Divine Trek in Uttarakhand will Deepen Your Connection with Yourself #offbeatuttarakhand by Shivani Vohra

As soon as I reached Ghangaria, I filled my empty stomach with hot maggi—something unmissable on the mountains. We had a good rest at the hamlet. The temperature had dropped considerably, but I spent a lot of time outside, sipping cups after cups of chai.

Day 3

We resumed our remaining journey of 6 KM the next morning. Cold showers embraced the gigantic mountains that were surrounding us, while the waterfalls peeked at us slyly. The snow was melting, and colourful flowers had started blooming in the wake of summers. The route was steep, and there was a deficiency of oxygen; but with baby steps, we finally reached at the top.

Photo of Gurdwara Sri Hemkunt Sahib, Chandreshwar Nagar, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India by Shivani Vohra

Here it was, the lake knows as Hemkund—associated with the story of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the tenth Guru of Sikhs, and his meditation in the previous life at the very spot. Despite the low temperature, numerous believers bathed in the divine lake.

A Gurudwara exists beside the lake to let the pilgrims offer their prayers. They even provide blankets and hot food to the visitors. And the halwa was absolutely lip-smacking!

Photo of This Divine Trek in Uttarakhand will Deepen Your Connection with Yourself #offbeatuttarakhand by Shivani Vohra

After spending some time inside the Gurudwara, we trekked down Ghangaria. It was time to leave. My heart sank as I turned around, taking in the beauty and the wonders of the valley. I didn’t want to leave these mountains, as I had become a part of them—a part of the wonderful nature.

On coming back to Delhi, I realized that I had left a part of my heart with those hills. Someday, I’d like to go back and be consumed by the calm energies of Hemkund Sahib once again.

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