HEMKUND SAHIB FACTS & FIGURES
- Location: Parvati Valley near Kullu-Manali at an altitude of 4,329m
- Best time to Visit: May to October
- Significance: Lakshman temple & Gurudwara – a Hindu & Sikh Pilgrimage Center.
The high altitude Lokpal lake, known as Hemkund ( 4329 mts.) lies in heavenly environs. A steep trek from Ghangharia leads one to this spot in about four to six hours.
Encircled by seven snow clad peaks and their associated glaciers, it reflects its surroundings enchantingly on its crystal clear serene waters. The glaciers from Hathi Parvat and Saptrishi peaks feed the lake and a small stream called Himganga flows out of this lake.
HEMKUND SAHIB GURUDWARA
One of the most revered of all Sikh Shrines, the Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara, the Worlds Highest Gurudwara, situated at an altitude of 4,329 mts above sea level, on the bank of a glacial lake Hemkund (Lok Pal), marks the place where Guru Gobind Singh the 10th and the last Guru unified with God after prolonged meditation. The shrine is encircled by seven snow clad peaks and their associated glaciers. Streams from Hati Parvat and Sapt Rishi Peaks feed the lake and a small stream called Himganga flows out of his lake. According to the Holy Granth Sahib, it is believed that Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Guru of the sikhs recounts that in a previous life he had meditated on the shores of a lake surrounded by seven snowcapped mountains. Hemkund Sahib, Sikh pilgrims have decided, is that holy lake where there 10th Guru has meditated. The Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara is an imposing star shaped structure of stone and masonry at the edge of lake Lok Pal 2 km. in circumference whose cristal clear water mirrors the image of snow clad Sapt Shring Peaks (5500 mts).
It is widely believed among Sikhs that Guru Govind Singh introduced the features now universally associated with Sikhism. On 15th April 1699, he started the new brotherhood called the Khalsa (meaning the pure, from the Persian word ‘Khales’) an inner core of the faithful, accepted by baptism (amrit).
It is believed that Lakshman, the younger brother of Ram, meditated by the lake and regained his health after being severely wounded by Meghnath, son of the demon Ravana, during battle. Despite its ancient connections, Hemkund/Lokpal was discovered by a Sikh Havaldar, Solan Singh and became a major pilgrimage centre only after 1930.
How to Reach Hemkund Sahib
- 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.