The high altitude lake Hemkund / Lokpal is situated at the height of 4329 mt surrounded by heavenly environs. No modernity. no polluting influence from outside. no cars and no other vehicles. you have to reach here walking on your foot. A steep trek from Ghanghria leads one to this holiest of the holy spot in about five to six hours. Encircled by seven snow clad peaks and their associated glaciers. this revered shrine reflects its surroundings in the crystal clear serene waters. The glaciers from Hathi Parvat and Saptrishi peaks fill the lake with pristine water and a small stream called Himganga flows out of this celestial lake.
One of the most important pilgrimage for the Hindus and the Sikhs. Hemkund Sahib houses the most revered Sikh Gurudwara and the Lakshman temple built on the banks of the lake.
According to the holy Guru Granth Sahib. Guru Govind Singh. the tenth Guru of the Sikh faith had meditated on the banks of this lake in one of his earlier births.
This place is also related with the 'Ramayana‘s legend Lakshman. It‘s believed that Lakshman meditated by the lake and regained his health after being severely wounded by Meghnad the demon prince of Lanka. A beautiful tern pie is built after the name of Lakshman.
The long forgotten Hemkund was later discovered by a Sikh Granthi Sohan Singh and became a major pilgrimage centre only alter 1930. Best time to visit this spiritual shrine is from the beginning of June till the beginning of October.
How to Reach
Air : Nearest airport is Jolly Grant, 307 km (Dehradun 334 km).
Rail : Nearest railhead is Rishilkesh. 300 km.
Road : Hemkund Saheb is 5 km from Ghangharia. which is approachable on foot from Govindghat which is connected by road with Rishilkesh. Kotdwara. Dehradun, Haridwar and other important hill stations of Garhwal and Kumaon Hills.
Taxies : Private taxies and other light vehicles are also plying between Rishikesh and Govindghat.
Where to Stay
- Tourist Rest House, GMVN- Ghanghria
- Gurudwara at Ghanghria: Can accommodate approximately 5,000 visitors /tourist
- Forest Rest House - Ghanghria
What to see
The main attraction of Hemkund Lokpal, the holiest shrine is the magnificent Gurudwara. A unique feature of the Gurudwara is that. it is not built following the conventional Sikh architecture. Keeping in mind the heavy snowfall the roof of the Gumdwara is designed in slopes.
The lake at Hemkund Lokpal is viewed as the mirror of seven Himalayan peaks.
Lakshman Temple : The Lakshman Temple creates solemn atmosphere amidst these heavenly surroundings, People visit the temple to meditate and fulfill their wishes.
Beyond Hemkund Lokpal
Valley of Flowers : Surrounded on either side by snow capped mountains. this mesmerising valley is an irresistible treat for the nature lovers. environmentalists, trekkers and botanists. The alpine valley flora has adopted to the harsh hill climatic conditions through millions of years. A much sought after trekking route for the naturalists and the visitors.
Badrinath : The holiest Hindu shrine. the abode of the Lord Badri Vishal (Vishnu). It‘s mentioned in the Hindu scriptures. Adi Guru Shankaracharya re-enshrined this place back in the 8th century.
Auli : The internationally acclaimed winter sport resort. has world class arrangements and Snow Skiing facilities.
Joshimath : The gateway to inner Himalayas, is the base tor mountaineering to the Trishul, Kamet, Dronagiri and Nanda Devi peaks.
The great Hindu saint Adi Shankaracharya attained enlightment here. In a cave, here he wrote his famous treatise on the Geeta, 'Shankar Bhasya'.