Hemkund Sahib 2018

Hemkund (Snow Lake) Sahib, as the name itself suggests, is a high-altitude lake (4329 m) surrounded by seven huge now-covered mountains, which are collectively called Hemkund Parvat. Close to the lake is a sacred Gurudwara that is a pilgrimage centre for Sikhs and Hindus from all over the world. It is said that Shri Guru Govind Singh Ji (the Tenth Guru of the Sikhs) meditated on the very banks of this lake where a number of sages and religious teachers from the Hindu mythology, including Rishi Medhasa of the Markandeya Purana and Lakshman, the brother of Lord Ram performed penance. Besides the Gurudwara, you can also see a temple here. The lake is the source of the Laxman Ganga (alternatively called Hem Ganga) stream that merges with the Pushpawati stream flowing from the Valley of Flowers, at Ghangaria. From this point on, the river is called Laxman Ganga.

A very popular trekking destination, Hemkund is a 15 km trek from Govindghat. The trek takes one through pine forests where rhododendron (burans), wild roses, ferns and alpine flowers abound. With breathtaking views of the surging waters of the Lakshman Ganga, the last five kilometres of the trek entails a steep climb from Ghangharia, which is a base for visiting Hemkund.

The lake is about two kilometres in circumference. It has clear, still water mirror images of the Saptashringa peaks (5500 m) that surrounds it. So what’s the best season to visit Hemkund? No doubts: it’s between July and October. During these days, you’ll find the water still, has shards of ice floating in it, glinting in the sun with the rock-strewn banks of the lake covered in moss and the flowers in bright bloom.

Gurudwara Hemkund Saheb This imposing star-shaped structure of stone and concrete masonry is on the shores of the lake. An outlet behind the Gurudwara is source of the Lakshman Ganga.

Temple of Lord Lakshman A small temple near by, dedicated to Lord Lakshman.

List of Chardham Excursions