Hemkund, located in the Chamoli District of Uttarakhand is a popular pilgrimage centre of Sikhs. This holy place is perched at an elevation of 15200 ft above sea level and can only be reached on foot from Gobindghat, located on the Rishikesh-Badrinath Highway. The name of the place is derived from the two Sanskrit words, Hem and Kund meaning snow and bowl, respectively. This destination is situated amid seven mountains each of which is festooned with Nishan Sahib, a Sikh holy triangular flag. The seven-peaked mountain is known as Sapt Shring. According to a legend, this is the same place where the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh Ji meditated for years.
Tourist places in and around Hemkunt
The destination is famous for its gurudwara, the Hemkund Sahib, which is dedicated to Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Hemkund even finds mention in the Dasam Granth, the holy book of Sikhs, written by Guru Gobind Singh.
The construction of the Gurudwara was initiated in the year 1960 and was handled by Major General Harkirat Singh. He was the Engineer-in-Chief, who selected Architect Siali to take over the charge of the construction process. Travellers can also find a beautiful lake in proximity to the Gurudwara. The region is closed owing to snow between the months of October and April. In the month of May, the Sikhs do ‘kar seva’ or work service and help in repairing the damaged path.
If time permits, travellers can also visit the Laxman Temple, which is known by the name Laxman Gopal in this region. Vasudhara Falls, close to Badrinath is another popular attraction of this region. Bounded by mountains, this waterfall looks amazing with water falling down from over 400 ft. This place can be reached by trekking; the trekking trail starts from Mana Village, through a cobbled path, where it is easy to walk for 2-3 kilometres, but after that the path becomes quite steep.
Nanda Devi National Park, perched at an altitude of 7817 m is another prominent attraction near Hemkund. The famous valley of flowers is situated on the north-west of this park. The Nanda Devi National Park along with the Valley of Flowers forms the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, covering a total area of 2,236.74 km2, bounded by a buffer zone of 5,148.57 km2.