It is very rarely that you get a place where you can go and enjoy but also get in touch with your spiritual self. Well, Hemkund located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand is one such place for sure. It is a religious hub for Sikhs and Hindus, who believe that there is some supernatural power here.
Tourists coming to Hemkund can enjoy nature's beauty and also delve into some of the legends of this place. It is one of the best places to escape to for a refreshing and spiritual vacation from the noise and madness of the city. Hemkund takes you to a completely different world where you are cut off from everything and where only nature and the self gains prominence.
You can explore the whole of the region if you want to, but should you look out for specifics then there are a few tourist places to visit in Hemkunt. You can visit places like the Valley of Flowers, Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib, Hemkund Lake, Lakshman Temple and more. It is also a perfect place to go trekking as well, so should you plan a trip here then do pack your trekking shoes also.
One of the places to visit in Hemkunt is the beautiful hamlet of Ghangaria, which is perched at an elevation of 3,049 mt above the sea level. This beautiful town serves as the base camp for trekkers who plan to trek to the Valley of Flowers. Tourists come to this town to enjoy the beauty and serenity of the place and also to lose themselves in the arms of nature.
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Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib
A major tourist place in Hemkunt is the Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib, which is a religious pilgrimage site for the Sikhs. Located on the banks of Hemkund Lake this shrine is dedicated to Guru Gobind Singh. Devotees come from far and wide to pay respect to the Guru here. The most challenging task for the devotees here is that before entering the shrine they have to take a dip in the ice cold water of the lake. It is said that the blessings of the Guru is there with all who come here and hence devotees do not feel the extreme chill of the lake while taking a dip here! Tourists come here to pay homage to this great person and also try their hand at taking a dip in the freezing waters of the lake.
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Another place to visit in Hemkunt is the Hemkund Lake, which is considered sacred by the Sikhs. This lake which remains frozen for eight months in a year is said to be the place where the tenth guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh, meditated. Tourists come from far and wide to see the beautiful lake along with the snow covered peaks in the surrounding regions.
Photo Courtesy: Alosh Bennett
Valley of Flowers
A major tourist place in Hemkunt is the Valley of Flowers, which is located just 2 km from the town. This hilly region is abound with over 300 species of flowers namely white and yellow anemones, dianthus, calendula, daisies, Himalayan blue poppy and snake lily. You can also see wildlife roaming in these regions. Some of the animals you can find here are Himalayan Bears, Tahrs, musk deer, snow leopards and Serows. The Valley of Flowers is a haven for nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts and photographers who get to see both nature and wildlife blooming in their natural habitat.
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A place to visit in Hemkunt is the Lakshman Temple, which is also known as the Lokpal Temple and is located on the banks of the Hemkund Lake. Legend has it that it was here where Lakshman, brother of Lord Rama, meditated to get his powers after having killed the son of Ravana. It is flocked by devotees who believe that the temple has some supernatural powers. Tourists coming here can pay their respect at the temple and also take a stroll along the banks of the beautiful lake.
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How to Reach Hemkunt
By Air: Jolly Grant airport of Dehradun is the nearest airbase of Hemkund. It is situated at a distance of 268 km from Hemkund. It is well-connected with all the major cities in India.
By Train: The nearest railway station to Hemkund is Rishikesh (43 km), which is connected to major Indian destinations by frequent trains.
By Road: Travellers can reach Govindghat by buses and taxis from places like Rishikesh, Pauri, Rudraprayag, Karnaprayag, Ukhimath, Srinagar, Kotdwara, Dehradun, Haridwar and Chamoli. Travellers need to trek a distance of 19 km from Govindghat to reach Hemkund.
Photo Courtesy: Ramakrishna Reddy Y