Hemkund Sahib formally known as Gurudwara Shri Hemkund Sahib Ji, is the holiest shrine of Sikhs which is the magnificent Gurudwara. The Gurudwara is situated at an elevation of 4,625 metres and is visited by thousands of devotees every year. The route to Hemkund Sahib is a 1,100 metre climb on a 6 kilometre stone paved path from Ghangaria. Overnight stay is not allowed in the Gurudwara and hence one has to return to Ghangaria the same day.
Hemkund Sahib is famous among the devotees for the shrine or the Gurudwara Shri Hemkund Sahib Ji. Ghangaria is also the starting point of the trek to Valley of Flowers which is a major attraction nearby.
Hemkund Sahib is one of the most important pilgrimage spots of Sikhs. The shrine is dedicated to the tenth Guru of Sikhs who was Guru Gobind Singh. Hemkund is also spelled as Hemkunt which means snow bowl and hence this area witnesses heavy rainfall at the time of winters. The Gurudwara is closed at that time. The trek to Hemkund is a well maintained path. It is necessary to leave the place by 2 pm to reach back to Govindghat by nightfall. The Gurudwara is located on a perfect setting of a glacial lake which is surrounded by seven mountain peaks.
Hemkund Sahib is a perfect demonstration of Sikh architecture with slopes as a part as there is heavy rainfall during the winters in the region. Sikh pilgrims repair the path to Hemkund Sahib in the winters and this is considered as one of their religious values which is “selfless service”. The area of the Gurudwara specially the path was affected a lot by the 2013 North India floods where many paths, a bridge and the parking at Govindghat swept away. Now the reconstruction has been done and the paths are well maintained.
Hemkund is a pilgrimage spot and hence it is famous for the Gurudwara and the langar which is served in the Gurudwara. Hemkund is also famous for the trekking route which is challenging for many people.
As Hemkund Sahibis a religious place so there are a large number of people who are served food free of cost everyday in the Gurudwara. The food is simple and tasty. There are many restaurants in Ghangaria serving Indian Cuisine.
One can stay in the Gurudwara which is for the pilgrims or the Garhwal Mandal Guest House in Ghangaria. There are also some hotels for the pilgrims to stay in Ghangaria.
It is mentioned in the Dasam Granth which is a work dictated by Guru Gobind Singh who was the tenth Sikh Guru. The design and construction of the present Gurudwara was started in 1960s after Major General Harkiat Singh visited the Gurudwara. The supervision of the construction was carried out by Siali Laddu who was an Architect.
The main festival celebrated in the Temple is the Guru Govind Singh Birthday as the temple is dedicated to this Sikh Guru.