In the Indian Himalayas, at the headwaters of the blessed waterway Ganges, is the 'northern area' of sacred mountains and waters known as Uttaranchal. It is said that here the scene itself is permeated with sacred qualities, certainly the magnificence of nature is interlaced with the soul of journey. One of a kind among the consecrated spots here is a little lake, high over the tree line and surrounded by rough rock peaks. Gururudwara Hemkund Sahib is on its bank, at a height of 4,329 meters, and is the most elevated temples in India. For eight months of the year this 'pool of ice' is out of reach, its water solidified underneath profound snow. At the point when the rainstorm start, the ice and snow melt, and knolls of greeneries and greenery and wildflowers shading its banks. At that point, in their thousands, Sikhs climb the lofty stone way to the lake and bathe in its chill waters. They come in recognition and petition to see the spot where their tenth Guru meditated and understood his unity with God.
What To Bring
Bring good footwear for walking. Waterproof hiking boots with ankle supports are best. At times it is necessary to walk across snow. There may also be muddy or washed-out sections of the path. Be prepared for bad weather. The temperatures at Govind Dham and Hemkund can be very cold. You are advised to dress in layers which can be added or removed depending on conditions. Bring more clothes than you think you will need, including some woollen, a waterproof jacket, and even rain pants if possible, a hat, gloves, and warm socks. Dress lightly when you begin the trek at Govind Ghat. Change to warm, dry clothes as soon as you arrive in Govind Dham. When you go up to Hemkund, bring an extra sweater or shawl to put on after you reach the top.
A Raincoat is also recommended. During July and August it rains every day, sometimes all day. Expect rain in June and September as well. At the beginning and end of the visitor season, snowfall is a possibility at high altitudes.
There is limited electricity at Govind Ghat and Govind Dham (mornings and evenings), but it is not reliable. Always carry a torch or flashlight if you are out walking after sunset or before sunrise. Also carry one when you go up to Hemkund. You may need it on the way back down. For many people, the journey takes much longer than they expect, and they end up walking after dark. Carry Glucose, sweets, dried fruits and nuts for when you need energy on the trek. And do not forget to carry water or you can purchase from small shops on the way. It is easy to become dehydrated during strenuous exercise.
Using a walking stick will help you to keep your balance and your rhythm while you are walking. Bring first aid supplies and medicines like paracetamol or other pain killers, some antibiotic; cough medicine, breathing appratus (if somebody using it), remedy for upset stomach, gauze, tape, and bandages. There are government appointed doctors in Govind Ghat and Govind Dham, army dispensaries in the gurudwaras, and an army hospital in Joshimath, but be aware that medical care in the region is very basic and limited.
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GOVIND GHATParking for Busses, cars, jeeps, and bikes is accessible close to the river.
Settlement is accessible in the gurudwara and in a few little visitor houses and lodging. Little shops in Govind Dham offer tea, supplies for the trek, souvenirs. Rubber soled shoes, plastic overcoats, strolling sticks, water bottles, dry products of the soil, just like a variety of photographs of Hemkund Sahib, kirpans, karas, khangas, kachhiras, patkas, malas, simarnas, bangles, toys, gifts, tapes, and books.
Govind Ghat gurudwara complex likewise has supervisor's office where donations can be made for the langar, rooms and gathering resting corridors. It additionally has a shroud room (Ghatri Ghar) where travellrs can keep their additional laguage, which they dont need amid Hemkund Sahib trekking.
There is additionally offices like an administration specialist and dispensary, Dhobi (garments washing and squeezing) services, Massage shop, and so forth. Plentiful toilet facilities are accessible in Govind Ghat, and there are ghats (ventures down to the water) for bathing in the Alaknanda river.
ALONG THE PATHDepart from Govind Ghat as at a young hour in the morning as could be expected under the circumstances. The travelling by foot to Govind Dham takes roughly 5 to 7 hours. By Pony/donkey it takes 4 hours. Be that as it may, know that it can take any longer, depending upon the wellness level of gathering individuals, and on trail conditions.
The way from Govind Ghat to Govind Dham is roughly 12 km long. It crisscrosses up a lofty slope for the initial 2 km, then levels out. The town of Pulna (2,104 m), noticeable from the way 3 km above Govind Ghat, is the winter living arrangement of the general population indigenous to the valley. From Pulna it is 5 more km to their late spring town, Bhyundar (2,592 m). After Bhyundar the way gets to be more extreme and more troublesome. When you traverse the Lakshman Ganga stream, you know it is just 3km more to Govind Dham.
There are tea stalls down up and down the way where guests can rest. Tea, coffee, cold drinks, bottled water, biscuits, sweets, Maggi noodles, and paranthas are accessible at generally shops. Note that the costs of all things build the more distant far from the engine street they are sold. It is best to convey in your own water and natural products.
Facilities accessible in Govind Dham include the gurudwara for cabin and langar, shops, eateries and tea stalls, and fundamental inns and visitor houses. The choice of sustenance and products is restricted on the grounds that all supplies must be raised by donkey or by watchman. Costs can be high because of transportation expenses, and they become even higher if there is a lot of demand.
A government (Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam) Tourist Rest House and a Forest Rest House give Rooms, Huts and residence beds for guests. Reservations can be made from Delhi, Rishikesh, or Srinagar. A privately owned business additionally pitches Luxury Tents for extravagance accomodation.
ALONG THE PATHThe trip to Hemkund Sahib can take as meager as one and a half hours, and as much as six hours. The normal journey time is three to four hours. Because of uncertain weather conditions it is prudent to leave Govind Dham for Hemkund as right on time as could reasonably be expected. The majority of pilgrims start their journey between 5 and 6 a.m.
The path from Ghangaria to Hemkund is approximately 6 km in length. There are numerous shortcuts that can be taken to shorten the journey, but the energy they require is often greater than the time they save. A last alternate way makes guests up 1,200 stone strides. The option is a crisscross stone way. Just the strides are available toward the beginning of June before the snow covering the more drawn out way has liquefied. Amid this time, donkeys can't go past the spot where the snow starts, so it is important to stroll for the last maybe a couple kilometers. By the end of June, mules can go all the way up to Hemkund.
AT HEMKUND SAHIBWhen you reach Hemkund Sahib, tea is avaialble all the time in the gurudwara. On the off chance that you plan to bathe in the lake, do it before taking tea, before your body has had sufficient energy to chill from the trip. Men bathe in the lake itself. A different showering space for ladies has been worked inside the lower story of the gurudwara. In the event that you can, change to dry garments after your shower so that you will not feel as cold.
There are facilities for checking your shoes before you enter the inward sanctum of the gudwara. Expel them on the lower storey, cover your head, and climb the cement steps to the upper storey. The Guru Granth Sahib is revered under an excellent metal shade. Various covers are accessible for individuals to utilize while they are inside the gurudwara.
Donations generally made at Hemkund Sahib include rumalas (excellent fabrics used to cover the sacred book), ghee (illuminated spread for making parshad), dried foods grown from the ground, silk blossoms, metal adornments, and covers. Ardas is said at 10 a.m. what's more, 1 p.m. every day. Kirtan proceeds for the duration of the day. Langar of tea and Khichri is served at the finish of every Ardas. Close-by tea shops offer sustenance and cool beverages. Different merchants offer water bottles, malas and simarnas (globule rosaries), and patkas (fabric head covers).
Staying overnight at the gurudwara is not allowed. The climate conditions at Hemkund are unpredictable and way conditions are indeterminate. It is advisable to start the plummet back to Govind Dham as ahead of schedule as could be allowed. The plunge takes a hour or all the more, averaging two hours. Financial plan for additional time than that to take into consideration rests and troublesome trail conditions. Sunsetall through the season is at around 6 p.m. Make certain you allow enough time to make it back to Govind Dham before dark.
PRECAUTIONSLandslides are normal along the motor street, particularly amid the stormy season (July and August) and may postpone travel. Drive slowly and carefully, and heed all traffic signs .
The foot path from Govind Ghat to Hemkund is regularly congested with activity. SWalk on the inside of the path to avoid being knocked off the edge by passing mules, cows, sedan chairs, or people.
Altitude sickness is a very serious risk along the journey to Hemkund Sahib. Here are a few tips for keeping yourself healthy: Spend as much time as possible in the hills before going all the way up to Hemkund. Your body adjusts to the altitude slowly. Don't let yourself become chilled or dehydrated. Dress in warm, dry clothes and drink plenty of tea, water, juice, or soft drinks. Try not to become over-tired. Watch for the following symptoms of altitude sickness: headaches, difficulty breathing, cold extremities, dizziness, disorientation, vomiting. If you or members of your group have these symptoms, go back down. Altitude sickness can be life-threatening. Once a lower altitude is reached where more oxygen is available in the air, the symptoms will be alleviated in a short time.
SUGGESTIONSCheck any abundance baggage in the shroud room at gurudwara Gobind Ghat before beginning from Hemkund Sahib Trekking. Donkeys and watchmen can be contracted in Gobind Ghat for all or part of the journey. Luggage or a child can be carried in a kandi (a bamboo wicker bin). An Invalid or Old individual can be conveyed by four doormen in a dandi (Palanquin), a vehicle seat on shafts. There are few trash transfer facilities along the course. Abstain from tossing sweet wrappers, juice boxes, plastic waterproof shells, and other rubbish on or alongside the way. On the off chance that you see a junk can, use it! To keep the common habitat clean, you are requested that do with you the wrappers, compartments, and containers for all sustenance and beverage you devour.
There are no bathroom facilities between Gobind Ghat and Gobind Dham, and between Gobind Dham and Hemkund. At Hemkund the facilitiesare extremely restricted. They are situated down a staircase from the lake. You are requested that utilization these facilities with the goal that you don't to dirty the heavenly lake.
Receipts are issued for all donations to the gurudwaras. For a gift of Rs. 101 or more, you will get a Saropa and a bundle of Panjiri prashad when you introduce the receipt at gurudwara Gobind Ghat. As an other option to giving money donations , gatherings and people can give merchandise as their seva (administration) to Hemkund Sahib. People can supply covers, sustenance things, and development materials. Gatherings can compose to complete bigger activities and administrations. For instance, a jatha or family may give the materials and work to develop extra can offices at Hemkund or along the course. Cleaning of kitchen utensils, floors, and waste likewise should be done in the gurudwaras and along the pathway. Consider making seva a piece of your visit.