Hemkund Sahib – Not Just A Trek
Madam uth jaayea “mam please get up” was the first thing that I heard that morning. As I moved every inch of my body ached. I looked at my sore legs just like a warrior looks at its scars after a battle. Just that mine wasn’t a real battle but a trek into the beautiful Valley of Flowers, As I pulled myself out of the captivating visuals of the valley I prepared my body and soul for the pious Hemkund. Yes it was another thrilling trekking trail to embark upon.
Also Read: A trek into blossoming Valley of Flowers !
As I splashed the ice cold water on my face, all my senses got awakened. After a quick and light breakfast I was all geared up for the trek. Hemkund trek is steeper and more treacherous as compared to Valley of Flowers. Clad with a fleece and the camera around the neck I was oozing out energy and enthusiasm. I turned back to the chanting of “Sat Sri Akal” and saw a group of old men with saffron turbans. As they passed by me I nodded my head and we all said “Sat Sri Akal” in chorus.
Hemkund : Lake of Snow
The word Hemkund means “Lake of Snow”. It is popularly known as “Gurudwara Shri Hemkund Sahib”. Situated at an elevation of 44329 meters above the sea level in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, Hemkund Sahib is the highest Gurudwara of Sikh community. Hemkund Sahib is situated 6 kilometers from Ghangharia which is mostly the base camp for all the trekkers. It might sound less but the steepness made it longer and longer. As I moved up, every turn unfolded a different scenic surprise and I was awestruck to another level. From numerous unknown waterfalls, to the dense forest, to the snow clad Himalayas to the every possible shade of green, it was nature on a platter for me.
There were many small tea shops offering tea and Maggie. I stopped at one of them to regain some energy. The fervour of old men climbing up and the galloping sound of horses acted as a catalyst and maintained my adrenaline rush throughout the trekking trail. I was also fortunate to spot the rare flowers like “Bhramakamal” and “Blue Poppy” while trekking to the pious Hemkund Sahib trail.
Experiencing The Tranquil Hemkund Sahib
After few hours of continuous trek I could see the pious Sikh flags and a lot of saffron turbans. A sense of accomplishment gushed as I touched down the destination. Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara is a start shape Gurudwara which is major construction of white marbles. It is situated at the shore of the pristine and pious Hemkund. The water of the lake was ice cold which totally justifies the name “Hemkund”. I could only dare to dip my feet in the lake and after sometime I went inside the Gurudwara and just sat there. I went blank listening to the gurbani which was sung by the disciples of Guru Granth Sahib.
It was serene and divine and I felt all my fatigue just vanished. It was thoughtful of them to provide blankets to the devotees. As I got out there I saw a lot of volunteers and devotees distributing hot porridge and tea. A place with temperature tending to zero there were people who were serving the other devotees, a sheer sign of selflessness and commitment which is hard to find anywhere else.
Point to Note
Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara closes at around 3 PM in the afternoon (check the time when you visit) so it is important that you reach well before time. To attain that you will have to start real early as the trekking is tiring and you are tend to take a lot of breaks. If you think you cannot cope up to the steepness you can easily get a horse ride till Hemkund Sahib.
Trekking to Hemkund Sahib and then soaking into its tranquillity is an unforgettable affair. It is not just a trek but an experience which you will cherish for your life.