Hemkunt and the Valley of Flowers

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This a complete reproduction of a booklet published by the Hemkunt Jatha of Kenya that recently marked it’s 21st Annual Yatra to the revered heights of Gurudwara Sri Hemkunt Sahib.

Early History
The natural beauty of the mountains, valleys, rivers, plants and crisp clean air trigger a spiritual awakening. It also embraces the sacred sanctity derived from the mythological beliefs of the Hindus and the Sikhs. Sacred shrines built in the remembrance of them attract thousands of religious devotees every year.

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Located in the Uttakand Himalayas, bordering Tibet and Nepal at the place where seven mountain peaks are prominent, and the rivulet Lakshman and the rivulet Pushpa meet in the area called Ghaghria, there are devotional shrines of great spiritual value to both the Hindus and the Sikhs. For the Hindus it is the Sri Lakshman Mandir and the neighbouring Badrinath which are the most important pilgrimage centers in the Himalayas. For the Sikhs, it is the Gurdwara Sri Hemkunt Sahib (lake of ice) regarded as one of the holiest places at an altitude of 4,329m built on the shores of the lake. The harboring lake has equal significance; it is considered holy water known to the Sikhs as a sarovar. The nectar of this pool is believed to wash away one’s sins and vices. These are the highest temples in India.

Long before the Sikhs started coming to Hemkunt, the lake was known to the people who lived in the surrounding valleys and the Bhotia tribe (Indo-Tibetan people), as Lokpal. It was here that the Hindu God Lakshman is said to have meditated and King Pandu to have performed Yoga. It is also at this mystical spot that the Sikhs tenth Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh, is believed to have meditated in his previous life thereby achieving union with God.

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As described in the Dasam Granth, the Guru was called into existence in a previous life during Sat-Yug (the age of truth, the first of four ages according to Hindu mythology) to do battle with fierce demons that terrorized mortals and the gods. When evil had been destroyed he was known as “Dusht Daman”, the destroyer of evil. He was instructed to go to Hemkunt Sapat Shrine to meditate until he was called by God.

The Guru in his autobiography “Bachitra Natak” (whose literal translation means ‘wonderful drama’) which is also included in the Dasam Granth, tells of his origins and previous incarnation. The Guru relates the story of Ram Chander, son of Raja (King) Dasrath who had two sons Lava and Kushu. Both these sons ruled over northern India for many years, colonizing the two cities of Lahore and Kasur in Punjab. They were good friends and lived in harmony; however, their sons could not tolerate each other and became great enemies who argued to gain supremacy. Lava’s grandson named Sodhi won this battle and become King of Punjab. The defeated grandsons of Kushu went to Banaras and learnt the Vedaas. They were then nicknamed the Bedees due to their knowledge of the Vedaas.

One day, King Sodhi remembered his relatives in Bananras and sent for them, and accordingly they reached the King’s darbar (door step) in Lahore. King Sodhi asked them to recite four Vedaas according to the Divine process. The Bedees recited three vedaas and upon reciting the fourth, King Sodhi descended from his throne and asked the leader of the Bedees to take the throne offering his kingdom with great honour. At that moment, King Sodhi decided he would go into the forests to contemplate the name of God. The newly crowned King Bedee said that, in return for having gifted them the worldly kingdom after hearing just three vedaas, similarly in Kal-Yug (age of darkness) he would offer back the divine kingdom in their third incarnation. The Sodhi King’s grandson proceeded to the forests and selected a beautiful place for his abode and worshipped the name of God for thousands of years. In Kal-yug, Guru Nanak was born as the first Divine master, the true Patsha. After reigning as the Divine king in the form of Guru Nanak, Guru Angad and Guru Amardas, he offered his kingdom to Sodhi Patsha guru Ramdas. Guru Gobind Singh was the tenth Guru and from the Sodhi lineage.

Of his own life the Guru wrote of how he had meditated in his previous incarnation in the Himalayan range at a place the Guru described as Parbat Sapat Shrine (the mountain adorned with seven peaks and lake of ice). In his meditation, he became one with God, and God ordered him to take birth in human form in India to crush the cruel rulers and establish a path of truth. The Guru writes of how he was reluctant to take human form and take re-birth, but he was compelled to by the Creator. Two people who had pleased God with their devout service to Him and pure love for Him were chosen to be the Gurus earthly parents. The Guru was reborn as a son to his earthly mother Mata Gujri and his father the ninth Guru, Tegh Bahadur.

Discovery of Hemkunt
The Sikhs started to search for Hemkunt, the “Tap Asthan” (the place of meditation), in the late nineteenth century, even though the Dasam Granth was recorded in the 1730’s. The first Sikh to trace the geographical location of Hemkunt was Pandit Tara Singh Narotam in 1884. He was a nineteenth century Nirmila scholar. His findings were published by the renowned exponent of Sikh history and scholar, Bhai Vir Singh in 1929 in his book called “Sri Kalgidhar Chamatkar”. This book was then read by Sohan Singh, who was a retired Granthi (priest) from the Indian army working voluntarily at a gurdwara in Tehri Garhwal. Having read the description of where the Tap Asthan was, he set out to find the physical spot in 1933. Unfortunately that year he had no luck and attempted again his search the following year. His enquiries led him to the place known as Lokpal to the local folk. The description matched that of the place described by the Guru as Sapat Shring and the place where King Pandu was believed to have meditated. Hemkunt had been found. However Sohan Singh’s discovery was met with much scepticism, so he approached Bhai Vir Singh (1872-1957) whose work had inspired him to search for the Tap Asthan. Both Sohan Singh and Bhai Vir Singh met, and visited the site, and both were then convinced that the Gurus’ description of Tap Asthan matched the site found.

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Bhai Vir Singh then committed himself to developing Hemkunt Sahib. He gave Sohan Singh some money, believed to be an amount of 2,100 rupees, with which to buy some supplies and materials to start construction of a small gurdwara on the shore of the lake. Sohan Singh publicized the cause and was able to collect further funds. In early 1935 whilst purchasing materials in Mussoorie, Sohan Singh met Modan Singh a Havaldar from the survey department who later accompanied him to the site of construction, then joined forces with him. After obtaining permission from the local people, they hired a contractor and started work on the construction of a ten foot by ten foot stone Gurdwara. Construction of this Gurdwara was completed in 1936. At the same time, they also enlarged the ancient Hindu Mandir that stood on the lake shore as a symbol of respect.

On retirement from the military, Havaldar Modan Singh dedicated the rest of his life to the service of Sri Hemkunt Sahib. Before Sohan Singh died he entrusted Modan Singh with the duty to continue with the mission of developing Sri Hemkunt Sahib. One of the first structures at Gobind Dham was a tin shed built by Modan Singh. Prior to this construction he took refuge from the cold and the rain in the hollow of a tree trunk; such was the dedication and sacrifice of this man. Incidentally the tree still stands in the courtyard of Gurdwara Gobind Dham. Shortly before his death in 1960, Modan Singh established a seven member trust to oversee the further growth and operation of the pilgrimages.

Inspiration for building a larger Gurdwara emanated from a house-wife in Punjab called Mata Ram Kaur. She had a vision of Guru Gobind Singh who had given the mission to lay its foundation stone. She was able to convince the management of her sincerity by describing details of Hemkunt that she could not have known as she had never been there before. Plans for a new Gurdwara were made in 1964, and construction was underway in 1968 once an accessible road was extended to Gobind Ghat.

The new Gurdwara was to take the image of an upside-down lotus flower. The roof structure was built to withstand heavy snowfalls and the doors on all five sides depict a Sikh belief that all people are welcome to praise God in a Gurdwara from all faiths and from all directions because God is all around. The Sikh faith is all about tolerance and not prejudice towards all religions and faiths. It is also a belief that if one reaches out to God in prayer blessing may come from any direction, north, east, west, or south.

Finally, construction of the upper storey of the gurdwara was completed in 1993. The Guru Granth Sahib (the religious scriptures of the Sikhs, and the last and living Guru) was installed in 1994. There is continuous Seva (religious voluntary work encouraged in the Sikh religion) by Sikhs and non-Sikhs to make sure the route to Hemkunt is accessible. One such project called “Safai Seva”(cleaning-up) was started by a young Canadian woman called Heather Michaud, who was then a university under-graduate. She encouraged other university students and visitors to participate in cleaning up the environment and to stop littering along the route to Hemkunt Sahib. The project set up dustbins and posters along the way to encourage people to dispose of their rubbish in an environmentally- friendly manner. The Sri Hemkunt Sahib Management Trust has continued this work and the State Government have contributed further by banning the use of polythene bags. Safai Seva has certainly drawn public awareness to keep the Guru’s Asthan litter-free. Gurdwara Hemkunt has special significance to the Sikhs as it commemorates the Guru’s mission and the need for a physical remembrance is beautifully described by the words of Bhai Vir Singh as:

“The traveler passes by leaving behind his footprints. These footprints vanish with the passage of time. But some foot prints are so important that people worship them and make monuments there, which keep conveying their historical importance from generation to generation. These footprints become imperishable.”

Hemkunt Yatra
The pilgrims set off from Amritsar on the 23rd of August 1952, passing through Hardwar, Rishikesh, Srinagar, Gobind Ghat, Gobind Dham, reaching Siri Hemkunt Sahib on the 31st August at 2.30 p.m. Their sacred journey complete, the pilgrims cherished Darshan (sight) of the sacred place. They all had Ishnan (holy bath) in the sacred waters of the Sarovar. During the next few days congregational prayers, which included the singing of devotional hymns and verses were recited throughout the day and night. Having accomplished their first pilgrimage, they arrived at Amritsar on 16th September 1952 and were given a rousing welcome. The numbers of pilgrims to Hemkunt Sahib have been multiplying from the time of discovery until the present day. In 1977, the first year for which data is available, there were 516 Sikh visitors and by 1990 there were 189,340 and the numbers keep growing.

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A yatra or pilgrimage to Sri Hemkunt Sahib is only possible during the months of June to October every year due to severe weather conditions in the Himalayas. From the plains at the foothills of the Uttrakand Himalayas there are several stopping points on the way to Hemkunt Sahib where pilgrims can find accommodation. Of these there are two important stops that shall be described. These stopping points can be accessed from the towns of Hardwar (the gateway to God) or from Rishikesh. The first stop is called Gobind Ghat and the second is Gobind Dham. Hemkunt is approximately seven kilometers away from Gobind Dham. A typical Yatra can take up to forty days if one does the whole journey solely by foot. However if one combines a foot Yatra with other modes of transport available like motor vehicles, scooter, mules, or horses, then the journey takes but a few days.

For those pilgrims going to Hemkunt Sahib, the journey is not just a physical one, for most it is an emotional experience. Every step is a step closer to a spiritual awakening or goal. For many the personal significance of the toil to reach the top is an indescribable devotional achievement, for others it is a step closer to prayers being answered and for most, a step closer to God. The beautiful scenery, the historical sites along the way, the mythological significance and the physical challenge to reach Hemkunt Sahib are aspects of the Yatra all visitors, believers or not, share. The mystical and spiritual ambience of the whole journey starts at either Hardwar or Rishikesh. Both these towns lie on the banks of the holy River Ganges where the plains meet the foothills. Sikh Gurdwaras managed by the Trust to oversee the operations of pilgrimages to Hemkunt Sahib offer free food and lodging in Hardwar, Rishikesh, Srinager, Joshimath, and Gobind Dham. From the towns one has to travel through the valley in which the Ganges flows and pass the Panch Prayag which is five sacred confluences where major tributaries join the Ganges. The route continues past the holy river Alaknanda tracing the path Hindu pilgrims follow to Badrinath (a sacred shrine to the Hindus). Approximately 250 kilometers later, equivalent to an approximately twelve hour drive by truck, bus, scooter, and still along the river Alaknanda there is the village of Gobind Ghat. Gobind Ghat is a village that is temporary in nature only existing during the months of June to October. It is named after Guru Gobind Singh in whose memory the pilgrimage takes place, and the word “Ghat” describes the steps from the village leading into the holy river, for those who wish to bathe in their waters for spiritual cleansing. The actual path towards Hemkunt Sahib starts near the suspension bridge crossing the river Alaknanda. A large Sikh Gurdwara complex is situated by the roadside to accommodate visitors of all casts, creeds, races, and colours. The facilities are simple, and there is Langar (free community Kitchen serving vegetarian food) for all. The Sikh faith does not condone discrimination.

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Most people travel in groups otherwise known as Jathas, and the atmosphere is euphoric. A very obvious sense of community spirit takes over and can be felt all around. This spirit encourages the pilgrims during the journey when they tire or when the physical strain becomes apparent. However, for those who wish, there are colourful modes of transport to ease the journey ranging from ornately decorated mules, horses and or wooden sedan chairs that are carried on poles or even a ride in a Kandi basket. All these are managed and operated by Nepali porters only to happy to help.

From Gobind Ghat, pilgrims cross the suspension bridge to follow a steep stone footpath that zig-zags into the hillside. Approximately two kilometers into the path, it levels out to follow a stream flowing from the Valley of Flowers (a national Park) and the Hemkunt Lake, which then spews out into the river Alaknanda. All along the path there are plenty of temporary structure and tea shops selling snacks and refreshments. To add to the color, there are devotional Sikh messages tacked to the trees and shops and painted on rocks to inspire the pilgrims and remind them of the significance of their journey. The Jathas also chant hymns and devotional messages, either to the music of drums played by members, or to the rhythm of the pilgrim’s footsteps. Others play devotional hymns on cassette players while others pray all the way. Most lips utter the sacred word . . . “Waheguru, Waheguru”(wondrous God) . . . “Satnam, Satnam”(Name of God is truth) . . . . When descending pilgrims pass ascending pilgrims they greet each other with the sacred words . . . “Waheguruji Ka Khalsa, Waheguruji Ki Fateh” ( the Khalsa is God’s, Victory is God’s). Love and respect for each other, and hospitality is apparent because all groups and individuals share snacks, distribute glucose powder, sweets, fruits, and drinks with each other.

Some five kilometers from Gobind Ghat at approximately 2,592m, the first snow peaks come into sight, and some three kilometers further on comes the village of Bhyundar where there is a bridge over the Lakshman Ganga Stream. Most pilgrims take a rest here to replenish lost energy and catch their breath. The final three kilometer ascent to Gobind Dham is difficult due to rising altitude and the steepness of the path up through the dense forest.
Gobind Dham is another temporary village much the same as Gobind Ghat. It is also a thriving business district for hotels, tea shops, and souvenirs inclusive of Sikh memorabilia. Gobind Dham translated means “abode of Gobind”, again in memory of the Guru. In this village the gurdwara complex has expanded over the years and can accommodate several thousand people. The village has a government doctor, chemist and army dispensary located in the Gurdwara complex. Guests sleep on the floor and are allocated a number of woolen blankets for the night. Once again there is Langar, and many pilgrims help make the Langar, serve it, and clear up after. This type of service is called “seva” (community service which is considered sacred) and all Sikhs willingly undertake this.

An average of 1,000 people can be accommodated in Gobind Dham. During June when Indian students have holidays, the rush to Hemkunt Sahib is so great that there are times when the Gurdwara becomes so full it has to shut its doors. There is however plenty of other accommodation as there are hotels, dormitories and tents at Government Rest Houses. Reservations can be made in Delhi, Rishikesh or Srinigar. Hot water however has to be purchased by the bucket!

Most pilgrims start their assent to Sri Hemkunt Sahib before sunrise as early as four am. There are several short cuts up, one of which is a stair-case of 1,200steps. However, as the main path is steep, the journey can take up to six hours, as the distance is approximately six kilometers. Pilgrims’ chants become more intense and the shout of Jaikaras can be heard . . . “Jo Bole So nihal!” (Anyone who speaks will be happy) responded with the words “Sat Sri Akal!”(Timeless God is truth). These Jaikaras encourage the pilgrims to walk ahead. The thrill of sighting the saffron colored Nishan sahib (flag) fills everyone as the flag shows the location of the Gurdwara Hemkunt Sahib, and gives an indication of how far the pilgrims have to go.

In the final two kilometers of the path, there is snow, and in the final steps to Hemkunt Sahib, the Nishan Sahib, silver roof of the Gurdwara and holy lake with it’s surrounding seven peaks all marked with Nishan Sahibs are the first Darshan (sight ) the pilgrims get of the sacred place. Most pilgrims proceed to have Ishnan (a holy bath) in the holy lake the waters are believed to wash away the sins and even heal. The men bathe outside and the women bathe in a separate enclosure inside the Gurdwara itself. The holy water can also be collected in bottles that pilgrims carry back for their friends and relatives.

After Ishnan, the pilgrims may have hot tea served in the Gurdwara, after which they proceed to the inside of the Gurdwara where the holy scriptures known as the Guru Granth Sahib is kept. The holy scriptures are placed under a brass canopy. The scriptures are the Sikhs’ living Guru and the utmost respect is afforded to them. Pilgrims must remove their shoes and cover their heads with a scarf out of respect. Next, it is customary for Sikhs to bow down before the Guru Granth Sahib, touching their foreheads to the ground as a sign of respect. A donation may be placed in a donation box. Those pilgrims who have carried offerings in the form of ghee, blankets, ornaments, fruit etc… hand them to the Granthi (priest). Pilgrims then proceed to sit in the auditorium and meditate or pray. There are two congregational prayer sessions held daily, one at ten am and the other at one pm. There is no Langar served here, nor is anyone permitted to spend the night except for the Granthis and some workers.

The congregational prayers include the singing of devotional hymns and verses from the scriptures. The Granthi welcomes all the pilgrims and explains the significance of Darshan, Ishnan, and relates the story of Hemkunt as told by Guru Gobind Singh. Then an Ardaas (the standard Sikh prayer), is recited and a Hukamnama ( the verse from the top of the left hand side page of the Guru Granth Sahib when it is randomly opened, the verse is the Guru’s command) is read. Karah Prashad (consecrated food in the temple made of ghee, sugar and flour) is distributed to the pilgrims. Most will begin their departure soon after the last service so that they may make it down to Gobind Dham before sunset.

The Valley of Flowers
Hidden from the probing eyes of civilization, this valley had been known to the inhabitants as the Bhyundar Valley, the playground of Fairies and Nymphs. According to Hindu legend, this is the place where the Monkey God, Hanuman found the medicinal herb “Sanjeevanji” which saved the god Lakshman, younger brother to Lord Ram, after being gravely wounded in battle against the son of Ravan. Hindus believe that the Gods showered flowers from Heaven in celebration of Hanuman’s miraculous effort, and henceforth, these flowers took root in the Valley. There are many more tales told about the sanctity of the Valley of Flowers within Hindu mythology and epics; Mahabarata and Ramayana. Similarly, the Valley of Flowers has meaning beyond beauty and bounty for Sikhs – who believe the exotic flora, took root when all 108 Gods and Goddesses showered flowers on their Tenth Guru, Gobind Singh, when he achieved oneness with God in his previous incarnation. Thus the “Valley has been host to great sages who attained enlightenment while meditating there.”

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“The valley of flowers is an alpine valley, and has been formed by retreating glaciers whose periodic advances and retreat pulverized hard rocks, resulting in a smooth u- shaped valley. Hidden from the probing eyes of civilization, this valley had been known to the inhabitants as the Bhyundar Valley, the playground of Fairies and Nymphs.” The Valley is a God sent paradise for naturalists, ecologists, environmentalists, zoologists, ornithologists, trekkers, tourists and pilgrim’s alike, offering incalculable species of flora and fauna exclusive to the vicinity. This modern day Garden of Eden was introduced to the outside world in 1938 by the famous mountaineer, explorer, botanist Frank S. Smythe and later author of the book “The Valley of Flowers” through which he “threw open the doors of this verdant jewel to nature.”

Flora and Fauna Amidst the many species of flora, roam species of animals unique to this meadow namely; Himalayan Birds, Phigents, Butterflies, Tendulas, Musk Deer, Bharal – Blue Sheep, Himalayan Black Bears, Thar, Snow Leopards and Tale-less Rats. The valley hosts over 300 species of flora, including a variety of herbal plants such as Bergenias, Wood Lilies, Trillium Govanianums and Marsh Orchids to name but a few. Exclusive to the Valley are breathtakingly beautiful plants such as the Arisaema Costatum also known as Arum which resembles the head of a cobra, the Unique Blue Poppy and the Saussurea obvallata known as the Brahma Kamal the Lotus referred to as the King of the Valley.

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The Riot of Colours Come April Mother Nature awakes, and the snow begins to melt as she breathes life into the “dead herbage of the previous summers”, each season reflecting the colors of her life. The early rains in June add the shades of rosy pinks and reds as the Balsam, Geraniums, Pedicularis, Cyprip Edium Himalaicums – Lady’s slippers, Androsaces and Marsh Orchids come in to bloom, contrasting with the yellow, purple and white; Primulas, Anemenoes, Anaphalles and Potentillas. From late July to August, the colour yellow dominates as Pedicularis Grandiflora, Ligularias and Saxifragas dominate. The variety of colours is vibrant to match their hues that fill the landscape. From September, the “sun kissed” valley takes rest and, as October approaches, Mother Nature falls into deeper slumber awaiting her blanket of crisp white snow. And so the cycle of life continues!

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The Journey The Journey to the Valley begins at Gobind Dham and follows the route to Hemkunt Sahib, then 3km from the Lakshman Ganga Bridge, the route diverts towards the Valley. This route continues along the Pushpawarti River and, further up the river on its right bank, another bridge leads to the Valley of Flowers at an altitude of 3658m above sea level. The Valley is a protected National Park, a wildlife guard in the employ of the Forest Department issues entry permits to the park at a fee. From this check point the entrance to the Valley is a further 3km walk. Camping, picking flowers and littering are prohibited in the Valley. There are myths that fairies inhabit the areas of this Valley and those who wander deep into their domain can be carried off. In 1939 Joan Margaret Legge, a botanist from Kew Botanical Gardens in London, fell to her death whilst collecting floral specimens. Hers is the only grave that lies in the valley. Etched on her tombstone are the words taken from the Christian Holy Bible from the book of Psalms 1.21: “I will lift up mine eyes into the hills from whence cometh my help.”

Personal Experiences
Many pilgrims come to the Gurdwara with wishes to be fulfilled, a faith and hope for prayers to be answered. Many ask for blessings of a son, ask for a good marriage partner, and ask for healing or ask for forgiveness. Whatever the wish the experience is emotional. Some talk of indescribable peace, others of joy. Many feel the Gurus presence in some form. There are a few who choose to climb the mountain barefoot as an act of devotion. These pilgrims will then take their experiences and share them with others, while many pilgrims will return time and time again. Sri Hemkunt Sahib attracts thousands of people every year who are willing to withstand the cold climatic conditions and often basic living conditions but their faith supercedes all the material aspects of the journey. The experiences pilgrims undergo through are entirely personal and have the effect of reinforcing their faith. Both the Sikhs and non-Sikhs feel “something” and participate in marvelous Seva to improve the road to Hemkunt Sahib, or to keep the environment clean and or so many other actions that are just as important. There are many who are gifted with miracles, or who undergo a positive transition in life equivalent to a tangible miracle after their visit. One such account is that of a Bhotia man who had no children. He came to the area Lokpal and his faith was so strong that he crawled the circumference of the Lake on his elbows. When he returned the next year he had a son.

Several accounts of miraculous personal experiences have been recorded over time. One such account given by a Sikh woman describes how upon reaching the lake, it seemed as though all the suffering she had experienced on the way up had been washed away. After Ishnan she felt refreshed and her strength was replenished. A Granthi who worked in the Gurdwara attests to many cases reported to him of Sikhs who bathed in the Sarovar and were cured of their diseases. Others have described their first journey as a difficult yet enchanting experience. They feel the need to return again and again, and each time the journey seems less difficult. More and more pilgrims go every year, which means more people are praying and meditating there, the total spiritual and purifying impact on the atmosphere continues, holiness accumulates and the sanctity of the place is made apparent in the vibes people feel.

One man who recorded an account of his first pilgrimage to Hemkunt, recalls that experience by describing how when he took his first holy dip in the sacred Sarovar he was thanking God. He meditated there for the first time, which he described as a blissful experience. He felt as though he had communicated with God or his Guru, and he wanted to remain in that state forever. After being distracted from that state by a calling family member, he went to the Gurdwara and offered Ardaas. He did not want to talk, he just wanted to stand in front of the Guru Granth Sahib. He felt that something had changed in his heart, he had gained something. So powerful was the impact he felt that he has prayed for God to show him those moments once again. He returns every year since his experience.

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Tara Singh a man who lived alone by the lake for long periods in the formative years of it’s discovery describes the region in which Hemkunt is situated as “a special part of the mother earth and its importance is being recognized from the ancient times. Here for thousands of years, the world renowned Rishis and Yogis etc . . . have been engaged in meditation and penances of different types, which has saturated the atmosphere of this region with an unusual essence of holy flavour, which influences a visitor in many ways . . . It is believed that meditation and penance done in these hills is more effective. Any novice would be influenced by the purity of this place, if he stays here with a clean heart”.

There are also those whose encounters with the Spiritual and Divine power shall remain their secret because their experiences are too powerful and personal to share. In some cases no words are adequate to describe what they have felt and seen. However, one common thread is that all miracles depend on faith and it is only the faithful who experience them.

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67 Comments

  1. SIKHSPEAK said,

    August 1, 2006 at 11:18 am

    Wow! A nice little read, I have been fortunate to go to to Hemkunt Sahib, was a unique experience. We have to remember as Sikhs there is no such thing as a pilgrimage (as such) but this was just an oppurtunity! Got stuck with a landslide on the way back, 8 hours no food and drink in the sun!!! Although, the locals provided cucumbers (I don’t know why, but that’s what we given, funny thing it kinda filled everyone up). Anyhow its a pretty unique place and the mountain trekking was pretty fun too. Met absolutely loads of people from Europe.

  2. hh said,

    August 3, 2006 at 6:11 am

    Lakhvir jee, pls email me. I’m unable to get thru yr old email no. tku. hh.

  3. harveen singh said,

    August 4, 2006 at 10:14 am

    Thanks for a wonderful and informative read. It’s strengthened my desire and resolve to make a trip there.

  4. rs said,

    August 23, 2006 at 4:40 pm

    have also had a chance to go to hemkunt sahib with gurus kirpa. It is not an ordinary yatra and no ordinary person can go on this yatra, because alto of physical walking is involved which is very hard on the legs. i consider myself fortunate to go on this yatra.

    Also, I think that the picture of the 2 Singhs above is actually Bhai Modan Singh and not Bhai Sohan Singh.

    thanks

  5. partha said,

    August 29, 2006 at 11:59 am

    3rd Oct-2006 should I go to hemkund, Possible to go there.

  6. singh said,

    September 8, 2006 at 2:50 pm

    Great article…. Thanks for posting.

    If someone wants to read of the accounts of Dr. Tara Singh on his visit there, here it is, take from naamnet

    Pilgrimage To Hemkunt

    Journey to HemKunt Sahib

    Extracts from the booklet ‘Sri Hemkunt Darshan’ published 1982. Written by Dr. Tara Singh mainly during the1940’s and 1950’s.

    ………………………………………………………

    Dr Tara Singh writes

    ‘A very old man informed Maharaja Ranjit Singh that he appeared before Dashmesh ji (tenth Master) at a very early age. He remembered one thing that when he bowed his head on the sacred feet of Guru jee, he felt a strong tingling wave passing through his body’ …

    ‘Many believers have observed that when they touch their forehead, at a place so charged (by guru’s having been at that place), that a current passes through their bodies, which purifies their mind and body. For this reason such places are considered to be sacred. The same thing can be said of those articles which have received the sacred touch.’ Sri Hemkunt Sahib is believed to be the place where Guru Gobind Singh ji in his previous life as ‘Dusht Daman’ was meditating on Vaahi-guroo ji when he was given the divine mission to come to Earth as the Tenth Master. Guru Gobind Singh ji writes in Vachitr Natak

    ‘Now I relate my own story: how Vaahi-guroo ji sent me into this world while I was undergoing penance (in order to please Vaahi-guroo). On the mountain of HemKunt, at a place called Sapt Sringa or the range of the seven peaks where King Pandu had also done penance. I went through various penances and meditated so much on the All_death, the All-Powerful Vaahi-guroo, that I became one with Vaahi-guroo. The Incomprehensible One was also worshipped by my father (9th Guru) and mother who had imbibed Vaahi-guroo’s discipline in many ways to become one with Vaahi-guroo. Vaahi-guroo was extremely pleased with their devotion and ordered me to be born in this Dark Age. It was not my desire to take birth, for my mind was fixed on the feet of Vaahi-guroo, but Vaahi-guroo remonstrated with me with great earnestness’

    Dr Tara Singh ji would spend upto 2.5 months in the solitude of Sri Hemkunt Sahib (altitude 15,200 feet, normal weather very cold, rainy, snow and ice). Surrounded by nature he said ‘In the atmosphere of this place, one forgets his ‘self'; the waves of thoughts subdue; one feels very peaceful, uplifted, and a bliss of Divine World prevails in the mind. The worries and cares of the the mortal earth are forgotten.’

    His journies to Hemkunt Sahib were perilous, one time he was staying in a room of an inn, when he suddenly woke up and sat straight in his bed, he saw 2 men crawling along the floor towards him – one with a huge knife . He challenged them in a strong voice and they made excuses and left him. He writes ‘I had heard many pilgrims who travelled by foot to Badrinath were lost. Actually some criminals disguised as Sadhus, or some local people, after robbing such pilgrims would kill them and throw their dead bodies in a stream. The killer and the killed remained unknown.’

    While he sat in his bed he thanked Guru ji for his kindness. Earlier that day a strange girl had been following him and keeping up with his cycle as he free-wheeled down a hill. She had a celestial glow and told him which way to go, when he asked her name she said ‘Rudra Singh’!!! And disappeared back from where she came. Dr Tara Singh wr come back to the inn. There i sat on the bed with my face towards the open window, draped a blanket around, and in the warmth of SatGuru’s love, meditated on Him. I did not feel sleepy due to the very light food and rarified air, yet I lay down to slumber.

    Appearance of the Gods

    Exactly at two in the night, I woke up suddenly and heard some one standing by the side of my pillow, addressing me with the word “Bhayya jee” (Elder Brother). The voice was heavy and sobre. The legends of the hill-people proved to be true. I understood that my companion from Dev-Lok (World of the Gods) had arrived. He touched me, but due to his fear of some Higher Power, he had respected me, a mere common person, as an older brother (bhayya). I did not respond and remained silent. After a few minutes there were sounds of bathing in the lake. After about an hour I heard female voices.

    The next night at two, again I woke up. A form with a red and black horrible visage was seen sitting just close to my bed. The sense of fear had become unknown to my mind. Due to the grace of Satguru my courage was immense. I was about to chide him, when I was ‘advised’ (spiritually) not to say anything as he would not be able to harm me. I became silent, but to express my displeasure, I turned my back towards him. Soon thereafter, there were the bathing sounds comingfrom the lake. It continued for two then three days, but then did not come to me in the night. When I came out at that time of night, I would feel a warmth as if i was walking in a crowd. When I did not see hear or see anything of them for a few days I felt wistful, because i did not meet my companions. I made a vow and the same night I saw beautiful divine figures bathing in the lake.

    In the day something or the other would happen. Sometimes they would move fast by me while I was intoning their chants. One day at eleven, the Lord Indra was moving in state amidst the clanging of gongs. Voices were heard daily coming from different directions. They used to be so real that even knowing they were spiritual I would come out to see if a pilgrim had arrived.

    One day in the deep of the evening when i was having the holy round (circumambulating respectfully) of the shrine before coming to my dwelling, a red tiger came from behind the inn, and passing me by, went towards the back of the hill of the opposite side. It looked at me constantly, I also looked at him. I could not help laughing heartily. It was not a real tiger. My friend (the one who said “bhiyaa”) had come to have a play with me in disguise.

    I would observe that if any other pilgrim was present on the hill, then a sort of silence would prevail and the little connection I had with the Dev-Lok (world of the Gods) would snag.

    The Guard of Martyrs – Army Of Shaheeds

    Now-a-days, in common language, anybody who is killed due to some political or social reason is called a martyr. But in the true sense, only that person is a martyr who is not reborn on this Earth again and attains salvation. Only he could be such a lucky person, who for the sake of some aspect of religion without any desire, and with a pure heart lays down his life. Only he can be without any desire who prays, meditates and lives a high life. During these times we live in, the Lord of such armies of martyrs is Sri SatGuru Dashmesh ji (Tenth Master).

    Those martyrs, after discarding their mortal bodies and going to live at the fee of SatGuru ji, have their hearts work in harmony with Him, just as fine strings of the Sitar vibrate to the tune of the main string. They move at his behest. They have immense powers. They have knowledge of everything that occurs near or at a distance and can read minds. They can change their size. They are much more powerful than gods. On seeing them, gods do not run away from them, but are afraid of them. Martyrs are Immortal, but gods die and are reborn. Generally, their dress resembles nearly that of Nihang (Warrior) Singhs. Some have blue and others of a small child.

    In June, 1974, when a party of pilgrims from Delhi was going further from village Bheondar towards Ghagria, a girl about 6 years old, daughter of a hindu brother, separated from the party and was left behind. In the wilderness of the forest, all alone, due to fear, she sat down with her head in her knees

    and began to cry. SatGuru jee took pity on her helpless condition. A Sikh martyr appeared and said, ‘child why are you weeping, while I am with you’. The girl raised her head. On seeing him the girl was frightened, but gained courage also and was later joined with the party. This party after returning from Sri HemKunt was going to Paonta Sahib, while the author was also in the same bus, when this incident was narrated to him.

    In the end it can be well imagined that the lovers of SatGuru while travelling during their difficult pilgrimage are looked after by the mysterious army of the Lord. Nothing can be said of the faithless.

    …………………………………………………………………..

    SatGuru Darshan

    We often hear peole talking about the Darshan (appearance in form) of SatGuru jee. Hymns from Scripture are sung. Many devotees pray for Darshan, but we pay little attention to it’s philosophy, perhaps.

    When Guru Sahib was on Earth in form, everybody could have his darshan: Friend and foe, with faith and faithless, believer and non-believer, housleholder and devotee etc. But his Darshan was fruitful accordingly; as one understood SatGuru to be, as the faith he had, as his mind had developed and according to his insight in the Divine Sphere.

    The mind of Lord Satguru is void of enmity and he is kind and forgiving. But he is fulfiller of desires and wishes. Enemy had to face a crush, the friend would get help, but the faithless could get nothing. Those who understood him as a ‘Guru Avtar’ were blessed with knowledge, enlightenment and salvation. Householder got his desires fulfilled in the measure by which he understood the powers and greatness of SatGuru. A rare self sacrificing devotee who recognised him as God-in-Form, when he would have darshan of Guru, would become ‘one’ with Him in an instant. All that has been said here is true today and in the future.

    Today the meaning of Darshan is taken as to behold the subtle form of Guru jee with one’s own eyes. This can be possible in so many ways, during a dream, face to face with naked eyes, within one’s own self, during the state of concentration with eyes closed, etc.

    Satguru jee is independent all by himself. He cannot be compelled for anything by any method or Sadhna. Therefore it does not behove anybody to qute any rules to obtain his darshan. A tiny being cannot describe the secrets of the fathomless ocean. Therefor, while writing on this subject, the author begs forgiveness of the Lord, by accepting him as his ignorant child. The appearance of the Lord within one’s own self, depends on the inner consciousness of the devotee, his faith and belief, the spiritual plane where he has reached. And this appearance is perceived in different forms and in many ways.

    According to the hints that we find in the Sacred Scripture, a devotee who is eager to have darshan, must have a strong and earnest desire, full of love and unshakable faith. Those whose mind is stable on this plane, they only know about themsleves and the manifestations they may experiennce. The relationship between the SatGuru and the Sikh is of an unusual kind, therefore, it’s stories are also strange indeed. Yet this relationship may not be called an unusual one because it is the only connection which is true and everlasting. Every wayfarer moving on the road leading to meeting with the Lord, knows how he gets encouragement at every step and how exhibitions belonging tothe spiritual world of many kinds appear before him. These are the too personal stories of the devotee, which he is very reluctant to expose.

    Our subject is havign Gur-Darshan by a common Sadhak (method) . All-knowing, Darshans and how? The reason for giving the above detail is that enquiries may not be necessary. It is not proper to propigate much the personal blessings bestowed by the Master. But not to dissapoint the readers, we quote here 3 examples of the kind.

    1.Between Gobindghat and Sri Hemkunt, any person might have seen Guru Sahib in a dream, but according to my knowledge, the first person to have an apparent Darshan was a lady in 1951. The old lady, the wife of a retired priest (granthi) of Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple) AmritSar, was taking prashad with her. She started her journey for Sri Hemkunt, with her elder son and the Chowkidar to guide, as the road from Ghagria to Sri Hemkunt had not been constructed yet. These 3 travellers wnet on climbing the hill. When the sacred place was one mile away, the lady was so tired that to move a step further was difficult for her. Her son and the chowkidar proceeded further taking the Prashad with them. The lady was much dissapointed in her mind, as she had come so far and yet could not reach the holy place. There she recited JapJi Sahib, then with her head between her knees, sat over there. From her mind, bubbling with dissapointment and a frustrated wish, arose the clouds of devotion and love to shower rain through her eyes. Some time had passed in this condition of mind, when she heard a sound. She lifted her head and what did she see! Shri Dasmesh (tenth master) jee was standing their. His horse was standing by, but he was not riding it. He graced the lady with a few words of encouragement and disappeared. Sudden appearance!! She was perplexed, could not move her lips to even utter some words. It did not occur to her to seek a blessing. The celestial light radiating from his face was so dazzling that she could not bear to look at it. She remained observing his dress and its colour, but yet she was very happy and satisfied.

    2.After this, some other people may have seen the Sacred Appearance .On or two people have stated that while travelling to Sri Hemkunt in the bus, they had the good luck to observe kind SatGuru ji, going along with his devoted and loving congregation. We shall close this subject after narrating one more incident.

    3.In the year 1957, a group of 20 to 22 men and women, arrived at Sri Hemkunt. Majority of them were AmritDharis (Initiated), of high morals and had love in their hearts for the Lord. Before starting, they prayed for the grant of Darshan and planned to stay at the sacred place for the night. Sme sat inside the Gurdwara and others in the verandah outside and began singing hymns from the Scripture. In the evening, a strong wind blew, carrying with it some clouds, two Sikhs saw the head of a horse, on which all became sure that their prayer had been accepted. At about 8 in the night, when it was very dark, some star like spots of light were observed to be shining on hill tops, which seemed as if they were descending. A short time thereafter, the entire valley was so brightly enlightened as if many suns had risen. On the left side of the lake, Lord Dashmesh jee was seen riding on a horse. Sahibzadas (Master’s 4 Sons) were standing by him, 2 on each side. The star looking lights were the army of SatGuru ji, accompanying him, who had come down by now. After taking a dip in the lake, they sat around its shore. Some were absorbed in meditation, others were reciting hymns in low tones. At this time,the gods residing in the area came out of their places, stood in a queue and passed by the Lord, bowing thei heads on his feet. Many in the group of Sikhs had Darshan of SatGuru ji. Some could see only the martyr gurads. One or two could hear the sounds of bathing only, but could not see anything. After some minutes, the entire strange divine Vision disappeared. It was dark again as before, but the hearts of the devotees were shining with bliss, peace, love and devotion.

    Dhan Guru Gobind Singh Ji Dhan Akal Purakh

  7. September 19, 2006 at 1:14 pm

    please send new picture

  8. Pawandeep said,

    December 26, 2006 at 12:00 pm

    Veerji,

    I was going through Sikh-history and scriptures when I came across Dasam Granth and Bchittar Natak and found that their origins and authenticity are controversial. These can not be atttributed to Guru Gobind Singh Jee. Please read this: http://www.sikhspectrum.com/022005/bachittar.htm which infact means that even Hemkunt Sahib could be a false notion.

    I would like to hear from you about it.
    Bhul Chuk Maaf.

  9. sant subagh singh said,

    March 17, 2007 at 7:27 am

    va he guru ji kar khalsa – va he guru ji ki fateh

    the british splitted the sikhpanth, which where a huge union of sanatana sikhs, like: akali nihangs (army of sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Patshah), seva panthies, udhasis, nirmalas, sufis etc.
    the british raj and cowards also cuted the conection between sikhs and hindus to weaken the Great Force and take control. check this out!
    from that time on sri Dasam Granth and sri Sarabloh Granth were banned from the Gurudwaras trough the new “masands” wich are nowadays called sgpc’s
    va he guru ji kar khalsa va he guru ji ki fateh

  10. March 19, 2007 at 8:50 am

    Thanks for creating such an informative blog. Please check our Sikh websites also ..
    http://www.sikhtourism.com
    sikh-tourism.blogspot.com
    sikhworld.wordpress.com

    regards

  11. Sukhvinder singh said,

    May 8, 2007 at 12:13 pm

    waheguru ji ka khalsa waheguru ji fateh hemkunt sahib is very bautiful places
    i am going on hemkunt sahib yatra is 28/05/2007.

  12. Harinderjit Singh said,

    July 30, 2007 at 5:38 am

    Really very informative and advisable who is planning to go and very good effort.

  13. Pinder Chana said,

    August 7, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    can anyone tell me of tour operators to Sri Hemkunt from Jalandhar in Punjab please

  14. Ms.Param said,

    August 30, 2007 at 8:09 am

    Wahe Guruji ka Khalsa, Wahe Guruji ki Fatah.

    I was spellbound while reading. I had been to Sri Hemkunt Sahib last year during August and since then have found a strange communion with Saheb Shri Guru Gobind Singhji. Experience, of this communion, since my visit to Sri Hemkunt Sahib cannot be described in words. I am again going on 4.9.07 with an ardaas to Guru Saheb for his darshan.

    With Love and regard
    to all devotees of Saheb Sri Guru Gobind Singhji.
    Param

  15. Malcolm said,

    February 23, 2008 at 4:14 am

    Interesting read just planning to go very informative am planning to go with good sikh friend to make sure he gets there ( well its religious and high up in the mountains so I’ve got to go too just love the architcture of the buildings in the mountains and I will be closer too a god too

  16. March 24, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    HTTP

  17. GAGANDEEP SINGH said,

    May 23, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    I WANT TO GO SHRI HEMHUNT SAHIB……………..

  18. kunal khullar said,

    June 23, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    I was going to hemkunt sahib next day , before going there i just collect all the information about this place , after reading all these i think i should spend my whole life there . this place is a big heaven , if any person visit there , i take gurantee that he will make that scene as a part of his/her life ………….. SATNAM SHRI WAHEGURU…………….JO BOLE SONIHAAL , SASHRIYA KAAL

  19. dr godbole said,

    July 8, 2008 at 9:16 am

    I hav fallen in love with the place.If u dont belive in devinity then its a place u must visit,because its hear God stays.And u stay with him hear!!

  20. Rudrarup said,

    July 15, 2008 at 8:15 am

    Himalaya is definitely the place to fall in love with! This year in August I am going for the trip! Hemkund Saheb and Valley of Flowers. Thanks you for this article.

  21. Surjeet Singh said,

    August 16, 2008 at 7:39 am

    Sat Sri Akal Ji

    One has to believe god first then only he can observe his greatness, those who dont believe can never understand the feeling

    after visiting Shri Hemkunt Sahib , one can feel the presence of Almighty

    My sincere thanks to you for making such an informative details

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

    • surjeet said,

      June 13, 2009 at 8:12 pm

      sat sri akal ji

  22. sandeep said,

    October 9, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    yatra of sri hemkunt sahib is very beautiful

  23. khatri j s said,

    October 15, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    Really, it is a great job done by devotee author and pasted here, it seems he is very very intelligent and knowledgeable person.

    Here i want to mention that during the search of holi place, local garhwali people had also devoted their services such as finding the actual place. Some credit also goes to them also.

    I wish all the persons very best yatra who visits there, and every body sud visit their once in his life.

  24. Rajvinder rai said,

    November 21, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    Sat sri akal,
    i am really suprised to read this story, even though i no i actually went there wen i was small,but since this is a childhood story i actually remember the places were i go things i do. it is the most beautiful place to be and pry for wat u want.its cold place to be but once your there u wont even feel the cold.
    this was long time ago when i used to live in india, and i used to go with my family to all the temples.it was so nice to be there you feel so relaxed and peaceful. i wish i could go there.

  25. AKAAL SAHAI said,

    December 17, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    MAHARAJ KIRPA KARDE REHAN . AAPE HE UDAM KARANDE REHAN APNE SEWAKAN TON . WAHEGURU G KA KHALSA WAHEGURU G KE FATEH .

  26. Amerdeep Kaur said,

    January 13, 2009 at 11:14 am

    Bole So Nihal – Sat-Sri-Akal

    I came to work this morning at 7am (uk time) and have had an amazing interesting read. I visited Desh in 1983 the one time only in my life, how sad. I had such a bad experience that i am/WAS afraid to go back, however after reading the above there is a kich telling me to go. Please pray for me that i may visit this very holy shrine and have inner peace, not only for me but for the world

  27. PARANTHAMAN said,

    April 7, 2009 at 11:46 am

    Wonderful places and the narration is excellant . i wish to go there this year2009 .thankyou all for deciding a trip asa I am old

  28. birphung said,

    May 16, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    hoo! valley of flowers

  29. Bikram Nakar said,

    May 27, 2009 at 11:31 am

    Oh my God, Please give me sakti so that I can reach this place and pray you…

  30. jaswant said,

    June 7, 2009 at 10:32 am

    muje rishikesh se hemkut sahib jane ka bus freight or jarorri saman or sahi time bata doooooo.

  31. June 25, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    Brother .. thanks for such an informative article .. but soory to say that it is HEMKUND SAHIB and not HEMKUNT SAHIB .. KUND means Lake.

  32. jugi said,

    June 29, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    ohhhhhh god!!!!! thats the a maging place hope so we will come dere in our life,,,

  33. R S Gill said,

    July 3, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Thanks for this informative article.

    With Guru Ji’s Blessings, I hope to one day in the near future, visit Sri Hemkunt Sahib.

    I have always found it’s history and mythological associations to arouse deep spiritual feelings within myself.

    On a side note, to the brothers/sisters posting comments re. authenticity of Sri Dasam Granth and Bachitra Natak – please understand these writings as they are explained by highly spiritual individuals such as Giani Sant Singh Maskeen, rather than taking the word of self-styled ‘scholars’ who lack the education and ‘giaan’ to understand such things.

  34. Suraj Singh Bisht said,

    November 7, 2009 at 11:50 am

    this place is so beautiful, i pray god that i shall reach there as soon as possible , please god help me. here is lake, valleys of flower, sarovar & wonderful hills so good. hemkunt sahib ….. kund seems like a heaven of earth. i like it very much.

  35. Manjit singh Philora said,

    January 7, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Hello all
    My wife and I went on the Hemkunt yatra in july 2008 and it was so biutyfull and wonderfull to see where our 10th GURU met Waheguru i hope to do this yatra again one day I think every Sikh should do this yatra in there life, once you get to gobind ghat Guru will take to hemkunt sahib him self.

    • Madhavanji said,

      January 30, 2010 at 10:07 am

      Dear Lakhvirpaaji,
      Sat Sri Akhal,
      Eventhough I am a Hindu,when my friend Mr.Amarjeet Singhji of Bhilai, Chattisgarh,India invited me for a trek to Hemkund Sahib, I can’t resist, the memoirs of that short journey was still lingers vibrant in my mind, and all of a sudden I fall on your article in net by accident, the whole narration of you took me back to my 2000 jatha, now my one leg is broken, I don’t know Wahe Guru will take me over there again, and I can see those flowers in the Valley and can I whisper to them, can I have a chilll bath in the sarovar, can i have a hot glass of tea with boiled chenna, and the tasty prasad full of ghee from the highest Gurudwara of this world??? Only Guru Gobind Singhji has the answer to my puzzled questions! Any way thanks a lot to your article and those vibrant photos.
      Wahe Guru Ka Khalsa; Wahe Guru Ki Fateh!
      Yours loving brother,
      Madhavji,
      Tiruchengode,
      Namakkal-Dist,
      Tamilnadu

  36. Manjeet Singh said,

    January 30, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    Well, Instead of believing what the so called “Dasam Granth” says, we should believe in “Shri Guru Granth Sahib”, because our Guru Ji ordered us to do so.
    If we start believing in Dasam Granth stories, the we have to believe in thousands of lies written in it, which are strictly against teachings of our Guru’s…just read few books like “Bipran Ki Reet” by Gurbaksh Singh Kalaafghana and you will ave your eyes opened, don’t believe me or any other, read the books and decide yourself….Tourism is diffrent thing, but going to Hemkunt as devotees and believing our Guru Ji spent there previous life there is not fare, so please read those books or read some articles on “sikhmarg.com”…Waheguru Ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji ki Fateh.

    • preet said,

      August 10, 2010 at 12:03 pm

      totally agee wid u

  37. Anonymous said,

    February 25, 2010 at 9:19 am

    bad

  38. Anonymous said,

    February 25, 2010 at 9:21 am

    i think the writer of this article is a fool who dosent know about the reality. I think he is biased in some way.

    • Sandeep Singh said,

      June 5, 2010 at 12:25 am

      I think first we need to control the language we use…there are many people following these threads about our holy place. If you have a valid point, be brief n calm in the way you present your opinion. Everyone has got the right to say whatever they feel, but with respect.

  39. reema virk said,

    May 11, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    it is really a fantabulous place.I must say noone can visit there once, after being there, we feel that we shuld go there every year.

  40. Chandrashekhar S Chauhan said,

    May 12, 2010 at 7:13 am

    Dear sir,

    Very nice blog all about Shri Hemkund Sahib. I am the local resident of that valley and Grand son of Nanda Singh. you know Nanda Singh…? In your History of Hemkund Sahib ha had a great hand but in your blog he is totally missing. Sir, he was the person who served there for 18 years as first Ganthi, as that time nobody is interested to live there as there were no facilities as like today. But he used to go there with sangat for there ardas and prakas at that time……but after the formation of Gurudwara committee…..they say no to Nanda Singh to join Gurudwara again…. I don’t know why…? Now he is no more with us…….he was the person who agreed the villagers and local of that area to build that Gurudwara as nobody knows about gurudwara at that time. Nanda Sing was very fluent in Gurumukhi and punjabi…..which he learned from Hawaldar Modan singh and later from Baba Darvesh. So please it is my request that please do not ferget the deeds of Nanda Singh as he was with the team who build the History of Shri Hemkund Sahib. I have the video of Nanda Singh in which he is saying about Gurudwara and its Discovery.

    • Sandeep Singh said,

      June 5, 2010 at 12:19 am

      Dear Chandrashekhar,

      I am sorry to hear about your grand father ‘Bhai Nanda Singh ji”, may his soul rest in peace. He was a great man and I completely agree with you brother, though during my first four visits to the holy place I was totally unaware about the gesture your grand father has done to us for which I believe no one can pay off as it is priceless whatever he has done. In 2006 I bought one of a local printed book related to the history of the place and read about your grand father. During my visit in September 2007, I met him personally n had a good one n a half hour session with him on my way back from Gobind Dham (Ghangaria). I was really touched with his depth knowledge on Guru Granth Sahib ji n his fluency in Gurumukhi. I was little disappointed to see our fellow visitors were totally blank about the truth that he was the first Granthi in Sri Hemkunt Sahi Ji and had assisted Hawaldar Modan Singh ji in finding out our holy place. I sincerely appeal to the authorities n sevadaars to please take a note of this in the records so that coming generations are also educated on the great job he has done for us!! I am personally taking up this challenge in making awareness in all related sites and during my visit too.
      My salute to the great Man!!!

    • Subhendu Prakash Chakravarti said,

      July 13, 2013 at 11:57 am

      Dear Chandrasekhar,

      What a surprise. I did meet you twice, first time in July 2007 and the next, in July 2009. Had a few e.mail transaction between us. A bfew months ago I posted a mail, which remain unanswered. Suddenly I found you here in this blog. And came to know about your grandfather. I have also heard about your great grandfather too. After you reply to my last mail, rest will follow.

      With namaskar,

      Dr. Subhendu P. Chakravarti

  41. JS said,

    June 30, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    brother,

    I have come from America to India and from India I am writing you this comment. it is planned that I go to Hemkunt on July 4th; today is the 1st.

    needless to say I am very excited as this will be my first visit to the Himalayas…
    I have heard a lot about this place, most say Guru Ji performed tapasaya here, although I met one man claiming to be a true Sikh saying “kala burf haga” (its only ice)……while his intentions were good, he hasn’t visited Hemkunt and seems almost extremist to me; I doubt such people, but I will find out for myself and for that I am excited!

    although I don’t agree with that cynical baseless view, I did consider it possible when the man said that there is a lot of money to be made, and I did find it believable that this money is not always used in the light of God especially during this age of kali yuga…

    I am sure that it is getting too commercial; too many shops around, too many people trying to take advantage of earnest seekers.

    despite all of this riff raff, and Hemkunt aside, I can’t lose sight of the fact I am going to a place which has attracted many great sages even before Sikhism was ever thought of, a beautiful place not too tainted by the fingerprints of greed…

    its a place vibrating at a very high spiritual frequency, of this I am sure.

    I would like your opinions of what I said.

    P.S., should I take some music to listen to on the trek up, or should I consider internal meditation or a repetition of a mantra such as “waheguru” or “om namah shivaya”, “hare krsna”, etc.

    I think the latter is the correct approach but I wanted you input…I will probably listen to music on the bus ride and meditate while trekking.

    god bless

  42. Saumya said,

    August 6, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    2 years back when I was travelling to Badrinath with my parents and brother, I came to know about this place, Since then I am longing to take the holy dip in the sacred water. After reading this valuable post I believe My next trip will definetly be of the holy shrine. Cant wait to feel the thrill of being there.

  43. Gurbhejsingh said,

    August 20, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    Chardekala.vich.rakha.panth.khalsa.noo

  44. jasvir singh said,

    September 16, 2010 at 9:05 am

    khalsa guru da

  45. robin said,

    December 25, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Hello all, happy new year!!! I am born and brought up in Canada, but have lived a very tough life here. I am currently recovering from surgery as I was beaten up by someone. I wish to go back to India and discover holy places like Hemkunt and particapate in the char dum circuit. I was in India for six months of last year and it was unbelievable, sometimes I say we are so lucky to be Indian and Sikh have all these wonderful historical sites to pay homage too. I wish I can recover from my injuries and go to Hemkunt Shahib this coming July and be in heaven.

  46. Gurjeet Singh Sandhu said,

    May 30, 2011 at 8:07 am

    Sat Shri Akal,
    I would like to go to Shri Himkunt Sahib. Any one have any address of hotel to stay over there in Gobind Ghat and Gobind Dham.
    My email ID is sandy3149@yahoo.ca
    thx
    sandhu

  47. Manjeet Singh said,

    August 23, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    we should know our strength and respect it.

  48. Anonymous said,

    March 28, 2012 at 11:45 am

    thanx for a informative read

  49. Anonymous said,

    May 6, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    thanks for an informative article,i wish to be blessed by guru’s darshan when i will go to hemkund sahib in august 2012

  50. Dr Darminder Singh Chadha said,

    May 11, 2012 at 1:23 am

    Wonderful reminder of my dear mother’s dedication with Guru’s Grace and support from her family and friends that she was able to make 21 trips to Sri Hemkunt Sahib from Kenya. My mother Ajeet Kaur Arora was able to fulfill wishes of many pilgrims when she organised these trips

  51. June 6, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    it is my dream 2 be here….cause it is heaven n m ready 2 sacrifice evrythin fr it

  52. June 6, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    m nt a sardar bt would like 2 b 1 2 see this heaveny place…it remindz me abt mother nature

  53. June 6, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    i came 2 kno abt here last yr n i still have a dream 2 go thr…n c the most beautiful place fr me on earth

  54. gurpreet said,

    June 23, 2012 at 7:52 am

    it is my heartiest wish 2 go 2 a such a nic place

  55. July 17, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Lal rangilay pritam mann mohan tere darshan ko hum baray

  56. July 17, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    would luv to go there again

  57. harpal singh said,

    August 5, 2012 at 10:15 am

    hemkunt parbat hai jahan sapatsringh sobhit hai tahan
    dhan dhan shri guru gobind singh ji
    dhan hai oh sangat jo guru ji de tapasthaan de darshan karan aundi hai……..

  58. Devkant said,

    April 25, 2013 at 6:03 am

    Hello Lakhvir ji,
    Nice and informative blog. I have been going to valley of flowers and Hemkund Sahib for last 10 years and last year itself I went 10 times in one season. I have seen Valley of flowers and Hemkund Sahib in almost all seasons. I have also made a website related to valley of flowers http://www.valleyofflowers.info If someone wants can visit the website its very informative. Thanks again

  59. Anonymous said,

    March 7, 2014 at 12:14 am

    Waheguru Tera Hi Sahara Hai I Love this Place. I want go again and again

  60. Kapil Khatri said,

    March 7, 2014 at 12:16 am

    Waheguru Tera Hi Sahara Hai I Love this Place. I want go again and again


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