Hemkund Sahib Yatra Travel Ban On Elderly, Children Amid Heavy Snowfall

Amid heavy snowfall, number of pilgrims for the yatra will be kept limited
Hemkund Sahib, Uttarakhand, Photo Credit Shutterstock
Hemkund Sahib, Uttarakhand, Photo Credit Shutterstock

Owing to heavy snowfall, Uttarakhand's Chamoli district administration has banned children and elderly above 60 from attending Sri Hemkunt Sahib Yatra, which is scheduled to begin on May 20 this year. About 7 to 8 feet of snowfall has been witnessed near the holy shrine prompting the authorities to impose the ban.

Reiterating the ban, Gurdwara Management Committee President Narendrajit Singh Bindra said the number of pilgrims for the yatra will be limited, adding that sick people, children and elderly will not be allowed "until further orders."

Located on the serene banks of Hemkund Lake at an altitude of 4,329 meters, the famous Sikh shrine is frequented by thousands of devotees every year.

The revered Gurdwara holds great significance for devotees from all over the country. According to the Guru Granth Sahib, Guru Govind Singh, in one of his earlier incarnations, chose to meditate on the banks of Hemkund Lake. Nestled amidst snow-capped peaks, the shrine's location also makes it a sought-after destination for trekkers and tourists, with various trek routes available, including the renowned path to the enchanting Valley of Flowers. Additionally, the pristine Hemkund Lake serves as the source of the Himganga stream, adding to the charm and serenity of the place.

Legend has it that Lakshman, Lord Ram's younger brother from the epic Ramayana, found healing and solace by meditating on the serene banks of Hemkund after sustaining grave injuries in battle. The shrine also has a temple dedicated to Lakshman, where he is believed to have meditated.

When To Visit
The shrine opens in summers for the annual pilgrimage 'Hemkunt Sahib Yatra.'

Getting There

By Air
The closest airport to Hemkunt Sahib is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, approximately 334 kilometres away.

By Train
The closest railway station to Hemkunt Sahib is in Rishikesh, approximately 300 kilometres away.

By Road
The trekking distance from Govindghat to Ghangharia is 14 kilometres, and from Ghangharia, the trek to Hemkund Sahib is 5 kilometres. Govindghat is well connected by road to various important locations such as Rishikesh, Kotdwar, Dehradun, Haridwar, and other significant hill stations in Garhwal and Kumaon Hills regions.

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