Situated at a height of over 15,000 feet above the sea level in the Himalayan
ranges of northern India, Sri Hemkunt Sahib has emerged as a popular centre of
Sikh Pilgrimage which is visited by thousands of devotees from all over the
world every summer. According to Bachitra Natak, the autobiographical account of
the tenth Guru, Gobind Singh, it was at Hemkunt 'adorned with seven snow peaks'
that he meditated in his previous birth.
It was during the thirties of the twentieth century that the place was
discovered by Sant Sohan Singh and Bhai Modam Singh. Bhai Vir Singh, Sikh savant
and a leading figure of the Singh Sabha movement , played an important role
first in helping these two gentlemen by verifying for them the location of the
place and later by providing financial support for building a gurudwara at
Hemkunt. Collective efforts of Sikh pioneers backed by the community support led
to the construction of gurudwaras en route including Gobind Ghat (6,000 feet)
and Gobind Dham (10,500 feet).
In spite of difficult terrain where
Hemkunt is situated, devotees from all
over the world make it to this unique Sikh shrine every summer. On the way they
also visit other important gurdwaras in Rishikesh, Srinagar and Joshimath. On
their way back they pay homage at Paonta Sahib, Bhangani Sahib, Tirgarhi Sahib
and Shergah Sahib Gurdwaras. Apart from enjoying scenic beauty of the snow-clad
peaks and taking a dip into visit the world famous Valley of Flowers not
far from Sri Hemkunt Sahib.