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     The Search of Hemkunt  
 
The Gurudwara
The Design & Architecture
The Search of Hemkunt
History
The Founders Members
The Hemkunt Trust
The Journey to Hemkunt
The Place
Our School
 

According to legends, during the time of 'Sat Yug' (the age of truth), the goddess Durga was once engaged in a battle with demons who had been terrorizing humans and gods alike. Seeking help, she fled to the mountains and came upon a great rishi (sage) who agreed to be of assistance to her. Since he was a brahman and could not be involved in a battle, he created a khattri (warrior) who could combat the demons. The khattri, clad in a lions skin and armed with a sword, slayed the demons after a fierce battle. Greatly pleased, the goddess Durga blessed him and conferred upon him the name Dusht Daman (the suppressor of evil). Where after, the rishi asked him to meditate at Hemkuntwhich was the site for meditation for many celestials. Hence,  Dusht Daman performed an intense and prolonged meditation. he was then summoned by the Almighty to undertake the task of being reborn in 'kal yug' (the age of darkness) to ward off evil from the face of the earth. Thus, in his reincarnation, Dusht Daman was born as the son of the ninth guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur.

The child guru grew up to be a great saint and a warrior. He organized his followers who believed in ONE WAHEGURU with limitless faith in Him, humility in rendering service to humanity and truthfulness and fearless in adversity. He was the tenth guru Guru Gobind Singh.

The Dasam Granth was compiled in 1734, the descriptions of Guru Gobind Singh's tapasthan (place of meditation) - Hemkuntparbat Sapatsring- in the narrative 'Bachitra Natak' drew attention only after a century of its compilation. Kavi Santokh Singh, a mid- nineteenth century historian, was the first person to elaborate on the story of the creation of Dusht Daman and his place of meditation (the Guru's tapasthan) in his fourteen volumes Sri Gur Partap Suraj (Parkash) Granth which was first published in 1843. In the late nineteenth century, Pandit Tara Singh Narotam - a Nirmala scholar and Sikh historian - compiled a descriptive collection of various Sikh tiraths (places considered holy because they are associated with  Guru's) which included Hemkunth.

Bhai Veer Singh, eminent Punjab historian, reformer and poet, put together information about Hemkunth, which he collected from various sources like Guru Gobind Singh's Bachitra Natak, Kavi Santokh Singh's Suraj Prakash and Pandit Tara Singh Narottam's descriptions in Sri Guru Tirath. All this input resulted in the publication of an account by the name of Sri Kalgidhar Chamatkar (miracles of the plume-adorned one). Inspired by the many description of the Guru's tapasthan, Sant Sohan Singh - a retired granthi from the Indian Army - Hemkuntled him to one such place where he noticed pilgrims leaving for a certain pious location referred to as 'Lokpal' . On conversing with pilgrims, he discovered that he had gathered from the locals, Sant Sohan Singh decided to visit Lokpal and not only did he find the geographical details similar, he also experienced a celestial vision that made him believe that this indeed was........ Hemkunt- the tapasthan of Guru Gobind Singh.
 

Convinced of the location, he decided to build a gurdwara with Bhai Veer Singh's assistance, in commemoration of the significance that the place held. For this purpose, he was joined by Havaldar Modan Singh, a sear gent from the Survey Department of the Indian Army. In the year 1935, they went to Hemkuntto build the gurdwara for which they hired the services of a contractor by the name of Ganga Singh Bhandari. During the construction process, the two Sikhs were  assisted by the Village chief Rattan Singh Chauhan, his son Nanda Singh Chauhan and other local dwellers. The construction of the gurdwara, measuring ten feet by ten feet, was completed by November of 1935 and it was so placed that it marked the tapasthan of Guru Gobind Singh in his earlier birth. After the installation of a copy of the Guru Granth Sahib, gifted by Bhai Veer Singh, the gurdwara at Hemkuntwas established as a gurdwara at the highest place in the world.

In this gurdwara, Sant Sohan Singh and Havaldar Modan Singh performed a devout service to the Waheguru. After the demise of Sant Sohan Singh, Havaldar Modan Singh was entrusted with the responsibility of the gurdwara. At times, when he would come down to Gobind Dham he would take refuge in the hollowed out portion of a tree against the onslaught of bad weather and wild animals. This tree still stands in the courtyard of Gobind Dham and is much revered by the pilgrims. During winters, when Havaldar Modan Singh descended to the plains, he would tell enthralled devotees about the gurdwara at Hemkuntand the significance it held. Such was the magic of the descriptions and tales, that it did not take much time before pilgrims were drawn to Hemkunth. Amongst the initial jathas (group of pilgrims) was the one brought by Master Karm Singh. But Since there was no marked path  to this place, the journey was a tough ordeal.

Each of the pilgrims had to be led by hand through the relentless terrain. This could only be done with the help of the village guides, amongst whom, was the village chief's son, Nanda Singh Chauhan. At one time, this tedious journey used to last for almost a month. With an increase in the number of jathas, there was an urgent need to establish a proper pathway. This was done with the help of the locals under the  supervision of the contractor, Hayat Singh Bhandari, and under Nanda Singh Chauhan who by then was well versed with the path. The increase in development led to a spurt in other development activities  like the construction of dharamshalas etc. along the pilgrims route. In the month of March 1960, Havaldar Modan Singh established a seven member trust - the gurdwara Hemkunt Management Trust - which was to take on various responsibilities connected with the seven gurdwaras along the route from Hardwar to Hemkunth. These are namely  gurdwaras at Haridwar, Rishikesh, Srinagar, Joshimath, Gobind Ghat, Gobind Dham and Gurdwara Hemkunt. The subsequent chapter includes information about the initial members of the HemkuntTrust.

The Trust felt the need to build a bigger gurdwara in place of the initial single- roomed building and were in the midst of deciding who should undertake the construction when one of the Trust members encountered General Harkirat Singh who was on a pilgrimage to Hemkunth. He revealed the expansion plans to the General and asked for his suggestions. As the General was one who could envisage a project with regard to the future, he suggested a plan which would accommodate around 400-500 people for a congregation. This, he felt, would be an apt number because the gurdwara was fast gaining recognition and with the improvement of the road, it would attract a large number of pilgrims in the near future. Sensing the truth in the suggestion and recognizing his far sightedness, the Trust decided to entrust the responsibility of designing the gurdwara to the General.
 

 

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