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Long before the Sikhs started frequenting Sri Hemkunt  Sahib,the local inhabitants of  that area held the lake there with great awe and reverence and called the area around it lokpal, i.e. sustainer of people. In spite of the fact that Hemkunt was mentioned in the autobiography of Guru Gobind Singh, its site remained in oblivion for well over two centuries. This happened in spite of indication of its location having been provided been provided in the guru's own account. It was the Sikh historian-poet Bhai Santokh Singh(1787-1843) who set his imagination to describe and elaborate the story of the Dusht daman, the name the chose for the guru (literally' vanquisher of the evil').


He also provided the description of his tapasthan or the place where he mediated. In the late nineteenth century , a Nirmala scholar, Pandit Tara Singh Narotam , prepared a compendium of the various Sikh pilgrim spots along with their description . That included Sri Hemkunt Sahib. On the basis of the indication provided in the Mahabharata (1:199) about the site where the pandu king had mediated. Narotam trekked up to the spot and was able to verify the site of Sri Hemkunt Sahib.

More recently, the well-known poet-historian-the ologian, Bhai Vir Singh (AD 1872-1957), carefully examined Narotam's evidence relating to the discovery of Sri Hemkunt Sahib and accepted it to be authentic .He provided an elaborated description of spot in his biography of  the tenth guru, Kalghidhar Chamatkar, employing more scientific information about the flora and fauna seen at such an attitude. However, the first person to get attracted towards the task of discovering the actual location of the tapasthan was Sant Sohan Singh (of  Tehri, Garhwal ) a retired granthi from the army. He had been inspired by the description of the spot in the work of Bhai Vir Singh. He trekked up the holy spot a number of times. In 1934 , he visited the spot in the company of Baba Kartar Singh Bedi, and came back determined to set up a gurdwara there. He met Bhai Vir Singh, who also sensed that the spot that the sant  with the necessary material support and furnished him with the wherewithal required for setting up a gurudwara.

 

The sant, along with Havaldar Baba Modan Singh, engaged a contractor and had a ten-foot square room for the gurudwara constructed there. By installing the scared volume of Sri Guru Granth Sahib in the room they had built, they established a gurudwara. In 1960, the havaldar established a seven-member trust-gurdwara Hemkunt Sahib Management Trust. The  founder members of the trust were Havaldar Modan Singh , Colonel Joginder Singh Mann, S.Shamsher Singh, S.Raghubir Singh Kabaria, Baba Gurmukh Singh, S.Gurbaksh Singh Bindra and Colonel Amar Singh. This Trust not only took over the management of Sri Hemkunt Sahib but also established gurudwaras all along the path to it -in Haridwar, Rishikesh, Srinagar , Joshimath, Gobind Ghat and Gobind Dham. In all these places, the Trust steadily upgraded the facilities for the increasing number of pilgrim.
 

 

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