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The final ascent...! The pilgrims are all geared to undertake the final part of the long journey which would lead them to their desired destination . With the first rays of the sun , the gurudwara complex springs  to life....humming with activity as the pilgrims prepare to embark . Amidst drizzles and biting cold weather , the pilgrims set out, some of them bare foot . The path outside the gurudwara is a picture of activity at its peak with the pilgrims, the ghora valas  and the porters all leaving at the same time .The climb can take 3-5 hours. The path that leads from Gobind Dham to Hemkunt is far steeper  than the trail that leads from Gobind Ghat to Gobind Dham. Pilgrims take respite from the frequent  spells of rainfall under their plastic raincoats.

But the pilgrims brace themselves against the vagaries of the climate by chanting the holy verse of ' Satnaam Waheguru ' (the Almighty's name is the only true name) and singing kirtan The eyes of the pilgrim search for the nishan sahib, indicative of how much further the pilgrim has to travel. it is also commemorative of the end of the ascent and acts as a sign of encouragement and hope for the weary pilgrim.

During the course of the journey from Gobind Ghat to Hemkunt via Gobind Dham one gets so engrossed in the marvels of nature and glimpses of the snow clad peaks visible at a distance that one loses count of time.... the date , the day , the hour. With the mind dwelling on the task of climbing to the ultimate place , where Dusht Daman had mediated to be one with Almighty, the innermost thoughts equate the experience to one being in heaven. Not far from the gurudwara , the pilgrim is faced with two choices of routes - one is that of the path that the pilgrim has been `following so far and the second is a steep stretch of 1175 steps that lead up to same place.

For the people traveling on mules, , the disembarking point is a platform which is at a level higher than the level reveals itself in its full splendour!  And the pilgrim is left awestruck at the beauty of the structure and the surroundings and is filled with happiness at the thought of  having reached long sought destination............... Hemkunt SAHIB !


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