Hemkund is a Sikh place of worship and pilgrimage site in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. Hemkund is a Sanskrit name derived from Hem(snow) and kund(bowl). It is devoted to Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth guru of the Sikh community. The altitude of the lake is around 4160m
Total distance and Season of travel
Hemkund sahib is accessible through a 9 km trek on a reasonably well-maintained path. The trek starts from the village Ghangharia and can be done through a walk or pony. The base village for both valleys of flowers trek and Hemkund is the same, the route diverges after few meters of the trek.
I did Hemkund in August, the monsoon season. The day we started the trek, the weather got cloudy and we were literally walking through the clouds[check out the complete video on my channel]. After around an hour, it started raining and luckily we had our raincoats and bag covers. The trail to Hemkund is well marked, but the altitude gain makes it quite challenging. The trek starts from Ghangharia at 3049 m and ends at Hemkund around 4160 m.
Trail to Hemkund
On the entire trail, you will get many stopovers and shelters, where you can rest for some time. Even there are many dhabas on the way, which is a good factor in this trek. The trail to Hemkund is pretty scenic. At the very beginning of the trek only, you will be accompanied by a huge waterfall. The waterfall looks like a beautiful white serpent, dancing in the lush green mountains.
If you are visiting in the monsoon, the entire trail will be covered with clouds. And if you are lucky, can spot some snow as well. One of the most surprising stuff about Hemlund is, you will spot some of the most unique flowers here. Some of the flowers that I failed to spot in the valley of flowers, I did spot during Hemkund trail.
What to see in Hemkund
Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara is just adjacent to Hemkund lake. Due to COVID guidelines, it was closed during my visit. However, in normal times, you can spend some time inside gurudwara and also be part of the langar. Overnight stay is not allowed at Hemkund so one needs to start to descend by 2 PM, because evenings are more cloudy and chilly.
2. Glacier lake
The greenish lake with lush green mountains in the backdrop is a beautiful memory, you will cherish for your whole life. When we reached Hemkund, the entire lake was covered with clouds and barely anything was visible. And in the blink of an eye, the fog got cleared up and there we had a breathtaking Hemkund lake. In the backdrop, you can spot some snow as well, which makes the entire scenery more beautiful.
3. Lakshman Temple
Apart from Gurudwara, there is also a Laksman temple on the premises. And you would be surprised to know that, the temple was made even before the Gurudwara was constructed. It is said that Lakshman meditated here and the mother of Lakshman created this Hemkund lake for her son.
Brahma Kamal is an excellent example of plant life in mountains. This flower is mostly found in high-altitude areas like the valley of flowers and Hemkund. The name of this flower can be translated to – Lotus of Brahma.
5. Unique variety of Plants
Not only valley of flowers, but in Hemkund Sahib as well you can spot some unique variety of plants. The most famous blue poppy, I spotted in Hemkund only.
What to pack for trek?
- Raincoats- Keep them handy
- Bag covers, put them on before starting your trek
- Waterbottle- atleast 2 (You can add glucon D or electroyl)
- Chocolates and read to eat food
- Water proof shoes( atleast during rains, it is must)
- 1 jacket, in case its gets colder by the time of descend.
Who all can do this trek?
I have read at many places that people of all age groups can do this trek. However in my opinion, only if pony or helicopter are operating, senior citizens should go for this trek. Or else, if your fitness level is good then you should go ahead definitely. The reason being, most of the parts of treks are steep and you have to walk uphill for around 6 hrs. Although the path is well laid, still you will be gaining an altitude of around 1000 m.
But yes of course, if you really want to attempt it, age is just a number 🙂
**Don’t listen to what they say, go and see it**