Author Topic: Hemkund Sahib - सिक्खों की आस्था का केन्द्र हेमकुण्ड साहिब  (Read 32547 times)

पंकज सिंह महर

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सिख धर्म की आस्था का प्रतीक हेमकुण्ड साहीब का पावन गुरूद्वारा समुद्र तल से 4329 मी. की ऊँचाई पर एक झील के किनारे स्थित है। ऐसा कहा जाता है कि यहां पहले एक मंदिर था जिसका निर्माण भगवान राम के अनुज लक्ष्मण ने करवाया था। सिखों के दसवें गुरू गोविंद सिंह ने यहां पूजा अर्चना तथा तपस्या की थी। बाद में इसे गुरूद्वारा घोषित कर दिया गया। इस दर्शनीय तीर्थ में चारों ओर से बर्फ की ऊँची चोटियों का प्रतिबिम्ब विशालकाय झील में अत्यन्त मनोरम एवं रोमांच से परिपूर्ण लगता है। इसी झील में हाथी पर्वत और सप्त ऋषि पर्वत श्रृंखलाओं से पानी आता है। एक छोटी जलधारा इस झील से निकलती है जिसे हिमगंगा कहते हैं। झील के किनारे स्थित लक्ष्मण मंदिर भी अत्यन्त दर्शनीय है। अत्यधिक ऊँचाई पर होने के कारण साल में लगभग 7 महीने यंहा झील बर्फ में जम जाती है। फूलों की धाटी यहां का नजदीकी पर्यटन स्थल है।


पंकज सिंह महर

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The high altitude Lokpal lake, known as Hemkund ( 4329 mts.) lies in heavenly environs. A steep trek from Ghangharia leads one to this spot in about four to six hours.

It is an important pilgrimage for both Hindus and Sikhs, as well as for people from other faiths. There is a Sikh Gurudwara and a Lakshman temple built on the bank of the lake.

Encircled by seven snow clad peaks and their associated glaciers, it reflects its surroundings enchantingly on its crystal clear serene waters. The glaciers from Hathi Parvat and Saptrishi peaks feed the lake and a small stream called Himganga flows out of this lake.

As alluded to, in the holy Granth Sahib, Guru Govind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikh faith had meditated on the bank of this lake in one of his earlier births. It is widely believed among Sikhs that Guru Govind Singh introduced the features now universally associated with Sikhism. On 15th April 1699, he started the new brotherhood called the Khalsa (meaning the pure, from the Persian word 'Khales') an inner core of the faithful, accepted by baptism (amrit).

 The five K's' date from this period: kesh (uncut hair) kangha (comb), kirpan (dagger or short sword), kara (steel bangle), and kachh (boxer shorts). The most important is the uncut hair, adopted before the other four. The comb is sometime designated specially as wooden. The dagger and the shorts reflect military influence, while the bangle may be a from of charm.

It is believed that Lakshman, the younger brother of Ram, meditated by the lake and regained his health after being severely wounded by Meghnath, son of the demon Ravana, during battle.

Despite its ancient connections, Hemkund/Lokpal was discovered by a Sikh Havaldar, Solan Singh and became a major pilgrimage centre only after 1930.


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General Information

By Air : Nearest airport is Jolly Grant, 307 kms. (Dehradun 334 kms.)

By Rail : Nearest railhead is Rishikesh, 293 kms.

By Road : Hemkund Saheb is 5 Kms. from Ghangharia, which is approachable on foot from Govindghat which is connected by road with Rishikesh, Kotdwara, Dehradun, Haridwar, Nainital, Ranikhet and other important hill stations of Garhwal and Kumaon Hills. 


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Hemkund (Snow Lake) Sahib, as the name itself suggests, is a high-altitude lake (4329 m) surrounded by seven huge now-covered mountains, which are collectively called Hemkund Parvat. Close to the lake is a sacred Gurudwara that is a pilgrimage centre for Sikhs and Hindus from all over the world.
It is said that Shri Guru Govind Singh Ji (the Tenth Guru of the Sikhs) meditated on the very banks of this lake where a number of sages and religious teachers from the Hindu mythology, including Rishi Medhasa of the Markandeya Purana and Lakshman, the brother of Lord Ram performed penance. Besides the Gurudwara, you can also see a temple here. The lake is the source of the Laxman Ganga (alternatively called Hem Ganga) stream that merges with the Pushpawati stream flowing from the Valley of Flowers, at Ghangaria. From this point on, the river is called Laxman Ganga.
A very popular trekking destination, Hemkund is a 15 km trek from Govindghat. The trek takes one through pine forests where rhododendron (burans), wild roses, ferns and alpine flowers abound. With breathtaking views of the surging waters of the Lakshman Ganga, the last five kilometres of the trek entails a steep climb from Ghangharia, which is a base for visiting Hemkund.
The lake is about two kilometres in circumference. It has clear, still water mirror images of the Saptashringa peaks (5500 m) that surrounds it.

So what’s the best season to visit Hemkund? No doubts: it’s between July and October. During these days, you’ll find the water still, has shards of ice floating in it, glinting in the sun with the rock-strewn banks of the lake covered in moss and the flowers in bright bloom.
 

Gurudwara Hemkund Saheb 

This imposing star-shaped structure of stone and concrete masonry is on the shores of the lake. An outlet behind the Gurudwara is source of the Lakshman Ganga. 

Temple of Lord Lakshman
 
A small temple near by, dedicated to Lord Lakshman.

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General Information
 
Altitude:  4320 m above sea level.
Season:  July-October.
Clothing:  Woollens .

Language:  Kumaoni, Garhwali, Hindi.
Festivals: Guru Nannak's birthday, Guru Govind Singh's Jayanti.
 
 
Accessibility
 
Air     : The nearest airport is Jolly Grant, Dehradun.
Rail    : Nearest railhead is Haridwar / Rishikesh. 
Road  : Hemkund, off Badrinath, is 514 km away from Delhi, the last 15 km of which is a trekking route. DTC and UP Roadways buses ply regularly upto Haridwar / Rishikesh from ISBT, Delhi. Govindghat is 20 km beyond Joshimath on the motor road to Badrinath and 4 km before Pandukeshwar, the point at which there is a diversion for Lokpal Hemkund and the Valley Of Flowers. Hemkund is 20 km from Govindghat. After crossing the Vishnu Ganga, one has to trek 9 km to reach the Bhiyundar valley. At Ghangharia, the Pushpavati river meets the Lakshman Ganga coming from Hemkund. The 7 km trek from Ghangharia to Hemkund entails a steep climb. From Rishikesh, also buses are available for Badrinath via Govind Ghat although tourist taxies are more convenient and quicker. 
Local Transport:  Dandies / Ponies. 
 
 
Accommodation
 
Hemkund.
The Govind Ghat Gurudwara at Ghangharia privides facilities.
 
Excursions
 
Ghangharia
5 km situated in the mid of a pine grove. Ghangharia serves as a base for visiting Hemkund Shaib. It is the last human habitation in the valley. A tourist lodge, log huts, tents and a Gurudwara provide comfortable accommadition.
Govind Ghat
15 km. The confluence of the Alaknanda and Bhyundar or Lakshman Ganga. It has an imposing Gurudwara named after Guru Govind Singh.
 
Info Centre
 
Tourist Office, Bus Station,
Gopeshwar.
Tel. 01372-252468.
Rishikesh (Yatra Office), AGM (Tourism), Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd., Tourist Information Centre, (Advance Reservation Centre), Shail Vihar, Haridwar Bye Pass Road, Rishikesh - 249201.
Tel.: 0135-2431793, 2431783, 2435174, 2432648, 2430799, 2430357(R).
Fax: 0135-2430372.
Email: yatra@gmvnl.com, yatraoffice@sancharnet.in .
 

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History Of Sri Hemkunt Sahib ji

Gurudwara Hemkunt sahib ji in the Himalayas is also regarded as one of the holiest places of the Sikhs. It was there that Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji the tenth and last Guru of the Sikhs is reported to have meditated in his previous life In 'Bachitar Natak' the great Guru relates his story in the following words- "I shall now relate my own story, how God sent me into this world. I was busy performing penance on the hills of 'Hemkunt' where seven peaks are prominent. The place is called 'Sapt Shring’ where King Pandu had performed Yoga, there I practiced austerity and worshipped the god of death. He writes in his autobiography that Ram Chander son of Raja Dasrath had two sons Lava and Kushu. Lava and Kushu ruled over Northern India for many years. They remained good friends during their rule and they colonized two important cities Lahore and Kasur in Punjab. But when they died their sons could not tolerate each other. They became great enemies. In order to get their supremacy they quarreled with each other, One grandson of Lava named Sodhi won the battle and became the king of Punjab. The grandsons of Kushu being defeated took shelter at Banaras. There they learnt the Vedaas Due to their knowledge of Vedaas, they were nick named as Bedees. The Guru writes

'''[[“Lavee sarab jeete Kushee sarab haare. Bache je balee praan lai kai sidhaare. Chattur bed pathiyang keeyo Kashi basing. Ghanai barkh keene tahaan hee niwasing. (52)”]]'''

One-day king Sodhi remembered his relatives living at Banaras. He made up his mind to call them. He sent a messenger and all Bedees reached in the Darbar of King Sodhi at Lahore. King Sodhi asked them to recite the four Vedaas according to the divine process. When the Bedees recited three Vedaas and started to read the fourth Vedaa, the King Sodhi got up from his throne. He asked the leader of the Bedees to take his royal seat. He offered his kingdom to the Bedees with great honor. He himself decided to go to forests in order to contemplate the Name of God. When king Sodhi got prepared for his new abode, the newly crowned king Bedee said, "As you have gifted us the worldly kingdom after hearing three Vedaas, similarly in Kalyug we would offer you the Divine Kingdom in our third incarnation. In Kalyug Guru Nanak was born as first Divine master. He was called the true Patshah. After reigning as the Divine King in the form of Guru Nanak Dev ji, Guru Angad Dev ji and Guru Amar Dass ji, he offered his Divine kingdom to Sodhi Patshah Guru Ram Dass Ji. The Sodhi king grandson of Lava proceeded towards jungles and he selected a very beautiful place for his abode. He worshiped there the name of God for many thousand years. About his own life Guru Gobind Singh ji writes in his auto-biography as under: -
[[Ab main apnee katha bakhaano. Tap saadhat iih bidh muhe aano. Hemkunt Parbat hai jahaan, Sapt sring sobhit hai tahaan.]]


The Guru Ji tells us about his previous incarnation, that in the Himalayan range, where there is Sapt Sring Mountain, on that hill he meditated the Name of God. In his meditation when he became one with God, then the Almighty ordained him to take birth in India in order to crush the cruel rulers. "My father and mother meditated on the incomprehensible. They both practiced the highest yoga through diverse spiritual efforts. Their devout service in the love of God pleased the Almighty who commanded me to take human form in this world. I did not like to come. God sent me into the world with a mandate saying, 'I cherish thee as my son and send thee to establish the path of truth. Go into the world and establish virtue and keep the people, away from evil.'When my father came to Triveni (Allahabad) he daily devoted himself to meditation and charity. There at Allahabad the dazzling light manifested itself into human form."

Ih bidh karat tappsaya bhayo Davai te ek roop havai gayo.
Chit na bhayo hamro aavan kaih Chubhi rahee srut Prabhu chaman maih Jio tio Prabh ham ko samjhaayo.

Im Kaih kai ih lok Pathaayo.]]The Guru ji was so much engrossed in the Name of God, that he did not want to take re-birth. But some how the Almighty, persuaded him and he was born at Patna Sahib. His mother was Mata Gujri ji and his father was ninth Guru Tegh Bahadar Sahib ji. As Guru Gobind Singh ji had mentioned, the place of his previous incarnation in his auto-biography, many sikh scholars tried very hard to locate the exact place. In this field the names of Sant Sohan Singh, Hawaidar Moan Singh, Sant Thandi Singh and Sant Surat Singh are taken with great respect. They dedicated their whole life to locate the exact place in order to construct the Gurdwara Hemkunt Sahib ji. In this field the services of the Hem Kunt-Trust are laudable. The Trust has constructed roads leading towards Hemkunt Sahib ji and for the benefit of the travellers it has built big Gurdwaras on the way


Hindu mythology also claims this spot as the place where Lakshman, Lord Rama's brother did his penance. The mythological name for Hemkund is "Lokpal". The river flowing through this valley along the path from Gobindghat to Gobinddham is called Lakshman Ganga.

 
Pilgrims make their Way across the Hemkund GlacierHemkund Sahib is inaccessible because of snow from October through April. Each year the first Sikh pilgrims arrive in May and set to work to repair the damage to the path over the harsh winter. This Sikh tradition is called "kar seva" (literally "work service") and forms an important tenet of the Sikh faith of belonging to and contributing to the community.

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Planning a trek to Hemkund

The take-off point for Hemkund is the town of Gobindghat about 275 km from Rishikesh. There is ample parking here and pilgrims will arrive by bus or leave their automobiles or motorcycles here. There is Sikh gurudwara where the journey begins by foot with a prayer and some delicious halva(Prashad). The 13 km trek from here is along a reasonably well maintained path to the village of Gobinddham or Ghangaria. There is another Gurudwara where pilgrims can spend the night. In addition there are a few hotels and a well-maintained campground with tents and mattresses. After this a 5,000 ft climb in 6 km of stone paved path reaches Hemkund. There are no sleeping arrangements at Hemkund and one is advised to leave by 2PM to make it back to Gobinddham by nightfall.

From Delhi, take the Train to Rishikesh and then by bus to Gobindghat. After Gobindghat, it is a 19 km trek to Hemkund. You can also drive from Delhi to Gobindghat; it will take about 18 hours. You will need to stop for the night at at least one point between Rishikesh and Gobindghat. Simple and clean hotels are available along the way. Auli, a ski resort at 10,000 ft, is a good place to stop for an extra day - rest and acclamatize to the high altitude. The main town below Auli is Joshimath; Auli is a 20 minutes ride by a Ropeway. If you did drive all the way from Delhi, you will appreciate the extra day in Auli.

Small stalls selling hot tea and bottled water and other drink line the path from Gobindghat to the tree line below Hemkund. The price for a bottled water increases from about Rs. 10 in the plains to about Rs. 30 at 14,000 ft. The larger stalls offer aloo parathas that taste very good when spiced up by exhaustion.

पंकज सिंह महर

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हेम पन्त

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बहुत सुन्दर जानकारी है पंकज दा.... आपका धन्यवाद
+1 karma


एम.एस. मेहता /M S Mehta 9910532720

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