The sacred portals of Sri Hemkunt Sahib, a famous Sikh shrine in the Garhwal Himalayas (Uttarakhand) --- will be closed from Friday (October 10) for six months due to the onset of winter, as the area remains snowbound and inaccessible during the season.
Preparations for the ceremonial closure of the doors have been given final touches even as hordes of Sikh pilgrims are arriving at Gobind Ghat and Ghanghariya, the two major halts on way to the gurdwara, to participate in the last prayers of the season, the manager said. The doors of the shrine situated at 16000-ft above sea level will be closed in the morning.
Immediately after the closure, Sikh pilgrims will begin retreating to Govinddham. Areas around Hemkunt Sahib have been receiving light snowfall for the past few days but pilgrims are braving the cold to arrive at the shrine in large numbers. The number of visitors at the shrine has already touched the 1.8 lakh mark this season, he said.