Devotees took a holy dip in the glacial lake at Hemkund Sahib, as the Sikh shrine surrounded by snow-clad Himalayan peaks in Uttarakhand's Chamoli district, reopened on Saturday after an eight-month winter break.
Thousands of pilgrims, including Uttarakhand Minority
Commission chairman NS Bindra, took a ritual bath in the lake before paying obeisance at the gurdwara.
Situated at an altitude of 15,500 feet near the famous Badrinath shrine and surrounded by seven mountain peaks, Hemkund Sahib can be reached only after a 20-kilometre trek from Gobindghat on the Rishikesh-Badrinath highway.
Devoted to Guru Gobind Singh, the shrine finds mention in Dasam Granth, a piece of work believed to have been narrated by the tenth Sikh Guru, and is closed for eight months in October because of snow-bound conditions.