The sacred portals of Hemkunt Sahib were thrown open on Wednesday with thousands of Sikh devotees paying obeisance at the famed Himalayan shrine on the opening day. The process to reopen the gates of the shrine after their winter time closure began at 8am on a bright sunny morning in the presence of more than three thousand devotees, a gurdwara management committee official said in Govindghat, which is en route to the gurdwara.
Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs, was first ushered into Hemkunt Sahib from Satkhand by the Panj Pyaras. The first prayer was offered at 10am and Sukhmani Sahib was recited at 11am. From 1pm onwards, the Mukhwak of the Guru Granth Sahib was recited followed by recounting of the story of Hemkunt, they said.
It is said that the tenth Guru of the Sikhs Guru Gobind Singh meditated along the banks of Hemkunt (or Hemkund), a Himalayan lake flowing at an altitude of nearly 16000 feet. One of the most sacred Sikh shrines, Hemkunt Sahib is closed in October every year with the onset of winter, when it remains snowbound, and is reopened in May during summer.