Portals of Sikh shrine Hemkund Sahib closes for winter months
The portals of the holy Sikh shrine Hemkund Sahib in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand were closed on Sunday.
Sewa Singh, manager of the Shri Hemkund Sahib Management Trust said this year the portals of the shrine were opened on September 18. He said generally every year the portals of the shrine are opened on March 25 and shut on October 10. “However, last year and this year too, there was a delay in the opening of the portals due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
This year over 10,000 pilgrims visited the shrine compared to around 8,500 last year. In 2019, 1.65 lakh pilgrims had visited the shrine.
Situated at a height of over 15,000 feet above sea level, Hemkund Sahib has emerged as a popular centre of Sikh pilgrimage which is visited by lakhs of devotees from all over the world every summer. Hemkund is inaccessible because of snow from October to April. A 1,100-metre climb on a 6-kilometre of stone-paved path leads to Hemkund Sahib.
According to the website of the shrine, it was during the thirties of the twentieth century that the place was discovered by Sant Sohan Singh and Bhai Modam Singh. Bhai Vir Singh, a Sikh savant and a leading figure of the Singh Sabha movement played an important role in helping these two people by verifying for them the location of the place and later by providing financial support for building a gurudwara at Hemkund Sahib.