Sikh pilgrims from Pakistan reach Hemkund Sahib shrine in Uttarakhand
The portals of the Hemkund Sahib shrine, situated at a height of over 15,000 feet above sea level Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district will close on October 10 this year as it becomes inaccessible because of snow from October to April
A batch of 48 Sikh pilgrims led by Satenderpal Singh from Pakistan reached Hemkund Sahib shrine in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district on Tuesday, said the trustees of the Hemkund Sahib Gurdwara management trust Rishikesh, who welcomed the group on their arrival in the state on Saturday.
“After informing the foreign relation officer of the district, the 48-member Sikh group from Pakistan reached Hemkund Sahib shrine on Tuesday and have now reached back to Govind Dham (Ghangria)” said NS Bindra, vice president of the trust.
“The Sikh community members from Pakistan were overwhelmed with the warm welcome and hospitality received at Rishikesh and en route to the Hemkund Sahib shrine and said it was an emotional experience for them,” he added.
The Sikh community members from Pakistan are being escorted by Randhir Singh, representative of the Sri Gurdwara Prabhandak committee Delhi.
The portals of the Hemkund Sahib shrine located in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand near Joshimath will close on October 10 this year as it becomes inaccessible because of snow from October to April. 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.
A 1,100-metre climb on a 6km of the stone-paved path leads to Hemkund. According to the website of the shrine, it was during the 30s of the 20th century that the place was discovered by Sant Sohan Singh and Bhai Modam Singh. Bhai Vir Singh, Sikh savant and a leading figure of the Singh Sabha movement, played an important role first 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.