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This is not a tourist trip . . . it’s a sacred journey into your higher consciousness.

Hemkund Sahib Yatra Requirements – Please Read

Physical Fitness:
Participants should be physically fit and should be able to walk and trek long distances. Do some sort of training before coming. Walking, hiking, bicycling to get in shape. You’ll be climbing at high altitude.

 

Distances and Altitudes

  • Rishikesh to Gobind Ghat 265 km by road 11 hours
  • Gobind Ghat 1828 m altitude
  • Gobind Ghat to Gobind Dham 13 km by footpath 4 to 7 hours
  • Gobind Dham 3049 m altitude (~10000 ft)
  • Gobind Dham to Hemkund Sahib 6 km by footpath 2 to 4 hours
  • Hemkund Sahib 4329 m altitude (~15000 ft)
  • Gobind Dham to Valley of Flowers 5 km by footpath 2 hours
  • Valley of Flowers 3500+ m altitude

While trecking:
Landslides are common along the motor road, especially during the rainy season (July and August) and may delay travel. Walk on the inside of the path to avoid being knocked off the edge by passing mules, cows, sedan chairs, or people.

Mules for traveling:
Mules, palanquins and helicopters are also available, (not included in Yatra, it’s an individual choice, if someone wishes to use them).

Altitude sickness:
Altitude sickness is a very serious risk along the journey to Hemkund Sahib. Here are a few tips for keeping yourself healthy: Spend as much time as possible in the hills before going all the way up to Siri Hemkunth Sahib. Your body adjusts to the altitude slowly. Don’t let yourself become chilled or dehydrated. Dress in warm, dry clothes and drink plenty of tea, water, juice, or soft drinks. Try not to become over-tired. Watch for the following symptoms of altitude sickness: headaches, difficulty breathing, cold extremities, dizziness, disorientation, vomiting. If anyone who shows this symptoms would have to go back down. Altitude sickness can be life-threatening. Once a lower altitude is reached where more oxygen is available in the air, the symptoms will be alleviated in a short time.

Disposal facilities:
There are few garbage disposal facilities along the route. Avoid throwing sweet wrappers, juice boxes, plastic raincoats, and other garbage on or beside the path. If you see a garbage can, use it! To keep the natural environment clean, you are asked to carry out with you the wrappers, containers, and bottles for all food and drink you consume.

At Hemkund the washroom facilities are very limited. They are located down a staircase from the lake. You are asked to use these facilities so that you do not to pollute the sacred space.

Attire
Bring good footwear for walking. Waterproof hiking boots with ankle supports are best. At times it is necessary to walk across snow. There may also be muddy or washed-out sections of the path. Be prepared for bad weather. The temperatures at Gobind Dham and Hemkund can be very cold. You are advised to dress in layers which can be added or removed depending on conditions. Bring woollen, a waterproof jacket, and even rain pants if possible, headcovering, gloves, and warm socks. Dress lightly when you begin the trek at Gobind Ghat. Change to warm, dry clothes as soon as you arrive in Gobind Dham. When you go up to Hemkund, bring an extra sweater or shawl to put on after you reach the top. A Raincoat is a must.

  • Hiking boots with Vibram Sole or sturdy shoes
  • Dress in layers… Base layer, fleece jacket or pull over OR Down jacket
  • Wind proof/waterproof shell
  • Wool socks and liner socks
  • Warm hat (wool) or synthetic
  • Gloves
  • Polyester blend hiking pants
  • NO Cotton Garments… Cotton kills! When it gets wet it could cause hypothermia! And it doesn’t dry fast… Synthetic fabric best for trekking.
  • Flash light or head lamp
  • Backpack to store gear and layers of clothing
  • Water bottle

Yoga & Meditation
There would be Kundalini Yoga and meditation along the way, please bring along head coverings and a yoga math.

Torchlight
Always carry a torch or flashlight if you are out walking after sunset or before sunrise. Also carry one when you go up to Siri Hemkuth Sahib. You may need it on the way back down. For many people, the journey takes much longer than they expect, and they end up walking after dark.

Energy snacks
Carry Glucose, sweets, dried fruits and nuts for when you need energy on the trek. And do not forget to carry water on the way. It is easy to become dehydrated during strenuous exercise.

Using a walking stick will help you to keep your balance and your rhythm while you are walking.

First Aid
Bring first aid supplies like pain killers, some antibiotic; cough medicine, breathing apparatus (if somebody using it), remedy for upset stomach, gauze, tape, and bandages. There are government appointed doctors in Gobind Ghat and Gobind Dham, army dispensaries in the gurudwaras, and an army hospital in Joshimath, but be aware that medical care in the region is very basic and limited.

Journey by Foot Gobind Ghat

We will be starting our journey on foot from Gobind Ghat as early in the morning as possible. The journey by foot to Gobind Dham takes approximately 5 to 7 hours. By Pony/mule it takes 4 hours.

The path from Gobind Ghat to Gobind Dham is approximately 12 km in length. It zig-zags up a steep hillside for the first 2 km, then levels out. The village of Pulna (2,104 m), visible from the path 3 km above Gobind Ghat, is the winter residence of the people indigenous to the valley. From Pulna it is 5 more km to their summer village, Bhyundar (2,592 m). When you cross a bridge over the Lakshman Ganga stream, you know it is only 3km more to Gobind Dham.

GOBIND DHAM
The selection of food and goods is limited because all supplies must be brought up by mule or by porter. Prices can be high due to transportation costs, and they become even higher if there is a lot of demand. A private company pitches Tents for accommodation. We would be tenting here.

ALONG THE PATH
The journey to Hemkund Sahib can take as little as one and a half hours, and as much as six hours. The average journey time is three to four hours. Because of uncertain weather conditions it is advisable leave Gobind Dham for Hemkund as early as possible. We would be starting our journey between 5 and 6 a.m.

The path from Ghangaria to Hemkund is approximately 6 km in length.

AT SIRI HEMKUNTH SAHIB
When you reach Siri Hemkunth Sahib, tea is available all the time in the Gurdwara. If you plan to bathe in the lake, do it before taking tea, before your body has had time to cool off from the climb. Men & Women take the sacred dip at different sides of the sacred healing lake.

There are facilities for checking your shoes before you enter the inner space of the Gurdwara. Remove them on the lower storey, cover your head, and climb the cement steps to the upper storey.

Sir Guru Granth Sahib is enshrined under a beautiful brass canopy. A number of blankets are available for people to use while they are inside the Gurdwara.

The morning Chanting ends around 10:00 am with the Ardas and 2nd one 1:00 p.m. daily. Kirtan continues throughout the day. Langar of tea & Khichri is served at the conclusion of each Ardas.

It is advisable to begin the descent back to Gobind Dham as early as possible. The descent takes an hour or more, averaging two hours. Budget for more time than that to allow for rests and difficult trail conditions. Sunset throughout the season is at around 6 p.m.

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