My trip also had a spiritual side to it and after visiting the Holy Valley I went to Hemkund Sahib the next day. It is situated at an elevation of 15000 feet above sea level.
It is a special place as it holds importance in both the Hindu and Sikh faith.
The Hindu Legend says that Lakshman Ji(Brother of Lord Ram) was taken to the banks of the lake situated there when he was mortally wounded in the battle against Ravan’s son Meghnaad.
It was here Hanuman ji found the Sanjeevani herb which gave life to Lakshman ji and in happiness the gods showered flowers which became the valley of flowers.
Another story gives reference to Sheshnaag and Vishnu ji.
Long before the Gurudwara was constructed in 1960’s the place was known to the locals who went there for pilgrimage.
The Gurudwara members told me that no ablutions and eating were done on the way and the villagers worshiped and took the holy bath in the lake and then they came down. Even today the toilets are situated away from the Hemkund Sahib Lake.
The Sikh Legend says that Guru Gobind Singh Ji meditated here and became one with God but God commanded him to go to world and be born to get rid of the evil existing in the world.
So both the the Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara and the Lokpal or Lakshman Temple exist side by side.
And the next morning my 6 Kilometres trek began. The trek is tougher than the Valley trek as the climb is steep with nowhere coming downwards but again is worth every step. You keep on climbing up and up until you merge with the clouds.
The clouds also covered the entire Ghangria valley until nothing was visible BUT in one moment as if God waved his hand to disperse the clouds the entire settlement of Ghangria and the humongous mountains were visible again.
In one blow of some mystical wind the clouds dispersed and the whole Ghangria valley was bathing in sunlight.
When I saw the clouds clearing and the mountains revealing themselves by tearing from between the clouds that was almost a magical miracle I saw. I thought to myself this can’t be real but it was.
Once again on the way you go through Glaciers and Waterfalls and what a treat they are to the human eye, mind and most importantly the soul.
The origins of the glacier might be the clouds.
A then I came across a beautiful waterfall – Bon Appetit for the eye, body and soul!
I could see the mighty glacier slowly melting away. Probably depicting even the strongest will, at the end, merge into the oblivion.
It was a hard trek but finally I reached Hemkund Sahib and offered my prayers and did Darshan of both the Gurudwara and the Mandir. The entire premise and lake were covered by the clouds and it was raining.
I was a bit unfortunate as I did not know that the Gurudwara and Temple close down at 1:30 in the noon but anyway was lucky enough to do Darshan where both Guru Gobind Singh Ji and Lakshman Ji prayed.
So reach the Gurudwara latest by 12 30 or 1 in the noon. It takes almost 4 hours for this trek for a healthy man so plan accordingly. Again there are potters and horses which you can hire and you can reach much early but it is a pilgrimage not a luxury ride. Right?
While on the way I met pilgrims who politely said Sat Sri Akal to me and I said Namaste to them. This broke the monotony and also their smile and respect gives you energy walk ahead.
So I washed my face and hands in the Sarovar(Lake) and prayed to god and wished(Of course I won’t tell my wish). The atmosphere was quiet and had the vibes that something really strong is present here. It made me feel pious and peaceful at the same time.
Even in the Gurudwara one Bhai ji(Brother) said Indian haan?(Is he Indian?) and I said “Hanji Agra se”(Yes I am from Agra). May be it was not the beard but something else. 🙂
After paying my tributes to the Gods I went down after saying a final farewell as the next day I had to leave.
Himalaya for me is something I cannot define.
There is a magic in travelling in the Himalaya as when you stand in front it you feel so small. You realize that in this eternity how minuscule you are.
How your entire life is simply a moment’s time in front of this miracle of nature and it will stay as it is when you are long gone from this world.
May be this feeling crushes your Ego and the Himalaya does it so gracefully. It shows how insignificant in time a human is and how even the biggest Mountains are mortals.
There is a legend associated with every mountain and a story with every river. Each stone has spirituality engraved in it and each path has been walked by great sages and still been walked upon by sages.
The Himalaya casts a spell of peace on you and there is nothing but thoughtlessness that remains inside you when you visit the Himalaya.
May be this is ultimate peace. May be this is being one with the creator.
I end my Journey.
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