Hemkund is a 15km trek from Govindghat, which is the gateway to the Bhyundar or Lakshman Ganga valley. Govindghat is one of the bus routes to Badrinath. The trek from here to Hemkund takes one through forests of pine and rhododendron where wild roses, ferns, and alpine flowers bloom. The surging waters of the Lakshman Ganga are also visible. The last 5km of the trek entails a steep climb from Ghangharia, which is a base for visiting Hemkund.
Day 1: Govind Ghat to Ghangria.
- Start trekking out of the village early in the day, and cross the bridge over Alakananda.
- The trail is usually crowded with pilgrims from the Sikh community.
- The 13 km trek from Govind Ghat to Ghangria goes all the way along the river.
- It takes about 7 hours to reach Ghangria, which is a one-street village, lined with food joints and a Gurudwara.
- Stay overnight at Ghangria in a hotel.
Day 2: Ghangria to Hemkund Sahib and back
- Start your day by 5 am because the weather can be impulsive in the afternoon. Sudden cloud cover and rain can get you stranded if you do not descend in time.
- It is a stiff climb on rocky terrain. A trekking pole will come in handy for this day’s trek.
- It takes about 4 hours to reach the Hemkund Sahib Gurdwara and lake.
- The Hemkund Sahib lake remains frozen for six months.
- Warm yourself in the Gurudwara and have generous helpings of hot tea and khichdi.
- Spend some time in the peaceful and pristine environment before descending down to Ghangria.
- The descent is steep. Carry a kneecap to avoid too much strain on the knee (optional).
- Stay overnight at Ghangria in hotel.