Set amidst towering snow-capped mountains and lying beside a lake of pristine blue water, the Sikh shrine of Sri Hemkunt Sahib looks, even to the not-particularly-pious, a place of almost unbelievable beauty and peace. Seven peaks - known as the Sapt Sring- surround the shrine, looming over lush green pastures. The lakeís rocky shores are covered with snow through most of the year, but when the snows melt, the almost mythical yellow-green flower known as the Brahma Kamal, the `Lotus of the Godsí, blooms amidst the rocks. Itís a place of a rather wild and untamed beauty- and one of Sikhismís most important shrines.
The tenth and penultimate guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh ji, meditated for years in these mountains, finally leaving his earthly form and uniting with the Almighty. The star-shaped Gurudwara Sri Hemkunt Sahib, at a height of over 4,000 mt, is as such, a memorial to Guru Gobind Singh ji and a reminder of the saintís mission.
Sri Hemkunt Sahib is accessible only in the summer, between June and October. The rest of the year, heavy snows make passage impossible, and usually block off the trail leading up to the shrine.