Hemkund Sahib May Remain Closed For One Year


Hemkund Sahib Gurdwara, located 15,200 feet above sea level in Uttarakhad, was shut down last week due to heavy rain and may remain closed for up to one year.

Hemkund Sahib, a major attraction for Sikh pilgrims, is largely inaccessible from October through April due to snow bound paths and glaciers. Sikhs generally arrive in May and begin work to repair damage done to the path over the winter. However, the pilgrimage is next to impossible to resume for the rest of 2013.

Heavy rain in the Chamoli region resulted in the evacuation of people and pilgrims stranded in the hills late last week. Landslides resulted in authorities closing the Chamoli-Joshimath highway. The road from Tayya Bridge leading to Hemkund Sahib is so badly damaged that officials had no choice but to close the Gurdwara for awhile.

The sealing of the Gurdwara with electric welding is underway, and the entire process is likely to be completed in a few days.