The best way to reach the village of Ghangaria in the Himalayas is a 5 minute helicopter ride from Joshimath. A trek of 17.75 kms to and fro takes you to the Laxman temple and gurdwara Hemkund Sahab from the helipad in Ghangaria.
You gain an altitude of 4,100 feet from 10, 200 feet above sea level.
Not a trek for the faint hearted or unfit……on the day we went, all the other people were on ponies, we were told by them as they trotted past us…’take a pony, it’s really tough to walk up there’.
We had booked ponies which followed us up and down again while we walked on foot. They were useful as they carried water and food and other essentials for us.
The trek is well defined, though in places landslides and ongoing repair have caused it to become little treacherous and slippery. The view is breathtaking throughout.
The Laxman temple was there much before Hemkund Sahab was constructed there. Laxman had meditated in the pond which was called the Lokpal Laxman Kund. His footprint is visible there even today.
This is what the trek looks like….
The Laxman temple……
The trek around the kund to the Laxman footprint….
Above the coin, a large footprint is seen…
Hemkund Sahab…with the Laxman temple to the right…
The path was more slippery on the way down due to the rain and fog…
The trek and the spiritual experience is worth every aching joint…..it’s a wonderful feeling to complete it by foot.
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