The Yatra season has got a further boost with the opening of the portals of Hemkund Sahib, which is considered as the fifth Dham. The shrine of Hemkund Sahib is highly revered by the Sikhs and Lakhs of Sikhs, from across the country and abroad, visit the sacred place every year. Hemkund Sahib situated at an altitude of 4150 meters in Chamoli district, the place is the most holy for the Sikhs. It is believed that in his past life, Guru Gobind Singh had meditated at this place, as a result of which he was born in his next life as Dust Daman ( the suppressor of the wicked). The spot was discovered by two Sikh sants. To reach the sacred place, which is surrounded by 7 mountain ranges, at the confluence of Alaknanda & Pushpavati rivers, 302 kilometer road journey starts from Haridwar upto Govind Ghat on the Haridwar - Badrinath National Highway. From Govind Ghat the pilgrims have to undertake an arduous journey on foot for 14 kilometers to Ghangaria and from there 5 kilometers to Hemkund Sahib.
Sardar Darshan Singh, manager of the Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib Trust told the process of pening the portals was performed by the Granthi Jassi Singh and Akhand Paath was performed afterwards, with about 20,000 devotees, mostly from uttarakhand, U.P., Delhi, Punjab and Haryana, present on the occasion. The scheduled period of the pilgrimage is of 16 weeks, from June to October 5. Extension of the duration of pilgrimage depends on weather. The Trust of the Gurudwara has made arrangements of the direct telecast of the rituals. Free boarding and lodging of the pilgrims have been made at Rishikesh, Joshimath, Govind Ghat, Ghangaria etc., by the management of the Gurudwara.